Bali, in Indonesia is known as the land of a thousand temples.
Like its neighbouring countries in South East Asia, they are often spectacular, well maintained and worth a visit.
One of Bali’s Southern-most temples is the Uluwatu Temple. Perched high on a cliff, this temple attracts many visitors every day, mainly to watch the sunset, and fire dance. It is approximately 45 minutes drive from the popular resort areas of Seminyak and Kuta.
The best way to get this temple is via a tour, which can normally be arranged through your accommodation, and much cheaper than taking numerous taxi’s privately, as we found out when we visited nearby Pandawa Beach, as our return taxi to Sanur ended up costing another $25.
Beware of the Monkey’s
The first thing you’ll notice, as you get to the Uluwatu temple, after navigating past the many cars and tour buses; are the many Monkeys. In the Uluwatu, the Monkey is king. Swinging from trees, sitting on top of cars and pouncing out of nowhere, these cheeky wee things are vicious.
I witnessed a number of them trying to steal jandals (flip flops) off tourists feet.
Several times, they stole sunglasses or hats, and they even took the earring out of my traveller friend Ave’s ear! So be incredibly careful of what you have on you. They’ll tug at your bag, especially if you have food in there. The local tour guides can be good at retrieving items at times, enticing the Monkeys to do a swap in return for sugar, but it doesn’t always work.
Customs and Culture
When entering a temple in Asia, it is customary to cover your shoulders and knees. For female travellers, if you are on your period, you are only permitted to go to the steps of the temple, but not actually inside, as you are considered to be unclean in Muslim Culture. At the entrance to the temple, you are given brightly coloured silk sarongs to cover you (even if you are wearing long pants).
The cost of visiting the Uluwatu temple is 20,000 Rupiah, which is about $2 or £1.
Most people do come for the sunset, which is spectacular, but you can also visit during the day. It is best viewed from the North. There is a seated area, but this fills up quite fast, so come early.
I caught a glimpse of the temple from the North, but later walked further around the coast were it was less busy to view the sunset.
The Uluwatu temple is an incredible spot. Worth a visit if you’re in Bali – just do it through a tour, or private driver, otherwise you’ll be fleeced of your hard earned dollars.