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Tirtagangga waterpalace in East Bali

East Bali is a magical part of the island. Complete with a rugged coastline, the occasional white sand beach and stunning tropical scenery, East Bali also has its highlights including the water-palace at Tirtagangga.

Driving to Tirtagangga from Kuta takes about 2 hours via Candi Dasa and 7km north from Amlapura. The site is located right on the main road with parking for plenty of vehicles.

The 3 main pools were for the raja (king), his wives and everyone else. It costs 6,000rp to swim and enjoyed doing several laps in the king’s pool. For anyone visiting you’ve got to take a dip in this place, so relaxing and the water is nice and cold. I could imagine if I lived within half hour of Tirtagangga taking a swim would be part of my daily routine.

Tirtagangga in a nutshell was built in 1946 by the last raja of Karangasem, Anak Agung Anglurah, who actually worked on the project everyday with his workers. The name Tirtagangga suggests that the water that flows through here is from the holy Ganges in India. Plenty of fountains and stepping stones create an interesting ‘obyek wisata’ (tourist object).

Tirtagangga has a restaurant on site overlooking the king’s pool. Prices are moderate (warung style with western dishes). There are also rooms on the site close to the entrance of the pools. Entry is 3,100rp and Tirtagangga is open daily 7am-6pm. The guide book says they charge extra for cameras and video cameras but I have found this not to be the case.

There are restaurants and warungs close by including the Kusumajaya and Prima Bamboo which serve Indonesian and Chinese food. Others close by include the Good Karma located above the parking area and the Genta Bali Warung across the street.

Up round the first bend is the Ryoshi tea house that sits perched on the cliff top. The view is amazing and its one of those places where you think ‘these guys grabbed the best spot around’. Ryoshi’s sell noddles and other light Japanese items (miso, seaweed etc.).

The toilet here really has to be seen to be believed. A bamboo shack on the cliff edge with the front wall coming only 2 feet off the ground…the rest is just fresh air, just you the birds and the people down below in the valley.