(28apr08) Less interesting than Sangeh Monkey Forest, Alas Kedaton, 3km north of the Kediri junction, is only worth a visit for the chance to get close to its resident monkeys, who are not as aggressive as many of their cousins elsewhere in Bali. The temple here is a quite recently constructed pura dalem, or temple of the dead, out of bounds to tourists, and the monkeys only congregate in the small area of the forest along the temple's perimeter's. Beware of getting landed with a guide, who will pester you into visiting their souvenir shop on the edge of the temple car park. Access to Alas Kedaton is via Kediri: either take a bemo from Denpasar's Ubung terminal to Kediri, then charter another one for the final 3km, or drive to Kediri, then follow signs for Marga.
(update 25 july 2008)
This short walks takes only 90 minutes to Pura Alas Kedaton. The walks are more interesting than the temple itself, which is packed with small shops – exactly 202 stalls, as explained proudly by a local guide. Start at the beginning of the road that leads to the small village of Jebaud. Walk on the asphalt road until you notice the bale banjar (village hall) on the right. Look for a small path just after the bale banjar and head east towards the forest; on a clear day you will enjoy a wonderful view of Mt Batukaru to the north. After 20 minutes, the path reaches the small river of Yeh Ge. Cross the river, then look for a small path leading to the asphalt road on the west side of the Kedaton forest. Follow the road until a small gate on the right leads to the temple. Except for religious activities, it is forbidden to enter the temple.
On your way from or to the temple, stop at Umbian to visit the weaving shop located 100m after the turn towards Alas Kedaton. The handmade textiles from this area are quite well-known by the locals. They are woven mostly in bright colours of yellow, green. And red are handsomely ornamented with gold patterns. The owner will show you’re her collection of fine silk scarves that take more than two months to be completed. You can see the weavers at work in an open bale nearby.