Bali Golden Tour, Part 1 – Tanah Lot Temple, Mount Batur & Tegalalang Rice Terrace

Early on in our trip while staying in Nusa Dua, I researched some popular attractions throughout Bali worth visiting. Realizing that they weren’t close by to each other, and our lack of quick accessibility to a car on demand, I looked into setting us up with a tour to check out as many as we could. I found some key contacts through various forums and emailed them to check pricing. Eventually we decided to go with Bali Golden Tour and committed to a full day tour: TANAH LOT KINTAMANI ULUWATU TOUR.

Our tour guide spoke English and we were in a private car for the entire day. Our guide provided us water, was eager to offer to take pictures of my sister and I, answered all our questions and shared lots of interesting stories and background information for each destination. All in all, I was extremely pleased with his service and we felt really fortunate to have him guide us. He never felt like he was hovering around us but also wasn’t too far away in case we needed help or information.

We opted for the all inclusive package where the provided meals, and took care of entrance fees as well. It fully included Private Car + Petrol + English Speaking Driver + Entrance Fee + Lunch Indonesian Food + Ticket Kecak Dance Performance + Seafood Dinner at Jimbaran Beach + Mineral Water. They picked us up directly at our hotel and dropped us off at the end of the night. I was able to arrange all of this via email and final payment was given at the end of the tour in cash.

The tour itinerary comprised:

08.00 – Pick up at the hotel
09.30 – Visit Tanah Lot Temple
12.00 – Visit Kintamani Village to see view Mount Batur volcano
12.30 – Lunch at Kintamani with View Volcano
14.30 – Visit Tegalalang Rice Terrace
17.30 – Visit Uluwatu Temple
18.00 – Watching Kecak and Fire Dance Performance
20.00 – Enjoy Dinner at Jimbaran Beach
22.00 – Back to hotel
22.30 – Arrive at hotel

First Stop
Our first stop for the day was the Tanah Lot Temple which had beautiful waterfront views. We learned that it is home to the ancient Hindu pilgrimage temple Pura Tanah Lot. We were told that the temple is  protected by a giant snake, though we did not venture close to check it out ourselves. There were plenty of shops and food stands around and other local ceremonies under way. Watching the waves crash onto the shore and standing so close to the water allowed you to connect much closer with the site.

Second Stop
We didn’t have a copy of our tour itinerary on hand so we weren’t entirely sure what our next stops would be along the way. As I began to doze off in the car with the extremely hot sun beating down on us, our driver suddenly advised us that he’d be dropping us off while he searched for parking. We had arrived at the Tegalalang Rice Terraces. He gave us clear instructions and told us to head down a little to see the rice terraces. I’m not sure I was yet at all prepared for how beautiful this location would be. We didn’t explore the area much as we were pressed for time but our driver did indulge in our desire for a photo shoot. Truthfully the sun was too intense and I was all too ready to get back to the air-conditioned car. The extremely lush greenery (courtesy of all the rainy weather lately I’m sure) added to the vibrancy of the scenery. It does not compare to witnessing this in real life and one of my favorite moments of the entire trip.

Third Stop
An inclined drive brought us to our third stop – lunch with a view of Mount Batur Volcano and the lake in Kintamani Village. The weather up here was so cool and refreshing, a welcomed change from the hot sun and high humidity. We weren’t entirely sure what lunch would consist of since it was not specifically advertised. We arrived early enough that we were given one of the prime seats with a clear view to the volcano and surrounding landscape. Despite the overcast skies, the volcano was still clear enough to see and was a beautiful view while we ate. Lunch was a buffet spread with elements of Chinese, Balinese and Indonesian food. The service was attentive and once we were done, we had time to take more photos on the deck before continuing on our journey.

Catch the second half in the next blog, featuring fire, food and tales of our perceived impending doom!

The Tour continues…