Munduk is a mountain village in the highlands of Central Bali.
Forested valley near Munduk
Munduk and the nearby villages of Kayuputih and Banyuatis are dotted along the scenic drive of twists and turns between Lake Buyan at the west of Bedugul to Seririt on Bali's northern coast. Although Munduk village itself looks unassuming when you travel down its single main road, the buildings hold a hidden secret: behind them are the region's prime spots for watching sunrises on one side and sunsets on the other. Million dollar views for a few thousand Rupiah per night cannot be bad!
Often overlooked by tourists, Munduk's cooler climate comes to many as a welcome break from the humidity common in the rest of Bali. Trekking is the big call card here and you can see why with the myriad of trails through the forested hills to hidden villages, the two main waterfalls and the coffee and cocoa plantations. You can hike them self-guided, although a decent map and some time and patience are essential for navigating the often maze-like tracks. Brush-up on your basic Balinese and ask the locals for help whenever you can.
Dutch colonists used to stay in Munduk to escape the heat of Singaraja, Bali's second largest city and the centre of the island's colonial past. The Dutch built an assortment of rest houses for those wanting a break from the city. You can still see evidence of these colonial-style buildings today, some having survived by being converted into guest houses.
Unfortunately there are no known direct buses or shuttle services to Munduk.
You can hire a private driver to take you to Munduk, either booking via your hotel or direct through a tour operator. Most of the local taxi services have either SUVs or mini-vans that can be hired with a driver. From the east or south of Bali, the price to Munduk should be around Rp 550,000.
Chicken on Munduk's hillside tracks
For travellers on a budget, it's a beautiful experience to drive to Munduk by motorbike, passing countless rice paddies, the two big lakes and many jungle vistas.
If you're travelling from the south, once you've passed Lake Buyan and a couple of hairpin bends laden with monkeys, take the road on the left to Munduk. The route is straightforward from there - just follow the same road all the way. You'll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views at practically every turn and a good selection of hillside warungs where you can stop for a coffee or to take some pictures.
Bus to Bedugul
Another way to save money is by getting a shuttle bus to Bedugul and hiring either a private driver or motorbike from there.
Perama runs shuttle buses to Bedugul from most of the main tourist areas such as Kuta and Ubud. However, beware of scams for transport and guesthouses as you get off at the Perama depot. It's worth walking 10 minutes or so down the road for more honest information and prices.
Once in Munduk village, it's relatively easy to walk to the waterfalls and local plantations. By trekking you'll come across small hillside villages and catch a glimpse of what it's like to live here through the local people's activities.
Circular treks to the waterfalls often involve doing some of the walk on the road, so just be careful of traffic on the hairpin bends. It's possible to hire a motorbike in Munduk if you want to shorten your trek. Prices should be around Rp 50-60,000.
If you're travelling by private car or motorbike, Munduk is close enough for day trips to Bedugul, Lovina and Pemuteran, although you'll probably want to spend more time in the latter.
- Munduk Waterfall, Jalan Raya Munduk. A famous waterfall in central Bali because of its height and cooling air. It's a relatively short trek, which starts from the road between Pancasari and Munduk. There are ways of making this a circular route by walking through the hillside villages, but you'll need a map. Rp 15,000 per person. edit
- Bolangan Waterfall, Desa Kayuputih, Bolangan (Located at Kayuputih village). This waterfall is much quieter as most tourists visit Munduk Waterfall instead. Relatively easy to reach with a map. Tour guides are available with treks starting in the mornings. Free. edit
- Munduk rice terraces, Jalan Raya Munduk. A visit to the rice paddies offers stunning views of the luscious, green landscape. Traditional tools are still used in this area for planting and harvesting. edit
- Stone sarcophagus, Pura Duur, Kayuputih village. A relic of a 19th Century stone sarcophagus, in six pieces. edit
- Banyan tree in Gesing, Pohon Beringin, Desa Gesing. (10km from Munduk). Over 500 years old, this large banyan tree was once used as a hideout for soldiers during the war with Holland. Free. edit
- Self-guided treks. You can do self-guided treks around Munduk, although a good map is advisable. If you prefer to trek with a guide, you should be able to arrange this through your guest house. edit
- Munduk Trekking, Jalan Raya Munduk, ☎ +62 8223 7804939 (email@example.com), . This company runs treks to the waterfalls, and also to the rice paddies where you can see local farming activities including how to plant rice. edit
- Munduk Cycling, Jalan Raya Kayuputih. Runs bike tours around the villages of Munduk and Kayuputih, and also to see the big banyan tree. edit
- Cooking classes, Jalan Raya Kayuputih. Learn how to cook Balinese food using traditional tools and with lots of herbs and spices. edit
- Banjar Hot Springs, Jalan Raya Banjar (A 30-minute-drive from Munduk. Drive towards Temukus and you'll see the signs pointing the way.). There are three pools available for bathing in the 38ºC sulfur water. edit
Food and drink supplies and any of the prevailing tourist clothes and trinkets can be bought from the shops in Munduk itself.
