de-DEen-US

Bali

East bali

My most authentic experience on Bali was in the east of the island. Because here there are many small, traditional villages, lush hinterland with endless green rice fields and small rivers, a beautiful coastline and imposing volcanoes. Although East Bali offers everything you could wish for, it is surprisingly untouristy. Here, the locals still live unimpressed by tourism. You will only meet a few hiking enthusiasts on the volcano hikes or a few divers on the coast who want to explore the beautiful reefs.

Overview:


What to see

  1. Mount Batur
  2. Mount Agung
  3. Ausblick Penelokan Main Rd
  4. Pura Besakih
  5. Penglipuran Village
  6. Tirta Gangga
  7. Lempuyang Tempel
  8. Sidemen
  9. Amed Beach
  10. Lahangan Sweet


Where to eat

As East Bali is still undeveloped for tourism, there are not as many restaurants and cafés here as in Canggu or Uluwatu. We therefore either ate in a warung along the way or at the hotel.

However, we did visit one special café: The Tunas Bali Luwak Coffee plantation. Here they make the famous coffee from coffee beans digested by cats - the “cat poop coffee”. We were given a free tour of the plantation with coffee and tea tasting. Of course, we then left money in the store for souvenirs for our loved ones at home.


Where to sleep

We had two accommodations in East Bali. The first was the Vienna Beach Resort, which I also liked very much. Our room was right on the beach, so we could still hear the sound of the sea in our room. The hotel restaurant also served delicious food and if you ordered a coconut, it was even picked fresh from the tree for you!

Our second accommodation was the Sweet Escape near Sidemen. The complex itself is very nice and is beautifully embedded in nature with a fantastic view of the rice terraces. Unfortunately, the accommodation is quite dated. Everything was a bit musty, which is why I can't recommend it.


What to see & discover:


Mount Batur

It is worth coming to the east of Bali for this alone: The two stratovolcanoes Mt Batur and Mt Agung. You can explore both of them on foot, with the hiking tours usually starting in the middle of the night so that you are at the top in time for sunrise.

We chose Mt Batur for our hike. At 1,717m, it is the second largest volcano in Bali, but the hike is shorter than to Mt Agung. You will need a guide for this one, although there are numerous providers. The tours are actually all the same. They include breakfast at the base camp and another breakfast at the top of the mountain, a guide and transportation from the base camp to the starting point and back again. We paid IDR 475K per person for Batur Sunrise Trekking.

Our hike took about 1 hour, although we started from a higher starting point than many others as we were late. So if in doubt, plan around 2 hours hiking time. Unfortunately, we were just a little unlucky and had cloudy weather, so we couldn't see much at sunrise. But the moments when the sun flashed through the clouds were priceless: everyone shouted and applauded loudly! So the mood was still good. On the way down, it cleared up more and more so that we could admire the impressive landscape along Mt Batur.


Mount Agung

At 3142m, Mt Agung is the highest and holiest mountain in Bali! That's why you'll also find the holiest temple complex on the island there. The Pura Besakih is located on Mt Agung at an altitude of almost 1000m. You can visit the temple complex with its 23 temples, but some parts are closed to foreigners and you should always check whether the temple is closed due to ceremonies.

The hike to Mt Agung is more strenuous and longer than to Mt Batur. You can either start from Besakih (approx. 6 hours) or from Pura Pasar Agung (approx. 4 hours). Once at the top, a 700m wide crater awaits you. The hikes to Mt Agung are also only possible with a guide. Basically the same applies here as for Mt Batur, but you should have the different starting points in mind (depending on how long you want to hike).

The view of Mt Agung also impressed me again and again. Especially along the Penelokan Main Road, you will find various spots from which you have a magnificent view of the volcano with the rice fields in the foreground!

By the way: Unfortunately, both Mt Batur and Mt Agung were mostly in the clouds for us. However, this was due to the time of travel! In the summer months (especially from May to September) you should have more luck and be able to see the two volcanoes in their full splendor!


Penglipuran Village

I have already mentioned my dear friend and driver Bege. In any case, I would probably never have gone to Penglipuran Village without him. So I am very grateful to him for showing it to me. Penglipuran is a traditional Balinese village. Nowadays, the village is more a place for tourism and the sale of handicrafts and local products. But Balinese still live there today. The inhabitants of Penglipuran are one of the oldest peoples and belong to the Bali Aga. They still follow ancient religious practices, some of which are even unique to Penglipuran!

Particularly, I was impressed by the architecture of the village. We were even able to see the individual houses and courtyards from the inside. But the adjacent bamboo forest was also impressive. I've never seen bamboo this big before! However, there is a small entrance fee of 30K IDR for your visit. But it's worth it!


Tirta Gangga

Tirta Gangga translates as “holy water from the Ganges” and it was around this holy water that the last king of Bali built a water palace with a park. The palace consists of several water basins and fountains. In its ponds you will find many bright orange koi.

When you see the palace, you can hardly believe that it was destroyed by an eruption of Mt Agung in 1963. The Balinese did a good job of rebuilding it, so that the palace can be visited by tourists again today. And there are not too few of them here. So it's best to visit right at the opening of the complex to avoid the crowds of tourists.


Lempuyang Tempel

One of the first pictures I ever saw of Bali was a photo of the Gate of Heaven. It had somehow inspired me at the time, which is why I really wanted to go there. The gate is located in the Lempuyang Temple. Unfortunately, it hasn't been a secret for a long time. That's why you have to queue here for around 2 hours for an artificial photo. Because the beautiful water effect of the picture is actually made with a mirror.

Nevertheless, the waiting time for the famous picture is well regulated. You are given a number when you enter. As soon as this number is called, it's your turn to take a picture. As you don't have to queue, you can use the waiting time to explore the temple complex. Very few visitors actually do this, which is a shame. In addition to its famous gate, the Lempuyang temple complex has a total of seven different temples to offer, which you can explore on a short hiking tour across the mountain.


Sidemen

Most tourists travel to Ubud for the popular green rice terraces. But Sidemen also has incredibly beautiful and, above all, vast rice terraces to offer! What I found even more beautiful about these is that they are not designed for tourism. Instead, everything here is still very natural. So you won't find any sky swings or love nests. Instead, you'll find pure nature! So set off on a hike through the beautiful rice terraces of Sidemen.

Sidemen itself and the surrounding villages are also worth a visit if you want to experience Bali away from the tourist hustle and bustle. Nowhere else will you find such authentic Balinese villages. We watched the locals at work and how the children were taught at school and ate delicious local food. Bege even showed us his own village, where everyone was busy preparing for a ceremony. It doesn't get any less touristy than this.


Amed Beach

Amed used to be a very poor area. In the meantime, however, the place has developed into a starting point for divers and a vacation destination for those seeking peace and quiet and families. The 14 km long coastline is perfect for going into the water and looking out over beautiful, green mountains. The underwater world is also impressive with beautiful reefs, sunken statues and a few turtles.

Not far from Amed, you will also find Lahangan Sweet. This is a viewpoint in the middle of Bali's jungle, from where you can look out over Mt Agung. In fact, there are several viewing platforms, the most famous of which is the tree house platform. Unfortunately, the weather wasn't so good for us, which is why we skipped the view. But I've been told by friends that it's worth it. It's just that the path to get there isn't quite as well developed. You should therefore find out the best route beforehand. Maybe Flo and Isabelle can help you here.



I have put together a list of all the places on Google Maps.

You can find the list here.