I'm going to be in Bali for a while at the end of May and have 3 and a half days at the end to spend chilling out on a beach. I'll have been staying outside Ubud for the rest of the month so really looking forward to waking up to sand and waves for a few days!
Does anyone have recommendations of places that are
a) chilled and nice (not looking for the party scene)
b) beautiful (white sands!)
c) have some scuba facilities. I'm only looking to do the 3 day openwater part of the PADI though.
#1 freerangehuman has been a member since 26/2/2011. Posts: 2
If the white sands are a show stopper than I'd recommend Candi Dasa - the beaches at the town itself are largely gone, but there is a very nice (almost white) beach not far from there (called, umm, white sand beach!) Candi Dasa is also a bit of a diving centre.
If you're flexible on the sand colour, I'd recommend Amed as it is prettier than Candi Dasa and also has snorkelling and diving and from there you can go to Tulamben for even more diving.
Hope that helps
#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,789
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Go to the Gili Islands! It is a 2 hour boat ride from Bali. The Gilis are 3 islands (Gili Trawangan, Gili Air and Gili Meno). Gili T is the party island, so if that is not what you want then you should go to Gili Meno.
Gili Meno has white sands, is chill and a PADI Center. The area is known for sea turtles and you are almost guaranteed to see some on dives.
#3 cisdeluca has been a member since 17/1/2011. Posts: 13
Thanks for that! Both suggestions are really helpful. I was considering the Gillis but heard conflicting things about getting there. What's the quickest given I don't have heaps of time? Would rather boat if possible.
#4 freerangehuman has been a member since 26/2/2011. Posts: 2
Nusa Lembongan was really chill and I heard the diving was good (didn't try it though). It's a 30 minute ferry from Sanur, Bali. The beach where you arrive - Jungut Batu - isn't that nice because it's full of boats, but the other beaches are pretty. Dream Beach or Sunset Beach fit the bill for what you're looking for.
Since Travelfish doesn't cover Nusa Lembongan yet, check it out on Wikitravel -- http://wikitravel.org/en/Nusa_Lembongan
Amed area is a good place, and most hotels are 5 metres away from the beach. Yes I mentioned hotel instead of hostel. Because this is another super-secret. The hotels are situated close to the beach, but for now, charges very low season prices. 100K Rupiah to 150K Rupiah for a room with a swimming pool, and 5 metres away from the beach! (plus breakfast)
I've spoken to some locals manning a minimart. She says high season is July and August, whereby everywhere is full because of tourists from Australia (Australian winter escape).
You would need a motorbike to get around. Because simply there's no touts of taxi, or public transport readily available. I met a French family, they were snorkelling off the coast everyday by themselves, and different new spots daily. And then they are back at the swimming pool!
Here is really "kampung" and one way to tell, is there isn't much local food stalls at all. Yes, this is a good observation and I asked some locals and do some research. Balinese people (specifically) combine their meals into a brunch. Balinese family usually cook the whole day's meal (stew, soup, salads, rice) in the morning, and before noon, it's ready to be served. Eating out is a luxury or not-essential since we have food at home right? And usually just re-cook the leftover meal for dinner. Again this applies to really out-of-city folks, and those of lesser income and traditional Balinese family. And in Amed and North East area, which isn't that rich, that's life.
You will see restaurants run by the hotels along the main road, overcharging the meals. There are no little warung or nasi padang (nasi padang is Padang, Java style). There is though little pondok selling hot coffee (2000 Rupiah), bottled drinks.
So back to snorkelling and diving, there are many places and many diving operators here. And they are sure willing to give a discount. Feel free to compare. Jemeluk, Japanese wreck, Meditasi, among the places I recalled - that the French family were talking about. And yes the Japanese wreck is NOT the one in Tulamben. It's a spot that is close to the coast, for snorkelling! Their kids love it.
Amed area is rather hilly, and at one hilly terrain, you could look back, and see the majestic Mount Agung with the seaview below. Awesome, and a unique perspective of Mount Agung as compared to the usual viewing points in the middle of Bali.
For food, be prepared to perhaps buy some stuff first before coming. If you've a bike, then you can bike out to say Amlapura to eat. I even biked to Candidasa for lunch.
I agree with Idreamofdurian here - Lembongan is a great little place. It's a very tiny island that you can easily explorer on a motorbike or scooter. It 's a great place to learn to ride a motorbike if you haven't ever ridden before as there is virtually no traffic and only about 6 cars on the whole island! You can also ride across the bridge over to Ceningan (the island next door) and get some fabulous views of gorgeous coastline, etc.
I found the people on Lembongan to be some of the friendliest I have been, you can do a nice little row-boat trip through mangroves, snorkle from the beach, etc.
I also agree first impressions were disappointing as you arrive at Jungutbatu but it doesn't take long to discover what an awesome place it is.
Although not directly on the beach, I stayed at Secret Garden Homestay which a great little budget place about 50m back from the beach, directly opposite from where the boat drops you off.
I agree with Lembongan!!
... and if you're into diving look up the guys at Blue Corner Dive - they're a couple young guys who started up a rustic dive resort on the beach... and throw a fun friday night party - swimming pool and beach fire, what could be better!! facebook page: www.facebook.com/BlueCornerDive
#9 aquaticandy has been a member since 19/9/2011. Posts: 8