Must see in Bali: Uluwatu Temple from Ubud


Uluwatu Temple – we could easily write pages and pages simply dedicated to the beauty of this place. Luckily for you, we’re trying to keep things concise as usual and stick to the important bits, so we’ll let our pictures and reel (coming soon) do the talking on this front.

If, like us, you’re based in Ubud and are trying to squeeze the most out of the cents you have, then read on.

Getting there from Ubud

Brace yourself for a long drive – around 3 hours from Ubud and that’s if the traffic is in your favour. To avoid either one of us getting to our insufferable restless state, we decided to break up the journey. We stopped off in Denpasar to run an errand – collecting our passports from the immigration office. Okay, admittedly, this wasn’t the most exciting way to break up our journey but it gave us a chance to stretch our legs. If you’re anything like us, we’d suggest making a stop-off somewhere.

For anyone who is eye-rolling at our pitiful inability to sit in a car for 3 hours and can easily brave the long drive from Ubud, then do the smart thing – leave early and beat the traffic. We ordered a Grab because neither of us can drive and we’d just be another liability to roads which are already filled with tourists driving badly. It cost us IDR410k, which works out at just over 25 euro – not bad when you consider the travel time.

Uluwatu Temple: How Much?

Everyone’s most pressing question: how much does a ticket cost? It’s 50k (3 euro) to enter the temple which, in our opinion, is well worth the money. And on that note, make sure to bring cash with you to cover the tickets. We assumed that the ticket office would take card. They don’t. We then assumed that there would be an ATM nearby. There isn’t. Bring at least 200k (12,4 euro) to cover the cost of entry for one person and a ticket to the Kecak Fire dance – but more on that later.

A couple of things to note before you enter:
– opening times are 8:00am – 8:00pm
– An adult ticket is 50k, and a child ticket is 30k
– Dress appropriately. Legs, shoulders and stomach should be covered. Long sarongs are provided though.
– Every visitor will need to wear a sash. The violent Weasley-colour orange will go wonderfully with your outfit (said nobody, ever).
– Ladies, if it’s that time of the month, then you’re not allowed to visit the temple. We’re sure that women do regardless of the rule. Like Sara said – “who’s going to check – and how?!” (Can confirm – there are no invasive checks).

Uluwatu Temple: What to Expect

Perched on a sheer drop cliff edge with waves lapping below and a huge stretch of empty sea, Uluwatu temple looks as though it were plucked straight out of a fantasy book (we’re thinking Game of Thrones). There’s a cliff trail for you to walk along, and a jumble inside the forest for you to weave in and out of. And you’ll see the snack-stealing, loud screeching primate in its natural habitat. No, we’re not talking about Sara, we’re talking about monkeys.

Uluwatu Temple is the monkey’s turf and that is abundantly clear by their sheer brazenness. Do yourself a favour, and follow the instructions on the sign. In the time we were there, we saw monkeys steal sunglasses, a temple pamphlet, and a sippy cup. Glasses, hats, snacks and headphones should all go straight inside your backpack. Snacks should stay in your backpack too – don’t eat while you wander around. Had we known that there were monkeys, we wouldn’t have packed bananas with us – certainly made for a tense walk at the start.

A trip to Uluwatu Temple goes hand in hand with a Kecak Fire dance show. A ticket to the performance is 150k (9,20 euros) per person. Is it worth it? Absolutely. 150k (9,1 euro) for a 50 minute performance that gives you a glimpse into traditional Balinese mythology. The ticket office opens at 4:30 pm , with the first performance starting at 6:00 pm and the second starting at 7:15 pm. Performances take place at the same time every day which makes for one less hassle for you. We won’t ramble on too much here, but you can check out our Kecak-exclusive post here for more details. You can thank us later.

Uluwatu Temple: Around and About

There’s more happening in Uluwatu than the temple. The whole area is bursting with qwerky cafes and beaches – you can’t walk down the street without seeing tourists making their way to one or the other. You know the look: guys with long hair in a bun with a surfboard strapped to the motorbike and girls who look like they’re fresh out of a beach magazine with sunglasses that made us wonder if we’d just spotted a celebrity. Meanwhile, we struggled to maintain our tangled hair, sweat dripping from us like we were a burst pipe.

We walked down one of the roads leading to the temple, taking in the jungle view and panting heavily with each incline. If you’re in no rush to get to the temple, or you’ve got some time spare until the Kecak performance, then we’d suggest taking a look around.

At the moment, we can’t give a bunch of information here as we didn’t spend long in the main town area, so if you can fill us and any other reader in, then feel free to comment dump below. Or, check out this post for a bit of further reading.

Wrap Up

Uluwatu Temple is worth the day trip, regardless of where you’re based in Bali. We didn’t have time to stay overnight, but if you do it’s well worth considering. Had we been able to, we would’ve spent more time exploring the town and the coastline.

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