Friday, 15 June 2012

Bali, Indonesia (2)

Lake Batur/ Mt. Batur

Further north of Ubud is volcanic Mt.Batur. Trekking to the top is optional but I gave it a pass as I will  be heading to Java soon enough to do that kind of thing. The ride up to the mountain viewpoint is constantly uphill and winding through the forest until you suddenly come up for air and the volcano is immediately in sight with the crater lake of the same name next to it. It was a little cloudy but there were still decent enough views, only now and again is it clear up here.

View of Lake Batur and Mt. Batur

Mt. Batur


Besakih temple is the biggest in Bali so I made it a must on my temple sightseeing. You wouldn't know it from the pictures or from where I was standing but it is actually about 1000m up the face of Mt. Agung, the tallest mountain on Bali, the cloud cover is just too thick to actually see the summit which is a shame. Now and again a view is possible but sadly not this day.

As always there are touts trying to offer their services as a guide who are not needed really, although in the end I gave some money to a 'temple guardian' who followed me for a while and explained a fair bit of the layout to me. Not sure what a temple guardian is exactly but at least he was being original for a tout.

There are 35 buildings around the complex, most of which house statues of various size depending on the building. Again, many people here to make offerings, nice to see these temples are still in use by the local Balinese people and not just aimed at tourists.

All these temples are accessible by motorbike and public transport but if you are feeling lazy and don't mind splashing out, ahem, ten pounds or so, then it is just as easy to hire a driver for the day to do all the donkey work and just let your camera do the rest.

Entrance to the temple  grounds

Steps leading up to entrance

View from top of the steps
Within the main temple courtyard

More buildings within the complex

One of many spots to make an offering

More temple buildings

Through the entrance
Again, a view from above

Just before the main courtyard

Tanah Lot

Close to Denpasar, I decided to give public transport a go to get to this temple out by the ocean. In hindsight, for just a litte extra it really is just easier to give some money to a random Balinese guy and just tell him where you want to go. Four changes of transport to just go about 30km is a bit of a faff, probably why I went for the easy option with the afformentioned temples.

The temple is easy enough to find though with all the locals in the area aware that it is a toursit hotspot. Once past the ticket booth it's just a short walk to the ocean where the temple awaits, sadly only practicing holy men or worshippers allowed up the steps to the temple itself, maybe my Bintang tank top and board shorts gave me away as a tourist.

However, with the tide out, you can walk around the area and get pretty close to the spot where the temple is situated, come high tide though the temple is off limits (I guess).

Tanah Lot temple

Steps up to the temple

View of the rest of the grounds

Rice Terraces

Bali is famous for it's rice terraces and they really are everywhere and with the hilly nature of the island, most of them look very similar and just as impressive, non-more-so than the terraces up around Tegal Lallang, about 8 km north of Ubud - a serious cycle to get to, but going downhill to get back is much easier. However, most I saw had just been harvested so the ground had either been burnt or was past that stage and the grass was being allowed to grow over before the next harvest.

Bukit Jambul rice terrace
Tegal Lallang rice terraces

Village huts bordering Tegal Lallang

Tegal Lallang
As fun as Bali is, there's still plenty more in Indonesia to see. Next stop, Java for some volcano action.

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