Although East Bali is often overlooked as a place to stay during a holiday in Bali, it is definitely worth it! It is a must on your Bali itinerary if you're looking for some quiet time away from crowds.
East Bali, or Karangasem province, will surprise you with:
lush rice field valleys
amazing views on Agung volcano
beautiful swirling roads
fresh crisp air and surprisingly enough.. a lot less traffic!
Here are the best things to do and visit in East Bali.
1. Visit Lempuyang temple 'The Gate of Heaven'
Pura Lempuyang is located on Mount Lempuyang, the most eastern mountain of Bali. It was constructed in honor of the god Shiva and therefore built with white stones as that's the color that symbolizes Shiva in Hinduism. It is one of the 9 important directional temples of Bali and represents the East.
Lempuyang temple is often referred to as the Gate of Heaven. The big white Candi (gate) of the lower temple area is the perfect setting for a photo if the weather is clear and mighty Mount Agung is visible in the background.
Walk up one of the three staircases to the main temple to enjoy a spectacular view over East Bali.
Important: The gate has become such an Instagram hotspot that you'll get a number upon arrival if you'd like to take a picture. If you do want to take a picture, we advice to go there in the early morning to avoid a long waiting line. Some people wait in line for more than 2 hours to get the perfect shot!
However, there are plenty of other beautiful photospots and the view alone is worth a visit to this beautiful temple.
If you like a good workout: follow the road up the hill next to the temple which will take you on a hike all the way up the mountain and passing by different temples.
Careful though: it's a lot of steps to the top and the top of Mount Lempuyang is inhabited by monkeys so hide your food!
2. Tirtagangga Water Palace
This water park was built by the former King of Karangasem in 1948. It was totally destroyed by the earthquakes that were caused by the big eruption of Mount Agung in 1963 but afterwards completely rebuilt.
It's a peaceful garden with beautiful plants, flowers and trees. There are several ponds filled with koi fish of which one has stepping stones in the water.
It's a nice place to take a stroll and you can even take a swim in the large spring water pools in the back.
3. Go on a hike around Tirtagangga
The rice field valleys around Tirtagangga are one of the most beautiful ones in Bali. A local guide can take you for a 1-2h hike to walk through the lush padi's and learn about the way rice and other crops are grown.
It's very interesting to see the irrigation system ('subak') and keep your balance on the little trails between the rice fields.
As we're locals, contact us if you're interested in a hike with a local guide.
4. Visit Lahangan Sweet
This is truly a hidden gem that is not known by many tourists yet! It's located close to Lempuyang temple and worth a detour! Our advice? Go there first thing in the morning to enjoy the quiet spectacular views and have some alone time.
5. Have lunch at Warung Damar
Warung Damar is a nice little warung that was opened in 2022 by a local Balinese family. It's located on the side of the main road between Lempuyang temple and Tirtagangga and it's the perfect place to have a nice lunch while enjoying a spectacular view of the rice fields an Mount Lempuyang.
They serve local and some western dishes at local prices. Here's where to find them and read the reviews for yourself : Warung Damar.
Did you know? At warungs you don't pay any service or tax but it's custom to leave a tip. At restaurants and hotels, you'll be charged service and tax (either 15% or 21%).
6. Go snorkeling in Amed (Jemeluk Bay)
Our favourite place to go snorkeling is Jemeluk Bay in Amed. It's such a lovely quiet little bay with nice shops and restaurants where you can rent snorkeling equipment.
Why is this the perfect place for snorkeling in Bali? You just go into the water and you'll find yourself between all kinds of beautiful colorful fish just 3 meters from the beach.
Walk up the hill to sunset point around 5 PM or go to Amed Sunset Beach to enjoy the famous sunset.
7. Relax at Virgin Beach
The Virgin beach in East Bali is one of the hidden beaches that should be on your itinerary! It's the perfect place to enjoy a fresh grilled fish for lunch, a massage on the beach and a swim in turquoise water.
If you want to explore East Bali with us, take a look at our East Bali Tour and Lempuyang Tour or contact us for a customized trip.