May 15, 2011

Pura Besakih

pura besakih mother temple bali

Before we went to Bali we researched a few places that we wanted to visit and one of them was Besakih. This temple in Besakih is in Bali called Pura Besakih, but is also known as Mother Temple. Pura Besakih is a large temple complex and the main Hindu temple in Bali.

We hired a driver the day before we went to Besakih for around 300000IRP and drove to Besakih. First of all we didn’t know it was the Balinese New Year when we went to Bali so Besakih was really busy. We arrived and the driver told us we would have to buy or rent sarongs and then pay for a guide. This is the first thing that really annoyed us, he could have warned us beforehand.

So I bought a really cheap sarong and even though a sales lady tried to sell Liv a pure silk sarong she eventually also bought something fairly cheap (let’s face it, we’re not going to wear sarongs in the UK, it’s too cold and we’d look like mental cases). I was also told I would have to wear a headscarf although I didn’t see any other Western people wearing these.

We were then led to a makeshift guide ticket office and were told we would have to pay for a guide. Now this really angered me. We’re fully aware Besakih is a temple and of course we’re not going to do anything that would upset locals but they were entirely insistent that we had to pay. We asked about price and they said “you decide, you can pay $20 (US dollars), some pay $50, but it’s in your interest to pay more”. Why? What do I get for the extra $30 exactly??

In the end the guide was actually worth it as he gave us some really interesting information but I don’t like not being given a choice. If I go somewhere, I don’t want people telling me I have to do this to do that. The walk around Besakih was also way too fast, we walked around it in about 30 minutes.

As a note, there are also loads of people trying to sell souveniers and assortments of junk (candles etc). I’m always polite enough to say “no thank you” but some locals were quite aggressive and most likely swore at us in Balinese when we didn’t buy things.

Would I recommend going to Bali? Yes! Bali is really beautiful in places. Would I recommend Besakih? No, simply because of the rudeness of people there and not being warned about hidden costs.

Hope you like the captures below that were taken at Besakih.

Various other photos can be found on my main website at: or throughout this blog

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