Trip Plan Details
recommended Balangan BeachBalangan Beach is a little piece of serenity just 30 minutes to the south of Kuta. If you rent a scooter (50,000 Rupiah anywhere on Bali about 5 USD), you'll enjoy a scenic (but sometimes frenetic) ... read moredrive to the Bukit Penninsula. The sand on Balnagan Beach is coarse and white like raw sugar (thanks to the reef break off shore), coconut palms sway in the breeze, irridescent waves crest and crash and the beach vendors are few and far between - a world away from Kuta.
recommended UluwatuUluwatu is a surfer's paradise and a world away from the hustle of Kuta Beach. You feel like you're in the country here, not the concrete jungle. The reef breaks are spectacular and if you don't surf, ... read moreno problem, brah - there's plenty of surf schools/resorts just footsteps away from some of the most consistent swells on the planet.
recommended KutaKuta Beach is where I first realized that while paradise may indeed be more of a state of mind than an actual place, it is possible to catch fleeting glimpses of it right here on earth. From learning ... read morehow to surf, to pub crawling around town and enjoying a psychedelic sundowner, Kuta is Indonesia's answer to Phuket and ladies, watch out for the notorious Kuta Cowboys, they'll make your gigolo dreams (or nightmares) come true if you let 'em.
recommended AmedThe whole peninsula of far eastern Bali is known as 'Amed' (technically just its easternmost town), and though it's hardly undiscovered territory, it can easily feel like it after the crowds of South ... read moreBali and Ubud (and even Padangbai!). With solid diving and snorkeling, and cheap beachfront bungalows spread all along the undeveloped coast, it's more than worth going out of your way to come here, and the drive along the coast road on a motorbike is one of the best in the whole of Bali.Matthew Crompton
If you really want to see the best of Bali, though, make the trip to the far-eastern Amed peninsula. Perfect.
recommended Padang BaiPadangbai, in near eastern Bali, is just a small place -- a strip of beach and some rocky headlands with a bunch of traveller cafes and guesthouses scattered along its breadth. And though each morning ... read morethe town is positively packed with busloads of short-time tourists passing thru on their way to the Gili Islands via fast boat, it's still a nice place to hang out for a day or two, with good snorkelling at Blue Lagoon beach, and tasty seafood.Matthew Crompton
It may be a bit of a drive away from Denpasar, but Bali is quite small, and easily covered by public transport (bemo) or hired motorbike (wear your helmet!). This spot with a chilled-out vibe and good snorkeling makes a great short trip
recommended Nusa PenidaNusa Penida -- the big island off of South Bali's Bukit Peninsula -- is as far 'off the map' as you can get in Bali. There's almost no tourist infrastructure (I counted two guesthouses in the island's ... read moremajor population center), and most of the economy consists of seaweed cultivation, making the whole of the island smell something like a cross between fungus and latex rubber. Nonetheless, it's a beautiful place, and positively made for exploring on a motorbike. After the cramped environs of South Bali, it's a literal and metaphorical breath of fresh air.Matthew Crompton
To really get off the map in Bali, Nusa Penida (accessible from south Bali) is a totally different scene to what's available elsewhere on the island.
- Jimbaran SeafoodJalan Pemelisan Agung - Jimbaran, Kuta, Indonesiarecommended Jimbaran SeafoodThe seafood barbeques at Jimbaran Beach in south Bali rate among the island's best and most memorable dining experiences. While the seafood here may not be the cheapest meal on Bali, offerings like ... read moregiant king prawns, and a spectacular array of sauces to accompany, can't be argued with. A fabulous place to watch the sunset from the sand with a cold beer.Matthew Crompton
Denpasar itself doesn't normally register as a huge tourist destination, but the seafood barbeques at nearby Jimbaran are a must visit.
- Serangan IslandSerangan, Denpasar, Indonesia
- Padang Galak BeachKesiman, Denpasar, Indonesia