I really wanted to see this temple at Sunset so I left Ubud at 2pm. We hit some traffic so my driver was doing his best to get there fast.. which resulted in me putting on my motion sickness bands. He was successful and I arrived with plenty of time before sun was to set. I brought my own sarong to wear in the temple but this adorable little girl picked one out for me not knowing I had one. I took hers not only because she was cute, but because the one she picked out was prettier. They gave me some quick directions of where to go and I set off.
The first temple was the one that is featured a lot on Instagram and is the easiest one to reach. It was late in the day and cloudy so I pretty much had the place to myself. It was surreal to look around and see the volcano in the distance, all of the low hanging clouds around and lush green mountain tops. The temple added to that feeling because it was so majestic and tall.
I decided to proceed to the next temples up a steep road. Again, I was the only one on the road and it was totally peaceful. I can imagine why someone would want to live way up here, even though so difficult to reach. I finally arrived at the next temple where the steps began. So. Many. Steps.
I really had no idea how far the next temple was but I decided I wanted to see at least one more (to see all 5 it’s about 4 hours and I didn’t have enough time). There were many times I considered turning around, but I kept telling myself just a little bit further. Here are my takeaways:
- It’s respectable that people will travel this far and put in this much work to worship. I often don’t want to get up for church in the morning and mine is only a 5 minute car ride and zero steps if I take the elevator.
- It’s impressive that this was even built. There’s no way to describe how steep and high up this temple was (and I wasn’t even at the highest).
- On the note above, I think they should ask tourists if they would be willing to carry a bag of cement up (the fourth temple was under construction and men and women were carry supplies up on their heads). It would have been extremely hard, but I probably would have done it to contribute.
- Building a temple this high is worth it because of the closeness you feel to the heavens and mother nature. Also, when you reach the top you feel a sense of calmness because you just exerted so much energy. It’s sort of like doing yoga and then meditating at the end when your body is fatigued.
- I probably shouldn’t have worn a white shirt, although it didn’t rain, my sweat did what the rain would have. Luckily I had my sarong in my bag to use as a shawl.
- Hiking up that many flights in a sarong is hard, but it did double as a sweat towel.
- Can you imagine if people came to your temple/church/place of worship to take selfies?
- Thank goodness for the woman selling chocolate bars in the middle, I needed the sugar boost.
- It’s moments like these I’m glad I’m traveling alone because I would have hate to have been caught up in a conversation during this all.
I wasn’t feeling car sick anymore so on the way back I had an interesting conversation with my driver about family living, houses, status, dating, marriage, kids and many other cultural norms. I love being able to talk though similarities and differences between countries, cultures and religions.