Everyone is looking for the ‘hidden beach’, includung myself today. Driving along the road from Candi Dasa towards Amlapura, we shot through the village of Perasi and past the tiny entrance to the track that leads to Pasir Putih beach. Pulling a U’y, I foudn the entrance and warned Toby and Ika about the rocky entry. I have memories of dragging my friends Sean and Chris down this lane, only to make a navigational error, ending up at a dead end and unable to get the underpowered SUV back up the slope. That didn’t happen this time, and we made it to the beach. I could tell Toby was nervous, and he later told me he was scared of crashing. Pasir Putih is one of the best beaches in Bali and arriving everytime only confirms that for me. The setting is a lovely white sand beach, with local fishing boats a few bamboo warungs (was only 1 in 2003) and tall waving palms trees in the background.
There are now sunshades and I saw an employees from a local resort hotel, setting up a lounge bed, table and champagne for 2 honeymooners. Quite funny as the local sunlounger owners questioned him why he didn’t use theirs!
Today the water was freshingly cool, the sand scorching hot in places. I carried Jevon into 3 ft deep water, but was careful not to let him wander near the water’s ewdge due to strong undertows, even with the small ripples that were coming in. Wearing my cowboy hat the whole time (a feature that has become part of my head) I avoided sun burn for the most part.
Also on the beach were some European families with young kids. One guy from France told me he lives in the area, and that the ocean was cooler than normal. He also said waves have been bigger lately.
Toby and I drained a couple of Bintangs before taking off. Too bad we couldn’t spend a week there. Chatting with Toby we agreed it takes a person a while to acclimatize to a new place. Imagine showing up at this beach with a your small bag, hanging out and asking a local to rent you a room in their village. Your time in Bali would be wonderful, inexpensive and totally 100% different from 99% of other tourists. A small amount of Bahasa Indonesia and a willing attitude is all you need to make friend out here. I have memories of draining a petrol can of tuak with a dozen fellows in East Bali. Local dances and village culture opens up if you have time and let go of your ‘western reservations’ (we all have them).
The lady at the beachside warung seemed nice, I knew she wasn’t making any money due to the number of tourists around. Asking for 2 small Bintangs, and the price, she told me 15,000rp each. “Mahal sekali!!!” (very expensive) I said. “How much you want then?” she said in Indonesian. After a moment’s thought I said !0,000rp. Still expensive but she gets to make a few rp. A cold one in paradise is worth the extra cost.
Pasir Putih Beach
•What is it?
A white sand beach in East Bali.
•Where is it?
Locateed in the village of Perasi. Access point is a gap between a row of buildings, on the main road between Candi Dasa and Amlapura. There is a small sign indicating a beach, but its easy to miss. Coming from Candi Dasa, if you reach the petrol station before Amlapura, you have gone too far, its a few hundred meters before that.
Once you’ve found the narrow local street that runs directly off of the main road, its relatively easy. Follow that straight downhill. Expects a heavily rutted road, followed by a heavily rutted dirt road. You’ll be charged 5,000rp at a checkpoint, then reaching a parking area, take the dirt shelf to the right, instead of the more obvious tarmac road straight. After 5 minutes, you’ll be at the beach. Most SUV type cars, including Kijangs, Suzuki’s etc can make it, motorbikes no problem.
A few small basic warungs selling mostly drink and nasi goreng.
You’ll have to use the bushes.
There are loungers with shades for hire. Negotiate.
•Dangers & annoyances:
Swimming out to far by yourself could mean sayonara, if you’re not careful, even though it looks peaceful. Generally its a safe beach to swim on, plenty of fishing boats. Some beach vendors may follow you to the place you sit and talk relentlessly. This did not happen this time to us.
•Best time to come:
Anytime is good.
•Who is Pasir Putih good for?
People who don’t mind some extra driving, to get a great beach. People who want a local beach, with few facilites and stunning nature. Honeymooners.
•Who is this beach not good for?
People who need everything NOW. People who want a Circle K / Pizza Hut next door