Goa Lawah & Vincent’s: East Bali

by Nick on July 23, 2007

by Nick | July 23rd, 2007  

goa lawahEast Bali is one of the premier parts of the island for those seeking that ‘Bali feel’. The vegetation is overflowing, the ocean and volcanoes never far out of sight and the pace of life is slow. Cruising through East Bali on a motorbike is an affordable and enjoyable way of getting to see what East Bali has to offer. This last Sunday I took a cruise along the Kusamba bypass and carried on to Candi Dasa, the main tourist spot in East Bali. One of the main tourist stops on the coast in East Bali is the temple of Goa Lawah (the bat cave). This Sunday traffic was backed up and the reason was Goa Lawah was having its odalan ceremony.

goa lawahThousands of Balinese people were packed inside the temple grounds, the parking area overflowing and the streets full. Tourists were allowed to wander around and take photos. Goa Lawah is usually open to the public daily from 7am-6pm, admission 2,000rp. There is also a small sarong rental charge or those who need to borrow one. Goa Lawah is one of the kahyangan jagat (directional temples) and protects Bali from evil spirits from the SE. Founded in 1007 by Empu Kuturan, the highlight for many people is the bat cave located at the back of the temple. Worshipers sit in the center of the inner courtyard to receive blessings and some offerings are placed at the cave entrance. According to legend the cave leads underground to the temple of Pura Goa inside the Besakih complex.

Modern times now mean people arrive at temple ceremonies on motorbike. Outside Goa Lawah parking was tight and brightly colored flags on bamboo poles gave passerby an extra indication something special was happening (if the crowds weren’t enough). The reverse ‘nazi symbols’ on the flags represent the wheel of the sun and are nothing to do with politics.

Balinese women dressed in sarongs and kebayas and cute kids were abundant. A temple ceremony really brings the venue alive.

Candi Dasa has many places to eat and one of the best is Vincent’s, located on the main street in the middle of town. The menu is mainly western and the pleasant decor, comfortable seats and good service make one feel this is a good choice for lunch or dinner. My pork chop with pan fried potatoes and vegetables was 40,000rp and was very good.

Jl. Raya Candi Dasa,
Candi Dasa.
(0363) 41.368


Wicking July 24, 2007 at 3:31 am

Hi Nick
Is there anywhere on Bali Blog to see larger versions of your photos? There used to be an album link but it disappeared a while back. If it’s gone, any chance you could run the pics a little bigger?
Colin Wicking


Kim Ariawan July 25, 2007 at 3:31 am

Nick ,great to see your article on Goa Lawah .My Balinese family and I visited it on Friday to pray .It was spectacular to see the work done inside the temple and the creations done by the local Balinese .The priest took my sons who are Half Bali Half Australian to the front of the Bat cave for a memorial photo with him and my husband and I .It was a special day for them intheir Balinese life
Great photo Nick


Boyo July 25, 2007 at 10:47 am

Vincent’s was awful for us. Pork must be better that the steak or fish there.


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