Amlapura is a relatively large town in Karangasem with much to commend it.  

On the way from the south there are many places to visit Kusamba with its backbreaking salt manufacturing and the water palaces of Tirta Gangga, Tirta Telaga Tista and Taman Ujung. Of these water palaces Taman Ujung is by far the largest with large pools and a floating pavilion. Sometimes entrance is free as there is nobody selling tickets.

The Rajahs meeting house is located in the middle of one of the ponds and contains a few pieces of furniture and some rapidly fading photographs . On the hillside are statues of a rhinoceros and a bull. The site was destroyed by earthquake and what you see today is a restoration. The site must originally have been impressive as it covered a much larger area. Tirta Telaga Tista is quite difficult to find and on a recent visit it was undergoing rennovation. It is small and lacks the size or the design of the other two water palaces. Little information online is available on this palace.

Tirta gangga on the other hand is an absolute delight with fountains, pools and ornate statuary. There are places to eat nearby and some accommodation. Once in Amlapura there are several palaces. Puri Kangin on the main road is easily found with a European sentry box outside and an imposing gate. Inside there are stagnant ponds with floating pavilions one of which contains the royal family's gamelan.

The Maskardam Pavilion is decorated with European furniture from the Netherlands. Wandering round it is soon obvious that this is still very much a residential palace with families living in many of the surrounding buildings.

If you cross the road there is another palace which can be visited by making a donation to the staff who will show you round. This place is more imposing with massive candi bentar ( split gates) and pavilions in a sea of grass. You can see the outdoor bathrooms of the royal family.