Balian: Surf spot in West Bali

When people think of surf spots in west Bali, they think of Medewi. Earlier this week, passing through Soka Beach, Barrie, who is an experienced surfer, pointed out some okay places to surf. Back in 2003, I visited Balian, a quiet place in west Bali, that gets swell. Looking back on it, we were in a great location.

Balian as a surfing / holiday destination

•Gets some decent swell
•Easy access, close to main road.

•Can be too quiet for some people
•Isn’t the greatest surf spot in Bali
•A limited choice places to stay, eat.
•No nightlife
•Nasty busy road back to Kuta.




On my trip to Balian, I stayed with a friend of a friend, in a simple place overlooking the beach. Here is a message board on Wannasurf, with people talking about the good old days at Balian.

Accommodation options in Balian have been increasing in recent years. Here are a few options.
Villa Tranquil
Pondok Pisces Bungalows & Balian Riverside Sanctuary
Balian Breezes

There is a place called Balian Surf Bungalows, but my browser keeps crashing, every time I try to load their site. So as far as we’re concered, they don’t exist.


How far in Balian?
Balian is 90 minutes from Kuta
How do you get to Balian?
From Kuta you take the Sunset Rd to Kerobokan, head towards Canggu, Tanah Lot, Tabanan, then Gilimanuk. Balian is along the way after Soka Beach.
What’s Balian like?
Balian is a quiet stretch of coast, lined with palm trees, and rice fields / hills behind. Quiet village life, with a dirty great main road going through the middle.
Who is Balian good for?
Balian is good for surfers, people who like a quiet existance, and people who would enjoy an interaction, more in tune with a Balinese village, than a shopping mall.
Who would Balian not be good for?
People who need to be entertained. Attention deficit kids. People who demand a wide choice of places to shop, eat, drink, party.
Best time to come to Balian:
Dry season, April-October.
What should you bring to Balian?
A car to allow you to explore. Books, reading materials. Special snacks you might like, liquor. Cash money.
Dangers and annoyances:
Currents / drowning. Don’t swim by yourself without telling anyone where you are going. Main road is very busy.
Convenience stores:
Last time I went there was a little shop and a warung, probably more now.
ATM’s / banks:
No. Go to Tabanan
What’s near Balian?
In autumn you can visit Negara (Perancak) for the mekepung (buffalo races). Medewi is a decent surf spot in west Bali. You can head up into the hills for some unspoilt rice field views and cooler air. Pura Rambut Siwi to the west in an important temple.

5 thoughts on “Balian: Surf spot in West Bali

  • Guiet Dominique

    Hi .Thank you about your comment about Balian.The place deserve some recognition as an old Bali place .If you want to get away from the tourist trap,This is it. Check Gajah mina beach resort ,on the right side of Pondok pisces.Great restaurant.Fantastic view on the hedland,Nature walk s on Mejan beach ;30kms, natural caves,Wildlife; Monitor lezards,Bats.Great accomodation.27mtrs swimming pool.Meditation and yoga room.Ceck it out next time you around and the surf is not pumping.

  • omah

    G’day, I think I might know barrie that wrote the above article.
    I have been living around the balian area for about 15 years and have certainly seen some changes over that time. There are alot more places to stay , which is good and bad as you’ve got more choice but there is potentialy more guys in the water.

    Balian is a sweet spot in Bali and although the secret is kinda out you still can get that elusive surf with just you and a couple of mates out. In fact I had it firing about a week ago on the inside left with me and only two japanese out. needless to say I got my fare share of waves. It was 3-4ft super glassy and bowling up on the inside. Not quite barrelling but super sucky and whackable.

    Anyway I built a place in balian a couple of years ago so next time you are round that way come check me out.
    Peace Omah

  • Balian Breezes

    Balian has changed heaps over the years, with more an more bungalows and villas going up each year. The village is a nice place, a quiet place for those who just want to surf and relax. These days theres more and more accomdation available to those looking to stay in Balian. Accomodation in the place varies from luxury places like Gajah Minah to secluded/comfortable places like Balian Breezes, Villa Tranquil, and Pondok Pisces. Heaps of other cheaper options around as well. The surf is normally good all year around, though in the rainy months you tend to get some broken of branches flowing out of the rivermouth which can sometimes be a pain. Overall though, Balian wouldnt be a beginners spot as the current is quite strong but for those who are willing to wake up early to beat the winds you’ll be sure enough to get a few sets in here.
    For those travelling with your partners who dont surf, it would be a good idea to bring along some books and DVDs before heading out to Balian, as there is not much nightlife out here. Also there are only a few places out here that have swimming pools in there complex, Balian Breezes, Villa Tranquil and Gajah Minah. From these places you can also get really cheap and great traditional Balinese massages as well. These places are also a/conditioned.

    Restuarants in the area are few, but you have the local warungs, Tom’s cafe, Balian Breezes has staff if your staying there to prepare awesome meals. If you have a car and are willing to drive to find other places to eat you have places like Global Warung, and others along the road to Medewi.

    For those who intend to go/stay Im sure you wont be disapointed!

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