As we approached our last weekend on Bali, we realised we’d only managed to visit the beach once in our entire five months there. Both of us had been so busy on our various projects that we’d had little time off, and Ubud kept us more than entertained for the leisure time we did have. In fact, aside from our trip to the Gilis and Village Above the Clouds, we hadn’t left the town for more than a day trip. This is madness for a girl who loves beaches and is living on an island so when the final weekend came, we decided we really had to visit the coast – we were, after all, about to head back to a very cold UK! We debated heading to Amed, but finally decided on the Bukit peninsula, in particular the surf beach, Balangan. Here are some photos from our trip:
One of the main draws of heading south was the water park in Kuta. Everything we’d heard about Kuta had put us off paying a visit, but Waterbom proved too much temptation. Neither of us had been to a water park in years but had nothing but fun memories of them. We weren’t sure how that would translate to adulthood, but I can tell you this now: It’s even better! Not only has water park technology come a long way since our childhood, but the rush of adrenaline is as strong as ever. See the video at the end for a taste of just how crazy the slides were (you can see the terror on my face!) I can’t recommend that place enough!
After our day at the Waterbom, we headed to Balangan beach, a rugged surf spot with little development beyond a terrace of wooden shacks, all sporting the same menu. The tide was out, revealing a carpet of rich green moss,
…with mirrored rock pools setting the perfect scene for a sunset show.
We sat back with cocktails and marveled…
…as the colours seeped from blue into lilac and beyond.
The sun flashed yellow as it made its final descent,
…and the whole sky turned brilliant purple. It’s one of the most beautiful sunsets I’ve ever seen.
The next day, we headed to Finn’s Beach Club. We’d heard from some friends in town that it was one of the prettiest beaches in Bali, and our first glimpse did nothing to question that.
A funicular takes you down to the beach,
…which, unlike the ruggedness of Balangan, reminded us of the Caribbean,
…with powder white sand,
…and picture postcard views.
We set up camp on the sun loungers while we waited for the tide to come in,
… and went for some walks around the coast,
…while watching men fish in the rocky pools. We also did some snorkeling and wished so much we had an underwater camera (soon…).
As is only right in such decadent surroundings, we gorged on pizza and sangria before sleeping it off beneath our umbrellas.
We may have only made it to the beach twice in Bali but both times were beautiful and we wish we’d visited more. Make sure not to make the same mistake as us and get too lost in the vortex of Ubud! Bali has plenty more to offer.
For your amusement, here’s a video of me braving Climax at Waterbom – one of the most exhilarating rides I’ve ever been on!
We travelled to Kuta and the Bukit on our scooters. Unlike in Ubud, the police around these areas seem to stop scooters all the time and ask to see your international driving license. If you don’t have one, you either have to travel to Denpassar to pay a fine, or pay the police up front (around $10).
Entry to Waterbom costs $31 and is worth every single penny.
We stayed at Brothers Bungalows in Balangan, a mid-range option with comfortable beds and a good swimming pool. We paid about $20 for a double but it would be cheaper to stay in one of the restaurants on the beach, many of which double as guesthouses.
At Finn’s Beach Club, you pay $25 to get in and then can use that as credit for food and drinks. It’s not a budget option but is worth it if you are after some privacy. You’re also able to use all of their beach equipment for free, which includes snorkels and stand-up paddle boards. The beach club gave us complimentary entry, but all opinions are of course our own.
We also heard great things about Bingin beach and would recommend that if you want somewhere a little livelier than Balangan.
If you’re heading to Bali, here’s a useful packing guide.