- Type: Churches/Religious Sites, Monuments and Memorials, Sightseeing
- Time to Spend: 2 hours to Half Day
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Sitting on the slope of Mount Agung, Besakih Temple is a popular stop for travelers. Called the "Mother Temple of Bali," the island's largest Hindu site boasts more than 18 shrines and sanctuaries. Besakih Temple is one of Bali's holiest rites, and visitors regularly see religious processions and services taking place. Travelers also savor the breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding countryside.
While Besakih Temple's thousand-year history, picturesque vistas, and remarkable structures draw numerous tourists, travelers express mixed sentiments about their visit. Its popularity has attracted tourist scams and beggars, which detracts from site's serene atmosphere. One TripAdvisor user describes, "First locals tried to con us into buying sarongs; furthermore, we're confronted by a 'mafia like' gang of locals asking for exorbitant donations."
Unfortunately, an unpleasant experience can start even before you arrive. Most travelers hire drivers to bring them inland to the Besakih Village (about 2.5 hours from Sanur by car), and these chauffeurs can charge ludicrous amounts. Additionally, visitors have been known to pay a wide range of fees for entrance and tour guides. Don't let locals hassle you. The normal admission price is 10,000 IDR (about $1.10 USD). For tourists, Besakih Temple is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day. Consult your hotel concierge for a recommended car service and tour guide.