Balangan beach

Our favourite

Photo of , , Bukit

What we say: 4.5 stars

Balangan is one of Bali's lesser known beaches, but is all the better for it. Glorious surf, amazingly spherical sand and small crowds.

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 and an assortment of warungs and cheap homestay/shacks are set up along the eastern end of the beach. Slightly to the west of centre is a temple and after that there is nothing — just sand.

The beach backs onto an imposing limestone cliff. Note the cliff fishermen on the northern headland and the golfcourse (a part of the Pecatu disaster area) on the southern headland. It's easy to walk up to the northern headland from where you'll be able to spy Ayana, the airport and beyond.

At hightide there is some good swimming to be had — though bear in mind, as a surf beach, the currents can be fast an strong. At low tide a rocky base breaks the surface, making much of it crummy for swimming but ideal for pond watching, shell collecting and of course, as the tide drops, dam-building. If you start building lots of dams — or sand castles — you'll note another of Balangan's special features. The grains of sand are, by and large, perfectly spherical. They immediately bring couscous to mind, and are apparently due to them being rolled over the stone base by the waves.

The sun sets more or less directly offshore and the vista is spectacular.

Balangan is of the easiest beaches to access with the parking area just a short walk away. Parking is 2,000 rupiah for motorbikes and 5,000 rupiah for cars.

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