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It’s important not to let first impressions faze you at Tanah Lot or you won’t even want to get out of the car, especially if you’ve had a long day and just want a nice, peaceful spot to watch the sunset. At the parking lot, the atmosphere will make you feel like you’re visiting a market, not a temple, and when you enter the complex you really do find yourself in a market — a maze of booths selling souvenir shirts, shops hawking trinkets, and the odd Ralph Lauren store. The temple, when you finally find it, is just a tad underwhelming, especially when its watery grounds are overrun by hundreds of tourists (such as yourself).

But never mind. You’re there for the sunset. And even if that doesn’t work out…

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…even if the sun is feeling kind of shy, there is still the beautiful procession of waves that slowly, steadily grow more forceful as darkness descends.

Tanah Lot was supposed to be the second stop of the Jatiluwih Tour that we booked through Bali Golden Tour, but I asked Mr. Wayan Adika if we could put it off till the end so we could be there in time for sunset. Mr. Adika, as is his custom, was very accommodating, and we arrived at Tanah Lot after a full day of temples, terraces, coffee, and mangosteen.

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When we went down to the temple, I was immediately drawn to the surrounding cliffs, whose faces were carved by water and time into interesting striations, and the rock pools filled with strangely still water, a marked contrast to the waves just meters away.

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I don’t think I even managed to get a decent photo of the Tanah Lot temple itself; the waves fascinated me too much.

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We stayed long after the sun had gone down — trying, but not quite succeeding, to capture on camera the tremendous beauty of water throwing itself tirelessly, pridelessly at the feet of fickle land.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Motion | All photos taken with a OnePlus One phone except for the cliff pic with the gold watermark | “Sunset at Tanah Lot” was created by LSS for travel site Small-Town Girls, Midnight Trains. All rights reserved. 

10 Responses

    1. We were there at low tide so people could still just walk out to it, but it quickly became surrounded by water when the tide came in. Did you like it? I mostly liked the waves and the rock pools but I didn’t get to explore the temple much.

      1. Yeah, I liked the temple. But not all those people selling stuff on the road leading up to it. Kind of spoiled the energy for me.

      1. PAL has limited destinations (only London in the whole of Europe, for instance) so I usually end up taking budget carriers or other airlines on sale, anyway, but you’re right, a discount is better than nothing!

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