While Bali is generally famous for its beaches, its mountain areas also beckon those who want to experience the countryside and see its hidden gems. As more and more tourists travel and discover Bali, mountain villages like Munduk, located in Central Bali’s highlands, are making names for themselves. Munduk was once the place for the Dutch to find solace from the tropic’s humid climate. Now, Munduk serves as a place for those who want to retreat and blanket themselves with Bali’s lush jungles. Want to know what you can do in Munduk? Here are some ideas.
1. Trek and hike in the highlands of Munduk
Exploring the interiors of Bali is one of the top tours offered to tourists, with Munduk as one of the popular destinations. It is a popular activity and many trails have been made along the hills of Munduk that lead to local villages, rice paddies, plantations, waterfalls, and more. Trekking lets travelers experience a cooler climate in the tropics and see a different side of Bali.
Guests can pick to have either a guided or a self-guided trek. For those who prefer to DIY treks, bring a map and equip yourself with basic Balinese, in case you need to ask locals for directions. Be wary during the wet season as the paths and trails can get muddy and slippery.
Address: Munduk, Bali, Indonesia
Website: Munduk Trekking
2. See the gorgeous Melanting Waterfall
Bali’s waterfalls are must-sees and Munduk’s Melanting Waterfall is frequently visited. This waterfall is one of the three accessible falls in the village but the most popular; thus, it is commonly referred to simply as, Munduk Waterfall. In the midst of Bali’s jungle, feel its unique charm – powerful yet gorgeous. The trek takes 2 hours but is doable, even to non-experienced trekkers and hikers. It’s best to avoid the rainy season as difficulty doubles. Trails are well-made with some cemented steps, travelers can hear the waterfall’s roar as you approach it. See its beauty, relax, and enjoy as the waterfall sprays you, rejuvenating your senses after a good hike.
Address: Gobleg, Banyuatis, Banjar, Buleleng, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81152, Indonesia
Website: Melanting/Munduk Falls
3. Be one with Tamblingan Lake’s pristine atmosphere
Located at the foot of Mount Lesung, Tamblingan Lake is a crater lake along with its “twin,” Lake Buyan. The lake is not just a pristine water form, but was once home to a thriving community before its inhabitants moved and formed other villages like Munduk. Its alpine climate and the surrounding rainforest make this lake a great place to reflect and enjoy peaceful moments.
Halfway along the trek, you can see a good view of the lake from above, and there are some quaint villages for you to enjoy coffee at as well. Along the trail, you can spot monkeys and various flowers like orchids. Once you arrive, you will immediately feel the solemnity of the whole place. You can choose to cross the lake going to the temple, by riding a local canoe.
Website: Tambligan Lake
4. Visit Ulun Danu Buyan Temple
One of the activities when visiting Tambligan Lake, Ulu Danu Buyan Temple is technically located in the village of Bedungul. Built way back in the 17th-century, the temple was built in honor of Goddess Danu – the goddess of lakes, rivers, and water. Visitors will instantly feel the solemnity of the complex, spread over 4 sacred buildings. Watch and observe the praying ceremony, see local costumes and embrace the whole experience. More than a beautiful site, this temple is one of the main temples of Bali.
Ulun Danu Buyan Temple
Address: Danau Buyan, Pancasari, Sukasada, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81161, Indonesia
Website: Ulun Danu Buyan Temple
5. Learn how to cook Balinese food
Another Togetherness with the guests from Munduk sari and Maliana Homestay...Posted by Cooking Lesson Chez Rico - Munduk on Monday, 18 July 2016
Resorts like Munduk Sari Nature & Garden Villa offers cooking lessons as one of their activities for their guests. Here, guests will have the opportunity to learn not just how to cook, but to dig deeper into Balinese culture. A popular cooking lesson in Mundok is the one offered by Chez Rico. Balinese Cooking with Chez Rico includes hotel pick-up and drop off. It consists of participants cooking 4 dishes and one dessert. The class starts with an offering – a special chance to learn about their religion and culture. Participants then learn to cook local dishes like bami goreng, gato gato, and coco sugar-stuffed pancake with pandan leaves.
Cooking Lessons with Chez Rico
Address: Jl. Batu Galih, Munduk 81152, Indonesia
Facebook: Cooking Lessons with Chez Rico
6. Savor local brews
Villages like Munduk are filled with coffee plantations. Likewise, when in Bali, never miss the opportunity to enjoy a cup of local coffee at least once a day. During your tours and hikes in Munduk, you will pass by plantations or locals drying their coffee beans. What better way to complete the experience by having coffee, with Munduk’s local villages as your backdrop?
Munduk Eco Cafe Restaurant offers local Luwak Cofee – the world’s most expensive coffee made from partially digested beans of Asian palm civets. They serve authentic, organic Luwak coffee and are located near the waterfalls, having coffee can’t get better than that. Pair it with local bites like lak-lak (Balinese mini pancakes).
Eco Cafe Munduk
Address: Utub, Munduk, Buleleng, Kabupaten Buleleng, Bali 81152, Indonesia
Facebook: Eco Cafe Munduk
8. See the largest banyan tree
A favorite stop when in Munduk is the giant Banyan tree. Banyan trees are widely grown on the island, providing that elegant and exotic vibe of Bali’s countryside, but this tree is quite special as it has been reportedly around for more than 700 years. Locals believe it is spirited and tell a popular story of how locals who revolted against the Dutch colonizers hid inside and were never discovered by their enemies.
The tree is so large, you can walk along its roots. As a sacred place, please keep in mind when it comes to noise to be respectful, and treat it as a holy place. Two temples, namely Pura Pecalang and Pura Subak, are built beside the Banyan tree.
Giant Banyan Tree
Address: Gesing, Bali, Indonesia
A place for solace
With most visitors preferring to stay in seaside towns and villages, tourists often overlook Munduk, but it is one of the best places to stay in the island, especially if you want to escape the crowd. With most colonial summer houses converted into guest houses, Munduk lets visitors enjoy and commune with nature, with its waterfalls, lakes, dense rainforests, and delectable dishes paired with warm local coffee. Munduk is a place for those who want to retreat and blanket themselves with Bali’s lush jungles.
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