Well, we went to Bali about 6 months ago and I’ve written about 1/5 of it. Whatevs. Let’s finish it now, shall we? (That’s a half truth – I am only finishing Ubud in this post and there are 3 additional stops to discuss afterwards.)
If we’re being honest, the one day we both feel we kinda fucked up was the day after Mount Batur. We had heard that the easiest way to sight see was to get a driver and have them take you place to place. Our AirBnb host has secured a driver for us from the airport to the rental the day we arrived, and we felt comfortable with him, so we arranged to have him take us to some of the temples and sights we had yet to see in Ubud.
Though our driver was lovely – he took us everywhere we asked, and let us spend as much time in each place as we wanted – we wish we had some narration and history from an expert to accompany each stop. For each location, we had done a little Googling beforehand, and read any maps or information available on-site, but never really had as much of an understanding as we would have liked. SO, if I were recommending a change to what we did in Bali, I’d say get a driver that will also act as a guide.
Aside from that, it was a great day and we saw a lot. On our itinerary: Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave), Tegenungan Waterfall, Batuan Temple, Tegalalang Rice Terrace. ALSO, yes, my outfit this day was the same as day 1. Don’t judge me (or, do).
Goa Gajah was our first stop of the day, and we were both pretty tired and jet lagged, so admittedly probably didn’t give this stop the attention it deserved. The temple is a place of meditation, and with as close to town as it is, it’s incredibly serene and peaceful (go figure, huh?). Also, some of the relics and statues date back to the 8th and 10th centuries, which is insane and impressive and something you have to see to appreciate. 10/10 would recommend a visit.
Tegenungan Waterfall was our second stop of the day, and, though my memory could be somewhat hazy 6+ months later, it felt like it was a trek from Ubud to get there. The walk to get to the actual falls is pretty much straight down a winding flight of stairs (not gonna lie, I had to take many breaks on my way up), but the view is something else. If you’re looking to swim, the water isn’t especially clean (I wish I had a quick shower after we took a dip) and there are a lot of bugs (not something I handle well). Unless you REALLY like waterfalls, this is something you can take or leave. 7/10 would recommend.
Batuan Temple is a place where I really wish we had a guide. We knew the gist of what we were seeing, but having an expert explain the history and significance of the location would have been great. We also got to the temple in the heat of the day, and it was a toasty 90+ degrees with what felt like 1000% humidity, so we didn’t stay long. 7/10 would recommend if you bring a guide.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace is probably the most touristy stop we made all day and the place is just as picturesque as you imagine. Though not much rice is farmed here any longer, the view is spectacular, the colors are vivid, and the setting is serene. Note, we were there in the off-season and there were still hoards of people, so I’d expect this stop to be pretty chaotic in peak season. 10/10 would recommend.