East Bali is popular with tourists because of its beautiful landscapes, beaches, and sacred temples, but still remains much less developed than the South. If you are planning a weekend getaway in East Bali, don’t forget to add these incredible places to your itinerary.
1. Visit the Bat Cave
No, we’re not talking about Batman’s secret lair (though we’d be thrilled at the idea of touring the Batcave), but an ancient, mysterious cave located about 25 minutes from Candidasa. The bat cave is locally known as Goa Lawah and it serves as a home to thousands of bats. Inside the temple is an equally mysterious ancient temple built in the 11th century.
Worshippers gather inside the temple to pray during local pilgrimages. Outside the temple features imposing temple gates and massive shrines. As the sun sets, thousands of bats rush outside to feed and the sight is quite dramatic!
2. Climb up to Lempuyang Temple
Lempuyang Temple is a sacred temple located in the Karangasem region. The temple is pretty remote and is the oldest on the island. Getting there is quite an excursion itself so make sure you pack accordingly. To reach the temple, you’d have to climb a steep staircase of 1,700 stairs. But all that wheezing and climbing is worth it once you reach the temple and look at the stunning mountainous landscape that stretches out before you.
But if you are unable to climb to the top to reach the main temple, you can also check out the great view at the temple mid-way up the stairs. This candi features striking towering gates and staircases made of carved stone.
3. Stop at the Candidasa Lotus Lagoon
A trip to Candidasa is not complete without visiting the lotus lagoon! The Lagoon is filled with beautiful lotus flowers and makes a great backdrop for photos. Nearby, there is a beautiful garden island with statues in the middle. A visit to the Candidasa Lotus Lagoon is a perfect stop with the kids, as it’s at the roadside and there is no entrance fee.
Just across the lagoon is a temple which features a statue of a fertility goddess, the giantess Hariti. Childless couples come to this temple seeking help from the goddess. You can explore the hillside near the temple to get a view of the whole lagoon! However, you’d have to climb a long flight of steps that lead to the higher level of the shrine.
4. Check out the Kerta Gosa Hall of Justice
Kerta Gosa is an ancient pavilion located in Klungklung. The pavilion was built in the early 18th century by Dewa Agung Gusti and was used as a court of law. Locally known as Taman Gili Kerta Gosa, it features the best in traditional Balinese architecture. The “floating” grand hall, which is located in the center of the property, features an intricately carved facade. The pavilion also features a hall with ceilings covered in detailed Kamasan or wayang-style paintings. The paintings depict spiritual teachings and the story of karma and rebirth.
For just Rp 12,000, you can enter the Kerta Gosa Hall of Justice and go on a tour. The ticket booth is located at the main entrance on the east of the complex.
5. Relax at Pasir Putih Beach
Pasir Putih Beach is one of East Bali’s best-kept secrets. Located in Perasi Village, this gorgeous beach features powder fine sand, clear waters, and a beautiful coastal landscape. The name “Pasir Putih” literally translates to white sand and that’s exactly how we would describe this hidden gem!
There are some simple warungs that have cropped up on the beach. So, as far as dining and refreshments go, there are plenty of places to go and hang out. Some warungs even have showers. Hopefully the rough road to the beach will keep developers at bay for a while longer.
6. Explore the Taman Ujung Water Palace
The Taman Ujung water palace is a palace-turned-park located in Tumbu Village in Karangasem Regency, about five kilometers from Amlapura. You’ll have to cross a short bridge to enter the palace. The park features three large pools, manicured gardens, and stony pathways.
The palace features a mix of European and Balinese architecture. Beautiful dragon bridges and stony pathways connect the pools to each other. And over the horizon, you’ll see a stunning view of Mt. Agung. This attraction is perfect for leisurely walks, picture taking, and sightseeing.
7. Stroll through the Tirta Gangga Water Gardens
Tirta Gangga was built by the Raja of Karangasem in 1948 and is now open to the public. The name “Tirta Gangga” literally translates to “water from the Ganges”, the river holy to Hindus in India.
Tirta Gangga features a labyrinth of pools and fountains surrounded by lush gardens, stone carvings, and statues. This park is pretty massive at one hectare, so give yourself some time to relax and stroll around. The complex was rebuilt and restored after a devastating volcanic eruption in the early 60s.
8. Buy Some Beautiful Fabric at Tenganan Village
Tenganan is a walled village near Candidasa, Bali. The village is home to the Bali Aga people, who still follow Balinese tradition and religion from even before Hinduism came to Bali. The Tenganan town folks claim to come from Bedahulu but ended up in Tenganan after King Dalem Bedahulu sent all villagers to nearby regions to look for his favorite horse.
Tenganan village is renowned for its traditional Geringsing cloth. This cloth is one of a kind because of the painstaking process of weaving and dying that goes into making it. According to locals, a single Geringsing cloth takes five years to complete!
This article was originally published by Bali Kids Guide, a total guide for Bali with kids, holiday tips, reviews, currency & visa info, and more.
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