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Munduk, Bali

Hidden away in the tropical jungle of Bali's northern area, is the charming village of Munduk. This mountain retreat is away from the main tourist trails and one of those special parts of the island still quite undiscovered and undeveloped. It is a place to visit some smaller unique temples, go hiking into the forests and waterfalls, and canoe across the Twin Lakes. With so much to offer in a natural setting, Munduk is one of the best places to experience the more rural side of Bali.

Munduk being made up of forested mountains and rice paddy valleys is truly magical whatever the weather and being a tropical destination one can expect a little rainfall any time of the year. However the driest and sunniest months will be from March to October. Should you choose to visit in Bali's wet season from November to March, the humidity rises and the mountains fill with mist, which gives this area an extra mystical charm.

The best way to get around, like in most of Bali, is by road. From the airport it is a 2.5 hour scenic drive but we believe it to be the perfect first stop as a place to recover from travel and jetlag amongst nature. From Ubud, Bali's central hub, it takes around 2 hours by car and the route through the various emerald green rice terraces of Munduk makes this an enjoyable way to see more of the inner island landscape.

There are plenty of activities on offer in Munduk. One of the most popular sites is the Munduk Waterfall Trek. It’s a 3–4-hour trek where you pass by some of the most beautiful waterfalls of Bali. There is also historical relics here in the form of colonial style buildings, the former home of Dutch colonists who would come here to escape the heat of Singaraja in the north, Bali’s seconds largest city. Many of these colonial buildings have now been converted into local guest houses.

Munduk's lake are also not to be missed. These include Buyan Lake and Tamblingan Lake, which used to be one huge lake but a landslide in the 19th century caused them to be separated and thus became known as the Twin Lakes. This is a great spot to take photographs of the sunrise or to stop for a picnic. Bratan Lake is also a wonderful spot and has an iconic temple on it's banks, known for being on many of Bali's postcards. Built in 1633, the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple consists of five shrines used to this day to worship several Hindu Gods. The temple is dedicated to the Balinese water, lake and river goddess Dewi Danu, and many ceremonies and offerings take place here. When the Bratan River rises, the temple seems to float on the surface of the lake - perfectly encapsulating the beauty and mysticism of Bali.

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