The villages of Penelokan, Batur and Kintamani are spread for 11km along the rim of the vast ancient crater and virtually merge. The views across the stark volcanic landscape from Penelokan (1450m) are majestic. Danau Batur lies far below, while Gunung Batur and Gunung Abang tower on either side of the lake. The hordes of day-trippers who pass through Penelokan attract an entourage of hawkers. The only way to avoid the circus is to come early or late, or stay overnight.

About 4km north of Penelokan, Pura Ulun Danu Batur (admission by donation; sarong rental available) is the second most important temple on the island after Besakih. It’s a fascinating place to visit at any time as there are usually pilgrims making offerings and praying, and the mist that frequently shrouds the area adds to the atmosphere.

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