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-   -   Bali Beaches and other questions (https://www.fodors.com/community/asia/bali-beaches-and-other-questions-143726/)

sabine Jan 6th, 2003 12:26 PM

Bali Beaches and other questions
 
My first questions is, where is the best place for snorkeling in Bali, and where are the best beaches ( I am thinking white sand , turqouise waters) ? Also, we are interested in just renting a car and driving around the island and exploring. Will 10 days be enough time to truly experience bali ? Also, anyone reccomend Nusa Lembogan as a great place to visit for snorkeling ? <BR>Thanks

Nancy Jan 7th, 2003 05:12 AM

Others on this site may disagree, but if you really want beautiful beaches and good snorkelling, Bali is not really the place for you. Many of the beaches in Bali are long and wide, but you will NOT find white sand or turquoise water. There are some unusual black sand along the east coast. However, in many areas the surf if very rough (excellent surfing if you are interested, hence all the Australians), and there is a strong undertow. This makes snorkelling a bit problematic, plus there is not a lot of coral, as the island is volcanic, not coral. You need to go the Philippines, Malaysia or the South Sea for that type of experience.<BR><BR>Nusa Lembogan is an island off Bali. This may be somewhat of a better place for snorkelling and beaches than Bali, however I don't know any one who has raved about the snorkelling there.<BR><BR>That being said, Bali is my favourite place in the world I have been there numerous times and lived there for 3 months at one point. However, it is mainly for the rice terraces, the mountain areas, the Hindu culture and most importantly the lovely people that I love the island. I strongly encourage you to go, as I don't know anyone who was disappointed with Bali, but I wanted you to have an understanding of what to expect if you are looking for a beach experience..<BR><BR>Driving in Bali is pretty hazardous and there are basically no road maps or signs on the roads, but if you don't mind getting lost every once in a while, you should enjoy it. I would go up from Kuta along the east coast up to Lovina/Candi Dasa and then head inland to the Ubud area for spectacular rice terraces and hills. There is a large national park on the west coast called Bali Barat National Park with good wildlife.<BR>

Ericka Jan 7th, 2003 07:33 AM

Have to agree with Nancy on this. We are going to Bali in September, but I have not heard phenomenal things about the beaches or the snorkelling. However, the people on these and other forums are pretty well travelled so they can be picky. If you want a great beach/snorkelling experience, try french polynesia, the great barrier reef, or even grand cayman. I personally am dying to go to the phillipines, but won't go right now because of the small island resort kidnappings there.<BR><BR>Having said all of that, Bali is going to be one of the best experiences of your life. I, too am going to snorkel when I get there, just to check it out. I've heard that Menjangan Island is the best (NW corner). The colors there are supposed to be beautiful.<BR><BR>Hope this helps!

mcol Jan 7th, 2003 02:25 PM

For snorkelling - the best place may be AMED.<BR><BR>Nusa Lembongan may also be good as the water is very clear. It is an island where they harvest seaweed. Very quiet &amp; not too much to do on the island - but we enjoyed a couple of days there. Can boat over from Sanur.<BR><BR>Would recommend staying in Sanur or Ubud rather than Kuta - but then it depends what your after. <BR><BR>10 days will give you a very good feel for the island - and if you are like us, you may find yourself returning year after year. The people are lovely. Enjoy!

momrath Jan 8th, 2003 01:23 AM

I'd have to reinforce what the above posters have said: if you want turquoise water and white sand go to Thailand. Kuta/Legian/Seminyak beach is one of the world's greatest for walking for miles, watching the sunset and getting pounded by the surf, but it's anything but calm. Try the Legian hotel in Seminyak;it's the best on the beach.I've been less than impressed by snorkling and diving in Bali. (You might consider northern Sulawesi.) That said, Bali is still my favorite place in the world. I usually spend a few days at the beach soaking up sun and a few days in the Ubud area soaking up culture. I really wouldn't recommend driving yourself. Traffic is exasperating at best and treacherous at worst. Cars with drivers are very very cheap right now. Do the Balinese and yourself a favor and hire someone to drive you around.

