7 Awesome Things to Do in East Bali, Indonesia

by Jackie
Views of Pura Besakih with the pink and orange sunset skies

Headed to Bali and need some ideas on what to do for your Bali itinerary? Consider spending time in East Bali! Most people tend to stay in South Bali, such as Kuta and Canggu, yet there are some amazing and beautiful places to visit in the quieter areas of North Bali and East Bali. We’ve been to East Bali on two separate times and would recommend that you stay for at least two days.

Here is our list of the 7 awesome things to do in East Bali, Indonesia. We’re including helpful information on the admission cost, helpful tips, and also how to get to East Bali. From gorgeous temples and water palaces to hiking opportunities, you’ll love discovering this underrated area. We can’t wait to go back to explore more on a return trip. 

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7 Best Things to Do in East Bali, Indonesia

1. Pura Lempuyang

If you love visiting temples, Pura Lempuyang needs to be on your Bali bucket list. Located on the slopes of the quiet Mount Lempuyang, this Hindu temple is one of the best temples in Bali. Most people visit Pura Lempuyang for the “Gateway to Heaven” gate as it overlooks Mount Agung, the highest mountain on the island, on a clear day. Be prepared for a long line, yet the photo with the photo magic is worth it!

Besides the first gate, take the opportunity to visit the other 6 temples on the mountain. You’ll need at least three hours to finish the route. Along the way, you’ll see other locals making the trek up and meet monkeys who are very shy towards people. You won’t see other tourists so it’s a peaceful journey to the temples. As a heads up, the walk up is a bit challenging with the altitude and humidity so prepare water in advance. To reach the top temple, Lempuyang Luhur Temple, you’ll climb an astounding 1440+ stairs which is a good workout for the day.

Check out our Pura Lempuyang guide for helpful tips and learn more about our experience. 

Tip: Please wear appropriate clothing when entering the temple grounds. Sarong rentals are 10,000 IDR ($.70 USD).

Address: Jl. Pura Telaga Mas Lempuyang, Tri Buana, Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia

Admission Cost: No fee, but donations accepted. 

Tour Options: 

We're holding hands at the famous Pura Lempuyang's Gateway to Heaven with a reflection at the bottom. This is one of the top things to do in East Bali, Indonesia.

Pura Lempuyang is one of the best things to do in East Bali.


2. Tirta Gangga Water Palace 

Tirta Gangga Water Palace is a picturesque place to visit in Bali. The small water palace is stunning with the luscious gardens and water fountains everywhere. As you enter the water palace, the left side has a bridge and walking path, while the right side has a pool with guardian statues and stepping stones. The right side is more crowded as you follow a stone path maze that leads to the center of a multi-tiered water fountain. As you walk along the path, check out the giant golden orange koi fish swimming in the water.

Address: Ababi, Abang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80852, Indonesia

Admission Cost: 30,000 IDR ($2.10 USD)

Tour Option: 

Tirta Gangga Water Palace has beautiful guardian statues and a maze walking path around the pool.

Tirta Gangga Water Palace is lovely water garden to explore when you’re in East Bali.


3. Bukit Lemped (Houses Tree Hill Lemped)

Bukit Lemped (also known as the “Houses Tree Hill Lemped”) is a hidden gem in East Bali. We’re surprised that it hasn’t been mentioned in other Bali itineraries before. If you love walking along suspension bridges or going through treehouses, then this is the perfect place for you. You’ll feel like a kid again as you walk from one side of the treehouses to the other side over the bridges. 

Our favorite spot at Bukit Lemped is the long suspension bridge that extends over the rushing river underneath. Walking on this bridge tests your fear of heights as there is a huge distance between yourself and the river. While it’s super bouncy, it’s sturdy enough for a couple of people to walk on it at the same time. Plus, you’re rewarded with jaw-dropping views of the nearby rice fields. 

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to take photos in the courtyard area with various bird nest swings. This place is open from 8:00am to 8:00pm.

Tip: While you walk between the treehouses, some of the stairways and entrances are narrow. Watch your head for low ceilings. 

If you go when it rains, please be careful. We went during a rainstorm and the bamboo walkways were very slippery. However, we enjoyed having the whole place to ourselves. 

Address: Ababi, Abang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80852, Indonesia

Admission Cost: 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD)

We're standing on a long suspension bridge at Bukit Lemped. The bridge overlooks a rice field and a river underneath. It's one of the fun activities to do when you're in East Bali.

The rain didn’t stop us from walking on the suspension bridge at Bukit Lemped.


4. Taman Ujung Water Palace

Taman Ujung Water Palace, also known as Taman Soeka Sada Ujung, is another water palace to visit in the area. From the gorgeous Balinese-European architecture to the immaculate gardens, it’s a great place to walk around and relax. Compared to the Tirta Gangga Water Palace, this one is a larger complex to walk through.

An incredible view from Taman Ujung is from the top of the hill. You’ll see the panoramic views of the water palace and also the ocean. You’ll need to take a set of stairs to see the stunning views. You can also check out the house in the center of the lake which has photos of the king and the family. 

Address: Br. Dinas, Tumbu, Kec. Karangasem, Kabupaten Karangasem, Bali 80811, Indonesia

 Admission Cost: 50,000 IDR ($3.50 USD)

Tour Option:

Viewpoint of the Taman Ujung Water Palace and the gardens at the top of the stairways.

Taman Ujung Water Palace is great place to see the stunning gardens.


5. Pura Agung Besakih

Pura Agung Besakih, also known as the Mother Temple, is the largest and most sacred temple in Bali. What is amazing about this place is that there are 80 temples on this complex and most of them are used for prayers, celebrations, or burial celebrations. During your 30 minute tour, your guide will show you to various vantage points along the mountainside. Stair climbing is required, so it’s not accessible friendly for those with knee or leg issues. If you have a clear day, you’ll see Mount Agung at a staggering 3,031 meters (9,944 feet) high behind the temple grounds. 

