This is our final post describing a part of our recent 10 day road trip (the other posts were about White Sand Beach, Amed and Lovina). We stayed for two nights in a lovely part of Bali near the Tirta Gangga water palace (Tirta Gangga means water of the Ganges).
Our accommodation was the peaceful Puri Sawah Bungalows in a family bungalow. We had to fight the kids for the loft which had great views out over the rice terraces, and if the cloud cleared you could catch a glimpse of magnificent Mount Agung. Lucky us!
The restaurant at the hotel has a good reputation, which it lived up to with its delicious pineapple pancakes for breakfast, and yummy vegetarian curry for dinner. Included was lots of kid friendly options too (as Ketut the cook has a young child of her own). The rice paddy view did not disappoint with plenty of action each morning and evening. One morning we were able to watch the farmers and cows at work. In the evening we saw many fire-flies in amongst the grass near the field. Amazing to see.
From the hotel it was just a short walk to the palace entrance (as it is for most hotels in this area). I went for an early morning walk and was able to stroll into the water palace area and have it all to myself as the sun was rising. The rest of the family came later.
There was a small entry fee into the palace grounds, and extra if you want to swim. The gardens are very pretty and well maintained, and the centrepiece of the palace is a tall eleven tiered fountain. The ponds have huge koi fish, which thankfully were not in the swimming pool. We managed to spend a couple of hours within the whole compound. The highlight was the stepping stones which the kids demanded to do over and over again.
The weather a little cooler here, but still warm enough for us to want to swim in the spring fed swimming pools. The water was cool and very refreshing. Young Balinese kids were making some money hiring out inner tubes. The race was on!
We also ate at the nearby Good Karma restaurant, which was only OK. Though there are many similar places to choose from nearby.
You could come to Tirta Gangga and see it all in a couple of hours, but if you get the chance it is worth staying longer here. There is more to do if you are based here. If you are not tied down by young kids like we were, apparently the hiking around Tirta Gangga is excellent. There is another water palace not far southeast from here, Taman Ujung. We did not have time to stop, but it looks like it would be worth a short visit (GPS: -8.464463, 115.631608).