Around two months ago we touched down in Bali, ready for some sun, sea and surf, and we weren’t disappointed! With world class surfing you’ll never be bored, whether you’re sat on the famous cliff tops at Ulawatu watching the pro-surfers riding barrels or renting a 9 foot foam board at Kuta beach to try it yourself. Or head further north and you’ll hit ‘Batu Bolong‘ beach, which is aptly nicknamed ‘Old Man’s Beach‘ thanks to the laid back vibe and gentle rolling waves, needless to say this has become our favourite surf spot.
Another reason we fell in love with Bali was the sheer variety from upmarket restaurants and fancy boutiques to road side food carts and market stalls, there’s something for everyone, on every budget.
And our biggest reason for setting up camp on the ‘Island of the Gods‘ was the high speed WiFi. Fiber optic is a fairly new addition to Bali, but head to the popular spots and you can expect uploads speeds twice as fast as anything I experienced in the UK, not bad for a third world country ey?!
But as with any new place, especially ‘paradise’, after a few weeks, months or years the cracks begin to show. The influx of tourists over the Christmas period made the popular areas of Kuta and Seminyak unbearable. And it wasn’t just tourists, Indonesians flocked from the neighbouring island of Java, crime rates soured and we too became some of the unlucky victims.
A lot of people see Bali as a tropical paradise, however the rapid development has actually changed what was once a stereotypical tropical island into a bustling metropolis of people from all over the world. But all hope it not lost, as it only takes half an hour to find the real Bali!
If a tropical paradise is what you’re after simply head to the boat dock in Sanur and book yourself a ticket to Nusa Lembongan. Boats leave every hour throughout the day and take half an hour to reach the best kept secret in Bali. Replace volcanic black sand beaches with picture perfect white sand and azure blue seas, and forget about traffic congestion, boat is the main form of transportation here. This little gem has it all, pick up a surf board and head to ‘Playgrounds‘ for some beginner to intermediate surf, or if you’re feeling brave, head over to ‘Lacerations‘ (need I say more!) or ‘Shipwrecks‘ for some more advanced waves. All three are reef breaks so be careful and make sure you surf at high tide!
Surfing not your thing?! Don’t worry you’ll find world-class scuba diving here. Sitting in the bottom left-hand corner of the famous ‘Coral Triangle‘ you’ll be spoiled for choice with a ton of dive sites, circling this island and the two neighbouring islands, Cenigan and Penida. With a whole host of dive schools (around 13 or so) offering certifications from beginner to instructor level, there’s something for everyone. And even if you’re not a water baby, you can hop on a scooter and drive through the lush greenery, discover the mangroves, sit on the top of the island at Panorama Bar and have a cold Bintang, or pick up that book you’ve been meaning to read all year, because the pace of life here makes even the most highly strung of us remember what life is actually all about!
Looking for somewhere to rest your weary head after all that surfing or diving? Head to Mega Cottage, run by Joe and his family, expect a beach side hut with air-con (cold water showers) on Jungut Batu Beach next to the seaweed farmers. It’ll only set you back around £13.50 per night, and you might be able to haggle even more of a bargain in low season.
If you’d like any extra info on Nusa Lembongan please drop us an email, but shhhh don’t let the secret out!