This post was last updated on July 2nd, 2020 at 05:00 pm
After a few weeks of rest in Ubud, we thought it would be a nice idea to take a trip to the north of Bali. We had already read some things about Munduk and we quickly decided that we wanted to go there.
And we can already tell you: this is really a beautiful destination. It is full of rice fields, waterfalls, and tropical rainforest-covered mountains. Moreover, you see few tourists. If you are looking for the pure side of Bali, we recommend you go here. You will regularly be amazed at how beautiful it is.
In this article, we will take you to the adventures we experienced in the Munduk region. Together with May who is, incidentally, a friend from Ubud. We will tell you all about the impressive sights, but also give our honest opinion about things that we thought were disappointing.
Pura Ulun Danu Bratan: an iconic temple in Bali
As you approach Munduk, there are several places to visit. One is Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, arguably Bali’s most famous temple. You can see this Hindu sanctuary on plenty of Instagram photos, at travel agencies, and it is also present on the Indonesian banknotes.
When we arrived at the temple, the rain started pouring down. That’s why we decided to eat something in the restaurant opposite the temple and wait for the weather to get better. However, the weather didn’t budge at all. After an hour and a half, we thought we waited long enough and we took a chance.
The fact that Pura Ulun Danu Bratan is a well-known attraction is evident from the large number of buses that you see in the parking lot. We estimate about 40. It seemed as if we were standing at the entrance of Disneyland.
The entrance fee of 50,000 IDR (~ US$3.50) is on the high side if you ask us. Usually, you pay a maximum of 20,000 IDR (~ US$1.40) for such attractions.
Through a beautifully landscaped garden, you arrive at Danau Beratan, a large lake bordering green hills. You will also see the temple there. A gorgeous structure to behold.
Unfortunately, it was super busy. Along the waterfront, it was crowded with people taking selfies. This slightly took away the magical feeling of this place.
Suddenly the rain started pouring down again, so there was no other option than to take shelter in the aforementioned restaurant.
April isn’t part of the rainy season, is it? Indeed. Only in Bali, this does not always mean anything, as it turned out. 😉
When the rain started to calm down a bit, we drove on, and at a supermarket down the road, we bought ponchos. We didn’t have one yet.
The mountain village of Munduk
After a long winding road through the mountains, past crater lakes, and beautiful green landscapes, we finally arrived in Munduk. We were all shivering from the cold and luckily the exhausting ride through the rain was over.
Munduk is a small place with a few food outlets and accommodations to stay at. And that’s about it. To give you an impression: there is no supermarket in sight and you have to make an effort to find a warung where you can eat something.
It is clear that it is not the facilities that you come here for, you visit Munduk purely for the amazing nature. It is unbelievably beautiful, which we discovered the very next day.
All alone in the rice fields
Here is one of the best tips we have for you. Do you want to walk through ultra-green rice fields without meeting any other tourists? Then drive towards Warung Classic to turn right a little later and descend piece by piece. After that, you can park somewhere and go for a walk. The nature you pass through is simply amazing.
On Maps.me we saw that there is a path to the left. This path cuts through the rice terraces of Munduk. We parked near the exit. Before we continued the route, we took a look at a rice field on the other side. A vast green terrace in which a man was harvesting.
Then we walked back to the scooter to find the path we came for. We followed a road that starts with potholes and then goes up quite steeply.
“Are you sure there are rice fields up there?” is what we said to May. It seemed rather illogical. You would think you have to go down to see them, right? However, it soon became apparent that we had ended up in a green sea. Indeed, the green sea of rice terraces we had hoped for.
This -the Dayang Rice Terraces- is one of the most beautiful places we have seen in Bali. So green, countless palm trees and surrounded by mountains. The height differences in the fields also make the view extra attractive. And tourists are guaranteed not to come here. At most you’ll see a local at work or a cow standing in a wooden hut.
We were completely silenced by what we saw. It was a feeling of joy and happiness. These are the things that you, as a human being, occasionally need to experience.
A trek to the Munduk Waterfall
After the rice fields, we continued to the Munduk Waterfall. It is one of the many waterfalls in the north of Bali. After a fairly steep 10-minute descent through a forest, you arrive at a checkpoint where you have to pay 20,000 IDR (~ US$1.40). Then you walk through a beautifully landscaped garden and you hear water pouring down. And when you have finished the last steps, you will see a surprisingly high waterfall emerge from a rock opening.
The white water strip looks super beautiful, especially because of the contrast with the rock walls that are covered with moss and bright green leaves.
The force with which the water thunders down is really immense. When you stand underneath it, it probably feels like you are being stoned. We, therefore, ignored this challenge.
What if we tell you that the most impressive waterfalls are yet to come? Read on.
Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall: a fairytale so beautiful
“The sky looks very blue, doesn’t it?” We definitely jinxed ourselves because a few moments later we suddenly drove through veil clouds. And as you can already guess it started to rain bizarrely hard again. That is why we took shelter in the first thing we encountered.
And it got worse and worse. We have never seen such rainfall in Bali before. After an hour or so it seemed to get better and luckily we could continue. We wanted to go to the Banyumala Twin Waterfalls.
But because of the rain pouring down again, it was no longer possible to check the navigation. We knew that it would be a few kilometers further left. And then we saw a sign with “Banyu Wana Amertha Waterfall” on it, although that text didn’t really get through to us. The word “Waterfall” made us think we took the right turn. We went a long way down and we arrived in a rather soggy state.
At the same time, we realized we were at the wrong waterfall. However, the pictures at the entrance looked promising, and given the weather conditions, we didn’t feel like getting on the scooter again.
Here too you have to pay 20,000 IDR (~ US$1.40). But don’t worry, you get no less than four waterfalls in return.
We were the only visitors and we started trekking through the wilderness. Slippery paths and deep steps with pools of water would follow. The rain became heavier, although this didn’t bother us much anymore.
The One Waterfall and the BWA Waterfall
The first place we ended up was one with two waterfalls. The One Waterfall and the BWA Waterfall. Seriously, we hardly believed we had this pearl all to ourselves. The BWA Waterfall in particular is stunning, it is a large collection of all kinds of smaller waterfalls.
If you’re talking about idyllic spots, this is definitely one. Does Bali have beautiful waterfalls? Yes, it does! The downpour also added an extra mysterious touch to the already impressive setting. It was a pure natural force that we saw all around us.
Besides the waterfalls, it is super green, and among all that green grow all kinds of colorful tropical plants. A river flows rapidly from one waterfall to another.
Sometimes, you can be overcome by a magical feeling. A surreal feeling. As if you are in a fairy tale. And believe us, this was such a moment.
The Two Waterfall
Amazed we walked back upstairs and followed the road that leads to the Two Waterfall and the Spray Waterfall.
The Two Waterfall comes first and remarkably consists of three waterfalls, although in our case this was probably due to a large amount of rain.
A nice place, although we were still a bit too enthusiastic about the waterfalls we had seen before.
The Spray Waterfall
A little deeper into the jungle you will find the Spray Waterfall. And wow, this waterfall is also spectacular. From above you look down on all the violence and walking through a mud path that goes down, you’ll suddenly be right in front of it.
No one to be seen and nothing to be heard, except for the sound of falling water. From a shaky but picturesque bridge, we looked at the waterfall and all the greenery around us. We felt at one with nature. What a great experience. Just like the rest of our day.
Other places of interest in Munduk
In addition to the sights we described above, you will find some other places around Munduk that you can visit.
One is the Handara Golf Gate, although we think it is overrated. It is yet another hyped Instagram spot that tourists come to for a quick photo. On the way back to Ubud we stopped there, but we were finished quite quickly. You pay 20,000 IDR (~ US$1.40) to be able to stand in front of a Balinese entrance and take a photo there. After what we had seen earlier that day, we no longer felt the need to do this.
There are also several coffee plantations, a very old Banyan tree and you can do great treks. Make sure to stop at one of the viewpoints around the Twin Lakes. These are Lake Buyan and the aforementioned Lake Tamblingan. In addition to enjoying the beautiful views, you can also make treks to the lakes. If you want to see more waterfalls, you can drive towards Singaraja. A must-see here is the Sekumpul waterfall.
But simply driving around the mountains and enjoying the beautiful views of the tropical rainforest, fields full of blue hydrangeas, and valleys filled with crater lakes is actually an attraction in itself. You will notice it yourself when you are on the scooter.
Places to stay in Munduk
As we mentioned, Munduk is a very small place. So don’t expect hundreds of homestays, hotels, and guesthouses like you are used to in Ubud, for example. However, the accommodations out there often have fantastic views and are surrounded by unspoiled nature.
We stayed at Geriya Siena, where you can enjoy a beautiful view of the mountains from the restaurant and from your balcony. If you are looking for a hostel, then Dong Paloh is a must. They also have a cozy coffee bar. A nice and affordable homestay is Umah De Madya. You will find wonderful luxury at Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa and at Sanak Retreat Bali.
How to Get to Munduk
To get to Munduk you can take a shuttle bus in Ubud. You can then rent a scooter there to explore the region.
However, it is also great to go on the trip from Ubud itself. It is a true adventure along rice fields, local villages, and through the mountains. Do keep in mind that you’ll be on the road for 2 to 2.5 hours.