iNDONESIA | Bali’s White, Brown and Black Sand Beaches

Bali is the most well known destination in Indonesia for all types of traveler who are either on short visit or for a those who intend to stay for longer period. It is a is a small island-resort near the island of Java in Indonesia, about 8 degrees below the equator. It is clearly the most tourist-friendly spot in this Southeast Asia country, which is made up of thousands of islands.This majestic island haw draw millions of visitors from all over the world ever since the movie EAT PRAY LOVE portrayed by Julia Roberts shown. While the majority of the visitors came to Bali the culture, the arts, the temples, diving, surfing or even the food, but one thing for sure it is for the beach. Travelers come to Bali for its long stretches of white sand beach, crystal clear sea for swimming, strong waves for surfing and volcanic black sands for sunbathing. There is an wide array of beach choices we can choose from people filled and full of energy beach to quiet, secluded or hidden beaches. Your 4 or 5 day escape to this beautiful island will never be enough in order to cover all the beaches. Bali is an island which is separated from the rest of Indonesian archipelago and if you stare at the map it is purely surrounded by the massive Indian Ocean whose waves that reaches the shore can sucked you up in the middle of the ocean.

Bali is not just a tropical getaway and a honeymoon hot spot, it’s also a paradise for surfers! Bali and the surrounding islands have some great surfing beaches, with beach breaks for beginners and huge barrels for the pro’s.

The island of Bali is often compared to the island-resorts in Thailand and the Philippines but Bali’s edge is its size. With a land area of only 150 kilometers by 80 kilometers, tourists and travelers could easily breeze through from beach to mountain, and from one tourist attraction to another. Bali has plenty in store – parks, shops, temples, mountains, hot springs, and a number of word-class beaches. However, tourists have been noticing that the many beaches in Bali are deteriorating in beauty and are in need of better management.

My 4 day Bali itinerary is a mix of everything from culture,religion,food and leisure. And of course my Balinese experience is not complete if I don’t hit the beach and surf through the rough waves of Bali. I explored 4 out of the countless stretch of white beaches and to name a few are Padang Padang Beach, Dreamland Beach, Legian Beach and the famous of all Kuta Beach.

HERE ARE SOME OF THE BEACHES I VISITED.

PADANG PADANG BEACH

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 View from the Hill.

We stopped here for a few hours after visiting Ulu Watu Temple.This beach is accessible down a few flights of steps and through a limestone crevice beside a bridge. Across the road before the bridge, there is a spacious parking lot. Among the island’s most favourite big surf breaks, Padang Padang’s white sand beach offers a great view, and a small sandy area for sunbathing and doing just nothing.

This is one of my personal favorite beaches that I have visited during my stay in Bali, located at Jalan Labuhan Sait, Pecatu village, situated north of the famous Uluwatu temple. If this beach looks familiar to you then your right, one of the scenes in the movie Eat Pray Love where Julia Roberts frolicked on the beach. I didn’t know it at first step here but in my mind I knew I saw this beach. It was only when my driver told me that a particular scene was shot here.

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Steep and Winding Stairs Going Down.

 The entrance is very unique. you will need to take a short flight of steep winding and quite slippery steps, very narrow, and it is as if the beach is inside the cave. And suddenly you hear the wave sound. and bang … you see the amazing view, white view, rock island, and clear water.. It’s a public (free) beach, smaller than New Kuta Beach and the sea is so calm, so some of the native with their family frequent to swim here, but still ample of space. Since Julia Roberts came for the film Eat Pray Love, the name of Padang-Padang Beach was the one who started the fore.

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Once you take a short flight of staircases down, you will see the beach right away. Sand was fine but littered with rubbishes. Wild dogs ran free and casually barked for food. This is the most quite beach in Bali that i ever visited compare with other beach. The beach view was great; blue water against rocks and greenery.

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It’s a Nice Way To Meet New Friends.

The rock formation by the beach was an added attraction to the natural beauty of its waters. The sun will be set down in few minutes which is just the right time to visit the beach. Padang Padang is a beautiful beach paradise carved out from the lush greenery of Indonesia. There are no shower facilities at the bottom, only some snack stands and hawkers, but it’s worth a visit if you are in the area. Small beaches like Padang Padang can be felt so private, but when it gets crowded it feels a bit uncomfortable.If you don’t feel like riding the surf board for some action then you can sunbathe or just make friends with other tourist. It wasn’t much crowded when we visited the beach so I kind of lay down of the sand for few minutes and just enjoy the view.

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Tables and Chairs Set Up Ready for Dinner.