Tip: As you enter Besakih Temple, you’ll have several hawker sellers swarm around you to buy a canarg sari kit which is used for praying. You’ll recognize them with the colorful flowers inside a palm leaf basket that is placed on the ground or next to a praying area. You can kindly decline the offer to purchase one. 

Address: Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem Regency, Bali 80863, Indonesia

Admission Cost: 60,000 IDR ($4 USD), includes a guide, motorbike ride to the entrance, and sarong rental

Tour Option:

Visited Pura Besakih in East Bali to see the temple complex. We also have a view of Mount Agung in the backdrop.

Pura Besakih is a beautiful temple to visit in East Bali. We had a clear day to see Mount Agung.


6. Mount Batur Sunrise Trek

Are you an early morning riser? Consider taking the Mount Batur sunrise trek. It’s one of the best outdoor adventures in Indonesia to experience. Located in the northeast Bali, you’ll join hundreds of hikers up the inactive volcano at 1,717 meters (5,633 feet). You’ll get picked up from your Ubud hotel around 2:00am and start trekking with your group and guides at 4:00am. We made it to the top of the mountain before 6:30am to see the stunning sunrise. It’s quite an accomplishment as you’ve completed a good workout in the morning. 

Tip: Beware of the food that you bring up to the summit. Monkeys appear once the sunrises and will eye your breakfast. The summit is also cold and windy so wear a jacket and long pants. 

Address: South Batur, Kintamani, Bangli Regency, Bali, Indonesia

Admission: Various depending on your program such as hike only, visit the coffee plantation, and/or visit the hot springs. Walk around the Ubud downtown area to get quotes for the sunrise hike. We received quotes for 300,000 IDR – 400,000 IDR ($21-$28 USD) per person for the hike and coffee plantation visit.

Tour Options: If you prefer to pre-book your sunrise hike in advance, here are some options:

We did the Mount Batur sunrise trek and saw the sunrise from the inactive Batur volcano. It's a fun activity to do in North East Bali

We’re a bit sleepy yet the Mount Batur sunrise trek is a healthy way to start out the day.


7. Pura Goa Lawah 

If you want to channel your inner Batman, check out Pura Goa Lawah to see the “Bat Cave” temple. It’s a small temple complex with hundreds of bats in the main cave/temple area. It’s quite a sight to see so many insect-eating bats flying around in the morning. The cave entrance is also used as a praying area, so visitors can’t go inside. Supposedly the cave leads to the three locations in Bali – Besakih, Talibeng, and Tangki.

There is a walking path to the side of the parking lot which leads to another small temple at the top of the mountain. We thought there was going to be an awesome view from the peak, but the overgrown trees blocked all views. Regardless, it’s a quiet place to visit as there weren’t other visitors. 

Tip: Please dress appropriately when visiting the temple. If you need a sarong, the rental fee is 5,000 IDR ($.35 USD). 

Another thing to note is that there are hawkers selling jewelry and postcards as you enter and leave the area. Older women will greet you at the entrance and give you a bead necklace that you can “have” but it’s expected to give an equivalent of $1 USD for it or buy something of the same value. We thanked them for their offer and returned the necklace as we didn’t need it. 

Address: Jl. Raya Goa Lawah, Pesinggahan, Dawan, Kabupaten Klungkung, Bali 80761, Indonesia

Admission Cost: 25,000 IDR ($1.80 USD) for adults and 15,000 IDR ($1 USD) for children

The entrance of the Pura Goa Lawah cave has hundreds of bats hanging upside down and also flying to catch insects. It's a unique attraction to visit in East Bali.

Check out the hundreds of bats at the Pura Goa Lawah. No wonder it’s called the Bat Cave.


How to Get to East Bali

Depending on where you’re based, it can take 2-3 hours to get to East Bali. From Ubud to Pura Besakih, it’ll take at least 1.5 hours to get there. Here are some options on how to get to East Bali.

1. Ride your motorbike.

This is the easiest way to have full control over your schedule. Renting a motorbike is affordable so expect to pay between 60,000 IDR – 300,000 IDR ($4.20–$21 USD). Book a motorbike and check out the options here. 

Please follow the driving rules and pay attention to your surroundings. Do not use this opportunity to learn how to ride a motorbike as the traffic and the road quality are not the greatest. 

2. Hire a driver.

We prefer to hire a driver since navigating the roads are challenging. Drivers can range from 500,000 IDR – 650,000 IDR ($35-$46 USD) per day, depending on your schedule. Book a driver here

Or, you can use the driver that we used. Contact us and send us a note. We used the same driver during our two trips to Bali and always felt safe on the road. Plus, he gave us tips at several of the attractions so we wouldn’t get ripped off. 

3. Take an East Bali tour.

It’s much easier to take a tour to visit the various East Bali attractions. You can choose from a group or a private tour depending on your budget and preference. The tours provide pick up to/from your Bali accommodations and may also include lunch. We provided tour options under each of the East Bali places to visit above. 

Here are a couple of general East Bal tours to consider:


We loved our time in East Bali and wouldn’t hesitate to go back again to explore it further. While we didn’t get a chance to check out the East Bali beaches or stay at any of the resorts, these are good reasons for us to come back to visit. 

Here are our other Indonesia guides to help with your planning:

Which East Bali attractions do you want to visit? If you have more questions on what to do in East Bali, write a comment below.

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Things to see in East Bali. Photo fo the Taman Ujung Water Palace and Besakih Temple.

Featured photo & pin #1 photo credit: agal13 via Depositphotos

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