10 Best Things to Do in East Bali

Most Popular East Bali Attractions

A trip to East Bali will provide you with an escape from the common crowds of the popular southern resort areas. Travel east, and you’ll discover attractions ranging from ancient temples to royal palaces of the type not found elsewhere on the island.

East Bali also features rugged natural beauty. It’s home to the island’s tallest peak, Mount Agung, which is an active stratovolcano that serves as an imposing backdrop to most of the other attractions you’ll see here. These include the island’s largest temple complex, a variety of water palaces and even some of the island’s most popular spots for diving – of which East Bali is also best known for.

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    Besakih Temple

    Besakih Temple is nicknamed the ‘mother temple’ of Bali. It’s called as such due to the sheer size of the whole complex, which comprises at least 86 different temples within. These include the main Pura Penataran Agung (the Great Temple of State) occupying the central courtyard. The temple sits high on the southwestern slopes of Mount Agung, Bali’s tallest peak.

    Climb to the top of Besakih’s towering staircases and you can often take in the surrounding landscapes with scenic local rice paddies and distant hills and mountains afar. Allow up to half a day to explore the whole site and the separate mini complex at the top where you can get even more impressive views. Read More...

    • Opening Hours: Daily from 8am to 5pm
    • Location: Besakih, Rendang, Karangasem, Bali 80863, Indonesia
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    East Bali’s overland terrain is known to be quite arid, and the further you head east, the more desolate it seems especially around ‘lava land’ where Mount Agung’s eruption once flowed to the sea. But what lies beneath the waves are truly colourful and magnificent, with Tulamben and Amed being among Bali’s top dive sites.

    These sites offer great underwater ‘treasures’ for you to discover on your dives, ranging from bio-rock reefs to underwater statues that have become new homes for tropical marine life. These mesmerising ‘sunken gardens’ and ecosystems are great for out-of-this-world holiday photos. There’s the Jemeluk Underwater Bay Gallery in Amed, and the Suci Place and the Boga Shipwreck in Tulamben, to name a few. Read More...

    The USAT Liberty shipwreck is one of the main diving attractions in Tulamben, East Bali. This shipwreck has attracted divers from the world over to the spectacular remains of a WWII-era cargo ship, which sunk in 1942 after being hit by a Japanese torpedo some 19 km southwest of the Lombok Strait.

    US and Dutch destroyers attempted to tow it to the old Singaraja seaport in North Bali but failed. The ship then beached on the shores here in Tulamben for salvaging. Then, following the eruption of Mount Agung 2 decades later, the wreck got pushed back some 25 metres out, resting at a depth of 30 metres and eventually becoming home to colourful coral colonies teeming with tropical fish. Read More...

    • Location: Tulamben, Kubu, Karangasem, Bali 80852, Indonesia
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    Sidemen Village

    Sidemen is a scenic traditional village between the Klungkung and Besakih Temple route in Karangasem, East Bali. It’s a highlight of sightseeing journeys to the region. The village is also known among Balinese locals as the top producer of traditional palm toddy called tuak, which is also often further refined into arak palm wine. Cottage industries producing the beverage are widespread throughout the village.

    A great souvenir to take home from Sidemen is the villagers’ traditional dye weavings, in variations called songket and endek. The fabrics are praised for their intricate motifs and use of colourful hand-loomed cotton or silk threads. Your drive through the lush green paddies of the village alone provides a truly memorable sight. Read More...

    • Location: Jalan Soka No.67, Sidemen, Karangasem, Bali 80864, Indonesia
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    Mount Agung

    Mount Agung is Bali’s highest peak that dominates the landscape of the East Bali region. The active stratovolcano largely influences the arid and dry climate of this region, and Bali’s ‘mother temple’ of Besakih calls its southwestern slopes home. Mount Agung last erupted between years 1963 and 1964, and its large and deep crater showed activity again in late 2017.

    During Mount Agung’s periods of low activity, guided climbing tours usually start out very early, with the longest treks usually setting out before midnight. Shorter treks set out at the Pasar Agung Temple after midnight, ensuring you reach the peak just before daybreak to capture the first light of day – the major highlight of the trek. Read More...

    • Location: Jungutan, Bebandem, Karangasem, Bali 80853, Indonesia
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