With its pristine coastal scenery and the cacophony of waves crashing on its rocky base, Pura Tanah Lot is perhaps unsurprisingly the most visited – and most photographed – temple in the whole of Bali.
If you’re feeling very adventurous (and many backpackers ARE INDEED adventurous), then you could always hop on a moped and drive yourself down to Tanah Lot temple. It must be a great way to travel, and hiring mopeds is a cheap and easy affair in Bali. However, be warned that traffic is often appallingly congested in Bali, not to mention other hazards on the roads like wildlife and adverse weather conditions, so you would be better off joining a tour group or hailing a public taxi.
Journey time from the Kuta and Seminyak areas to Tanah Lot will typically take around 45 minutes. On my experience, it took my taxi driver over an hour, but maybe he was just driving slowly! It gave me a chance to photograph the immense scenery out of the window. However, when using the public buses, the journey time may take even longer (but not much longer). Buses are very cheap in Bali (and usually cramped), whereas taxis are priced from around 200,000 Rupiah for the return trip back to Kuta (around 300,000 or more directly to Ubud). This includes waiting time so your driver can hang around for your return journey. Remember, though, that day trips to Tanah Lot are always being offered by tour operators, so check with your hostel or hotel to see if they can offer you a deal. Entrance to the temple itself is 30,000 Rupiah.
Once you’ve cleared Denpasar and the surrounding areas, you head to the very south of the island to reach Tanah Lot temple. This route transverses some beautiful terrain so make sure you have a window seat to enjoy it. While the scenery is not quite as spectacular as you will see on the journey from Kuta to Ubud, it is nonetheless breath-taking. The closer you get to the coastline near the temple, the better the scenery – and you may even be lucky to see classic Balinese sights such as a revered Bali Cow ploughing the fields or a herd of ducks crossing the road in front of your bus!
One thing to remember (if you arrive by taxi) at Tanah Lot is that your taxi driver will wait for you in the car park, which is rather compact and small, as well as being surrounded on most sides by markets selling all manner of trinkets. Remember what colour car your taxi is, and roughly whereabouts he is parked in the vicinity. Perhaps take a photo of the car/driver’s face, too, if he doesn’t mind. This way, you have more chance of finding your driver again, as Tanah Lot – much like Borobudur over in Java – is not the kind of place to have masses of public transport options (unless you already made the outbound journey), and a simple one way fare from Tanah Lot to Kuta, Legian, or Seminyak is actually pretty difficult to negotiate, as there are no spare taxis around – the ones you see in the car parks are waiting for their existing passengers.