. This beach is just a beach, with a local warung offering Bintang (local beer), water and some local soda drinks. Besides that you can enjoy the local food in the warung at the beach, prepared in typical local fashion and sometimes not for the weak of stomach. I also saw some locals setting up a mini stage made of wood in the sand – I think this quiet beach transformed into a mini lounge/concert bar at night. (i think it will be cozy place to chill out). Our time is very limited here so I did not have the chance to swim and I forgot to bring some extra clothes,perhaps I just take some snaps and just walked on the not so wide shore reminiscing every scene from the famous EPL movie (kung maka emote Julia Roberts lang).

HOW TO GET HERE:

It maybe close to the famous Uluwatu Temple but to get here easily without getting lost you can either ride a cab or ask your private driver to drop by here before going to Jimbaran for dinner.

DREAMLAND BEACH

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The path to the beach was pretty long and through the 2 big rocks.

Access to the beach is still down the rocky “path” generally by foot as it’s even hard going for bikes.

 Located at the Bukit Peninsula area, Dremland Beach can be reached  from Kuta-Legian area in about 30-40 minutes. From the capital Denpasar, it is roughly about an hour’s trip (depending on  traffic conditions).

My last day in Bali was spent hunting some of the gorgeous beaches. I promised myself that no way I’m going back to KL without a sun kissed tan skin. The night before, I called up my driver for the last 2 days in Bali and asked him that I will hire him again for a half day tour via motorbike. Yeah, you heard it right  a motorbike this time cause I need cut down some expenses as my Rupiahs are no longer in millions when I count it. She quoted me 100 IDR inclusive of the petrol,parking fee and driver’s fee. He picked me up 9 AM from Denpasar where my host is staying. I bid my sweet goodbye to my host for the last 2 nights and thanked him for being so nice to accommodate me. As much as possible avoid hiring a motorbike if you are doing a 10 hours tour around Bali-the temperature can be very annoying and it is so HOT which you can’t withstand. Travel time from Denpasar to Dreamland beach took 1 hour-it’s kinda far from what I imagine.

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 Improvised Signage on the Wall.

When my driver dropped me in the parking area, I was kinda lost and don’t where to head to due to the lack of signs. I approached a lay from the nearby store and asked where is the entrance to the beach and she pointed me to a narrow alleys lined up with stores selling goods and merchandise. Before hitting the beach you can buy your snacks or search for the items you can buy. It was a 5-10 minutes walk from the parking lot to the beach proper. When you see this improvised sign of dreamland beach painted on the wall then you’ll know your in the right place.

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It looks more of a private beach.

When you are down the rocks and the steps to the beach, you will be dazzled by views of rock cliffs on which there is a green pasture that is high enough. Many foreign and local tourists who like to enjoy in the meadow area.

Your just about to witness a vast stretch of soft pearly white sand, clear blue sky over the enchanting blue waters, and nothing but the fascinating sounds of waves hitting the shores.

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Pristine Beach.

One of the most gorgeous beaches I have ever laid my eyes on is fittingly named Dreamland. I felt like a just arrived in a private island in Caribbean.

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Towering Cliffs in Dreamland Beach.

I’ve never been to Gold Coast, Australia but when I saw this rugged hilly cliffs i can’t help but to compare it with the large and beautiful coast of Australia. In fact, I did some trekking into of the cliffs so I can get a nice view of the coastline. It was a scorching hot afternoon for us-leaving me with no choice but to wear my sleeper while doing my walk in the long stretch of the white sand (of course it’s hard to walk with sleeper). Tried walking barefoot few times but it was very uncomfortable feeling and felt like my soles are starting to get toast.

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Turquoise  Blue Water.

It is recently dubbed as the New Kuta Beach, but I think it is way better than Kuta and it has less tourist in the beach the time I was there. Very rare you can see locals selling different stuff to tourist aside from the surf board operators and massage therapist. First time I saw this beach, I fell inlove with the powdery white sand and alluring blue water.

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Surf Board Stall.

I will not let this opportunity passed without attempting to battle with waves with the surf board. I inquired in one of the surf board operator on how much is the charge for an hour of surfing. He gaved it to me for 50 IDR including some basic training and helping me wait for the my waves. It is a brave attempt for someone who doesn’t know how to swim. I can’t recall as to how many times I stumbled and sweep by the waves-it was scary as the waves are that HUGE but at the same time fun experience because it is my first time to ride on a surf board. I think I incurred some bruises at my back after my attempt to surf.

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Beautiful Indian Ocean reaching to the Shoreline.

Cliff ledge were lined up, lined up high at the shoreline. Seem arrogant facing the brunt of waves that came rolling toward the shore. sea breeze blowing, foam hit the shore, shaking the leaves of coconut trees, every dream away visitors.

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Me and My Yellow Surf Board.

