Thursday, January 30, 2014

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.

Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia.

This is a large limestone peninsula which, bar a sliver of land just south of the airport, would be a separate island. It is rugged and dry, and pre-tourist development this was a real backwater of Bali.The Bukit includes the famous cliff-hanging temple at Uluwatu, a number of Bali's very best beaches including Balangan, and the top surfing spots on the island. As is so often the case, it was intrepid surfers who really opened up the eyes of the world to this part of the island.The two main towns with strong local communities on the Bukit are Pecatu and Ungasan.The Bukit Peninsula is connected to Kuta through Jimbaran by the busy Jalan Bypass Nusa Dua and this is the only route in. Take this main road south to the junction with Jalan Uluwatu II, turn west towards Jimbaran Bay, continue about 2 km and at the four road junction make a sharp left up the hill. Continue on this road into the heart of the peninsula.A taxi from Kuta to Uluwatu for example takes 30 to 40 minutes on winding roads and will cost about Rp 120,000 one-way. If you are just visiting for the day, consider asking the driver to wait trip as it can be difficult to find transport back. Figure on paying the taxi driver Rp 20,000/hour to wait. Joining a tour can be a cheaper way of getting to Uluwatu and this destination is very widely offered by tour operators all over the island.Uluwatu Temple is one of Bali's nine key directional temples. Though a small temple was claimed to have existed beforehand, the structure was significantly expanded by a Javanese sage, Empu Kuturan in the 11th Century. Another sage from East Java, Dang Hyang Nirartha is credited for constructing the padmasana shrines and is claimed to have attained Moksha here. Even more remarkable than the temple itself is its location, perched on a steep cliff 70 metres above the roaring Indian ocean waves. There are more steep headlands on either side and sunsets over Uluwatu are a sight to behold.The entrance fee from Oct 2012 is Rp 20,000 and you need to be properly dressed to enter. Sarongs and sashes are available free at the entrance. Guides, once famously mercenary, hassle visitors less than they used to, although they will offer to "protect" you from the monkeys, for a tip of course. Note that while you are free to walk around the temple grounds, the central courtyards can only be entered during special rituals.The temple is inhabited by large number of monkeys, who are extremely adept at snatching visitors' belonging, including bags, cameras and eyeglasses. Keep a very close grip on all your belongings and stow away your eyeglasses if at all possible. If you do have something taken, the monkeys can usually be induced to exchange it for some fruit. Needless to say, rewarding the monkeys like this only encourages them to steal more. Locals and even the temple priests will be happy to do the job for you, naturally in exchange for a tip.



Post a Comment

Back to top!