Sunday, January 13, 2008

Pura Besakih, Bali's "Mother Temple"

We had a quick visit to the largest Hindu temple of Bali, Pura Besakih.
This temple is located high on the slopes of Gunung Agung (Mount Holy) in the north east region of Bali. From the top of the temple you can see the ocean in the distance.

It was only after we had been that we started to hear all the scam stories.
The villas driver likened the guides to local mafia and suggested that allot of tour companies had stopped going there due to the scams.

I was a bit disappointed in the temple, the structure its self was magnificent as was the view but the grounds were un-kept and there was an prevailing smell of dog poo. It was especially noticeable since it was only three weeks since I had visited Borobudur monument in Jogjakarta and it is well maintained.

Our driver couldn't accompany us into the temple so we walked into the courtyard and were assigned our guide and wrapped in a loan sarong (even though our pants were long enough). The tour was great, the young man was very knowledgeable and I really enjoyed hearing his take on comparative religion.

I was advised to offer around 25 000RP ($3.00) for a tip but gave 50 000RP as I thought the guide was really interesting but was shocked when I was then hit up for more...I was told it is customary to give double, half for the temple and half to be shared by all guides. Bollocks, but what do you do in a private section of a temple with kids? I paid and then had to hand over more money for renting the sarong.


brad said...

I hate tipping. Charge me what it costs and get it over with.

The wind machines your son is playing with look interesting :-)

Jen Jen in Jakarta, Indonesia said...

The wind thing was great, Ben was fascinated!

It was made of bamboo so made a lovely clacking sound as all the parts moved around.

If they were for sale I would of bought one!

I agree about tipping, there should be a set price for entrance to temple, it would stop all the scams!

Jessica said...

Oh my GOODNESS! I have a reader in Indonesia :) How Fun! I'm really getting around eh? I hope you enjoyed stopping by my blog! I cannot WAIT to read about your adventures, and live vicariously through your travels in my free time!
Be Well!