Bali has many scenic locations to dream away while the sun sets, that’s for sure. But some of them are just simply emblematic, and missing them is a sin… and the temple of Tanah lot is one of these!
Tanah lot is an extended temple complex on the west coast, and one of the most sacred temples of Bali. It is about 45 minutes away by scooter from the “touristic center” near Kuta and Seminyak. The ride is a whole adventure by itself, trying to find your way between the rice paddies, roadsigns, slaloming your way between the cars and probably getting lost a couple of times – but it also gives you the opportunity to explore a bit of the less touristic places, workshops of different artisans and just let the road lead you to new discoveries.
The entrance fee is 60.000 Rp, and you will even be charged for parking your motorbike or car (2.000/5.000 Rp).
Once you have parked your vehicle, you can walk through the market surrounding the actual temple, filled with mostly generic souvenirs – but you never know what you find! I wandered into a sports outlet, and found myself a Roxy summer wetsuit for less than 20 Euro – a real bargain!
The main temple is built on a rock formation, which has been softly caressed and shaped by the waves of the ocean for centuries. The temple is said to be built in the 16th century to honor the sea gods, as part of a chain of 7 temples along the Balinese west coast. Myths tell that a giant snake is guarding the temple at the base of the rock formation. Here, you can also get a blessing of holy water by a Balinese priest.
Once you will get to the actual temple grounds,you can go up to the foot of the island where the temple is set on. The actual temple on the island cannot be accessed, so the most beautiful view is the one from the cafe terraces on the lefthand side of the island. Nothing better than sipping on a fresh coconut while watching the sky turn from orange to red, purple and deep blue…
If you arrive earlier, you can also take a stroll through the souvenir shops behind these bars – one of them sells cute sculptures made out of driftwood, and there is a bar that serves kopi luwak and has two resident civit cats and even a bat to keep you company while you enjoy your drink.
As in all Balinese temples, you have to wear a sarong and cover your shoulders before you can enter. If you don’t bring your own, you will receive a sarong at the entrance.