EAST BALI TRAVEL GUIDE
East Bali Travel Guide covers the cradle of Balinese society that blossomed after the Majapahit Kingdom fled from Java in the 14th Century. Klungkung was the seat of the first and still premier royal family in Bali. The other royal families are said to have been members of the king’s family who moved away from Klungkung to set up in their own right. In later centuries they waged war against each other.
The road from Denpasar to Klungkung passes through the town of Celuk which specialises in silverware, and the large market town of Gianyar. The second half of the 80km journey is much more scenic.
Padangbai, the port for ferries crossing the strait to Lombok, is a couple of kilometres off the main road. 13km before Karangasem at Candi Dasa the road meets the coast and there is plenty of accommodation. Nusa Penida, which is visible off the cost, was once used as a penal colony by the Balinese kings.
One kilometre before the town of Amlapura there is a road to the left which skirts the east of Mount Agung, winding its way around cliffs and across rivers on the slopes of the highest mountain in Bali. Tirtagangga Water Palace is situated some 6km along this road. There is accommodation at the water palace, including the Taman Dhangan Inn, which overlooks the tranquil pools.
There are a number of losmen in the town of Amlapura, but the nicest place to stay is Candi Dasa, where restaurants, bungalows and losmen overlook a narrow sandy beach. Candi Dasa grew very quickly during the 1980’s, and reminds many of Kuta in the 1970’s. Fortunately, its distance from entry points to Bali will help it retain its character.
There are many interesting places to visit in the area that are within easy each of Candi Dasa, the main tourist area. Such as Teganan Village and Goa Lawa Temple and Bat Cave. You can even have a go at climbing Mount Agung or scuba diving at Ballina with Bali Pro.
Bemo from Denpasar to Candi Dasa & Amlapura
Buses to the east coast leave from the Kereneng Bus Station in Denpasar. Ask for the bus or bemo going to Amlapura or Klungkung. The old name for Amlapura town was Karangasem, but it was changed after the eruption of Mt Agung which destroyed half the town. Karangasem is still used as the name of the local government area. At Klungkung you will change to another bemo to Amlapura. Candi Dasa is 13km before Amlapura. The bus that leaves every hour is cheaper than the bemo, but it takes longer as it stops to pick up produce on the way.
However, it is certainly more interesting, especially on market day when goods and animals are piled high on the roof and in the aisles.
To get to Kereneng Terminal from Kuta or Nusa Dua catch a bemo to Tegal Terminal in Denpasar. Then catch a 3-wheel suburban to Kereneng. From Sanur there are bemos direct to Kereneng.