Earth : Asia : Southeast Asia : Indonesia : Bali : South Bali : Tanah Lot
Tanah Lot is a coastal temple in South Bali.
Tanah Lot is about 45 minutes by car north west of the main southern tourist areas of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak and is en-route for those heading to West Bali. From Ubud it can reached in about 30 to 40 minutes by car.
A visit to Tanah Lot for sunset is one of the most popular organised tours offered in Bali. Check at your hotel.
Once you arrive at Tanah Lot, park your vehicle in the official car park (Rp 5,000) and proceed on foot.
Tanah Lot is one of the important directional temples in Bali. The temple is located on a rock just offshore. It is said to be the work of revered 15th century Hindu priest Nirartha and forms an important element of Balinese spirtualism and mythology.
This is an extremely popular tourist destination and the whole area is often very busy indeed, especially in the late afternoons, pre-sunset. The area between the car park (Rp 5,000 per vehicle) and the beach adjacent to the temple is a maze of souvenir shops selling just about every Balinese trinket imaginable.
Once you have fought your way through the souvenir vendors to the beach, you will see the magnificent temple perched on a rock just a few metres offshore. There is a footpath to the raised cliff area just to the south from where the views of the temple and the sunset behind it are outstanding. Photo-opportunities abound. Entry fee is Rp 10,000.
Restoration of the Temple. A comprehensive restoration programme started in the 1990s when it was realised that the rock was seriously eroded and in danger of collapse. This major work resulted in the actual temple being out of bounds which was still intermittently the case in early 2009. This is not really a hindrance to visitors though as entrance to the actual temple is not the key attraction.
Play Golf. The superb Nirwana Golf Course  is adjacent to Tanah Lot to the south. This Greg Norman designed course is consistently voted as one of the very best in the whole of Asia. Stunning cliff top setting. Packages are normally available (ask at your hotel). Expect to pay US$ 170 to 200 per round all in.
Visit Pejaten village. This is the centre of the ceramics manufacturing business in Bali and well worth a visit. About 7 km north from Tanah Lot temple.
The approach path to Tanah Lot temple is a maze of souvenir shops and not a bad place to fill up your bags with trinkets if you are so inclined.
There are large number of restaurants along the cliff top which offer great views but less great food. The best advice here would be to order a drink, get your fill of the views and photo-ops, and eat elsewhere.
Virtually all of the restaurants at Tanah Lot serve Es Kelapa Mudah (chilled young coconut). This is a lovely refreshing option while watching the sun go down at Tanah Lot.
Tanah Lot is conveniently located en route for those moving too or from West Bali. A drive back to Kuta, Legian or Seminyak in the evening after sunset will take about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on traffic.