Entry: Adults Rp15,000 Child Rp7,500. Open 8am-6pm.
A visit to Tirta Empul can be an interesting sightseeing event and photo opportunity or, taken to another level, it can be a truly spiritual experience. Discovered in AD962, the holy springs at Tirta Empul have been purifying believers for centuries. The baths are fed by natural spring water coming from beneath the pool and through a dozen waterspouts in the walls around it. If appropriately dressed, visitors are allowed to bathe.
In addition to the bathing pools, the complex includes a vast temple with ornately carved and gilded bales, some filled with traditional stone statues, and enormous fish filled ponds, all of which are contrasted by the overlooking modern structure which was once a Presidential summer palace and is now Government owned.
Many tour buses stop at Tirta Empul on the way to Mount Batur so it is best to visit early morning or late afternoon. To return to the car park you will need to run the ubiquitous gauntlet of market stalls but it is not an unpleasant experience; vendors are not aggressive.
If you have time and energy, it is worth travelling the 2km to visit Gunung Kawi (Mount Kawi) where a walk down 300 steps, surround by lush green rice terraces, will take you to an ancient temple nestled in the Pakerisan River valley. Ten awe-inspiring 7 metre memorial shrines are carved into niches in the rock face, spread either side of the river. It is not an easy return trip so make lots of photo stops on the way. Enjoy the scenery and a journey into ancient times.