The Ultimate Guide to Thomas Beach Bali
If you’re looking for bright blue water, white sand and palm trees Thomas beach is where to go. It is one of the most beautiful beaches in Bali by far.
It’s also down quite a lot of steps and not well signposted from the road, therefore, it’s quieter than most while still having all the amenities you could need on it to entertain yourself for a day.
Getting There | The Beach | Activities | Restaurants | Watch Outs | Surrounding Area | Where to Stay | Where Next
Getting To Thomas Beach
Thomas beach is located in the south of Bali in the Bukit Peninsula. It’s right between the popular surf beaches of Padang Padang ( Labuansait beach) and Uluwatu.
Unless you stay at one of the homestays on the beach itself there’s nowhere you can really walk from to get there. The beach is tucked away off a main road with only vegetation either side.
Which means you’ll need to either rent a scooter to get there, get a taxi, or hire a driver.
If you’re coming from further away in Bali hiring a driver is one of the best ways to get around. For a full day you’ll be paying about 800,000 IDR ($50 USD), including the car hire and petrol, and the driver will take you wherever you want to go and just wait for when you’re ready to move onto the next spot
Getting a taxi instead could leave you a little stranded as the beach is in the middle of nowhere and ride-hailing apps don’t work in that area.
If you’ve learned to ride a scooter that will definitely be the easiest and cheapest way to get around as then you’re in control if you don’t have a full motorbike licensee back home it’s unlikely your insurance would cover you if you were to have an accident.
Driving to the beach from the north you’ll see a little sign on the right saying Thomas Beach, leading to a gravel path which is the parking area. From there it’s time to have fun on the steps down to the beach.
At least you’ll have the views to distract you on the way down. It’s the way back up at the end of the day that’s the worst.
The beach itself has a larger area of sand to sit on than a lot of the surrounding surf beaches in Uluwatu and it a thousand times quieter. Despite its beauty not many people go to Thomas Beach.
It’s a white sand beach with deck chairs and beach umbrellas all along it that you can rent for 50,000 IDR ($3 USD) a day.
The only downside is that the bottom of the sea, like all of the beaches in the area, is reef meaning it’s not the most comfortable to walk in and out of. If you can try and time your visit for high tide so you don’t have to walk as far to get out into the sea. Low tide can be a bit rough on your feet.
One of the best bits of Thomas beach is in fact that the sea is a lot calmer than most places in Bali. It’s dangerous at a lot of beaches in Bali, especially Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu to swim around even in the shallow water as there can be really strong rip currents and surprise large waves coming in. It’s not uncommon for people to get into trouble at these beaches.
But Thomas beach, in the shallow water is beautifully calm and it’s one of the few beaches in Bali where you can lie on your back and actually float a little in the water.
Despite its calmness Thomas beach does still have watersports activities you can take part in while relaxing on the beach for the day.
You can hire kayaks, stand up paddleboards, and surfboards from numerous locations along the beach. Surfboards rent out at just 50,000 IDR a day ($3 USD).
Thomas beach is the perfect location if you’re just learning to surf and trying to get from standing up on whitewater to riding actual waves. The waves are really small at Thomas beach (so small they don’t even always work) and calm, plus there aren’t a lot of people in the water so you don’t have to worry about crashing into other people constantly.
There’s no long paddle out to the waves either so you can grab a deck chair for the day, pop out for a surf, go back into relax for a bit and then go back out again. It makes for a great day out.
Don’t try to surf Thomas beach on a shortboard, it’s much more a longboarding wave.
You might see some locals managing it, but they’re super human and unless you grew up on that wave you probably won’t.
Down on Thomas beach itself there are a couple of Warungs (local restaurants). In them you’ll find the usual Indonesian fair, Nasigoreng (fried rice) Mie goreng (fried) and some western concessions like omelets.
You can also get sodas, water and beers from them. Don’t expect anything more fancy on the alcohol front than a local Bintang beer. You might find a Smirnoff ice (if you’re unlucky) but there will be no cocktails or wine.
If you’re planning on spending the day at Thomas beach I’d suggest going for breakfast nearby before heading down at one of the wonderful spots like Bukit café, Cashew Tree, Suka Espresso, Nalu Bowls Bukit, Goosebury Café and Boutique or Drifter Surf Shop Café and Gallery.
You can then have a simple Indonesian lunch on the beach of fried rice or fried noodles before heading back to watch sunset nearby with a beer and then out for dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants in the surrounding area.
