Pura Gunung Kawi is an 11th century temple located 15 kilometers north of Ubud (about 35min drive) that spreads accross both sides of a river. It is one of Bali’s largest and oldest monuments and what makes it so unique is that it consists of 10 shrines (called candi) each 7 meters high and carved in the rock.
To get there, you will first have to get down about 300 stone steps. Along the way you will find crafts shops and little warungs where you can buy souvenirs or refreshments. These steps will then lead you through beautiful terraced rice fields.
At the end of the stairway, you will reach an impressive stone archway with vases filled with holy water you can sprinkle onto yourself before entering.
The two complexes of the temple with five shrines each, are joined by a stone bridge where you can stop to enjoy the murmuring of the river and the incredible lush greenery of this sacred site.
Tips before you plan to visit Pura Gunung Kawi :
- You should dress respectfully and rent warongs and scarves at the entrance
- Bring enough water for the visit and save some for the way back up the 300 steps 😉
Tirta Empul means Holy Spring in Balinese. It is a Hindu Balinese water temple located in the village of Manukaya, 15 kilometers north of Ubud (about 35 min drive).
The temple is famous for its holy spring water used for purification. There are three different sections with several baths, two pools and fish ponds filled with koi.
When you first arrive, you will find a beautiful lush entrance with statues and majestical trees that lead you to the rectangular bathing pool where 11 sculpted spouts are lined on one side. Visitors who intend to follow the purification ritual enter the bath after bringing an offering and saying a prayer. They then bow, with their hands joined, under each spout letting the mountain clear water run over their heads.
Here are a few tips if you plan to visit Pura Tirta Empul :
- You should dress respectfully and rent a sarong and a scarf at the entrance
- Follow the protocol if you wish to participate to the water purification ritual
- Bring a change of clothes and bag to put your wet belongings
- Women are not allowed to enter the temple (and therefore the baths) during their periods
Hello everyone, today I would like to talk to you about one of my favorite places : it is located in the north of Bali (approximately 2 hours drive from Ubud) and it is definetely on my list of the must-see-places !
If you love nature and if you are looking for a quiet, peaceful and refreshing location then you must go visit this breathtaking waterfall hidden in the middle of our archipelago’s lush greenery.
Not too many tourists go there because you have to drive on a winding and steep mountain road and it is better to go with a guide who is actually used to this route. Up there the air is quite cool and foggy, but not to worry, the skies will get clear again once you reach Lemukih village ! There starts the walk to the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali. Sekumpul means “group of” and there are in fact 7 waterfalls in the area, with the tallest being more than 50 metre high !
You only need confortable shoes and to take your time to go down the hundreds of steps leading to their secret location. The little trek is quite easy and there are handrails to help keep your balance. On the way, you will enjoy a beautiful landscape of rice fields surrounded by mountains and you will cross many fruit trees like durian and rambutan trees.
Once you reach the river bed, you will find a bridge and pathways leading to the different waterfalls. The mesmerizing sounds of the jungle combined with that of the force of the water will irresistibly draw you to the Waterfall duo which is the closest one. You will need to follow a muddy path and to cross the river to see it upclose but it is worth it and the magic of the place will leave you speechless.
Here are a few tips if you plan to visit the Sekumpul Waterfalls :
- Bring a backpack with enough bottles of water and snacks/lunchbox to enjoy this peaceful location as long as you wish
- Wear good shoes to go down the sometimes slippery steps, to walk along muddy paths and to cross the rivers
- Bring your swimming suit, a towel and a plastic bag to put your wet belongings
- Photographers should protect their cameras form the mist
- Save water for the way back up 😉
The force of the Waterfall duo does not make it the most indicated one for a swim, but don’t worry, the others ones are !
The real experience of climbing Mt Batur :
I wake up, stretch as cats do and drink a warm cup of coffee before hopping in the car to go pick-up my customers at their hotel. People are usually quite sleepy at 2 am in the morning, but not when you are excited and eager to climb a volcano and see one the most spectacular sunrises of your life.
So we have a nice chat on the way to Kintamani. I ask this young couple of friends if they feel ready for the climb and we are already having good laughs and taking bets on how long it might take us to reach the top.
Once on the parking at the feet of the majestic Mont Batur, I give them some last pieces of advice before handing over flashlights and bottles of water : “Just bring the essentials : a warm jacket, your camera and your best spirit !”
We were now ready to get to our starting point and begin the ascent. It was a clear night and we could see so many stars in the sky. Unfortunaltely, the slopes up the volcano are quite slippery which means that we better be careful and focus on where we step but nothing can break our spirit ! In the obscurity it is quite difficult for newcomers to tell how far they have come and how far is the top… but this is probably a good thing !
We challenged ourselves to the top, taking breaks every 10 minutes or so to catch our breath and drink water. At some point, looking up we saw the dark night sky instead of more rocky slopes and we knew we finally made it ! The view over the Kintamani area was so rewarding ! Soon the sky colors started to change and we all enjoyed this magical moment sipping our coffees.
Breathing the fresh air on top of this sacred volcano while feeling the first rays of sunlight warming up our tired bodies is an almost therapeutic feeling ! You have to come and try it for yourself !!!
Hi everyone !
If you are visiting Ubud, I recommend you visit this waterfall, located only 10 km from Ubud center (23 min by car) which is great for a quick escape from the city. Continue reading