When I was traveling in Bali in 2011, I was challenged to find activities that were outside of the resorts catered to foreign tourists in Kuta. Fortunately, I became acquainted with a nice couple from England who offered me to split a driver with them for the day. The idea was to take a road trip around the island of Bali to see some of the more hidden shrines that were difficult to access with tour groups. I immediately took them up on their offer and had the good fortune of going to Tirta Gangga. Had I not taken this road trip, I would never have known to visit this amazing Balinese Hindu water palace.
Tirta Gangaa was constructed in 1946 by the Raja of Karangasem. However, the original site was destroyed by the volcanic eruption of Mount Agung in 1963. While some of the original water palace remains, the majority has been rebuilt in recent years. The recent modifications aside, Tirta Gangga boasts a tranquil atmosphere combined with gorgeous gardens that make for a truly memorable experience. Given that the water palace is not easily accessible, the tourist receives a more authentic Balinese experience that is quite rewarding.
For the traveler on a budget, places such as Tirta Gangga are absolutely within your price range if you find a group to rent a driver for the day and go exploring. For this day trip throughout Bali, including my visit to Tirta Gangga, I spent roughly $50 all said and done. Thus, when you are in exotic locations such as Bali in the world that tend to cater to a more wealthy tourist, bear in mind that there are always ways to travel economically and see exquisite memorable sights such as Tirta Gangga.