Every day was turning out to be more fun than previous one in Bali. And we were really looking forward for today, as we were visiting few places which a must in our list was. Day was supposed to start at 5:30am, but thanks for my Auto Weekend Alarm off setting, we woke up only at 6:30am with a panic attack, as driver called to inform he is already waiting for us in hotel lobby.
We got ready as fast as we can and ran down, gulped the breakfast and started for Gate of Heaven. As fancy as the name sounds, the actual name of this temple is Templeof Lempuyang Luhur. This is one of the most sacred temple of Bali, believed as the mother temple of Bali. It is in east Bali, siting on highlands of mount Lempayung which is 1775m above sea level. Which means when traveling from our hotel in Kuta, the journey was more than 2 hours long. We used this time to catch up on some sleep. After half way we were up to enjoy the pictures beauty of mount Batur and the highlands of Mount Lempuyang. We saw many paddy fields on our way. When closer to temple the roads were narrow with sharp hair pin bends.
At the base of the temple there is a small office where you can get all the information about the temple and sarongs are provided, small rent of 10000 rupiah is taken against each sarong. There is no entry fee for the temple, but one can give any amount as donation for the temple. From there the walk to the first gate of the temple consists of few hundreds of stairs and some walk on a steep road. After walking that much with a pumping and thumping heart we reached at Lempuyang Luhur, but let me tell you frankly, I felt very disappointed. Because the place didn’t look as I had seen in many posts and Instagram pics. This was just the main entrance area. From here one had to climb 1500 steps to reach to the main temple, we didn’t have so much time, so we decided not to go inside, however main temple is not open to all tourists, there are few religious restrictions. Though the main attraction for which so many tourists come here and stand in queue is the gate of this temple which faces Mount Agung. The view of the mountain and clouds through this gate makes it a perfect backdrop for a scenic photograph. There is also a trick which the guy sitting in temple plays which takes the picture to whole new level. Well I won’t disclose that now 😜
So, after waiting for our turn for 2 hours, we finally got 4 clicks each at the iconic Gate of heaven. And believe me after seeing those pics, we really felt that the wait was worth it. And to our surprise, though it feels that you are getting 4 clicks only but the Man there with camera keeps clicking pics in burst mode, so you get plenty of pictures to choose from.While drooling over the pics we moved to our next stop which was Tirta Gangga Royal Water Park.
This is a water garden in East Bali, which is owned by Royal family. It had an entrance fee of 40000 Rupiah and the parking area was quite close to the Park. Here only we stopped in one restaurant for traditional Balinese food. I am a vegetarian and sadly I found nothing on the menu which I can eat, so I requested the Waitress if they can make a vegetarian version of Nasi goreng Rice and mei goreng for me, which she happily agreed. While we were waiting for food to arrive we happily clicked few pics in the backyard paddy field of this restaurant. And finally, the food arrived. But to my bad luck, it came with an egg fry on top. I was hungry and angry and was running out of time too. Getting it reordered was not feasible due to lack of time, so I decided to work on my mental block. Got the egg fry removed as it was only put on top, got few layers of rice and noodles removed and then ate some to suppress the hunger. Once done we went inside the Tirta Gangga.
The center of the park has a 11-tier waterfall fountain and the pond with many sculptures and hexagonal stepping stones in it, which enables tourists to take a close tour of the pond by literally walking on it 😊 one can even sit on the bigger stepping stones and can feed the fishes and see them up close and personal. I must say the fishes were huge and many were lazy after getting fed by visitors multiple times 😛 We walked through the garden and spent some 40-50 mins here.
Next, we hopped in our car all excited to go to our much-awaited waterfall destination, Tukad cepungWaterfall. As it had 5pm as closing time and it was already 3, we had our fingers crossed to reach on time. Tired girls fell asleep again, and suddenly I woke up to see sea on one side of the road, and that is when we got a doubt, are we going to the right place. We checked with our driver and then he bombed us by saying that he is taking us to Tegenungan Waterfall. I felt cheated, as we have clearly told at time of booking as to which waterfall we want to go to. Also, on our way we said the same thing to the driver multiple times. But after lunch he kind of was playing fishy with us by not taking the name of waterfall and calling it only waterfall.
Tegenungan Waterfall is also a very beautiful waterfall but is known for being very crowded. Also, the water here is very forceful, going under the waterfall can be challenging. I was resentful and when quested the driver lied also that he was not informed which waterfall we wanted to go. This was our first encounter to cheating in Bali. All our trips and activities we had booked in advance, it was only this one we booked though our hotel travel agent and I was unhappy with this whole episode. After discussing, we decided to give the waterfall a skip and go back to the hotel and visit the beach for sunset.
After this setback, we were only able to think of one thing, Balinese Spa 😊 we went to the spa in hotel and could manage to get booking only for next day. This was first time we were seeing the amenities of our hotel, as we were on run always. We thought of spending sometime in hotel pool only and keep beach for other day, and this pool was gorgeous. It had many parts, one chilling-area at bar side pool and one pool basketball. After enjoying in pool for sometimes we got ready and went out for dinner, it was Italian tonight.