Things to Do in Balian Bali
Located on the west coast as you head North Balian Bali feels like what you might imagine the towns by the sea would be like in Bali. But unlike Kuta, Seminyak, and Canggu that are packed with tourists and spread out so much you need a bike to get around comfortably, Balian is a cute little village where you can lazily amble from beach to restaurant, to pool to hotel.
Balian Beach Bali
The beach itself in Balian is similar to Medewi. It’s a black sand beach and it isn’t the most appealing looking to relax on. It’s great to go for a walk along however as it’s so rare to find a beach in Bali which just has palm trees and cliffs lining it with not much else.
Surfing in Balian
Balian is really well known for surfing with some of the best waves in Bali that are consistently good even when other areas aren’t working as well.
It does have one little problem though, it has a reputation for being Sharky. Well, reputation is the wrong word, IT IS SHARKY.
Balian is situated just by a river mouth and when it rains and the water flows out from the river all murky the sharks come to play.
There have been a number of shark attacks in the area over the years and even when I went up on a day when it hadn’t rained the night before, the coach I was going to surf with came out the water telling me about the shark he’d just seen.
Needless to say, I didn’t surf.
I’d personally say of all the Bali surf spots in West Bali Balian is, therefore, the worst to go to in rainy season but a lot of people do still surf it.
The waves do look incredible and the line up is a lot emptier than other areas (I wonder why 🤔) which is why so many people love surfing Balian but I know I’d just be so angry with myself if I got attacked after already being aware of the problem that’s I can’t bring myself to risk it.
Although if you were there in July or August the risk should be very low as there most likely won’t have been rain for months.
Restaurants in Balian
Just on the way down to the beach is Deki’s Warung. Here you can get good cheap local food, like nasi goreng (fried rice) and mie goreng ( fried noodles). It’s the perfect spot to check the morning surf or have an afternoon beer while watching the surfers.
Best For: Cheap local eats and watching the Surf
If you’d like some Western Food food head to Pondok Pitaya. They also have Indonesian dishes too and it’s another good spot from which to watch the sunset too.
Best For: Western eats and sunset
Sushi Surf Balian
This Sushi restaurant is talked about by everyone in the area even as far up as Medewi. It’s up some stairs just by the beach as well so another perfect location from which to watch the sunset and then have some food afterwards.
Best For: Sushi (duh!)
I really wasn’t expecting to find good coffee in Balian. It’s a quiet little surfer town, but Tekor delivers. Their breakfasts are everything you could hope for too.
And they do amazing curries.
Plus the place is beautiful. In the evening the garden is lit up with fairy lights and the perfect spot for a romantic dinner with your other half, or on your own with a book.
Best For: Coffee, breakfast, curry and Mexican food
I stayed at Balian Paradise Resort and it’s by far one of the best value for money hotels I’ve stayed in in Bali. The rooms were big and clean and modern. There is a pool area with sun loungers and a bar area all for only 260,000 IDR a night.
I ended up staying longer than I planned to just because I loved it so much but it doesn’t seem to be bookable anymore.
The most similar place I can find is Gubug Balian Beach Bungalow which has amazing views from its pool although slightly less modern rooms.
Balian Paradise Resort is still on booking.com for now though so maybe it will be available again at some point soon.
Balian Surf Villas offer beautiful mid-range accommodation in Balian with double rooms from 650,000 IDR. They have private apartments available as well.
Istana Balian also has beautiful traditional villas and bungalows available with sea views from 600,000 IDR per night.
If you’re looking for proper on the beach Balian beach accommodation then Pondok Pitaya Balian Hotel is where to go.
That said when I was there a group of people were just finishing their Yoga Teacher Training (YTT). Which, although I’ve done my YTT too, I don’t know if I’d want to be in the middle of staying with a group doing that the whole time.
It does have the best pool, being right on the beach though, and has beautiful traditional decoration throughout. A 1-bed room will cost about 800,000 IDR but if there are a few of you they have surfer holiday houses for 4 people which would work out really reasonably priced for what it is at 1,400,000 IDR a house.
How Long to Stay in Balian, Bali
There aren’t exactly a lot of things to do in Balian, Bali. Whereas in the south you can go shopping if you’re in Kuta or go for nights out in Seminyak or drink beer, or eat pizza or go to other surf spots like Echo Beach or go out in Canggu. In Balian apart from taking a yoga class to, surfing, walking along the beach and eating at the different restaurants encompasses the list of things there are to do in Balian.
I would therefore definitely recommend accommodation with a pool so that you can have a nice relaxed time while there. as this isn’t the spot to go if you want to be running around doing a thousand things and having lots of options.
How long to stay will therefore literally just depend on how many days relaxing and surfing you’d like.
Getting to Balian
If you’re heading from Canggu to Balian you can drive a scooter up or get a taxi. It isn’t a particularly relaxing drive with big lorries swaying their way along the roads on their way to Java, so not ideal if you’re new to driving a scooter, but you might want to have a bike with you in case you plan to head to Medewi or Ubud afterwards.
Where To Go After Balian
As mentioned above you could head further north to Medewi, or if you want to check out one of the most beautiful Bali resorts you could go back down a tiny bit south the Yeh Ganga and stay at Waka Ganga.
There’s surf there too.
Or if the sharky surf hasn’t been doing it for you head on down south to Uluwatu for plenty of options of places to surf.
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