This is our summary to do around Munduk & Bedugul for families
Munduk is a nature lover’s paradise – high up in the Balinese mountains, the air is cool and fresh and there is plenty to do…
We love to hike; but everyone we asked looked askance when we asked for advice on trekking in Munduk with two kids. Most people thought that the treks were too hot/hard for a six year old.
We had given up on the idea when one evening our daughter serendipitously selected a restaurant called Made’s Warung. With delicate fresh flavours it was some of the best Indonesian food that we ate! It turns out the chef was a guide by day! The next day we set out with Made leading us along narrow trails to the Red Coral and Melanting Waterfalls (also referred to as Munduk or Laangan Waterfall). At around 40 metres high it is the highest, or amongst the highest waterfalls in all of Bali!
We won’t fudge the story – it was a steep walk down three hundred steps down and an equally hard walk back up the top of the mountain! Miss 6 was a real trooper she had no trouble doing this walk – Mumma had more trouble… carrying a 16kg baby on her back! He was happy to walk part of the way, but slow going!
We completed the loop in a hot and sweaty three hours – It was mentioned that we would be able to swim at the bottom of one waterfall but it was really quite rough and we decided it wasn’t for kids.
We were enormously glad we had Made accompanying us! There were plenty of people lost on the trails… which would be part of the adventure if you didn’t have two kids – but we were very happy to know where we were going. Plus, having a guide gives you so welcome perspective.
Apart from the spectacular waterfalls it was a culinary walk. We saw harvesting of cloves, nutmegs, and a range of spices. This is when world schooling really comes into play – what followed was an enjoyable conversation with Made about the Dutch East Indies being the Spice Islands; and that spices were as valuable as gold. (Or that trading can work in many currencies, not just gold or money)
After the second night at Munduk we headed to Ubud via car. In retrospect it would have been better to base ourselves in Munduk for an extra night – or even higher up in Bedugul or Candikuning which were more like villages (than Munduk which was spread out over a steep hill). Bedugul was flatter, and so it would have been easier to get around. It was also different in that it appeared to be majority Muslim; the Bedugul market was interesting, but possibly over-rated if you have seen a lot of truly typical markets.
The Ulun Danu Beratan Temple is one of the most popular and famous temples on all of Bali, with a stunning location on the edges of Beratan Lake in Bedugul. Apparently, if you look carefully, the temple looks like it is floating on the edge of the lake.
We visited the Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Temple on a Sunday – it was full of local worshippers and processions. Whether this was a special event or not, we weren’t sure… but it was amazing.
We would recommend allowing a good number of hours here if travelling with kids – after exploring the temple, you could take one of the Swan Paddle wheels out on the lake, and then come back to play in the Playground/or run in the gardens. This was the first Playground we had seen in over a week, and they didn’t want to leave! (It had a few pieces of equipment but the kids thought it was great and had fun playing with Balinese kids dressed in their best temple dress!)
There were plenty of shops and restaurants – so while the kids played, mum or dad could take turns shopping, eating or just enjoying relaxing with the friendly Balinese families.
We didn’t stop – but near to the temple were big signs, “Pick your own strawberries” and if we had time would have done this.
We made a brief visit to orchid and cactus house at the Bali Botanical Gardens, on the slopes of the Gunung Pohen. Being Sunday it was jam packed full of families enjoying the cool air and beautiful areas. We could have easily spent a few hours here, picnicking, and exploring many different gardens and exhibits.
Also of note is the “Bali Tree Tops Adventure Park” which apparently takes 3 hours to complete with ziplines or climbing. As it is a high ropes course it didn’t suit our smaller kids but would be great for tweens or up.
The whole Munduk and Bedugul area was a fertile and enjoyable with gardens of lettuces, onions, spring onions growing in abundance. We loved the marigold gardens, the source of the marigolds which are so prominent in the daily offerings of the Balinese people. We’d love to explore the Silas Agritourism Park with a buffet and some ride on our next trip.