A visit to Bali is not complete without witnessing a traditional Kecak dance. There are several options on the island, but the Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance Show is arguably the most popular one. Set on the seaside cliffs of the picturesque Uluwatu Temple, the Kecak and Fire Dance show will be a memorable close to your day.
How To Get To Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple
We used e-hailing services like Grab and GoJek, but our hotel was near Suluban Beach and only a six-minute drive from the temple. It was quite easy to find a driver for both ways, even after the show with the giant line-up of cars trying to leave the parking lot. We simply walked to the intersection of Jalan Raya Uluwatu Pecatu and Pantai Suluban Street to get picked up there. This way, we could avoid the long wait to get out of the temple grounds.
The easiest way to get to the temple is, of course, to use a car or motorbike that you’ve rented. If you’re staying further abroad and don’t have a vehicle, it might be best to arrange a driver. I wouldn’t count on any Grab or Gojek drivers willing to drive from Uluwatu Temple all the way to Denpasar or Ubud.
Uluwatu Temple Opening Hours & Dress Code
Uluwatu Temple is open daily from 7 am to 7 pm.
After paying the temple entry fee, you’ll receive a free purple sarong to cover your legs if you’re wearing shorts. This sarong really doesn’t breathe and gets hot very quickly, so ideally, you have your own clothes to cover up with. Although legs must be covered, the temple curiously has no problem with bare shoulders or massive cleavage exposed.
Uluwatu Kecak and Fire Dance Show Ticket Price
Visitors who want to see the Kecak Dance have to pay twice. First, you must pay the admission fee for Uluwatu Temple, which costs 30,000 rupiahs for foreigners.
There is a large tent on the temple grounds where you buy tickets for the fire and dance show. The Uluwatu Temple Kecak Dance ticket price is currently 150,000 rupiahs. These tickets can sell out if you buy them on the day, so try to get to Uluwatu Temple at least two hours before showtime to secure a spot. It will be easy to kill time before the show, as Uluwatu Temple is a pretty sprawling complex.
You can also buy tickets in advance online from the official Uluwatu Kecak Dance website or on discount sites like Klook. You get a 10% discount from buying online, with the ticket price at 135,000 rupiahs.
Kecak Dance Showtimes
The first evening show is from 6 pm to 7 pm. The show organizers have scheduled a second show every night to meet demand. The second show goes from 7 pm to 8 pm.
The sun will gradually set over the temple during the first show. The last stages of sunset were on when it was time for the fire scenes. The second show will have to be lit by artificial lights for most of it, but it might be more visually impressive during the fire scenes against the night sky.
First, be sure to use the toilet before the show starts. There is a washroom close to the theatre. There is no intermission, and once the show is over, the temple guards are keen to kick you out of the grounds. Any of the paths that lead anywhere other than toward the exit will have a guard blocking the way.
I highly recommend that you claim a seat in the theatre one hour before the show starts. We got to the theatre at about 5:10 pm for the 6 pm show and it was already almost full. Most of the seats left were in the front row, which we gladly took. Though the show officially starts at 6 pm, the emcee came out as early as 5:30 pm and the Kecak dancers at 5:45 pm. Many tourists had to stand off at the side and watch at a terrible angle because they arrived too late.
The Kecak Dance
The Kecak Dance tells the story of the Hindu tale of the Ramayana. The basic idea is that the evil king Ravana has kidnapped Prince Rama’s wife, Sita. An epic battle follows, where Rama gets help from Hanuman, his mischievous monkey-like companion. If you buy your show ticket at the temple, you get a pamphlet that describes the lore in more depth. I’m not sure if you get this if you buy your tickets online, so it might help to read a basic overview of the tale before the show.
The troupe of bare-chested men are the first to take the stage. They draw your attention more so than the costumed performers at times. Most of them make music by repeatedly chanting “chak” while the more senior members sing or make other harmonizing noises. It was fun to pick out which guy was making the distinctive sound and to see how sweaty and into it he was getting.
I don’t need to give you a play-by-play and spoil the entire performance for you. The Kecak and Fire Dance Show at Uluwatu is best experienced in person! However, if you insist on getting a sneak peek at what the show is like, there is a video on our Youtube channel.
The Uluwatu Temple Kecak and Fire Dance Show was one of the highlights of our trip. The weather and sunset were lovely during our visit, so it made the ambience of the performance that much better. The show wouldn’t have been as good in a random theatre or inside a building. It was such a unique spectacle for the eyes and ears, and we had never seen anything like it before.
The Kecak Dance at Uluwatu Temple can burn a big hole in your wallet if you’re on a budget, but it’s one of those “don’t miss” attractions. The dance at Uluwatu Temple seems especially high quality with skilled performers.