Beautiful Balangan boasts ample elbow room
Bali’s beautiful beaches are many and internationally renowned, but deserted ones are few and far between today.
Away from the overcrowded beaches of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, Balangan Beach in Jimbaran is ideal for visitors who wish to spend tranquil beach time without hundreds of strangers, or catch a wave with no fear of bumping into other surfers. It also is mostly free of the scourge of garbage of popular tourist attractions.
Known as one of the resort island’s hidden beaches, its sand is fine and delicate, with its one kilometer of shoreline hosting an assortment of warung (sidewalk cafes) serving Indonesian and western dishes and cold beer.
Damyan is one of the cafes offering cold drinks and snacks as well as surfboard rental. One of its staff members confirmed that few visitors come to the beach, and those who do are mostly from Spain, Australia and Japan.
“They come because the beach is still very clean and relatively empty, and also because there are no big hotels, which often transform the landscape.”
Normally, June to August is peak season at the beach when children in Western countries are on summer holidays. Even then, the shoreline is relatively deserted.
“When there are lots of visitors, we can have as many as five people renting our surfboards,” he said.
Open for about 10 years, its surfboard rental fee starts from Rp 50,000 (US$5.45) per hour. Instructors are available if needed.
Among the few visitors one day in March were Australians John and his teenage daughter Lara, who were staying nearby and had made the spot their regular haunt. John read while Lara, her swimsuit still soaking wet, had just taken a dip in the sea.
“Balangan is a lot cleaner than other beaches like Canggu. There are not many people and no garbage. It is very quiet and very relaxing,” said John, 58, from Victoria.
He also found the local eateries were good places to grab a bite because “they serve delicious fried rice and noodles and chicken burgers”.
Lara, 15, echoed her father’s comments on the beach’s cleanliness. “I can go surfing as well,” she said.
From Kuta to Balangan, take the Ngurah Rai Bypass toward Nusa Dua. Then take the right turnoff at Uluwatu after about 10 minutes. Keep your eyes peeled for signs leading to the wide open spaces of Balangan.