Ker Jan 21st, 2003 11:27 AM

Have to agree with everyone else about the beaches. Not the tropical paradise one might expect. You would be better off going to the Carribean if beaches, blue water and diving are what you are looking for. That being said, Bali is a wonderful place to visit. We went there for our honeymoon in 2000 and can't wait to go back. The people are extremely friendly and the food was fantasic. A particular restaurant we recommend is called Bumbu Bali. As for renting a car, we actually took several day trips with a driver and a tour guide, which was extremely reasonable, and the way to go to see some great spots and not have to worry about getting lost. There are many agencies which do this, unfortunately, I dont remember the name of the one we used. Good luck!

Hannia Jan 21st, 2003 12:15 PM

We had 5 days in Bali in 99 and honestly we could not leave fast enough. I seriously became very concerned that if just one more person shouted at us or pulled my husband's arms that he was going to let-rip. It got firmly struck-off our vatation list.<BR>Having been to the Maldives, Penang, Thailand and Boracay we did not find Bali at all welcoming. We found Malaysia and Singapore the most welcoming and Thailand the most interesting.<BR>Hannia and Rai from Durban (RSA)

Ericka Jan 21st, 2003 12:46 PM

Hannia must be talking about the dreaded &quot;hawkers&quot;. Yes, there are a number of people on the island who are trying to sell you stuff. But I wouldn't consider them a danger...friendliness still abounds. Just think very carefully about the areas where you stay and visit. My husband and I prefer quiet hotels in more remote locations and always make it a point, wherever we go, to avoid the heavily touristed areas!<BR><BR>Check out the balitravelforum.com and baliforum.com for tons of good info.<BR><BR>Hope you have a wonderful time!

Marie Jan 22nd, 2003 03:50 PM

I agree with the posters about the beaches...I really do think beaches are the last reason one should choose Bali..the best reasons are the wonderful people, the unique Balinese Hindu culture, shopping and incredible spirituality of the island. <BR><BR>I do recommend Menjangan Island - there is indeed coral and the amount of colorful fish is amazing...If you stay in one of the bungalow cottages in the area it's easy to organize boats and guides to take you there. <BR><BR>I think 10 days is good enough to get a TASTE of Bali, but of course not enough to really understand it. The culture is very complex and the number of temples and ceremonies alone would give you several days of sightseeing. <BR><BR>I do recommend you hire a car and driver, but be careful they don't take you to any of the large commission shops. They are usually recognized by the huge parking lots for tour busses.<BR><BR>About the poster who was hassled by hawkers..yes that can happen if you are staying in a place like Kuta or take one of the large tour busses that are a tip off to unwary tourists. If you stay in a low key more traditional place like Ubud you won't be bothered by hawkers..but may be asked politely if you need &quot;transport.&quot;

Karen Jan 24th, 2003 07:17 AM

We returned from two weeks on Bali yesterday. We were on a Grand Circle tour, we stayed at the Bali Hyatt. We fell in love with the island, and especially with her people. It is sad what has happened to the tourism since October. We saw almost no American tourists anywhere. We were at one hotel that had 190 rooms, 20 of which were occupied. We also spent two days in Jogyakarta. No Americans, or very very few. As for us, we have never felt safer anywhere. Security is very tight.

ukfiona Feb 12th, 2003 03:23 PM

When we visited Bali about a year ago, we didn't even bother going to the coast - my research indicated that there are far better beaches in the world, but the culture/scenery were really what should not be missed. Having not actually seen any of the beaches, I'm obviously not in a position to comment, but we had a fantastic time basing ourselves in Ubud and making trips from there. The taxi drivers are pretty pesky, it is true, but you have to just let it wash over you. Despite that, I thought the people still had a real innocence about them which I've never found anywhere else. I know many people who have visited Bali and not left Nusa Dua, which I think is a real shame. Prices for taxis were reasonable, even to hire a driver for the whole day, and personally I would not have wanted to be driving myself on those roads.

traveldude Mar 3rd, 2003 05:38 AM

I agree with the posters above. Because of population pressures all of the shallow waters are decimated due to overfishing and harvesting of coral to make into statues that all the hawkers sell. When the water is clear there is nothing to see. Only diving on boats far out and deep can you see anything. I did however enjoy my stay there but focused more on the cultural aspect of the trip and the mountainous areas. Driving Bali is like driving to Hana- except the Hana road is paved all the way through. You can do it but just be careful. Ten days is enough. I would also recommend visiting Lombok- Bali's sister island right next to Bali. Much less crowded.


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