Lake Tamblingan, nestled in the central highlands of Bali is your off-the-beaten-path destination if you are looking to get away from the crowds in Ubud. It makes for a great getaway from Ubud since it is easily accessible on a two-wheeler, which are ubiquitous in Bali. What was a hot day in Ubud soon turned into a cool breezy ride through some gorgeous highland scenery. Cosy eating joints, coffee plantations, rice fields add a lot of character to the ride itself.
Not having a map, nor any GPS directions, I was back to old-school way of figuring my way – asking the locals, which was a lot of fun in itself. Stop by at the famous temple Ulun Danu temple at the edge of lake Beratan. Ride along if you do not want to be surrounded by scores of tourists. The twin lakes, Tamblingan and Buyan, surfaced gradually as the rode gently climbed the lush green hills – multiple vantage points give a great view of the lakes, both of which have been formed in a caldera. The scenery gets increasingly rural and sublime further along the ride. The clouds clinging to the surrounding hills added to the atmosphere.
“The noise of the engines gave away to sounds evocative of the campagne”
Stop for a coffee or a bite along the way and soak in the views of the lake. Tamblingan is a protected area, so you do have to pay an access fee. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that local life carried on as usual inside the premises – fishermen, farmers, and dirt bikers. The incongruity of it all was mysterious. Amidst all this, lies the magnificent Gubung temple. The fact that no special effort has been made to preserve the temple leaves you with a sense of discovery.
I will leave you with some pictures to give you a better sense of this beautiful corner of the world. If you are around Tamblingan, you can arrange a stay in one of the nearby houses by talking to the locals, or stay in a nearby village called Munduk. Munduk is a quiet village, but boasts of a good tourist infrastructure, built around the quiet life of the village.
Lake Tamblingan is home to a beautiful Hindu temple, Gubung
A fisherman on Lake Tamblingan as clouds create magic
A local family sharing a ride near the lake
Young rebels indulging in some dirt-biking
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