You can get great Pizza, have a fish BBQ down on Bingin beach, get healthy Buddha bowls at El Merkat. If you’re willing to rive a bit further, have sushi at Sushi UluWsabi, get great veggie and fish meals at The Place with No Name, or try out a range of western fare at Casa Asia.
After dinner why not stop by Hatch for drinks and some games
There is theft all over Bali so it’s advisable to always be as careful as possible. On most beaches during the middle of the day you’ll probably be alright leaving your bag on a deck chair or towel and going into the sea. Highly unadvisable early morning when no one is around.
Safest for your belongs is to leave them with the people renting out boards and drinks.
There’s an extra watch out for Thomas beach though. The parking lot is unattended, set back from the road and once the sunsets dark. There was someone targeting people going back to their bikes there after sunset for a while trying to steal belongings, once instance of which ended up in a stabbing. Best to leave before it gets dark to be on the safe side.
I’ve left other beaches in the area which are also dark in the evening, like Balangan and dreamland after sunset and they’ve always felt fine as they’ve been busier. It’s highly likely if you leave after sunset at Thomas beach though that you might be the only person there at that time.
Thomas beach is perfectly placed if you want to do a bit of beach hopping or exploring of the Uluwatu area for a day. You could start at chilled out Binginbeach head on down to Thomas beach, with a stop at Padang Padang beach on the way if you don’t mind lots of stairs, and then end the day watching sunset at Uluwatu temple. Leaving you well placed to then continue the evening at Single Fin, UluCliffhouse if they have an event on or head on down to Hatch for some drinks and a game of Super Mario Kart.
Where to Stay
Choosing where to stay in Bali is one of the easiest bits as there are plenty of options to suit every budget. Your money will go a lot further than you’re used to for accommodation therefore if you can afford a little bit more than normal you’ll be well rewarded on what you get.
There is an adorable homestay just by Thomas beach called Padang Padang Breeze and for your own private room with air-con and hot water it will only cost you 160,000 IDR ($10 USD) a night.
Sometimes you might want a hostel vibes to meet people even if there are hotels for the same price in which case head over to Casamar Bali where a bed in a dorm room will cost 125,000 IDR ($8 USD) a night.
The beautiful nearby hotel PinkCoco Bali is so cute and well positioned for exploring the beaches around Thomas beach and also the best restaurants in Ulwautu. Rooms are about 700,000 IDR a night ($50 USD)
Or check out D’Padang which is even closer to Thomas beach and only xxx 550,000 IDR ($35 USD) a night.
Uluwatu Cottages is also another great option with stunning views over the cliff at 650,000 IDR ($40 USD) a night.
Suarga Padang Padang literally meaning fields of heaven or the paradise of wilderness in Indonesian is spectacular. The rooms are beauitufl the pool looks out over the clifs down the the ocean. It is heaven. It will set you back quite a lot more than the other options though at 4,500,000 IDR ($300 USD) a night.
If you’re staying in the Bukit area of Bali for a little while once you’ve explored the West Coast beaches you could head right to the southern most point of Bali and stay around Greenbowl, Pandawa (formerly known as Secret Beach, no longer secret) and Melasti beaches. Each of them is so different from the other you won’t be sort of variety and you can break it up with a trip to one of the many beach clubs around in between too.
Head further East and you can check out the resort area of Nusa Dua which is also good for a surf (and a good place to try in rainy season when there’s on-shore wind the other side). Or carry onto BenoaHarbour to take a fast boat to Gili T, Gili Air, GiliMeno, Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembonga, Nusa Ceningan or Lombok (the slow boat to Lombok which you can take cars and bikes on goes from Padang Bai).
You can get the boats directly yourself or organise a tour to take you to one of the islands and back in a day if that’s easier.
It’s definitely worth making sure you have time to experience some of the surrounding islands.
Or you could head north and explore the quieter beaches of Balian or Medewi. From there you can travel further into the center of Bali to visit places like Aling-Aling waterfall (this is the most fun of all the Bali waterfalls as you can slide down it and jump off them) You can read my full Bali guide and itinerary here which will allow you to explore independently if you don’t fancy having to take tours. Bali travel needn’t be difficult and there shouldn’t be any reason you can’t explore easily on your own.
Thomas beach, Bali, is by far one of my favorite beaches on the island and I can’t recommend taking the time to make sure you visit it enough. But if you think you have a better content for the best Bali beaches let me know in the comments below.
What are your favorite things to do at Balangan Beach? Let me know in the comments below.
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