I had my first glimpse of the Indian Ocean on the first day in Bali. The waves were huge, crashing against the coast at Tanah Lot. The name of this Hindu temple means land in the middle of the sea--very appropriate for the island temple. The site is supposedly about 400 years old.
This stop on the tour was the highlight as it was one of only three cultural sites we visited until our final day, which we used for a private tour of more interesting things. Like Uluwatu, Tanah Lot is must-see for visitors to Bali. The sunset can be wonderful. However, the views can be a bit more crowded than those at Uluwatu, making photos a bit more difficult to come by. There is also a shopping area there for touristy souvenirs at lower prices than at the market in Ubud.
We were told that only Hindu worshippers could enter the main temple, which is only accessible at low tide. I have not confirmed this, it may have just been a ploy by our guide to ensure that we didn't spend too much time there when we could've been spending money for him to make a commission. He did, however, neglect to inform us that poisonous snakes guard the temple, which might be a reason to not attempt to enter.
A sign near the temple says that the Japanese government has been involved in restoration and preservation work at Tanah Lot.
On the way out to our tour bus, we found a field with empty coconut shells neatly set.