A visit to Uluwatu can easily turn into a half, or even full day experience, with plenty to see. We even mentioned it in our 101 Awesome Things to do in Bali list, and for good reason!
Uluwatu is one of the most popular and visited temples in Bali, but its not just the temple itself that there is to see. Let me tell you about my day at Uluwatu, so you can imagine for yourself.
I arrived around 3pm at the entrance to Uluwatu, where you pay the entry fee, and get a sarong, that must be warn in the temple if you’re wearing shorts, especially for girls.
From there I took the path right first, that follows the cliff line to the end. There is a very steep cliff seperated by a short wall on the left, and on the right a thick jungle. and on all sides; monkeys.
The path is uneventful, and just allows you to get some great views of the ocean, steep cliffs, and the temple in the distance on the point. at the end of the walk way is a platform and view point to rest at.
Up until this point I really didn’t interact with the monkeys too much, except to walk wide around them when they were sitting on the wall of on one of the steps in my path. I was avoiding them because I had gotten too close to one with my camera and he had screamed at me, swiped for the camera, then ran off. He seemed mean.
At the end of the line, the monkeys were much more in numbers, and aggressive. They were stealing anything they could grab, including someones camera, sun lotion, a backpack, water bottles and more. I even saw one jump on a girl’s shoulder, grab her glasses and run.
I blame the locals partially for the thieving monkeys. The one at the Monkey Forest in Ubud were not this aggressive and scary.
The difference here was that a few old ladies had taught them this behavior, so that they would get tips for recovering the stolen stuff.
I figured that out when an old woman, who was just sitting quiet and not selling anything, got up and went to one of the monkeys, and traded a fruit for a stolen camera. It was a hilarious thing seeing it take the fruit and hand her the camera.
Of course the owner was happy for the camera back, and gave the lady a tip for saving it. Nice little scam the to have there!
From there I retraced my steps back toward the entrance, and then on to the left path, where the steps got much steeper, heading up toward the temple on the cliff point.
Thank god there was people selling water at the top, it was so hot. But the views were amazing.
Old Hindu architecture and statues and stone carvings always blow me away, but putting them on a cliff edge like this and my mind is blown. Such a beautiful setting.
After a rest, I angled down again, but on the opposite side of the complex. The crowds were slowly shuffling into what looked to me like a tiny colosseum or arena, with a big stone circle, surrounded by stadium type seating.
Here we would be watching the incredible Kecak Fire dance at sunset. But I’ll save that story for another day!
Tomorrow, I’ll be diving around Bali!