Pura Goa Lawah

East Bali

One of nine directional temples in Bali, this cave in a cliff face 3km east of Kusamba is full of bats and the complex is equally overcrowded with tour groups, both foreign and local. You'll probably want to exclaim 'Holy Bat Guano, Batman!' when you get a whiff of the odours emanating from the cave – Alfred Pennyworth definitely wouldn't approve. Superficially, the temple is small and unimpressive, but it is very old and of great significance to the Balinese.

Legend says the cave leads all the way to Pura Besakih, some 19km away, but it's unlikely that you'd want to try this route. The bats provide sustenance for the legendary giant snake, the deity Naga Basuki, which is also believed to live in the cave. Ignore touts offering guiding services (unnecessary) and if someone asks your name, don't give it or when you exit the cave you'll be presented with a 'gift' with your name on it and told you have to buy it. Bring a sarong or hire one at the ticket office (5000Rp).

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