Gunung Kawi is one of the oldest temples in Bali, dating back to the 11th century, and is one of my favourites. The 7-metre-high (23 ft) monuments carved into the surrounding rock walls are truly impressive and are believed to be the burial site of King Anak Wungsu and his most favoured concubines.
The temple grounds are still used for ceremonies by locals, so if you’re lucky there may be one taking place during your visit. The grounds are quite large, so take your time walking around.
There are a couple of fake entries on Google Maps, so don’t be fooled and make sure you go to the correct location if you aren’t on one of my tours.
The walk into Gunung Kawi is around 1 km with 371 stone steps going through some stunning rice fields (called sawa in Balinese) to the temple grounds alongside the Pakerisan river.
Don’t forget to bring a sarong, the same as when visiting any temple in Bali. Etiquette costs you nothing and demonstrating respect for local customs is becoming an increasingly rare character trait.
Take your Sarong with you. If you forget you can borrow one at the entrance.
Gunung Kawi is only 1.5 km from Tirta Empul, so visiting them both on the same tour is a pretty solid plan.