Bali Day 6 – Hiking to the Mangu Temple (2096m) in Bedugul

Bedugul (and Candikuning) is a mountain lake resort in Bali, situated 1500 m above sea level. One of the ‘off beaten track’ activities that we enjoyed in here was hike to the Mangu Temple on top of the mountain – Gunung Catur 2096 m above the sea level. It was grueling but very enjoyable experience.

Steep and grueling hike to the Mangu Temple in Bedugul

Steep and grueling hike to the Mangu Temple in Bedugul

After breakfast Kim and Dawn – 2 American girls that we met the previous morning – offered us to share the car with them to get to Candikuning. We were really happy to travel by car this time, especially that there are very limited options of public transportation available between Munduk and Candikuning /Bedugul. It was also great to travel in a company of girls, have a chat at the end we even exchanged contact details which was very nice.

Kim and Dawn – our newly made friends in Munduk

As we didn’t have any accommodation booked for tonight we walked around Candikuning trying to find some hotel. Places that we saw were cheap but not very impressive, most of them looked old and run down. Finally, we stopped in some ‘hotel’ called Sari Arjha for 150,000 IDR (US$13) which seemed to be the best option available, located next to the market near the main road passing through the town.

Beautiful misty forest surrounding Mangu Temple

Beautiful misty forest surrounding Mangu Temple

Candikuning itself wasn’t the nicest place we’ve seen in Bali (partially because of bad weather)… we weren’t very excited about spending night in here but we couldn’t miss famous nearby landmarks. The main attraction is a small market and nearby water temple – Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – one of the most photographed temples in Bali, which we planned to visit the next day. Mainly fruits, vegetables and homemade crisps were sold at the Candikuning market. It’s a bizarre place – there were about 15 stalls by the main road selling exactly the same things and we couldn’t see many people buying anything from these. There were also many desperate individual sellers standing by the main road and hoping that some drivers will stop by and buy some food from them. It didn’t seem to be very thoughtful….

Mangu Temple in Bedugul

Mangu Temple in Bedugul

Despite the cloudy and wet day we decided to hike to the top of the mountain: Gunung Catur 2096 m (with the Mangu temple on top) . The trail starts in Bedugul, opposite the Strawberry Hill restaurant and hotel. The path initially wide, with plants and trees growing alongside gets very narrow after about 1 km so that wet plants were touching us all over. It was also darker, cooler, wetter and misty– we were in proper woods now and it felt great to get away from everything. Some parts of the trail were very steep so we used attached ropes and were almost scrambling at some places.

Serene Mangu Temple at the top of Gunung Catur (2096 m)

Serene Mangu Temple at the top of Gunung Catur (2096 m)

Finally, we reached temple at the top. It’s a serene place that not many tourists reach and there was no one apart from us. After almost five hours of constant trekking (just over 4 hours to get to top of mountain and back) and seeing only 1 person on the way (local walking barefoot!) we were covered in mud, sweaty, our waterproof shoes were soaked (they are meant to be waterproof!) and we were starving! It definitely wasn’t easy family hike. We felt very satisfied with our achievement and Bedugul seemed to be nicer now with it’s Danau Beratan lake looking pretty nice during the sunset.

Danau Beratan Lake in Bedugul

Danau Beratan Lake in Bedugul

We treated ourselves with a huge and lovely meal at the Strawberry Hill Restaurant and sat next to warm fire place where we tried to dry off our soaking wet shoes and clothing. Our dinner consisted of 3 main courses, 2 desserts, 4 drinks and we paid 205,000 IDR (US$18). In fact, this meal was more expensive than our accommodation! We met a nice Swiss couple and their son at dinner, and asked them of their impressions of Indonesia so far. It turned out that they have followed a similar path to us through Java and then to Bali. They started in a lowered voice, and mention how the Malaysian’s consider the Indonesian’s to be ‘primitives’. They described how there are good parts, and much beauty, but they didn’t like Jakarta, and found it frustrating unable to walk places because of the traffic in parts.

Well deserved Satay Ayam - delicious chicken skewers with peanut sauce

Well deserved Satay Ayam – delicious chicken skewers with peanut sauce

Once we got back to our ‘grim’ hotel we could hear very loud mosque prayers and TV noises from the neighbouring room. It seemed like a good time to catch up with travel log, instead of going to bed!

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