Dec 25 2010
Balangan is basically the next beach of any size between what used to be known as Dreamland (now fittingly referred to as “New Kuta”) and the Ayana Resort (and Jimbaran after it). The beach is down a steep staircase (easy to climb when not carrying two small, wet children) and an assortment of warungs and cheap homestay/shacks are set up along the eastern end of the beach.
Balangan Beach is very well regarded for its surf break (a reef break not all that far offshore) and it saw a considerable influx of visitors when the regulars fled Dreamland. At high tide some good swimming can be had — though bear in mind, as a surf beach, you’ll need to keep a close eye on kids as the currents here can be very swift. At low tide a rocky base breaks the surface, making much of it crummy for swimming but ideal for pond watching, shell collecting and sandcastle building.
Also of note is the actual sand here. Like at nearby Bingin, the grains of sand are, by and large, perfectly spherical — they’ll make you think of couscous, I guarantee it. Balangan beach is a very good length and will take about an hour to walk end to end.
Accommodation at Balangan basically falls into two categories — cheap and basic backpacker digs down on the beach, and more flashpacker to mid-range stuff up above the beach on the cliff.
This remains one of our favourite beaches on Bali, and if you have time to visit just one of the seven beaches we’re writing about, this should be the one. Depending on traffic it is about an hour’s drive from Kuta and easily done by car or motorbike.
Many first-time visitors to Bali find themselves a little underwhelmed by the beaches. It’s a response easy to imagine considering all the beautiful beaches featured on Bali brochures and the reality of crowded Kuta. Luckily, Bali is a big island with pretty beaches enough for everyone, and over the next seven days we’ll show you one a day to help you fill out a week’s beach holiday in Bali.
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