Bali Day 7 – Pura Ulun Danu Bratan – Bali’s iconic water temple

Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Lake Bratan Temple) in Bedugul is one of the most photographed temples in Bali and iconic image of the island. It’s a great place for a walk and opportunity of taking fascinating shots. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to enter temples and get very near as there are fences around all temple buildings. It’s still worth a short visit.

Iconic water temple in Bedugul - Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

Iconic water temple in Bedugul – Pura Ulun Danu Bratan

After surprisingly good night sleep, we decided to find some place in Candikuning to have a breakfast. We came across a bakery (mentioned in the Lonely Planet guide) – Roti Bedugul. We got some omelette, homemade bread and croissant with homemade jam and we tried out some new juice. Everything was delicious – it was definitely the most yummy breakfast we had during this holiday!

At the Bratan Lake in Bedugul

At the Bratan Lake in Bedugul

We set off for a walk towards the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan (Lake Bratan Temple) – one of the most photographed temples in Bali, an iconic image of this island. We were hoping to hire some pedal boat, following the Lonely Planet advice. On the way we were approached by various locals offering hiring a boat for ‘a good’ price. At the end we decided that it is not worth paying 35,000 IDR (US$3) per person for swan shape pedal boat for 30 minutes…

Beautiful surroundings of  Pura Ulun Danu Bratan water temple

Beautiful surroundings of Pura Ulun Danu Bratan water temple

The entry to the water temple cost 30,000 IDR (US$2.6) per person. It’s a nice place for a walk and opportunity of taking nice shots of this iconic temple. Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to enter temples and get very near as there are fences around all temple buildings. It’s one of these places that you just look at and take picture of, without making any real connection with it but still worth a visit if you are passing by.

Locals working on building a traditional type roof at the water temple complex in Bedugul

Locals working on building a traditional type roof at the water temple complex in Bedugul

Walking around Pura Ulun Danu Bratan temple complex was overall very nice experience, park surrounding the water temple is a very well maintained and pleasant to stroll through. As we were passing by some parts of the complex being restored (or built), we could actually see how they make roofs of those impressive temple buildings.

Statues at the water temple in Bedugul

Statues at the water temple in Bedugul


Bratan lake with its iconic temple

Bratan lake with its iconic temple

Around 2 pm we walked back to the ‘hotel’ to grab our stuff and finally set off to Ubud. When we were leaving our hotel, lady owning the place was preparing religious offerings. It looked like it cost her a lot of time and effort, not mentioning all the food ingredients used. We had a chat with her and she said those are offerings she is taking to the nearby temple.

Lady owning hotel in Bedugul preparing offerings for Gods.

Lady owning hotel in Bedugul preparing religious offerings.

This just proves the fact that religion and ceremonies are a large part of the Balinese culture. Majority Bali’s population follow the Balinese Hinduism religion which define their lives. Temples, offerings of food and flowers, incense and images in the arts and crafts are all signs of the local’s faith. This is also something that attracts visitor and makes Bali feel special.

Balinese religious offerings

Balinese religious offerings

We were standing by the road hoping to catch some public transport (we are told by local guide that anything with yellow plates is a public transport). In the meantime we were approached by many locals offering to give as a lift to Ubud for around 300,000 IDR (US$26). We declined all offers but ‘public looking’ vehicles weren’t willing to stop… Finally, we negotiated the price down with one local guy to 150,000 IDR (US$13) in total for a lift all the way from Candikuning to Ubud.

Beautiful rice terraces in the heart of Ubud

Beautiful rice terraces in the heart of Ubud

The journey took over 1 hour and we were pleased to be in Ubud. We were dropped off on the busy Monkey Forest Road- it’s the most touristy place we have been to so far during this trip. It feels like being back in a civilised world.

One of the cafes in Ubud - located right next to beautiful rice terraces.

One of the cafes in Ubud – located right next to beautiful rice terraces.

We stopped in one of the cafes with free wifi to book some room for tonight. As soon as we walked up the stairs we couldn’t believe in what we see……it’s an amazing view like from postcard with perfectly shaped, green paddy fields, couple of workers in the distance! It looks so peaceful and quiet, huge contrast to busy road just 2 meters away with bustling cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops. We instantly fell in love with Ubud….this must be Bali feel so many people are excited about! We are glad to feel this way as so far we have not seen anything too spectacular in Bali (maybe apart some places near Munduk).

Private terrace of our cottage in Ubud

Private terrace of our cottage in Ubud

We booked accommodation with Agoda, but it turns out that room is already taken. A bit disappointed we tried out couple of other places. At the end we spent couple of hours to find a great cottage for 300,000 IDR (US$26) per night – the place is called Ablit Bungalow. We were very pleased with the hotel, set in peaceful location with a nice garden with lovely pond and a private terrace.

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