Danau (lake) Tamblingan is one of three lakes in the large caldera on an ancient volcano in the mountains of central Bali, Indonesia. Lake Tamblingan has always been my favorite lake in Bali, from the first time I visited back in 1990. The other two lakes are Danau Beratan, with its famous Pura Ulun Danu Beratan temple, and Danau Buyan. These lakes are much more developed than lake Tamblingan and their shores are covered with vegetable gardens, a few small villages and dozens of small hotels, villas and camping grounds.
Lake Tamblingan is surrounded by the steep slopes of the ancient caldera, covered in some of Bali’s best preserved tropical rain forest. Only a very small road leads to the lake’s shore, to a beautiful small temple. There used to be a very small fisher village, but that has almost entirely disappeared. The best time to visit the lake is very early in the morning, ideally before first light. The lake is often covered by a blanket of mist, which slowly starts to rise when the first rays of sun light make it over the surrounding caldera rim. The steaming lake during what photographers call the golden hour is making for a truly spectacular scenery!
In the early 2000s the water level of the lake slowly started to rise, flooding the trees closest to the lake and surrounding the temple with water on all sides. These trees eventually died and stood like guardian statues in the lake, creating an amazing and dramatic scenery. Eventually the dead trees fell one by one and rotted away…
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