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An iconic landmark of Bali, and easily the most photographed location of the island, is Tanah Lot. An ancient temple perched on a rock formation in the open sea, the Tanah Lot Temple is a unique gem that is rich in culture and history.
It is possible to walk across to the 15th century Hindu temple when the tide is low and at the base of the rock, many people queue to get a little bit of what’s believed by the Hindus as holy water.
Beyond the area of the beach, where you can watch the waves crash dramatically onto the black rocks, the grounds also has caves, home to Bali’s sacred black-and-white snakes.
A hugely popular destination, the busyness of Tanah Lot can be chaotic at times but the enchanting atmosphere lures visitors back. Remember to explore the surrounding areas of Tanah Lot too while you’re there! Check out cliffside restaurant Warung Mandala that serves scrumptious seafood, Sizzle Wraps located at Jalan Raya Tanah Lot that serves healthy vegetarian wraps or Warung Subak Pekendungan which is housed in a traditional pavillion.
Foreign visitors entering Tanah Lot must pay an entrance fee. The price is 60,000 Rp per adult and 30,000 Rp for per child.
The sunset at Tanah Lot is one of the best in Bali and visitors flock in the evening especially to catch a view of it. The best time to visit Tanah Lot would be in the afternoon before sunset, around 5pm. However as the crowd often flows in at that time, we suggest coming up to 3 hours earlier if you want to find a good spot or ensure you have a perfect view of the panorama.
You could roam the area while waiting. As you enter into the temple there stalls lining the streets, selling cheap clothing and souvenirs like ‘I LOVE BALI’ t-shirts. Don’t forget to bargain away for a good deal!
There is no direct public transportation from Kuta to Tanah Lot or from Seminyak to Tanah Lot. The journey by taxi is about 45 minutes and should cost around 200,000 Rp for a return trip. The Bali airport which is south of Kuta also doesn’t have a direct bus to Tanah Lot so you could hop on a bemo from the airport to Kuta before proceeding by taxi.
Bemos from Ubung Terminal in Denpasar goes to Tanah Lot. Bemos are public minivans used as shuttle services to certain locations in Bali. To get from Ubud to Tanah Lot, you could find your way to Ubung Terminal before transferring to the bemo.
The curse of Tanah Lot is widely known amongst travelers to Bali. The curse is a story of a young prince and princess who fell in love in Bali. They did the deed while still unmarried, and the prince left. The jilted princess, heartbroken and angry, put a curse—such that all unwed couples who visited the island wouldn’t have a lasting relationship or their relationship will be cut short.
Most couples remain in tact and are not affected by the curse, a testament to the number of people who still visit Bali today.