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I have been in Bali for about a month now and somehow, I haven’t written anything about it yet. Truth is, I couldn’t move myself off the couch for long enough to come up with something interesting to say. In my imagination, I had been hoping that I would spend my days on beaches and doing beautiful day trips into the back country, which then in turn would inspire me to write about it – but reality turned out to be a bit different. In hopes of having a good enough internet connection to be able to do some much needed work, Brendan and I decided to settle down in the heart of things in the middle of Kuta, probably one of the dirtiest and most touristy towns in existence and my own personal little hell. Additionally, it rained. A lot.

Trying to escape Kuta on one of the few consistently sunny days, Brendan, Lauren and I headed out to Uluwatu on our scooters to have a look at the Hindu Sea Temple there, one of several that form a chain around the coast of Bali (Tanah Lot being another one). The Pura Luhur Uluwatu is also one of the nine directional temples of Bali, the temples that are supposed to protect the island from evil spirits are revered most by the Balinese. It is perched on the rocky cliffs of the Bukit Peninsula, 80 meters or so above the deep blue sea below.

Prepare your camera, the view alone is breathtaking and the area would even be worth a visit, if the temple wasn’t there.

Cliffs at the Uluwatu Temple

Since the proper attire for the temple requires that the knees are covered, purple sarongs are handed out for free to visitors at the entrance. Additionally, a bright yellow ceremonial sash is tied around everyone’s waist. All dressed up in the vibrant fabrics, you are then allowed to enter the temple area. We visited the temple in the morning, mainly to try and escape the worst of the heat and to avoid the crowds that swarm the place during the afternoon and evenings, when the traditional dances are performed.

We did manage to escape the tourists and have the temple almost to ourselves, but the heat and humidity was ever present and clinging to our skin. As usual in Bali, the temperature rose steadily as the morning progressed, until we were absolutely drenched in sweat, baked red by the sun and in danger of fainting if we didn’t get any liquids fast. We eventually had to give up exploring in favour of heading towards the nearest restaurant. Although the temple sits high on a cliff, the air was perfectly still and all praying to the monkey gods for even the tiniest of breezes turned out to be futile.

Monkey

And then there are the monkeys that infest the area. As soon as you drive into the parking lot, you can see them hanging around the perimeter, resting on trees and sitting on the walls. They look kind of cute when they are picking the fleas off each other and scratching their private parts, but as soon as you get too close, they turn into little demons from hell. As usual, I couldn’t resist trying to get that perfect picture, which – with Brendan using the zoom lens – left me trying to slowly inch closer to the monkeys with my regular lens to get a few close up shots.

My bravery rewarded me with a few beautiful photos, but soon enough, the monkey decided that it didn’t want to play model any more, bared its teeth and jumped at me. Quick reflexes and a lot of squealing saved me, while Brendan and Lauren just laughed their asses off. Usually, the monkeys seem to keep to themselves, as long as you don’t provoke them, but everyone is advised to not dangle any shiny objects in front of their eyes, since the little kleptomaniacs will snatch anything that gets too close without hesitation.

While the prayer zone was closed for visitors and the temple itself isn’t that spectacular, it was still a nice place for a little day trip. Enjoy the photos! But get yourself a cool glass of water, even the pictures are radiating heat.

flower

View of the Uluwatu temple

Woman selling bracelets

View from the temple

Women on their way to the temple

Uluwatu temple

Uluwatu temple

little offering to the gods

About The Author

Tiffany is a Swiss travel writer, digital nomad, and photographer, who, after a fateful journey through Africa, has decided to get her passport renewed, sell all her junk, and live out of a suitcase in various corners of the world, as well as share the experiences with other travel enthusiasts. This blog is intended to inspire you to pack your bags, leave everything behind for a while, and make you go discover the world. Check her out on .

16 Responses

  1. Maria

    I like the way you treat/reward yourself. Beautiful site, the lily photo is incredible and as for those furry pets… they do have the cult of personality on their side but they can pull off some of the most covert ops you’ll ever encounter. *laugh*

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Thank you Maria! They are always fun to watch, especially when they are up to something (which seems to be most of the time).

      Reply
  2. Calli

    Every time I think about visiting Bali I picture the stunning scenes from Eat, Pray, Love where Julia Roberts effortlessly cycles through the lush countryside. Then I remember that it’s hot and humid and I’m likely to look more like a drowned squirrel than the fresh and beautiful Mrs. Roberts.

    Nonetheless I still want to visit and your photos are WONDERFUL! I’m glad you were able to get out and see this temple – even if you did have to battle some killer monkeys. Honestly monkeys often don’t even look cute to me, just mean. Can’t wait for more posts about Bali!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Haha I thought the same, I don’t know how she managed to look so good – I’m usually a sweaty disgusting mess with horrible helmet hair. If you do visit Bali, avoid the touristy places in the south and head to the north side of the island, Ubud and the beautiful temples. Next monkey article is coming soon 😉

      Reply
  3. memographer

    The photos are incredible! I see myself in a monkey-shot 🙂
    Can’t wait for my trip to Indonesia.

    Happy New Year, Tiffany!

    Reply
  4. Lunaguava

    Lovely post and great photos – particularly the relaxed monkey (before he unleashed the furry Mr Grumpy within). Good luck escaping Kuta (doesn’t sound like a nice place) and safe travels!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Thanks! I escaped Kuta successfully by now and am back to enjoying beautiful landscapes – save travls to you too.

      Reply
  5. Lila

    It is crazy how uber-touristy and overgrown Kuta has gotten. It was even spilling over into Legian/Seminyak when I was there last year, which is where I tend to stay. Hope the rainy season lets up a bit so you can find some of the hidden sweet spots in tourist central!

    Reply
    • Tiffany

      Yeah I didn’t think it would be that bad. We stayed in Legian, but it had basically turned into Kuta already. It was also really dirty, to a level I hadn’t expected. I have since found some sweet spots towards the north and centre of Bali, but still think it’s a fairly overrated island.

      Reply

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