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East Bali is home to a couple of gorgeous water palaces. We’ve already explored Tirta Gangga, with its pools full of sacred water and its lotus-shaped fountain. Next up is a visit to Ujung Water Palace, known to locals as either Taman Ujung or Taman Sukasada. It’s located just a few kilometers from the town of Amlapura in the Karangasem Regency of East Bali.
Construction of this water palace began in 1909, as ordered by the final King of Karangasem, Agung Anglurah Ketut Karangasem. It was designed by a duo of a Dutch (Van Den Hentz) and Chinese (Loto Ang) architect. They expanded on an already existing pool called Kolam Dirah that was known for black magic.
Two other pools were added to the complex, along with some resting pavilions and the main building called Bale Gili. Construction of the palace was completed in 1921, when Bali was under Dutch rule. It was nearly destroyed by the massive eruption of Mt. Agung in 1963 and then an earthquake in 1979. Much of it has been restored to its original glory, and it’s a beautiful place to explore for a few hours.
A unique aspect of Taman Ujung is the combination of both Balinese and European architectural styles. You’ll see colorful stained glass reminiscent of a European church as well as traditional Balinese statues throughout the massive grounds.
The three pools are connected by elaborate bridges, which you’ll want to walk across to take in the incredible views. You’ll also see plenty of ponds with Balinese fountains as well as a wide variety of flora and fauna.
While the buildings and the pools are lovely, you’ll want to put forth the effort to climb up the stairs to take in the view. Thanks to its location, you can see the mountains, rice paddies, and the sea from this vantage point. It’s one of the most scenic places in Bali, and is a very popular destination for locals to take wedding photos.
The best way to visit Taman Ujung is on a day-trip from either Amed or Candidasa. Of course, you could come all the way up here from one of the towns in the south, but that would be a lot of time spent in the car. Better to spend a few days in one of the East Bali towns so you can also visit Tirta Gangga, the Virgin Beach, and maybe do a bit of trekking.