Photo: Chill By warming up with a few other people!

Banjar hot springs

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The traditional Balinese temple-like architecture and carvings at Banjar’s sacred hot springs help create the most attractive of Bali’s geothermal baths. Amid lush topical grounds three pools are fed by naturally hot spring water spewing from the mouths of carved stone nagas.

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In Hindu philosophy nagas (mythical snake/dragons) are the protectors of springs, wells and rivers. They are believed to bring fertility and prosperity and carry the elixir of life and immortality. We don’t know if that can all be guaranteed by bathing here, but it’s worth a try.

Taking the proverbial cure. Photo taken in or around Banjar hot springs, Lovina, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

Taking the proverbial cure. Photo: Sally Arnold

The top narrow pool is the shallowest and warmest with a consistent depth of one metre, and here water gushes in from eight of the carved creatures. The lower pool is fed from the overflow via five more naga heads. This much larger pool ranges from a depth of one metre to two at its deepest point, making it popular for local kids to practice dive bombing at the deep end. In the third pool, water streams from three spouts a few metres high offering an exhilarating, bruising massage. The water itself is not clear, but murky-green and slightly sulphurous, with a mild rotten-egg smell (but not offputting). Be careful climbing into the pools as the combination of heat and minerals have made it ideal for slippery algae to grow on the surfaces, and the stairs into the baths are difficult to see, often causing people to slash in unintentionally. The minerals and sulphur will discolour light-coloured clothing yellow and blacken silver jewellery. The colour usually washes out after a few washes, but don’t wear your favourite pristine whites.

This isn’t the place for wearing Western-style swimmers — it’s a holy spring and treated locally somewhat like a temple, so shorts and a T-shirt are more appropriate, although men can usually get away with just shorts. We have seen plenty of Western women in bikinis (and local guys photographing them from behind the bushes), however when we have asked the local women they have suggested more ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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How to get there
Banjar Hot Springs is 10 kilometres from Lovina. Getting here by public transport requires a bemo travelling along the main Singaraja-Seririt road and then an ojek (or a 2.5 km uphill walk) from the turnoff to the hot springs. An ojek return from Lovina is 50,000 rupiah. Combine with a visit to Brahmavihara Arama Buddhist Monastery and Sing Sing Waterfall for a half-day excursion from Lovina.

Banjar hot springs
10 km southwest of Lovina
Daily 08:00-18:00
Admission: Adults/children: 10,000/5,000 rupiah. Roomy lockers 5,000 rupiah; toilets 3,000 rupiah.

Location map for Banjar hot springs

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