Upon arriving at the Uluwatu temple, the guide tells us to be careful with the monkeys. Apparently they are terrible and like to steal things from tourists. As soon as we arrived we saw one eating a packet of Pringles chips that were in a dumpster. We were given a sarong to cover our legs, which is a requirement to go to the sacred sites and enter the land of the monkeys.
We separated from the rest of the group
It seems that we stayed seeing the monkeys for a long time, since when we left the forest our group was already gone. The site is still small, so we decided to explore on our own. We saw a structure at the top of a rock and decided to climb it. It turns out that the site is a temple located 70 meters above the sea.
The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple was expanded in the eleventh century by a sage from Java. It is one of the nine directional temples in Bali and is believed to protect the island from evil. Surfers surfing in Uluwatu think they are blessed because of how divine and perfect the waves are.
Most tourists visit in the afternoon to watch the sunset over the sea. The temple opens from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for tourists, but those who want to pray can go at any time. If you go in July or August you will find a huge amount of tourists.
We went down and found a statue of a monkey with her baby sitting on a rock in the middle of a small lake with an arch over the statue. We also found an entrance with carved rock stairs with monkey statues. The entrance did not lead anywhere, but this is very typical of Bali, where they adorn everything.
Watch the Kecak dance of the fire monkey at sunset at the Uluwatu temple
You must arrive early to secure a seat on the benches that are circular stairs around a central stage. You can see about 70 shirtless men with black pants and a hibiscus flower in their ears singing “Chaka-chaka-chak-chak”. It’s amazing how they can sing almost nonstop for an hour. The voices accompany the dance drama.
The dance tells the epic of Ramayana. The story tells the life of Sri Rama, a prince who was exiled by his father the King after the evil stepmother betrayed him. The stage is a forest full of monkeys, which goes perfectly with Uluwatu. Rama is accompanied by Sita, his wife and Laksamana, his brother. The evil Rahwana was in love with Sita, so he kidnapped her.
Hanoman, the king of the monkeys helps the two brothers to rescue the princess. Finally the two lovers are reunited just after sunset. The dance ignites coconuts while Rahwana is moored.
If you visit Bali don’t miss the Kecak dance, it really is something worth seeing.