Pura Luhur Uluwatu
Southeast Asia is a place which has a profusion of temples and Buddha statues. Bali, aptly called the Island of the Gods, is home to magnificent temples but I have to admit that the one which impressed me most was Pura Luhur Uluwatu.
Also known as the Balinese sea temple, it is precipitously perched on a cliff, overlooking the Indian Ocean. The views at sunset are some of the most gorgeous you will ever get so if you have plans to go to Bali and Uluwatu, make sure that you have your camera handy. It is as if the gods themselves ordered men to build the temple at this exact location.
Upon paying the entrance fee, you will be handed sarongs and sashes used to identify those who paid. As you take a walk there is a big chance you will encounter some macaques. These macaques are extremely adept at snatching food, bags and cameras so be careful. If something of yours is taken, most of the time the monkeys can be induced to return things in exchange for a fruit. Fortunately, I did not see anybody who got snatched but some people fed the macaques anyway.
TIP: Entrance fee to Pura Luhur Uluwatu is Rp30,000 or about US $2. The best time to go is during late afternoon so you can also witness a Balinese cultural show called the Kecak and Fire Dance. The show costs Rp110,000 or US $8. This is money well spent, trust me.
When I first saw the view over the cliff, I thought that I was no longer in Bali. The view looked like it came straight out of a postcard. No wonder locals in Bali tend to be happy. They wake up to postcard-worthy sights every single day!
It is a long way down the cliff to the rocks below and as some tourists (yes, tourists and not travelers) are taking pictures in some of the oddest positions, I wondered if anybody has ever fallen and practically died. I know it is a morbid thought to be thinking and I did not get any answers so we move on and check the temples.
After much walking and after sweating profusely, we decided to rest and wait for the Balinese cultural show starting at 6pm. What is the signal that they have already started selling tickets for the show? Well, a crowd gathers while somebody in the middle says something in Indonesian and gives out programs for the show.
The trip to Uluwatu was worth it, not only for the view but also for the lesson in culture. It was feast for all the senses there was also the sound of the waves crashing on the rocks in a constant ebb and flow; the birds as they flew by and also the crowd conversing in different languages but all in awe of the beauty before them. Regardless where you are from, beauty, indeed, is a common language.