Many people associate Bali with a spiritual awakening; a place to look within your heart and soul, and it is easy to see why. Bali as a whole is so beautiful that it is easy to get in touch with your inner peace and self. Maybe that is why the native people of Bali set so many beautiful Hindu temples in some of the most magical settings.
One such temple is Lempuyang, which is set just a mere 1720 steps (one way), not including sections that weren’t stairs, up a mountain. Here are a few tips for anyone considering the beautiful and rewarding Lempuyang Temple
Take plenty of water but not so much to weigh you down. There are endless little shops to get more as you go (granted, at touristy prices) so it is lighter to just buy as you need it.
Despite the fact that all the locals are in flip flops, that is just a recipe for disaster to those not used to the terrain. There are plenty of slippery rocks, uneven paths and broken, cracking steps, not to mention the steep ascent and descent. Therefore, wear your hiking shoes or at least good tennis shoes.
3) Hire a guide
We are the last people you’d expect to pay someone to take us on a hike, but were so glad we paid the $10. There were times that I’m not sure I would have known where to go and there were seriously aggressive monkeys that even the locals feared. Our guide helped make sure we were on the right track and safe from rabid apes. Or, you can get a guide who will supposedly tell you all about the temples, history, etc for about $20. Bartering is expected.
Go as early as you can and plan your time accordingly. Going early will serve many purposes. It will help with heat as well as any possible afternoon rain showers. Also, considering that it takes 3-4 hours for most hikers for a round trip trek, you’ll want plenty of time to complete the journey.
Dress appropriately for the heat and hike, however know that shoulders and knees are to be covered as you walk the whole volcano, not just the temples. You will be given a sarong for $1 unless you bring your own and are expected to wear it the whole hike. Use common sun and heat sense such as wearing a hat, light weight clothing and, of course, plenty of sunscreen.
Know Your Physical Abilities. Like any hike, you should know what your limitations are. The hike to the temples on the 3500ft Volcano is do-able for anyone in moderate shape, but given the steep steps and extreme weather conditions, it can be tough. Go slow if necessary, drink water and stop for breaks when needed.
Be respectful. You are in a very holy location and place of worship. If you want to take photos, do so in a non-conspicuous manner from the back of the temples as to not distract or offend the worshippers. Do not walk up the altar (often just looks like a normal step), where only special holy men can go.
Take in and enjoy the culture. You will be tempted to only be focusing on how hot, tired and sore you are but don’t let that detract from the experience. While this is a tourist activity for you, it is the locals’ way of life. As you walk, locals will be doing the same. Smile, make small talk and take mental pictures of the parade of people with their offerings. While you’ll want pictures to remember this amazing experience, don’t forget to get out of your lens and just soak up what is going on around you.
Bali is a beautiful, and some will argue, magical place. The temples are just one way to get insight into this isolated culture that has mesmerized much of the world
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