Away from the dine, drink, surf and hustle-bustle there are these two cultural and tourism icons of Bali.
Tanah Lot – means Land in the Sea in Balinese – is a huge off-shore rock formation with a temple built on the very top of it. The rock is being shaped continuously over the years by the crashing waves. Located approximately 20 kilometers West of Denpasar, this place is of considerable significance to Balinese culture and mythology.
The location and the picturesque views of the sea makes it one of the most popular tourist destinations in Bali. There is a big market prior to the entrance which has small shops selling various stuff and also a few restaurants. Although you need to pay to enter the place, the stunning views – quiet and calm environment with the strong waves crashing against the rocks – is worth every penny.
- The temple compound is only open during low tide, for obvious reasons!!
- Not all of the rock is natural. The entire place underwent heavy restoration in 1980 aided by Japan and it was restructured, yet it looks all natural.
- Try to catch the sunset here. I can imagine you’d get even more amazing views.
- You need not be an avid admirer of religious places to come here. Visit this place for its structural awesomeness at least!!
Another high-point of my Bali trip – literally a high-point. Kintamani is a highland area located in North-Eastern Bali, almost 60 kms from Denpasar. Engulfing seven villages, the highlight of Kintamani is Mount Batur – an active volcano and the deep crater lake – Lake Batur.
There are numerous restaurants located at some of the best locations from where you get the best views of the entire mountainous region around the place. You can order a cup of the locally brewed coffee and just admire the view of the stunningly spectacular mountains and the lake.
Driving down, there are a lot of places that provide the perfect photo opportunity. However, there were volcanic rocks spread around the winding road. I got down from the vehicle and walked a few steps in and for a moment I felt like going all the way to the base of the volcano. The thing with me and rocks is similar to what I have with beaches. Whenever I see a big rock, I instinctively start climbing it!!
Down at the village there are a few resorts which have built small pools around the natural hot springs. Take a dip in those, get immersed in the beautiful scenery around and you can almost fall asleep with the relaxing effect it has on you!!
The coffee plantations just outside of Kintamani area. My friend was kind enough to plan for a short trip to one of the coffee farms. These coffee farms are located along the slopes of a valley and they have their own coffee shops where they serve coffee freshly brewed in the farm.
We were even served different samples of flavored coffee and tea.
I’ve been to tea plantations before but a coffee farm – this was something new and interesting for me!!
- Kintamani is a 2 hour drive from Seminyak/Kuta. Watch the local life go by as you pass through Ubud and the artists village.
- Mount Batur is considered a sacred place by the people of Kintamani. Show respect and due regards to their beliefs and traditions.
- Treks to the top of the volcano are available that start around 2 AM!! That sounds fun, so next time I am going for it!!