Bali’s Bukit (meaning peninsular) has long been the top destination for the world’s surfers. Away from the hustle of downtown Kuta, you’ll frequently see cows on the side of the road and unforced smiles from the locals. With names like Uluwatu and Padang Padang offering a raft of challenging waves breaking over razor sharp reef. You will either get the wave of your life or leave a pound of flesh behind as fish food.
In recent years the Bukit has come to the attention of more and more international travellers, meaning more accommodation options and unfortunately more crowded wave line-ups. But in amongst the chaos there are a few wave and accommodation options allowing you to experience the real Bali for a totally reasonable price. Yes there are expensive villa’s littered up and down the coast line, but the following shows you how to get a luxury experience on a budget.
Just down the road from the famed Padang Padang is the short left reef break of Bingin. Usually crowded due to its easy paddle out, you can stroke 200m up the reef and score the walling long lefts of Impossibles all to yourself.
Where to stay:
Most home stays on the Bingin headland are owned by ex-pat Aussies, Englishmen and Japanese, however Alamanda Villa’s just back from the headland is the locally owned option. Simple and beautifully appointed, the villas all come with air-conditioning and outdoor bathrooms. The real benefit of staying here is the owner and operator Wayan. Softly spoken, warm and friendly, she cooks meals to die for like the Nasi Campur or the Chicken Curry. Rooms are about $50 a night.
Just around from the newly developed monstrosity of Dreamland is Bali’s best kept beach secret. Balangan is the white sand beach that is hard to find, and harder to leave. The surf break is a fantastic walling down the line freight train and the banana lounges and wurongs on the beach will keep even the most dogged surf wife happy.
Where to stay:
Just back from the beach are the super cute Flowerbud Bungalows. Each bungalow is set amongst wild gardens, giving it a tree house vibe. At night you can listen to the waves crash on the reef as you drift off to sleep. There was unfortunately no air-conditioning when I last stayed, but we were assured that this was not far off.
The ultimate in secret spots, Greenball sits halfway between Uluwatu and Nusa Dua, along the rugged coast. Coming out of deep water, this will have a wave when the rest of the coast is flat. A very fickle break, you may have to wait for the right tide to move into place. There are several accommodation options just a short scooter ride away.
You will be hassled to buy drinks and get massages at this break as they do not see a lot of tourists. You may even be offered jiggy jiggy… I’ll let your imagination work out what that means.