Four Seasons Sayan has several activities for their guests. One of the activities is the half day trip “Can you keep a secret”. This tour is a private tour to a temple, a village and a water temple. The locations are ‘local’ places, so do not expect tourists here. This is the reason FS asks you to keep the name of the places visit out of the social websites. I respect this wish and as well loved seeing no tourists on the day we did do this tour, I decided not include the names of the sites visited in this review. I also will show only pictures that could be taken anywhere. If you recognize a site please let me know, so I can change the picture or description!
We had high expectations of this half day tour. Four Seasons kept its promise and we loved this tour very much, therefor I recommend it for guests staying at Four Seasons Sayan.
Guests have the possibility to choose from a vintage open VW or an airconditioned family car. In my opinion if you do this tour with 2 persons, take the vintage open VW. They call it a beetle, but the European and Mexican beetles have a different look. Be aware when driving without roof it can become very hot; our guide gave us enough cold towels and refreshments to cool down and not to get sun-burned. He also mentioned several times that we could inform him when the roof had to be closed.
In the lobby we met our tour guide who escorted us to the main entrance where the car was waiting for us. The first look to the car is impressive. A great restored vintage car, it is well kept. Beautiful orange color.
First part of the tour
After about 30 minutes driving through the forrest and rice fields we arrived in a farmer village for our first stop. This is a rich village in my opinion as we saw beautiful decorated houses. It was very clean and the properties were well kept. We did not spot any tourists in the village and we were the only tourists visiting the temple. What a unique experience for Bali!
The temple we visited was beautiful; nobody else was in this temple. First the tour guide paid his respect to the gods by praying and bringing offers. This is already a unique experience for Western people.
After the praying the tour guide showed us the temple and informed us about the habits, prayers and festivities in and around the temple. We got plenty of information from him.
After a while some locals visited the temple, so we were very lucky to see this (I did not take pictures out of respect of the locals). When we saw everything we walked toward a house in the area where our guide showed us the normal life of a privileged family in Bali. The grandmother was making some offerings on the porch while the grand daughter came home on her scooter. The dogs were guarding the property. The house consists of several buildings and hosts 3 generations.
All larger houses have own temples in Bali, so this house also had it’s own temple. We did not enter this area. A temple is a sacred place so we did not ask to enter the private temple. We again did do this out of respect to the people. We were fortunate to see a house of locals, so respect is very important.
Second part of the drive
The second part of the drive goes through rice fields, passing banyan trees and village gates. Enough time to stop where you want. We decided to stop at a rice plantation where some locals were working in the field. Men and woman are working in the field. I did not ask our guide but it looks like there is no differentiation in labour between male and female workers on the fields. All workers did do the same intensive labour.
Continuing through the forrest and stopping at a village gate.
Sacred Water temple
After the beautiful 2nd part of our tour with several short stops we arrived at our main destination: the holy water temple. In this secluded water temple a priest blessed us and then we went into the water. Again we were the only guests. Two other visitors just left when we arrived, so no traffic jams or standing in line before you go into the water to do the blessings, but take your time and enjoy the experience. When I saw pictures on Instagram of touristic sacred water temples I was hesitating to visit one, because of the waiting lines. But I was so fortunate to go here without others. Loved it!!
The guide explained the ritual and informed us about the gods. This was very good, he took the time, he explained which god is for which fortune (good luck, peace, wealth etc) and informed us which words we had to say each time we stepped under the water. The ritual of washing, drinking, praying and cleaning was also explained.
This temple is not made for tourists, this is a real temple where the locals go once in a while to do their purification.
End of the tour
After spending around 45 minutes in the water temple, be blessed several times by the local priest and after being purified we went back home. It became very hot (sun was shining and it was clear blue), with the open car it was a perfect day to drive. The guide and driver asked us if we wanted to close the car or not, we decided to enjoy the sun and leave the roof open.
Back in the hotel we went for lunch and a dip in the pool. This trip is a must do for the guests staying at FS Sayan.