I didn’t plan to write another post on temples only, but as I’ve said, I like temples and I happened to visit few more and I’d though it might be helpful to share my impressions.
My favourite temple is officially Pura Lempuyang Luhur as it is located in the beautiful mountainous region and the visit is basically a trek to 7 temples in the jungle full of monkeys. This was also a first place where the Google maps wrongly led me into forest by a very bad road, so I’d given up the idea of finding a temple. In the moment of my decision to go back and to forget about the temple, a local turned up, helped me push my motorbike up the road and directed me to the right road to the temple. There I then met few English people going there too, so I’d followed them, at last bringing me to the Pura Lempuyang and making me feel incredible grateful for my luck of meeting them. Sadly, I didn’t have time to go up to the highest temple (I would’ve needed 4 hours to go there and back), so it stays on my to do list next time I am in the neighbourhood. Also the entrance fee was up to me (I gave 15 000 IDR) and there were no annoying souvenirs vendors around.
Pura Luhur Rambut Siwi is on the west coast of Bali, near a beach and I was the only visitor there as It was Kuningan and only families came to the temple for the holy ceremony. I really liked the temple and its atmosphere – it was so real and spiritual. There are actually 2 temples: one in the woods and one on the beach, but I’d decided not to go down to the beach because it was so hot and I didn’t want to have sand all over my shoes. Silly, I know 🙂
While driving to the Besakih Temple, or the Mother Temple, I got ‘attacked’ by a local giving me offerings for the temple while saying It’s free, it’s free…’ and sprinkling (questionable) holy water on me and at last she put a bracelet on my hand and said: ‘Now, donation!’. I’ve learnt that the Indonesian don’t know the real meaning of ‘donation’, because whenever there is a donation, you absolutely have to contribute by some money. So I’ve given her 20 000 IDR and I think that was more than what she’d expected because she gave me a bag full of canang sari and let me go. Besakih is a very impressive temple and I was forced to hire a guide (I am really bad at saying no in this country), but I’d warned him beforehand that I would give him 20 000 IDR max. He probably didn’t believe my words, because when I gave him the 20 000 bill in the end, I could feel his disappointment saing: ‘Twenty???’ Well, I stick to my word! The ticketing system is also strange there, as I was stopped on the crossing before even reaching the temple’s grounds and made to pay 15 000 IDR. Overall, a good temple to visit despite plenty of persistent vendors trying to sell you sarong, offerings, postcards, etc.
Pura Maduwe Karang is a small village temple near Air Sanih in the North of Bali and I had spent there a quiet time before anyone else arrived. I saw only local girls cleaning and sweeping the ground so I could walk around undisturbed and no one asked me any entrance fee.
Pura Ulun Danu Beratan at the lake Beratan in the North is overrated in my opinion. While it looks good on the pictures, I didn’t enjoy this one due to the big number of tourist buses, selfie sticks and a high entrance fee of 30 000 IDR. There is also not much to see or walk around.
I don’t really know what Taman Tirta Gangga is supposed to be, because I don’t think it is a temple. It is a complex built on water and you can hop on the stones in the lake, seeing fish beneath you. There is also some kind of area for bathing, so bring your bikini. When I was there it rained heavily, but I still enjoyed walking around, after paying the entrance fee of 15 000 IDR.
Taman Ayun Temple in Mengwi is a nice big temple, although the visitors are only allowed to walk around the temple, but you can easily see what is going on inside. The negative part of this site is the terrible parking lot with street stalls selling cheap-looking products. The entrance is 15 000 IDR
The Uluwatu temple is scattered around a very big area where monkeys rule the world and gain many souvenirs from inattentive visitors. There is an announcement warning people to take care of their belongings before the monkeys do. A lot of tourist, no special atmosphere, except of one nice family from Sulawesi asking us to take a picture with them.