Throughout the stressful days in senior year, sometimes I would google Bali and just stare at my laptop screen wishing I could teleport there. Well recently I had the chance for a quick getaway to Bali to release some stress, tension…and just simply get away and shut out the world. I needed a break. I needed to disconnect. This was the ultimate me-time I have long craved. I thought, what the heck, I’m 21, single and I just graduated and getting away did not require the hassle of arranging days off or asking for permission to my boss. The moment felt right. Plus the crazy prices during Ramadhan month, plus Bali tends to be less crowdy during that month. So, Bali seemed like the perfect getaway, far enough to actually get away, but close enough to ensure convenience, well just in case something came up. I did not intend this trip to be the typical Bali tour most people have. You know, the classic Bali trip you hear everyone goes on: visiting Tanah Lot, Kuta, taking pictures at the Hard Rock, GWK, and shop at Sukowati. I was in search of beaches. And places to spoil my taste buds. Other than Kuta, obviously. Luckily, I knew exactly who to contact.
So when I decided to getaway I immediately reached my good old friend since elementary school. She resides and works in Seminyak. She used to work as a flight attendant but now she’s working at one of Bali’s leading spas. Despite her dainty figure, my friend has a bad ass motorcycle and she speeds like crazy. She spends her weekends traveling around Bali and going to hidden beaches and other not-so-mainstream spots on her own, often alone. She was nice enough to be my trusted resource and guide to the beautiful beaches in Bali. Just a disclaimer, the last 2 times I’ve been to Bali after moving back to Indonesia was for business, never for pleasure. It’s not that I’ve never been to Bali for vacation by choice, but by condition. My sibling’s medical condition has completely disabled my family to travel so if I want to travel I prefer to do it on my own or with friends.
Okay back to Bali, so when you hear about Bali what comes into mind? Kuta? Hard Rock? Potato Head? Tanah Lot? Ubud? Well, I’ve never been to Uluwatu and my good friend since elementary school was my gracious host and tour guide to show me around and bring me to the blissful and beautiful beaches of Uluwatu, Bali. Oh she was kind of shocked to know that I’ve never been to Uluwatu.
Uluwatu has pretty white sandy beaches with clear water and it is not so crowdy unlike Kuta. To name a few, there’s Padang-Padang (the beach in Eat, Pray, Love and famous to surfers, in fact there’s a Ripcurl surfing competition going on right now. It’s on when it’s on, they say); Green Bowl, Pandawa, Dreamland (this beach has hip beach clubs. My friend mentions it as ‘moving Jakarta to the beach’), Impossible, and Blue Point. In 6 hours, my good friend and I went to 4 beaches: Green Bowl, Pandawa, Bingin, and Blue Point. To be honest, due to my lack of sense of navigation I can not recall how to get there (anyway, if you really want to reach these beaches, don’t be lazy and do your research! or at least use Google maps). All I can give you is some pretty portraits and brief descriptions of them hehehe 😀
1. Green Bowl Beach
Green Bowl was our first destination. It was a Saturday and we got there at around noon and there were only 7 tourists (including us) there and a few (about 3-5) local Balinese ladies offering us massages. There was a long stairway down (330 steps according to my friend) and down at the beach there’s no infrastructure, no bathroom, no trash cans, no beach clubs, well, pretty much nothing at this beach! Green Bowl is pretty much the most ‘untouched’ beach of the 4 we visited. And the one with the least amount of visitors. I believe this was the most hidden beach of the 4 we visited, judging from the population of visitors and the ‘untouched’ nature of this beach.
2. Pandawa Beach
So this is Pandawa Beach. This beach has more visitors. In fact, there’s a hotel construction under progress so I reckon that this will attract crowds soon. Unlike Green Bowl, there’s no need to go down a steep set of stairs (old-people and children friendly). This beach is undergoing development. When we went there, besides the hotel construction there were also other constructions. There aren’t any beach clubs or cafes/restos yet, but there are some drinks stalls where you can get a cold beverage and sit on plastic chairs. Since it is under development, this beach kinda had a messy/sloppy appearance, I didn’t like it here as much as the other beaches.
3. Bingin Beach
Bingin, is probably my favorite of the 4. It’s located next to Dreamland, the more hip and upscale version. It was really cool that we reached it through narrow alleys going through inns and bed&breakfasts. What was cool was, we parked near a field of cows (and cow dung) and there was no beach in sight. Had I not knew that my friend was leading me to a beach I would not have known that we were heading to a beach. She says that’s why it’s also called Impossible. From the way you get there and the surroundings before reaching the beach, it’s kinda impossible that there actually is a beach down there. The alleys were steep. The white walls had vines growing on them. It kind of reminded me of Santorini somehow. The view from above (the upper picture) is fantastic. You can also see Dreamland and its hip spots in the far right. Bingin has plenty of inns where you can stay and have a view of the beach right from your window. There are also some cool cafes that are super laid back that aren’t as upscale as the ones you see in Dreamland (not the Potato Head type). The photo above was taken when we had sandwiches in one of the cafes (oh and this cafe served pork bacon. hahaha) What I love about this beach is the colors! The blue ocean, the green on the rocks, and the beige of the sand is so pretty. This one is great for swimming and playing. There were plenty of families there playing on the beach. I would really like to spend a night or 2 here.
4. Blue Point Beach
So Blue Point is the last beach we visited. Well this beach looked like a hot spot for surfers and young people. You can tell from the surf clothing stores and cafes that were perched on the cliffs of this beach. The caves and rocks here were more dramatic.
Throughout my visit I was quite impressed to see that the majority (about 98%) of the visitors was foreigners. Literally. She said it like this: pantai gini mah, yang niat nyari bule yang freak banget sama pantai. Or, well these beaches are the destination of foreigners that are hardcore beach hunters. And I guess timing was a significant factor to this, noting that our visit was during Ramadhan fasting month.
Well folks, I’m sharing this to you to show the beauty of Bali, and if you do choose to go to these beaches, please have the sense to keep them clean. Don’t make me feel bad for sharing when these beaches end up being ruined by carelessness of its visitors. Well, happy travelling everyone! ❤
All pics are mine and taken using my Samsung Galaxy S4.