OMFG, yes I dropped the F-bomb. The Ulun Danu Temple was one of the most incredible temples we had visited. Not because of its beauty (although it was unique with the backdrop of the lake in the volcanic crater). But because I was an actual local for 5 minutes. More about that later on.
So we have been to a few places beforehand (including Tanah Lot and the Bali Botanic Garden). The temperature had dropped which was a much-appreciated relief from the unrelenting heat. So you have many different religious buildings/temples here. Hindu, Muslim, Buddhist, and Christianity. We were not here long, but what happened next was something I will never forget.
Ok, so we were walking around the temple. It was around this time of year we went; there were many temple preparation ceremonies going on. So cakes, animals slaughtered and practicing their musical number. Standing there watching, our friend and driver Bawa said to me to go and sit next to them. I point out at this time; there must have been 50-100 people watching them practice. I was the only person sitting with them, let alone a white western man. I handed over the camera over to Bawa to take some pictures of me sitting with them, trying not to look as awkward as I felt.
What on Earth we going on? People were thinking I was royalty!
What happened next was the icing on the cake. One of the gentlemen handed me his musical instrument! What the f***, what am I meant to do with this cymbal like instrument? Play along was the gesture. Ok, Lee lets regress back to Year 8 music. You know the time when you weren’t throwing a table at someone. The time you played an instrument. Harness that inner musician in you. Nope, nothing. Great, so I was sitting there, just banging along. Trying to be as quiet as I could so not be obviously apparent I didn’t know what I was doing.
I was getting into it, for a moment I forgot the now hundreds of people wanting to know who this white person was. Bawa even heard a few people asking if I was royalty or a celebrity. HA, brilliant. So the music stopped, I gave my respectful thank you of Terima Kasih (thank you in Indonesian) and two hands together on my chest (like a prayer).
Right now it was time to see the Ulun Danu temple. It was much smaller than I had imagined. Set against a gorgeous backdrop. It’s a shame the weather was not kinder, as the picture we would have got would have been stunning.
So yes, there is an entrance fee. I think it was 20,000rp per person; I could be wrong. We visited so many places that day, the prices all merged into one. So there you have it. A very short but oh-so-sweet experience at the Ulun Danu temple in central North Bali.
What has been your most unforgettable experience? Let us know in the comments below.