The View From Your Window Contest: Winner #176


A reader writes:

The temple looks like something from Thailand or Cambodia, but since everyone will guess that I am going slightly further afield, to northern Borneo. Kuching, Malaysia? Total guess this week.


Manila, Philippines? That looks straight out of Apocalypse Now. I bet Kurtz is out there somewhere.


Mitt Romney’s deck from his secret condo at the Kali River Rapids ride, Animal Kingdom, Walt Disney World, Orlando, Florida. It includes a car elevator.

Who? Another gets the right island:

Somewhere in Bali. Best I can do this week; busy, busy. Spent a good part of Sunday afternoon touring Southeast Asia, but none of the architecture seemed to match. Temples in Bali looked like a perfect match, but in the “land of 10,000 temples,” I wasn’t able to nail down the right one.

Another tries to:

I haven’t submitted an entry recently and wanted to get back on the bandwagon. My bet is that you’ll get a lot of Bali guesses on this one, so I wanted to throw my hat in that ring. I’ve been to Bali a few times, so it seemed obvious to me, but I haven’t been able to pin the location down. This isn’t one of those really iconic spots on the island, so I’m going to guess at the Jagantha temple in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia.


One of the more frustrating things about the VFYW contest is also its most fun: Every week I discover a million things that I didn’t know I didn’t know.

I was confident this was Thailand or maybe Cambodia. Browsing Google images, I assumed the architecture was Buddhist. But nothing looked quite right. At some point in my searching, I saw a building that looked very similar. Google’s header was “Hindu temple.” So, I don’t know if I should be ashamed of this or not but I had no idea that Hinduism spread that far south to the point of having so many shrines and temples. I was also struck to see how unique these Hindu structures in Bali were compared to those elsewhere in Indonesia.

I believe this week’s photo is a view of the Puri Saraswati temple in Ubud, Bali, Indonesia. If you use this image for reference, I think we’re looking at the left entryway, from a building behind the trees a bit to its right (our left). There’s a cafe there but this is an upper level and there’s a fabric curtain so I’m going to guess it’s one of the Puri Saraswati bungalows on site. I am having a helluva time finding a layout or picture of that corner and I’m hungry so that’s as far as I’m getting.

So anyway, thanks for the weekly lessons!

P.S. I just received the VFYW book from my Lviv win and while flipping through it spotted my submission from my parents’ living room. My dad is a longtime Dish reader, and the person who originally encouraged me to become one – I can’t wait to show him!

Another reader photo:


I started going through my photos of my Bali trip and stumbled on to photos of the same place that’s in your contest photo. The temple is conveniently right next to a Starbucks, where I was able to cool down in air conditioned comfort after trekking all over Ubud (a bit of relief after constantly saying “No, Thank You” to yelled offers of “Taxi, Madam?” from nearly every man I walked by!).


I’m looking forward to stories of aggressive Temple monkeys snatching glasses off a tourist’s face, pictures of manly men with bushy beards in sarongs at the Temple gates (required attire if you want to be respectful), and idyllic honeymoons spent in Losmen (guest houses) overlooking the temples and rice fields of this arty, scenic, and culturally diverse tourist destination.  Although I’ll be prepared to be depressed by the faux authenticity of it all.  Even on my first visit in 1984 this place was beginning to be overrun – they were just starting to realize the commercial possibilities of bussing tourists around to watch the spectacle of a Hindu cremation ceremony.  By my next visit a decade later, the hot ticket was three-fer tours with a puppet show, a fire dance, and a cremation in a four-hour package.

Still a lovely place, with a population that lives its religion daily, and well worth a visit.

A visual entry:


More than 100 readers recognized the right temple, and close to a dozen guessed the exact room in the hotel, but the following reader guessed a difficult window in the past without winning, among a dozen total entries. So she’s the winner this week:

Pura Sarawiti Bungalows is the place.  And it has some upstairs rooms, which is important, since the view is clearly from the second floor.  And we are clearly looking at the roof of the bar and eating area on the blog.  BUT … the room number. So I’m figuring I need to choose a random room number likely for the 2nd floor, but I find on Travelocity that the rooms have names, not numbers.  Yudistira appears to be on the first floor, many of the rooms are on the street side (unfortunately for those guests), Arjuna gets mixed reviews, but is in back, Agung seems like a possibility.  Gatotkaca has the most beautiful view and overlooks the water palace and dance performances.  I’m going with that one (and guessing it’s the window on the far right in this picture.  Nothing is above it, and to the right is an outdoor area.)  If I needed back up names, I’d say Agung and Arjuna are the other possibilities, but I’m going with Gatotkaca.

From the submitter:

The hotel is the Puri Saraswati Bungalows right in the center of Ubud, about 30 meters east of the Museum Puri Lukisan where the exhibition I’ve curated is running. (By the way, puri means palace and pura means temple.) All the rooms are named for Mahabharata heroes. The photo was shot looking north from the easternmost window of Gatot Kaca, the second floor room of the bungalow that also has Yudistira on the ground floor. The gate is the side entrance to the Pura Taman Saraswati in the southwest corner. Saraswati is the god of science, culture, education, literature, arts and music. She’s a busy lady in Bali.