Jatih-Luwih-Bali-2The capital of the regency is a bustling, growing town, with a long main street dominated by shops and tiny restaurants. There is a large central produce market and which appears as if by magic in the evening, filling up an empty street, and is literally rolled away before down.

A trip in the Tabanan Regency is not complete without a visit to the ancient temple of Tanah Lot.From Kediri the narrow road meanders trough verdant rice fields and quaint little villages to this picturesque sea temple which is perched upon a rocky outcrop surrounded by crashing surf at high tide.

The temple is attributed to the influence of the 16th century priest Dang Hyang Nirartha, this rugged rock has been eroded over the centuries by the swirling tides, and the government plans a formidable restoration project in the near future to prevent further damage. Tanah Lot is one of Bali’s six most important temples that are closely related to a number of equivalent mountain sanctuaries.

The road through Tabanan over to the north coast reaches its highest point at the mountain resort of Bedugul. Suddenly the view opens up of sparkling Lake Bratan, lying serenely in the midst of an elongated valley which was formed centuries ago, crater of some primeval eruption.

Forest clad hills back the lake, and on one shore is a tiny boating resort, with canoes and speed boats available for trips on the lake. Perfect water-skiing conditions prevail here all year round.

There are flowers, fruits and vegetables market at the southwestern corner of the valley, where day-trippers generally stop and stock up on mountain-fresh supplies, flowers and plants for their gardens. The road veers off here towards the western foothills, where an entire tree-clad hillside is laid out in Botanical Gardens with a special orchid plantation.