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.
•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.
Pondok Pisces Bungalows & Balian Riverside Sanctuary
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.
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.