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Temples & Trekking in East Bali

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

After a week of traveling around Bali, my friend Barbara from Barbara Bakes joined me for the second half of my adventure exploring this breathtaking tropical island. We made our way to East Bali and stayed at the secluded seaside Alila Manggis resort.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

East Bali is the quiet side of Bali, blissfully away from the crowds, and it’s here you’ll find the peaceful Alila Manggis resort, quietly nestled between the ocean, a sacred mountain, and a coconut grove.

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MY OTHER RECIPES

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Just take a peek at the beauty we found in this region in the photos below!

 

Kastala to Tenganan Trek

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The staff and service at Alila Manggis was exceptional, and they were more than happy to offer suggestions and help us find the best things to see and do in East Bali. Alila offers something for everyone, whether it’s adventure and activity or relaxation and rejuvenation.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

We love hiking and sight-seeing, so they arranged a private guided trek through rice terraces and remote villages of Bali for us.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

We started the day with a trek through several rice terraces and small farms, over mountains and hills with sweeping views of the native landscape of Bali.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

In the background you can see the volcano Mount Agung, the highest point on the island.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

We trekked through small villages and lush rain forests. We saw colorful cocoa pods growing in the wild. Such an amazing way to see the native landscape of Bali.

 

Tirta Gangga

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

After our trek, our guide led us to Tirta Gangga, a former royal water palace in eastern Bali.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The water palace is a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by a lush garden with stone carvings and statues.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The water from the natural springs of Tirta Gangga is regarded as holy by the Balinese.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The water is used for religious ceremonies in the temples in the surrounding area.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Tirta means “blessed water” and Gangga is derived from Ganges, the holy river in India.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The holy water is used in temples in the surrounding area as far as can be reached by foot from Tirta Gangga.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

A typical outdoor market in Bali.

 

Ujung Water Palace

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The next stop on our guided tour was the Ujung Water Palace.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The Ujung Water Palace is another former royal palace in Bali.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Now it is a sprawling, lush park where locals can spend the day or enjoy a beautiful afternoon.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

There are many things to see and explore at the park.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

We climbed these steps for a panoramic view of the park all the way out to the sea.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

One of the things I really enjoyed about the private tour from our Alila guide was that it was totally customized to what we wanted to see and do.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

After we checked in, we sat down with the concierge and he asked us about what we liked and made suggestions for us. They even had an iPad with sample photos of what we would see and do on the tours. We could mix and match any of the destinations we wanted. The price was agreed upon before the tour and is charged to the room, so there were no surprises once we left the resort. However, tipping is customary in Bali, so we made sure to have cash for our guide. We tipped the equivalent of $10 per person, per day.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Once on the tour we could stay as long as we wanted (or didn’t want) at any of the stops, taking as many pictures as we wanted. We didn’t feel rushed or hurried. Our guide was happy to take as many pictures of us together as we wanted.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Don’t forget to bring your camera to Ujung. Every angle offers another postcard-worthy view!

 

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Water Temple

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a water temple located on the shores of Lake Bratan in the mountains of the Bedugul region of Bali. Since we were high in the mountains (about 4,000 feet above sea level) the weather here was amazing!!! It was a little cooler than on the coast, and the slight breeze was perfect.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Lake Bratan is the main source of irrigation for central Bali, and the temple was built in 1663 for ceremonies and offerings to the Balinese water goddess Dewi Danu. It’s also known as the Lake of Holy Mountain because of the abundant fertility of the land in this area.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

This mountainous region of Bali is famous for their strawberries! Stayed tuned later this week for one of my favorite restaurants we tried in this area. Everything on the menu had strawberries in it!

 

Pura Taman Ayun

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The final stop on our trekking and temples tour was the Taman Ayun temple.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

The Taman Ayun temple features a combination of garden and water aspects, including multiple Meru, the pagoda-like shrines seen above.

Trekking through rice fields and discovering ancient temples in East Bali.

Be sure to check out Barbara’s post from our temples and trekking tour.

Stayed tuned later this week for some of favorite exotic foods we tried in this area, as well as a peek at the Alila Manggis resort.

Until next time! xoxo

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