Candi Dasa Tourist Attractions
By road: Denpasar to Sakah, turn right to Blahbatuh and Klungkung, then along the coast via Padang Bai.Bus: several times daily from Denpasar-Kereneng.Bemo: good services along road.Candi Dasa, which during the last few years has been developed as a tourist center, lies on the coast 20 km (13 mi.) south-west of Amlapura, on the busy road to eastern Bali.The ResortUntil a few years ago Candi Dasa, at the east end of Labuhan Amuk Bay, was a remote little fishing village known only to a few holidaymakers, mainly backpackers. Since then it has developed into a lively holiday center which has nevertheless contrived to remain unspoiled. There are no top-category hotels as there are at Nusa Dua, but the facilities for visitors are more than adequate. Visitors who want a quiet holiday, away from the hectic activity of a city like Denpasar, are well catered for in Candi Dasa.A handicap of this resort, which has grown at such an unnaturally rapid pace, is the state of its sandy beach. Since the coast is exposed with relatively little protection to the action of surf which at times can be extremely strong, the sand has simply been swept away. This was largely the result of the uncontrolled quarrying of the offshore banks of coral (used in the production of lime), and although the government prohibited this activity the ban came too late, so that Candi Dasa now has only a very narrow strip of beach. The hotel-owners have had to protect their beaches, at considerable expense, by building stone barrier walls.
There are some natural attractions within a short distance of Candi Dasa.
Half way between Klungkung and Candi Dasa, near the village of Kusamba, is the cave sanctuary of Goa Lawah (Bat Cave), one of the six royal temples on Bali. It is highly revered by the Balinese, largely because of the belief that there is an underground passage linking the cave (which has not yet been explored to its farthest point) with the island's holiest temple, the Pura Besakih, and thus marking the point of junction between the upper world and the underworld; for Goa Lawah is believed to be the abode of Sangyang Basuki, one of the two snakes of the underworld. In the mouth of the cave is a lotus throne (padmasana) reserved for Basuki.The cave is home to countless thousands of tiny bats, who cling in dense masses to the walls and the mouth of the cave.To the right of the entrance to the cave is a small temple with several wooden merus to which the local people bring offerings every two weeks, receiving in return holy water which is used in various ceremonies, for example in the rice-fields in the surrounding area.
4 km (21/2 mi.) from Candi Dasa on the road to Klungkung lies Balina Beach, a new tourist resort which has been developed in the last few years. The sand here is lighter in color than at Candi Dasa.
At the west end of Labuhan Amuk Bay is the ferry port of Padang Bai, from which there are services to the offshore islands and to Lombok. Here too anchor the large cruising liners which include Bali in their program.