Thursday, February 4, 2010

Uluwatu Temple, Bali

Uluwatu temple can be found at the southern tip of Bali in Badung Regency. It is one of the oldest temple in Bali. Located at the edge of a plateau 250 feet above the legendary surf break of the Bukit Peninsula, it is no doubt one of the top list majestic view Bali has to offer. The reason why the temple was built on the south westernmost part of the island is to protect the Balinese from the evil spirit of the ocean.
It is beautiful to see the temple during a sunny day or even on rainy days but at sunset, the view takes your breath away.
Below the steep cliff of Uluwatu, the beach is famous amongst very experienced surfers for its tides and swells.
Organized parties rage the beach of Uluwatu during full moon, everyone is invited and welcome but only those who are lucky enough to know and hear about it so ask the locals when you know a full moon is comming up.
Travel Tips:
One of the best kecak dance shows in Bali is held in Uluwatu and it is highly recommended to see the kecak dance there. It is an open air show so the view of the sunset on the background is unbelievable. When it rains, the show is held indoors. While it is not necessary to have a tour guide to see the temple and the show, a car with or without paying a driver is necessary to get to Uluwatu. It takes about 1 hour and 15 minutes from Kuta area and about 45 minutes from Nusa Dua. Hostels are amongst young tourists means of accommodation near the beach of Uluwatu especially amongst surfers. There are lots of varieties of food selection but seafood is the most ordered menu.
Warning, there are lots of monkeys around the temple, although some are considered cute and calm others can be mischievous so I suggest take off your glasses, earrings, necklaces, cameras and ladies, hold on tight to your hand bags because once the monkey get a hold on something, it is a very hard task to chase after them. Some just wants you to feed them fruits that you can buy at the entrance.
Photography Tips:
It is important to arrive at a potential amazing sunset or sunrise spots like Uluwatu about half an hour to 45 minutes before it actually happens. The duration of sunset generally is more or less half an hour so if you don´t come early enough you might miss out the take your breath moment so bare this in mind. Another general tips about sunset and sunrise is to know the weather. I prefer a little bit of clouds to get the dramatic effects of the patterns in the sky or even smokes and dusts to give that Marlboro Country advertisement look. Which lenses to use? personally I use either my normal 35mm or my zoom to concentrate more on one magical scene. Don´t forget to bring your tripod if you are planning to use your zoom to avoid shaking. Taking sunsets is very easy and there is no right or wrong but also pay attention on your shutter priority mode to get different exposure shots of your sunset for you to choose which of the light effects you like the most.
Don´t go home without having a beautiful sunset photo to add up in your album especially the sunset of the Uluwatu temple.

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