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East Bali Tour
Explore East Bali
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Locally known as ‘Taman Gili Kerta Gosa’, this historical landmark is located in the heart of Klungkung Regency’s main town; Semarapura. This beautiful place is part of the Puri Semarapura royal palace complex. One of the two main structures is the grand hall, or the Bale Kerta Gosa, which is home to extraordinary ceiling art. Here the ceilings are filled with wayang-style paintings, often described as Kamasan style, and named after the village that has become renown for this style of art. The second main structure is Bale Kambang, or the floating hall; a pavilion surrounded by a large moat. The paintings on the ceilings here tell the story from an old Javanese Sutasoma epic.
The whole complex was built by Dewa Agung Jambe, the ruler of the Klungkung kingdom, in 1686. Ever since, it has undergone restorations and renovations, making it a hotspot for Balinese and tourists. Even though it’s a national heritage site, Bali’s most important historical site is open for public.
Kusamba Beach and Traditional Salt Farms
This traditional fishing village is located approximately 20 minutes further East of Semarapura City. Not only classical fishing put this village on the map, but it’s also known for its making of traditional salts. The production of salt is still done the old-fashioned way, dating back almost a thousand years. The locals are using traditional tools which makes it extra interesting to watch and you might even want to take part.
The salt farmers fetch seawater in palm leaf buckets, to splash it out under the scorching hot sun on the black sand. It only takes a few hours of drying before the salt start to crystallize. The crystallized salt will then be scraped off, collected and transported to the salt huts for the next step in the harvesting process; filtration.
After you’ve seen the process you can buy a few packages of natural salt to take home as a souvenir or as a unique gift for friends and family.
Goa Lawah Temple is located along the coastal main road leading to Karangasem and Candidasa, on clear days providing uninterrupted views of Nusa Penida. This sacred temple is very popular among tourists and locals alike because it provides a great opportunity to take a short break on the way to the northeast of the island.
Built in the 11th century by Mpu Kuturan, one of the earliest priests who brought Hinduism to Bali, this temple is still often visited by locals to bring offers and to pray.
Legend has it that the dark corridors of this cave lead to Besakih Temple. This theory has never been tested though, as the mysterious cave is also believed to be home to mythical snake king, known as Vasuki; a giant Naga with a crown on his head.
Tirta Gangga Water Palace
About 6 kilometers north of Amlapura you’ll find the Tirta Gangga water palace. Not only were the water gardens of this majestic place designed by the late king of Karangasem, he also helped with the construction. This was quite unique because nobody expected to see his king knee-deep into the mud, working with the lower-class people.
Three separate complexes, each with its own pools, ponds, fountains, and magnificent sculptures, fill the 1.2 hectares of lavish water gardens. Unique to the site and extremely photogenic are the rows of guardian figures and the polygonal stepping stones. Behind the first pond is a 10m high fountain, also featuring guardian statues at its base. Springwater fills the reservoirs on higher grounds and from here drinking water is delivered to the town of Amlapura, using an ingenious pipe system. At the lower level are two large ponds; one of them is home to large golden carp and other large fish, and the other is used by locals to swim and bathe. The two ponds are connected via a bridge, decorated with huge mythical Balinese dragon statues.
As the water of Tirta Gangga has always been believed to be holy, ceremonies led by local temple priest are often held at the spring.
Taman Ujung Water Palace
This magnificent water palace on Bali’s East is locally known as Taman Sukasada Ujung. It’s a sister site of the Tirta Gangga Water Palace and was also built by the late king of Karangasem. Large pools and a combination of Balinese and European architecture make up for a spectacularly beautiful complex, with Mount Agung as a backdrop. The site was badly damaged during the 1963 eruption and then again during a huge earthquake in 1979. Since then a lot of renovation efforts have been made, making Taman Ujung Water Palace an appealing place to visit, for tourists and locals alike.
Once known as one of the most secluded societies of the archipelago, the Bali Aga still live a unique life in the ancient villages of Tenganan Pegringsingan and Tenganan Dauh Tukad, close to Candidasa.
The Bali Aga descent from Bali’s first settlers, who arrived at the island even before the Javanese migrants in the 14th century. In these villages there is no individual ownership of goods and property; all is dictated by community inheritance in which men and women have an equal share. Unless they marry someone from the outside, in that case, they will lose their rights to their share.
Many traditions and rituals are similar to those of the Balinese in general, but there’s one feature that stands out. It’s the use of geringsing cloths. The geringsing’s magical qualities are not only capable of keeping danger and evil out of the village, but they also protect people from bad influences when passing from one phase in the life to the next. Think of the hair cutting ritual to the tooth filing ritual and the purification of the soul ceremony. The geringsing cloth-making process is very unique and takes a long time; it can take up to 3 years!
Puri Agung Karangasem Royal Palace
If you’re interested in architecture or history, you’re going to love this place. Explore the Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Karangasem and image the splendor of the days when the Rajas ruled Bali.
Puri Agung was built in the 19th century, and most of the historical buildings are still intact. What makes it unique and interesting for architecture and history fanatics, is that you still see influences from all of Bali’s history. Starting with the Majapahit Empire, to the refuge from Islam, to the time when Bali was broken down into 9 kingdoms, to the Dutch occupation and the declaration of independence of the Indonesian Republic. All these eras are reflected in the different palatial clusters.
Puri Agung Karangasem is not just one palace, it’s actually a collective of several royal palaces, all within a short distance of Amlapura.
Pura Luhur Lempuyang
Before heading down again, take a moment to enjoy the sensational panoramic views of the city of Amed, Mount Agung, and the ocean.
East Bali Tour – Tailoring Bali to You
All of our day tours, including the East Bali Tour, are completely personalized to your wishes. We will give you a list of things to do & see in the area (see above), also places to eat & shop. You then just let your driver know on the day what you’d like to do. We want you to feel comfortable to take as much or as little time during your tour at each stop. It’s all about what YOU want to see & do during your day. There is a set rate for the driver/guide of 650,000 IDR for the first 8 hours, then an hourly rate of 60,000 IDR for every extra hour. Just pay the appropriate amount at the end of your day.
*Our rates include your driver who is your guide and a vehicle seating up to 6 guests, all entry fees and purchases during the day are to be paid for as you go.
After 15 years of visiting Bali as a tourist, Karlie moved her family to Bali 4 years ago. She loves helping others to enjoy Bali and founded Bali Buddies to encourage others to explore the island she now calls home.
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