Balangan is one of the surfing beaches on the western side of the Bukit peninsula located just north of Dreamland. To get there from Kuta you take Bypass Ngurah Rai heading towards Nusa Dua and look for the Uluwatu turn off to the right after about 10 minutes.
Basically head up the hill and go straight through the small crossroads, ignoring the sign for Balangan to the right. Keep going and turn right at this entrance, which is also the Dreamland entrance. Follow the road downhill for a mile or so, you go through 3 roundabouts and will pass a small sign to the left saying Dreamland. Keep going and shortly you will see this turnoff with a sign for Balangan.
This road becomes heavily rutted, after all the Bukit is a limestone plateau and the rain just chews up the ground. Riding slowly you can get down and can actually get a motorbike or SUV all the way to the beach, which is nice!
On the way down to the beach you will pass a couple of signs for accommodation. There are actually 3 places but the last one has not yet got themselves organized enough to fix up a sign. The 3 places are La Joya, Flower Bud Bungalows and Coconut Hummingbird.
Here is my look at each or them.
The first place I visited was Flower Bud Bungalows had 4 bungalows. The place is rustic style with neat bamboo and wood construction. The gardens are lush and well taken care of and the whole place has a tropical feel. Each bungalow has 1 room and there is one with 3 rooms. Price per bungalow is 250,000rp per night.
There is a restaurant area with a proper menu. Staff were friendly and the atmosphere was very chill. Owners are local Balinese. The place is fairly quiet except for roosters next door and the odd motorbike going to the beach. No A/C.
When I visited 3 of the bungalows were full with younger people from the UK.
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Across the narrow street is Coconut Hummingbird which is owned by a Japanese guy named Takuro who is super mellow. He was so laid back that when I asked who his customers were he replied they were mostly his friends from Japan. This place has no menu and Takuro said they do everything family style.
2 bungalows, 1 room in each, no A/C. Cost is 450,000rp for 2 people including breakfast.
Extremely mellow place with circular type bale structure overlooking the surf at Balangan.
This place is Japanese focused and there are 2 other bungalows that are part way constructed.
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La Joya opened in July 2003 and is currently managed by Celine from France. The place is French owned.
8 bungalows (2 people in each or 3 if one is a child). 800,000rp per night all year round.
There is also a house for 6 people for 3,000,000rp per night.
Celine told me this is not really a surfer place and they get a lot of European holiday-makers. Staff were friendly.
Heading down the hill you can park your car / bike or continue down. The entry to the beach is split by a gully that is dry most of the year. To the right is a line of shacks that service the surfing crowd. None were doing much business when I visited being March, there was surf however and I saw plenty of locals enjoying good waves.
There are a couple of other places offering food and ding repair. This is slow season and no one was advertising board rentals although during the high season (June-August) you can expect to see more people down here.
If you keep walking to the far right side of the beach you will dead end at Pura Balangan, the local temple.
The beach at Balangan is great. It is sandy and when I visited only 1 person was using it. Balangan is a reef break though which differentiates it from Dreamland.
Heading back to the center of the beach I checked out the warungs on the other side of the gully. There are about 10 places, 3 of which are operating right now. Feels like nothing is going on and the place feels deserted.
There is accommodation on this side of the beach with a couple of 2-storey places at the far left side. One was locked, the other called Jimis Café was in operation although no one was staying there. I got the manager Wing Nut to show me the 2 rooms. A single lockable door accessed these. Wing Nut said he charged 50,000rp a night to stay here. Definitely negotiate.
A large Bintang at Jimis goes for 15,000rp, small for 10,000rp and a nasi goreng for 20,000rp.
Wingnut told me this was a very quiet time of year (March ) and June-Aug was the busy period. The great thing about Balangan for surfers is that beach is nice, there are warungs and places to sleep right there and the break is spread out between what seems to be 3 peaks starting at the point to the far left. All left handers.
Here is a piece of local knowledge for you. Balangan at low tide is decent at the point around the corner, as most surfers will only surf the reef at high tide and there might not be so many people at this time.
As I say on this hot March day people were catching waves galore with decent sets rolling in. For a surfer looking to spend a month at the beach and surf everyday this might work for you out of peak season.
Walking along the beach I did not see much garbage. The west of the island is known to get a lot of garbage due to plastic that flows down the rivers then washes onshore. Balangan seemed fine when I visited, probably due to the light rain we have had this year.
Riding back to the main road means navigating the rutted stretch then taking the long uphill section of the Dreamland development you came down. There is a little shop at the first roundabout you pass. At the main gate that joins the main road there are security guarding a barrier but they do not charge for you to pass.
Down the hill a couple of kilometers is that annoying little police check-point on the right side. They sometimes pull random foreigners over in the afternoon so think about your driving license situation, or go really fast and blaze right through.
You can scoot through Jimbaran and join the Bypass back to Kuta. Weekday rush hours can be a bit frantic with some idiots on the road.