It’s safe to say that dreamland beach is best for surfing-it is impossible to enjoy swimming here with your kid.Huge waves so near to the shore providing ideal place for the surfers. Too dangerous for kids and for first timers in surfing. Those waves I witnessed can kill someone in just a minute.

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 Sexy in her Two Piece Black Swimsuit.

  Dreamland is the only place in Bali that use of International Law. So the rules at this beach is more free. Visitors can consume alcohol or to bare-chested women on this beach without prosecution. But unluckily I wasn’t able to see naked guys and girls in the sand stretch.

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I Wish I knew How To Surf Like Him.

Apart from surfing you can also rent umbrellas along the coast so you can hide from the heat of the sun while a therapist is making you feel relax with a full body massage. In addition, here are also available toilet facilities if you want to change clothes and shower. But the pricing is quite expensive even for just pee in this area.

As the name implies, it is definitely a DREAMLAND destination. A must visit during your stay in Bali! I spent more or less 3 hours and I enjoyed it so much that I don’t want to leave the place. The bluest sea I had ever witnessed so far with clear blue sky. Dreamland has less crowds and noise so if you needed some escape from the busy and crowded Kuta Beach then this place is tapered for you.

HOW TO GET HERE:

The place is distant and secluded so your best choice of getting here is to charter a taxi or hire a private car with driver, The beach is now open to the public and no entrance fee is ask.

LEGIAN BEACH

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 First Glance of Legian Beach

Coming from the powdery white sand and less crowded Dreamland beach. Seeing Legian Beach is a bit of disappoint. I’ve traveled that far from Dreamland Beach only to see rubbish lined up in the coast.Let’s just say that Legian Beach is just a less crowded version of Kuta Beach. It is considered as the second most popular beach after Kuta Beach because of its close association with beach life and its parties.

As its name suggests, literally ‘sweet’ in Balinese, but for someone reason I can’ seemed to see the sweetness in this beach. Legian is on the south west coast of Bali, in between Kuta and Seminyak. It is quite a condensed area of Bali with very little trees or gardens on the streets. In resorts, hotels, residences.

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The beach has volcanic sand which is slightly darker and courser compare to common beaches we know.

Legian Beach is considered by many to be the United Nations of beaches since it is almost always filled with tourists from different nations. Americans, Europeans, Brazilians, Asians and local Balinese beach fans walk the sandy beach stretch side by side. Strolling along the shore and surfing the waves are the most popular activities here since Legian Beach is not really conducive to swimming.

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BE WARY OF THE RED FLAG.

You should look out where to swim and observe the surface for brownish health threatening foam. Don’t swim close to the streams either. At times the beach is totally shutdown to tourists if there is a threat of huge waves not suitable for tourist. And if you attempted to swim somewhere near the flag. always make sure someone will be able to see you right away if you feel like drowning. I managed to swim here despite of the rubbish everywhere just for the sake of experience but I was really cautious not to go farther.

The time I spent here is mostly for walking back and forth, enjoying the sand, sea breeze and the sound of water sloshing. If you have a budget you can rent a reclined chairs with umbrella for 50 IDR for 2 chairs. Across the beach are lined up restaurants,bars and stores very much open to all.

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 Colorful Beach Bean Bags.

It can be a nice beach if not for some rubbish, stray dogs, beggars and hawkers competing for your attention. If you headed down to Legian Beach early enough, the beach would be fairly empty and would be a lovely place for a morning jog and swim.

This place is always packed with surfers lining up to catch that perfect wave, while the non-surfing tourists content themselves by idly reclining on a beach chair listening to the surf and waiting for the sun to set.

The only good thing I can say about this beach is it doesn’t feel crowded even in peak hours because of it’s long stretch of brownish sand beach and you can easily pick your spot to sit and lie down compare to Kuta. Other’s may hate Legian but still this place has always been a favorite to some primarily for its very relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.

HOW TO GET HERE:

If you are staying within Kuta and Seminyak area then you can either walk, drive or bike to get to the beach and while on your way you will pass by numerous stalls selling all kinds of merchandise. You can also hire a taxi driver to bring you to the beach but take note that the road are dense and populated and cars get jammed in this area specially during rush hours.

KUTA BEACH

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Pura Lempuyang Door Welcomes You To Kuta Beach

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Define C.R.O.W.D.E.D…

Kuta is one of Bali’s best-known beaches and often the initial stop for Bali first-timers. It’s a good place for new arrivals to get their bearings. Visitors should be careful of side-street money changers though — it’s best to stick to banks or hotels as small operators are known for cheating customers.

Kuta Beach is my last beach and final stop for the day before my flight back to KL. It was past 4PM when we reached Kuta Beach from Legian. The distance is not so far from Legian like 15-20 minutes all depends on traffic. KUTA-LEGIAN-SEMINYAK are the most popular destination in Bali so everything is cramped here which makes it difficult for motorist. The roads in Bali are narrow and usually a 2 way lane.

