Tanah Lot is certainly one of the more touristic places in southern Bali and for good reason; the coastline is absolutely beautiful and the temple is one of a kind. We visited Tanah Lot at high tide so we couldn’t walk out to the temple, but instead took in the beauty from the perfectly manicured grounds. At high tide, the temple looks as if it’s been washed out to sea!
At low tide, you can actually walk through the tide pools and shallow water to enjoy the temple up close. We’ve heard the tide moves quickly though, so tread lightly! ;)
If you do visit at high tide, no worries, the walk around the rest of the temple grounds is stunning! The lawns are perfectly manicured and there are plenty of smaller shrines and gardens to enjoy. We also learned that there are regular cultural dances hosted on site but, unfortunately, we didn’t see any the day we visited.
The drive to Tanah Lot temple is an easy day trip from most of the towns in Bali. Our trusty motorbike got us from Canggu to Tanah Lot in about 20 minutes but the trip would be closer to 45 minutes from the larger towns of Seminyak and Kuta. We met some fellow travelers who visited the site from Ubud which they said was only an hour drive as well.
A visit to this important cultural site is a must if you’re staying on Bali but just be warned that it’s a cultural and touristic clash. Access to the temple site is surrounded on all sides by tourist kiosks and restaurants so it’s chaotic before it gets peaceful. Just come well-fed dressed appropriately (pants and tops that cover your knees and elbows) and you should be able to bypass to the shops with ease. Of course, if you do choose to splurge, at least your supporting the friendly locals who run the shops!