Kintamani & Pura Ulun Danu Batur
Dark clouds loomed with the promise of rain as we set out for Mount Batur, the volcano in Kintamani. Fortunately for us, the threat of a storm kept many visitors at home (well in their hotel rooms anyway) leaving the roads fairly empty. And though we got stuck once or twice behind a truck hauling a cow, the drive was relaxing as we gazed out through rain streaked windows at the passing scenery of small villages, farms, and rice patties.
Once we arrived at Mount Batur, the clouds had descend like a curtain into the valley of the volcano as if there was no separation of earth and sky, giving us only a partial view of the land around us.
With our view of Kintamani’s volcano obstructed by mother nature we moved on and up to the village of Batur and Pura Ulun Danu. Pura Ulun Danu is composed of nine different temples and is on of the most important temples in Bali, being second only to Pura Besakih (The Mother Temple).
Though it had stopped raining once we reached the temple, the clouds still hung low with heavy mist and fog. Now, I know many people would complain that the weather wasn’t “perfect” and in truth the photos did not turn out to be the greatest, but as we moved about the grounds of Pura Ulun Danu the weather provided for an almost surreal experience. The dense fog hid the surrounding structures hinting at what lay beyond, only giving way as we moved closer or into the next courtyard. As we wound our way around to the back of the temple grounds, the clouds receded just enough to show off Lake Batur and the gorgeous valley below.
* A Warning for Visitors:
While Pura Ulun Danu is worth seeing, it is a tourist trap and the local women are NOT shy or subtle about it. Seriously, they had no qualms about grabbing me or V. to try and shove items they were selling into our hands, onto our arms, or any other body part they could get to. So here are some tips/things to keep in mind:
- Have appropriate attire with you and put it on before or immediately after paying for your entrance fee. Otherwise, the women outside the temple and near the ticket booth will encircle you and start trying to “dress” you. Just imagine what else they could be doing while you are distracted trying to get them to stop pulling on your clothes.
- This is a very sacred place in Bali so appropriate attire for this temple includes all of the following: a sarong for both men and women, a sash to tie around your waist (both men and women), and a head dress for men. TIP: If you don’t have these items speak to your hotel, many will have things you can borrow or rent. Or, go to a nearby store and purchase them for fairly cheap.
- Keep your belongings closed and tight to your body. Men- this means don’t keep your wallet in your back pockets. As I already mentioned, the women here had no problems putting their hands on us. So be mindful of where your things are at all times.
- This was the only place we visited where we ran into this issue, but the women were pushy enough that it’s still worth mentioning. Keep anything you cant afford to lose at home, and use common sense.