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I’ve managed to sneak in to this beach on my 1st day in Bali while I was waiting for my host to come pick me up after his work. I was just strolling on the beach enjoying the sights and sounds on my 1st visit. I did not love it but nor hate it. Well, some may have spoken that it is the worst beach but there can be a 1 good reason why KUTA is still the famous beach here in Bali despite of the negative reviews.

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It is located side by side with other beaches such as the Legian, Seminyak, and Tuban. Kuta beach’s length is about 8 km through the beach from the North to the South of Bali. Kuta Beach is a beach with a wide spread of white sand and beautiful scenery.

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 Magpaka Sporty Tau..Mema Lang.. Mema Gawa Lang..

Some of the activities you can enjoy here are swimming, surfing, sunbathing, walking through the beach, sitting and relaxing at the beach.Other activities can be done around the Kuta Beach are including playing ball run through the beach.Before sunset, crowds rush to the beach waiting to watch Kuta’s legendary sunsets. At night, you can be see the gala of night life around the Kuta Beach area with the sound of music coming from cafes and bars located at the edge of the road.  When you’re having activities in the sea or the beach do not leave your valuables unintended.

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 Here’s the Red Flag again.

The flag is placed by the beach guard to provide visitors with signs on sea areas with big waves which are not save for surfing and swimming. Lifeguards are unfortunately quite rare in Bali. Some beaches have lifeguards and flags with yellow and red markings that indicate the presence of a lifeguard. These beaches are safe to swim in, as are beaches with no flags in sight.

I personally love Kuta because of it’s strategic location. Everything that you need as a traveler is here from budget accommodation (poppies lane), restaurants, bars, internet, mini markets, ATM, and shopping center. Other areas which tourists usually like to use as a base to travel around Bali are Legian, Seminyak, and Nusa Dua.

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Surfing Lesson is Ongoing.

Kuta is a well known destination amongst surfing enthusiasts. A long sandy beach with a lack of dangerous rocks or coral, makes the area attractive for beginners. The waves are higher here and the currents are strong making it a perfect haven for surfers.For 50,000-100,000 IDR you can make your surfing dream come true with the help of some professional surfing schools sprawled along the beach.

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Lovely Aussie Couple Ready To Hit The Beach

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Let’s Have A Walk With The Dogs.

If you’re a backpacker looking for cheap accommodation in Kuta, just go to Poppies Lane Alley, where you can pick your low-budget inns and restaurants. Almost every evening there is a performance of Balinese -dance somewhere in Kuta. You will find alot of warungs and touts which will force you to buy what they are selling but if you are not understand you can politely refuse or just start walking away. Balinese people are friendly but there are just less percentage who you will hate the most which most often than not scammers and opportunist taxi drivers.

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This Is Life…

Kuta has a serious problem dealing with the sanitation and cleanliness. It is just sad to reality that this place turns into a dumpster and the Indonesian Govt. are lacking the skills to prevent these things from happening. This is what happens when a place become so famous and things go beyond undercontol.

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And to complete the ultimate Bali experience, I bought a can of Bintang Beer while I was lying on the sand waiting for the famous sunset in Kuta beach.The noise can be annoying but I had fun doing People Watching.

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If you got tired of sand,sun and strong waves then you can walk across the street and you will see The Beachwalk mall ,housing a lot of branded stores, and other shops. I didn’t explore the inside of the mall as my time is very limited.

Overall it was not an outstanding experience in Kuta Beach but I kinda enjoy it at some point leads me to a realization that if you look beyond the obvious vile aspects of Kuta, you can still enjoy yourself here.

HOW TO GET HERE:

There are plenty of taxis that can take you to Kuta beach. You can rent these by the meter or by the hour. Taking your own car is not recommended as parking here is very tight. If staying along Seminyak and Legian then you can take a walk from your accommodation and pass by some interesting things within the area.

INSIGHT..

For some they will say that going to Bali is just a waste of time and money because the place is just an overrated and uber-populated with Aussie’s. But here’s my take.. You don’t say that a place is not worth seeing not until you see it from your eyes. There will always be bad reviews and negative hearsay but this Island will not attract millions of visitor every year if there is nothing worth seeing. For me, Bali is one of my favorite destination to date with and very close to my heart. Given another chance, Surely I will go back here again. Bali’s beaches may not be as pristine as the famous beaches of Thailand and Philippines but the beaches in Bali has it’s own charm which is embraced by all travelers who have come to Bali.

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2 thoughts on “iNDONESIA | Bali’s White, Brown and Black Sand Beaches

  1. Pingback: Oneula Beach Park

  2. Pingback: Padang-Padang Beach - Travelin' with JC

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