Nature and temples around Ubud

(Noviember 2016)

Our second day starts, and this time we leave Ubud and go north.

At around 4 kilometres away from Ubud you can find Tegalalang rice terraces. We park our bike and pay the entrance. These are one of the most pictoresque and wel taken care of terraces in Bali, so well that it looks like it is for show; but they are not the only ones in the island. Once the pictures are taken from the highest point, it is time to get in the mud; and if you don´t put your foot in the right place this become a literal sentence (and the mud can get as high as the ankle, checked).

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But lets keep in our route, it its time for the temples: Gunung Kawi, Tirta Empul and Goa Gajah. We get to Gunung Kawi and after buying the entrance and putting a sarong (it is given by every temple for free) we enter this tranquil place. With a pond at the entrance and a beautiful statue, this is the temple with fewer people we’ve encountered; it is small, simple and hidden. If you want peace, this is the place.

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Next stop is the famous Tirta Empul. This temple, from has what is believed to be spring water with magical powers, purifying, is one of the most important temples in Bali. To be purifyied you’ll need to rent a sarong to get wet, unless you have your own (the one at the entrance is for free but you shouldn’t used it in the pool). After a moment of prayer or meditation the ritual begins, we enter in the purifying pools. A sign of respect. Three sips of water, one for health, one for fertility and one for wealth. Get your head wet three times. Another sign of respect. Repeat.

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We finish our day at Goa Gajah also known as Elephant Cave. Another small temple with pools although you can’t practice the ritual here. The most impressive is that huge carved rock that makes the entrance to the cave. Inside it is dark, although there are soe light points at Ganesha’s shrines. And the deluge starts, and we have to return.

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New day, new route, and a new perspective of Bali. 

The route takes us even further today. After an hour ride we finally arrive at Nungnung waterfalls and, after paying the entrance, we descend more than 400 steps to get to this wonderful place. It is impressive. We take our clothes off and we are ready to get in the water; but as we get closer, we notice the water temperature. It is cold and the cascade is over 60 meters tall and generates a strong wind which doesn’t help with the temperature. The strength of this wind is so much that it is difficult to get close to the fall, and impossible to go through. It is a unique moment.

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And after taking our time in the waterfall, we head to Ulun Dano Beratan, a temple at Beratan lake, by the mountains. Could we say that it let us down a little? I don’t know if the we should use this term. It is difficult to find a better place for the temple to be in: a huge lake at the skirts of a beautiful massif. The temple is beautiful, taken care of, smaller than what you think when you see it on the brochures. But it might be all the shops and playgrounds around it what makes it lose its charm.

 

Today we are exhausted. The kilometers have cheated us. If they were 16 on a straight line, they have become 40 on the road. So we decided to finish our route here. However, it has been a great day. And you can’t only count as if you have visited only two places; the trip has been an important part of today’s route, going through other beautiful rice terraces and through so many traditional houses that we couldn’t have stopped at all of them to take pictures.

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In Ubud we look for something to eat and we nailed it. Later, while we watch a movie at the hotel we feel it: the door, the bed and the walls are moving. An earthquake of 5.7 in the Richter scale with an epicenter south of Java island is felt in Bali (with lower intensity of course); our first earthquake (and we don’t want a stronger one).

Our days in Ubud are finished, we have missed so many things; but we don’t like to rush, we like to wander without looking at the watch. Tomorrow we head south, to the beach at last!

Costs:

Tegalalang rice terraces 10,000 IDR (0’70 €) per person

Entrance to Gunung Kawi 15,000 IDR (1’05 €) per person

Entrance to Tirta Empul 15,000 IDR (1’05 €) per person

Sarong rental for the ritual 10,000 IDR (0’70 €) per person

Entrance to Goa Gajah 15,000 IDR (1’05 €) per person

Entrance to Nungnung waterfall 10,000 IDR (0’70 €) per person

Entrance to Ulun Dano Beratan 50,000 IDR (3’5 €) per person

Dinner for two at Samball Matah 307,000 IDR (21’40 €)

What did you like best in Ubud?

All our tour around the country in our section of Indonesia

*Note: after we returned from Indonesia an 6.4 earthquake hit Sumatra

-If you liked it, Pin it!-

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28 comments

  1. What a beautiful looking spot. The temples are incredible looking. Travel can certainly be exhausting at times. It’s good to take a breather and relax sometimes, too!

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  2. It looks like such a gorgeous place. We are actually planning a trip over there in 2017 so will add these to our list. Thank you for sharing. Glad you left before the earthquake hit.

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  3. We really enjoyed Ubud as well. It looks like it would be an inviting place to live even! Some of the best food in Indonesia for sure

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  4. I was in Bali 11 years ago, and this brings back a lot of memories of my time there. Luckily, I didn’t experience an earthquake when I was there, as I had enough of those when I lived in California.

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  5. This blog is just what I need. My boyfriend and I are heading to Indonesia by next year. We just booked yesterday. Our itinerary wasn’t done yet. We are thinking of going to Yogyakarta from Jakarta. I am also thinking of visiting Bali. Did you rent a car in Indonesia? I wonder if it is cheaper to rent a car rather than ride a train. A friend told me that earthquake is a usual thing in Indonesia. How often did you experience it?

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    • We are glad you find it useful! We didn’t take a train we flew to Yogya as it was very cheap (it was more expensive to fly to Flores tho). And we didn’t rent a car, just a bike and only in Bali. If you don’t want to take a bike it might be an option to rent a car with a driver (but I’m not sure if that would be cheaper). We only felt one earthquake but we also heard it is quite normal. Hope this helped, check the rest of the posts about Indonesia (you can find them under DESTINATION) in case you need some more info; and have a great trip!

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  6. This post comes at a great time as I am planning my two weeks in Bali as Im writing this comment! And I am planning to stay in the Udbud area. I will definitely save this for later!

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    • Great, there is plenty to see and do, many places to eat (we didn’t post pictures but detailed places) and it is such a beautiful island, will you stay in Bali for the 2 weeks?

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  7. If we ever go back to Bali, I will definitely be basing myself in Ubud. The countryside is beautiful, and it has such a peaceful feel to it. Thanks for showing off some more of the area I hadn’t seen before.

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    • We found it was completely different from the south, we still had to explore east and west, but for that we’ll have to go back 😉

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  8. I would definitely be that person that steps in the mud at first but would quickly get over it upon visiting such gorgeous locations. I will definitely need to look into Ubud more but you’ve given me a head start! Love the powerful waterfall. ❤

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    • We still have to make a video of the waterfall and Bali in general but Christmas caught up with us. As long as you find beauty around you, it doesn’t matter where you step into

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  9. Oooh what an excellent guide to temple hopping around Ubud! I love how you mapped this out, incredible job and so excited to use this on my future trip to Ubud! 😀 I think Gunungkawi and those waterfalls would be at the top of my list. Tranquility plus waterfallsa re always on the top of my itinerary!

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