Bali was a lot more different than what I had expected. There are many things about it that I will go through with you on the blog, but I will take it slowly and start from the temples.
Bali is filled with temples, therefore if you don’t have guidance from someone local you might just end up going through the long list online and never making up your mind. While driving through the island I noticed that literally almost every house had one, which really confused me. Our driver, Dana, explained to us that it’s a tradition in Bali to have your family place of worshiping, considering most of the families are quite sizeable and live together; another common phenomenon is one temple shared by a community.
So as I was saying, it’s good to have someone local to recommend what to visit, both in terms of distance and aesthetics, and Dana recommended we see the Batuan Temple. It is quite close both to the Kuta/Seminyak and Ubud area, which are pretty much the most populated places by tourists.
For those of you who have been my readers for a long time know how obsessed I am with Asian temples, going through a cultural orgasm during my trips to both Japan and Thailand (unfortunately I didn’t really get the chance to experience any temples while in China). You can imagine how excited I was to experience my first Balinese temple, it’s always particularly amazing for me to analyse the architectural particularities of a region, understanding the history, the myths of every symbol, colour and material. Batuan was a wonderful introduction to the Balinese culture. When you arrive, the locals taking care of the temple provide you with the sash and sarong and are kind enough to help you figure out how to properly wear them. For those who don’t know, the sash and sarong (what I’m wearing below) is the traditional “outfit” both men and women have to wear when visiting a Balinese temple. I have to admit I was very tempted to buying them later (again those of you who have been following me for a long time know that I’ve got quite an obsession when it comes to traditional clothes), I find the embroidery quite stunning and unique.
The temple itself was quite empty since Dana took us there at about 9 in the morning, which is obviously always nice, who likes queues and other people in their photos haha. Strongly recommend you visit Batuan if you’re in Bali, but make sure you go either in the morning or closer to evening, you don’t want the subequatorial sun burning your brains.
Photos: Daniel Dykes