Tanah Lot and Kintamani - The Other Bali | Blogs

Tanah Lot and Kintamani – The Other Bali

Away from the dine, drink, surf and hustle-bustle there are these two cultural and tourism icons of Bali.

Tanah Lot 

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.

Tanah Lot3

Tanah Lot1

Tanah Lot2

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.

Important Info:

  • 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!!

Relaxing in the natural hot spring

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!!


Special Mention

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.

Coffee Beans Roasted
Coffee Samples

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!!

Important Info: 

  • 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!!



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Tanah Lot and Kintamani – The Other Bali
Tanah Lot2
Tanah Lot and Kintamani - The Other Bali | Blogs

Highlights of my Bali trip

My trip to Bali was amazing to say the least. After seven days of experiencing the various aspects of this wonderful place, I am listing down the best moments from this trip.


1. Exploring Bali on a motorbike – I have witnessed some very bad traffic back in India but the traffic situation in Bali would come a close second. There is no public transport(bus/train) within Bali, motorbikes are the most common mode of transport for locals and tourists alike. That would mean very frequent traffic jams and add to that the narrow roads of Legian and Seminyak. So, that made my riding around the city on a motorbike a remarkable experience. Although I was skeptical at first, gradually I was able to get around quite comfortably and ended up riding to Canggu and Jimbaran.


While experienced riders can get around this traffic, it can be quite overwhelming for first-timers/learners, especially on the bigger roads with not many traffic rules being followed;would suggest to flag a taxi instead.


2. Visit to Tanah Lot temple For its sheer beauty and the picturesque backdrop, this natural wonder is worth a visit. The location, the sea waves crashing against the rocks, the ocean and among them stands this marvelous piece of rock with a temple built on top.



3. Journey to Kintamani This one was not only about the destination – the majestic setting of Mount Batur volcano – it was equally about the journey. The roads, the drive through Artists’ village and a stop at one of the coffee plantations that had its own coffee shop perched on the slope of a valley and a dip in the hot springs!!



4. Beaches and my first surf lesson– Beautiful beaches(and babes), strong waves and my first surf lesson. What else could I ask for??



5. Delicious food – When I wasn’t busy on the beach, I was eating some of the best foods in the best restaurants. The best food I’ve had in a very long time.



Yes Bali!!

I will come back to you again – to catch a few more waves, to ride across a few more roads, to take a few treks, to experience your culinary offerings and to sip up a few more cups of coffee!! 

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Highlights of my Bali trip
Tanah Lot and Kintamani - The Other Bali | Blogs

Catching my first wave in Bali

I was looking to do something new, something I haven’t tried before but I did not plan for anything before I left for Bali. So, when I was there strolling along Seminyak beach it was just an instinctive and impromptu decision to take a surfing lesson.

Seen so many surfers in Bali made me want to try it. Also I love the sea, the water and the waves, so I could imagine myself surfing through too.


After the overview on the basic techniques on shore it was time to test the waters. My instructor Wayan was really really patient with me and always cheered me up after every of my failed attempts to stand. Once I started to catch the waves and finally stood up , it was the best I’ve felt in a long long time.


Learning to surf isn’t easy at all, but it is addictive once you catch the first wave standing. I felt that way once I could stand up after a lot of attempts, albeit for a very few seconds. Next time I visit Bali (hopefully very soon) I know I am going  to spend most of my days in the water on a surfboard.


There are a lot of places with instructors along the beach itself that offer surfing lessons (approx 25-30 USD for 2 hours). I went for one such as it was not a planned one. Nevertheless, it was an unforgettable experience!!


The Ripcurl school of surf is supposedly the best in Bali when it comes to surfing lessons. Their lessons would cost approx. USD 60$, but I’ve heard nice things about them!!

Learning to surf properly is no magic. It takes time, patience and effort. But the end result is something that stays with you!!


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Catching my first wave in Bali
Tanah Lot and Kintamani - The Other Bali | Blogs

Bali Photo Gallery

Bali Moments through my lenses

Check out glimpses of Seminyak Beach, Kintamani Volcano, Mouth-Watering food and more ….

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Bali Photo Gallery
Jimbaran Beach
Tanah Lot and Kintamani - The Other Bali | Blogs

Seminyak, Legian, Kuta – Popular tourist haunts and beaches of Bali

Alright, this is about the three places in Bali known for – dine, drink, shop, surf and play!!


I have mostly explored the beaches located in the Southern region of Bali. Honestly, to go beach hopping in the entire island or even in one particular region, needs a few more days of stay in Bali. I was able to go around the beaches along Seminyak, Legian and Canggu only, because whenever I see the beach and ocean, I end up spending at least 3-4 hours – swimming against the waves and/or just being there, lying down/take a nap/sipping up some icy drinks.


While Canggu beach is ideal to have a quiet time and relax, it could be a bit more cleaner. The waves are good for surfing and too rough for swimming. The beach at Legian is mostly an extension of the Kuta stretch. The usual with a lot of people and vendors on the beach, swimmers and surfers in the water – reminded me of the overtly commercialized Katong beach in Phuket.


A lot of surfers throng the waters during the morning hours and late afternoon. Even during mid-day you can see a lot of the more enthusiastic and professional surfers catching the waves. The waves in Seminyak and Canggu are ideal for surfing –  beginners or professionals!!


The beach along Seminyak was the best among all the others. It was clean, the waves were on most occasions BIG, commercialized yet the beauty of the entire area is kept intact and some amazing sunsets.


There are some really nice small cafes and restaurants along the Double Six beach and Seminyak beach stretch that serve reasonably decent food and drinks. The best part about those restaurants starts late afternoon onward – just before sunset, they put up bean-bags and patios on the beach which provides an ideal setting to relax and enjoy the sunset. These places get filled-up soon with locals and tourists alike – oh and there is music too!!

Sunset 5

Also, during the late afternoon, a lot of locals make small groups to enjoy some football on the beach and a many kids and tourists are welcomed to join in. It makes up for a wonderful atmosphere all around from late evening till dusk.

Football on the beach

Away from the beaches, there is a lot to explore if you know what you want. The streets and by-lanes can be a bit tricky to drive/ride, especially around Kuta Square and Legian. For me, it was really fun riding all the way to Jimbaran along the occasional sharp curves and uphill roads.

While Seminyak area is quite chic with some trendy shops, F&B outlets and lesser crowds – yet there are some really nice places to have a quiet hangout or go partying around. The Mirror club and The Red Carpet champagne Bar are really popular with the tourists. Although Legian and Kuta are considered to be the party hotspots, for me it was watching a lot of barfing folks outside Sky Garden and Bounty nightclubs. So yes, classy Seminyak is what I prefer.

Red Carpet

I wasn’t much impressed by Kuta square because well, the usual fare – big crowds, a lot of shops and I am sorry to say, some filthy stuff around. But there are some nice shops too if you like local souvenirs. A couple of shops where I spent a lot of time were two local souvenir shops. I like to see the local stuff more than anything else when I visit somewhere.

Paintings on Display


Rent a motorbike!! This is the best way to go around in Bali. If you are up for it though!! Usually you will just need to provide a copy of your Passport while renting the bike.

The beaches are beautiful, yes, but get off the beaches and explore the other areas around. There is something for everybody here. Visit some of the many shops that sell paintings if you are into art or you think that it just looks good on your wall. They are really really nice!!


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Seminyak, Legian, Kuta – Popular tourist haunts and beaches of Bali