Our first full day in Bali was PACKED full of activities that we knew we wanted to do. Dane and I tend to arrive somewhere new and check off all our MUSTS on day one, so we don’t wind up on the last day trying to cram everything in or leave without getting to do all the things we had planned before we left. Two of those things for us on our Bali trip were Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot. If you read our Bali Bucket List, both were on there. While they don’t look too far away from each other on a map, the traffic situation in Bali is on another level. It’s traffic like I’ve never experienced. Perhaps if you combined NYC, LA and Washington, D.C it might be close. Let’s put it this way, the distance between the two temples is 26.5 miles and it took us 4 hours. INSANE!
Anyway, both were well worth it, because they are breathtaking and magical places in their own way. Both cast against the sea, Uluwatu and Tanah Lot are both must sees if you’re making the trip to Bali, at least in my opinion!
One of my absolute favorite parts about Bali were the traditional offerings we saw people putting out 2-3 times per day. Every building is considered a temple, so stores, restaurants, churches, actual temples, homes, basically any building (even cars!) had these offerings in them. Expertly woven palm baskets with flowers, food, incense and more tucked inside. They are BEAUTIFUL and I loved seeing how each person celebrated their faith each day by seeing them all around.
Okay so first up…Uluwatu! Pura Uluwatu is a sea temple located on the Bukit Peninsula in southwest Bali. It’s in the Kuta district and is regarded as one of the six most important temple in Bali! It’s absolutely breathtaking in every way. If you’re visiting, I would allocate about 1.5 hours to walk all the way around and then up to the top.
A quick note about the monkeys at Uluwatu – they are sneaky. This was our first encounter with them during our trip and we were warned – don’t wear your sunglasses, hats, scarfs, earrings, etc. Basically, anything that may catch a monkey’s eye and intrigue them. They weren’t kidding. We watched a monkey swoop down from a tree and snag a pair of sunglasses from a woman’s head. When she went to grab at the monkey to retrieve them, the monkey answered her with a giant hiss/growl and showed their incredibly sharp teeth. Monkey – 1, Lady – 0. Needless to say, this kind of freaked me out about monkeys for the rest of our trip, but the bottom line is that if you don’t harass them or taunt them with food then they pretty much leave you alone. This guy probably would have let me take his photo all day…he was far more concerned with the kid to my left eating a snack!
Sarongs are a must and are provided as soon as you walk through the entrance after you pay a minimal fee for entrance.
I think the day we visited Uluwatu it was just over 100 degrees, so if you can’t tell from this photo – we were HOT! I think by the end of one of the last staircases Dane and I looked at one another like…you ready? Yeah, okay, me too. I will saw that the wind at the top felt amazing and we were the only
idiots tourists brave enough to venture up there on such a hot day.
Our next stop was Tanah Lot, which was beautiful in its own way. Pura Tanah Lot is another temple located right on the sea, but it also offers Tanah Lot, a huge rock formation that gets PACKED for sunset. The golden sun sinks beneath the formation and lights up the entire surrounding area. It’s gorgeous, but we didn’t stick around too long because (like I said before) it was a mad house trying to get in and we were really eager to get to our hotel for the night after a really long day! That said – it’s a gorgeous area and I would 100% recommend paying it a visit.
It happened to be low tide, so you could walk all the way out to Pura Tanah Lot, which was so cool. I was majorly apprehensive, but Dane was already 25 feet in front of me making his way down and I wasn’t in any position to lose him amongst what was literally thousands of people, so off we went. I’m so glad I ventured down there. It was incredible to be on the sand at the foot of such a special place.
If you were wondering, no – that is not the holy snake above. In addition to amazing views, Uluwatu also offers a TON of random side street entertainers, market vendors and hustlers. We didn’t pay to hold anyone’s Holy Snake, but I thought this sign was hysterical.
The glow was just starting to happen as we were heading out!
Everyone always asks about Dane’s party shorts. You can buy them here.
In between these two temples we stopped at an amazing cafe – the Bukit Cafe, which I’ll be including in a full food roundup of some of the best places we ate. The food was absolutely delicious at this spot, but the service was mediocre at best and they crammed us into a table with a full party of people who just stared at us the whole time. Oh well, the food was good so let’s focus on that part, LOL!
Come back tomorrow for all around one of our most-loved places of the trip…Seminyak!