From memory, there is no ATM in the village.
- Pasar Banyuatis (Market Banyuatis), main road in Banyuatis. A traditional market selling meat, vegetables, fish, herbs and local delicacies. It's the central market for the three villages in the area: Kayuputih, Banyuatis and Munduk. edit
- Bali Panorama, Munduk village. 9am-5pm. Delicious local dishes and fruit juices. Everything is fresh and organic, picked from the highlands in Pancasari. edit
- Karangsari Guesthouse & Restaurant (Karangsari), main road in Munduk village, ☎ +62 82 144 844844, . Delicious Balinese dishes with a great sunset view. Highly recommended. edit
- Ngiring Ngewedang, main road, approx. 2km outside of Munduk village (from Wanagiri take the main road towards Munduk; the restaurant is located another 1km west on the same road after Lake Tamblingan), ☎ +62 812 3807010 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . 10am-5pm. Very good value Indonesian food in a restaurant with views to die for. They also process local coffee beans here and will be happy to show you around. Green and freshly roasted beans are for sale. An excellent option for lunch if you want to get away from the crowds in Bedugul. Highly recommended. edit
There are no bars in Munduk and the restaurants only sell soft drinks. You can buy alcohol from the local shops or mini mart.
- Gangga Homestay, Munduk village (from the main road take the little street on the left, just after Aditya homestay, and follow the sign), ☎ +62 81 337 193 677 (email@example.com). 1km outside of Munduk village is this family friendly homestay where you can wake-up to views of the rice paddies and watch beautiful sunsets from your room. Quiet, clean and the perfect place to discover the real Balinese way of living. Kadek, the chief of the family, can organise visits around Munduk and small guided treks. Pick-up is offered from the main road, if needed. Around Rp 200,000. edit
- Guru Ratna Homestay, Munduk village (200 metres from the market in Munduk), ☎ +62 813 3852 6092. Charming, environmentally conscious and very good value accommodation in an attractive rural mountain setting. Consists of five colonial Dutch style houses with great valley views. Rp 150,000. edit
- Karangsari Guesthouse & Restaurant (Karangsari), main road in Munduk village, ☎ +62 82 144 844844, . Clean, peaceful and with some of the best sunset views. The family are very friendly and their Balinese dishes are delicious. Highly recommended. From Rp 200,000. edit
- Lumbung Sari Cottages, Munduk village, ☎ +62 362 92810 (firstname.lastname@example.org), . A gorgeous self-styled eco resort offering lumbung cottage accommodation. The size and standard of the cottages varies, and so does the price you pay. Many outdoor and nature-based activities are on offer. Superb location in a very attractive part of Bali. From US $18-$258. edit
- Taman Ayu Homestay & Warung, Munduk village (on the main road at the eastern edge of town), ☎ +62 89 901 55357 (email@example.com), . Just off the main road through Munduk, this family homestay has been slowly expanding over recent years. The rooms are very clean and equipped with warm blankets and towels. Some rooms have views to the north, overlooking a valley lined with coffee plantations and mountain foliage. The family operates a small restaurant on the first level of the guesthouse, serving local Balinese cuisine." Under Rp 200,000. edit
The postcode for Munduk is 81152.
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