Sometimes, a break is what you need from the crowds in Bali. That is what I realized when I visited Kuta. I felt disheartened with the constant background din that comes with being in a crowded beach. There was this burning desire to get away from the madding crowd. That is why I jumped at the opportunity of visiting a secluded beach as soon as I heard about it from a local. Although, secluded may seem to bit of a stretch.
The beach in question was Balian Beach and it is on the same island as Kuta. Hiring a taxi, I prepared myself for a journey over 1.5 kilometres. Although the distance may not seem to be much, it felt to me as if hours had passed. I have the difficult and winding road conditions to thank for that.
So there I was looking at the lovely and quaint sight that Balian, a small village, greeted me. I decided right then to spend a night. After all, the place was peaceful. It wouldn’t be fair to say that the beach was empty. No, the place had people but not enough to make it seem crowded.
However, the crowds didn’t interest me. What I was interested in were the gorgeous waves that made me want to take out my surfboard. I decided to postpone surfing for a later time and instead take a walk. Being low tide, the local fishermen were busy casting their nets near the mouth of the river. There was something to be said about the grace that accompanied their movements, being perfected by daily practice. Moving on, I came across a stunning sight! Imagine palm trees and rice paddy fields swaying under the salty breeze.
I decided to call it a day and retire to one of the many accommodations available here. I opted for a room on the second floor in a beach house. The view of beach and the sea was fantastic!
The next day, I continued my explorations. I focused my efforts near the river having heard from a local that the place was good for swimming. The information was completely accurate and I had a good time swimming. It also seemed like the perfect place to wander about aimlessly which is exactly what I proceeded to do.
The Balian Beach is one of the best surfing spots I have come across in Bali. The waves are powerful and possess a long swell. It was a challenge but I was up for it. Thanks to the presence of the river mouth, the waves tend to have an A-frame. It made surfing all the more enjoyable. However, I was warned by locals never to surf or swim in the seas after spells of heavy rain or if the water seems murky. Bull sharks are common and are often found near the river mouth. Beware of these dangerous beasts.
As I watched the dusk settle over the beach, I felt reinvigorated and ready to brave the huge crowds and the party scenes in the rest of Bali. However, I think, that the true beauty of Bali lies in these spots. Of course, that just may be me. After all, ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.