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Bali Uncovered: 5 places in Bali you might not have heard of...

Published November 5th, 2015

There’s a good reason Bali is such a popular holiday destination, with it’s amazing laid back lifestyle, bountiful sunshine, great surf and friendly culture. With the popularity comes the crowds, so if you want to avoid other tourists and find a less chaotic side of Bali head off the beaten track to discover some new destinations.

Here are some of the top places to experience a different side to Bali:

A gift from the sea! Fresh pineapple at Padang Bai. #padangbai #beach #secretbeach #bluelagoon #bali #ubud #pineappleart

A photo posted by Courtney Spafford (@courtney_spafford) on

Fishing Village Charm

Head to Bali’s less-crowded east coast where you’ll find the traditional fishing village of Padang Bai. Stay at a local homestay, and dine at one of the many charming beachfront seafood shacks. The area has beautiful white sand beaches, especially at Blue Lagoon Beach and Pantai Kecil, with great swimming and snorkelling. There’s great diving here, and if you’re up for adventures further afield you can also catch a boat to Lombok and the Gili Isles from Pandang Bai.


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Island Hopping

Just a hop, skip and a jump away you’ll find Bali’s Nusa islands of Lembongan, Cenengan and Penida. If you’re into surfing or diving you’ll find plenty to do here, and even if you’re not you’ll enjoy the super-relaxed and more traditional pace of life in these islands. For a fun day out, head off on Lembongan’s Bounty Day Cruise, a boat with a mega 44m water slide and lots of other water activities including banana boat riding, canoeing and snorkelling. There are plenty of natural attractions here including the Mahana Point Cliff Jump in Nusa Cenengan, Lembongan’s stunning mangrove forest, and incredible Devil’s Tears lookout. The boat to the Lembongan and Peninda islands leaves from Sanur daily, and a footbridge connects Lembongan and Cenengan.

#bali#balanganbeach 

A photo posted by ナリ (@taka00jpjp) on

Surf Beach Charm

If you like your beaches and the surf less crowded, you’ll love the white sand Balangan Beach. Just around the corner from the popular haunts of Dreamland and Jimbaran, the lesser known Balangan Beach is accessed by a steep staircase and surrounded by local warnings and beach shacks. You’ll find sun loungers and parasols for hire, and cool Bintangs for sale from the friendly locals. There’s strong rips in the ocean here and the beach isn’t patrolled, so the surf's not suitable for beginners.

Ma little tourist #Bedugal #Bali #Temple A photo posted by AmeliaBugden (@ameliabugden) on

Head to the Highlands

Experience Bali’s authentic past in the central highlands. Here you’ll find traditional rural villages, bountiful lakes, historic Hindu temples, mountains and lush green valleys. In the Bedugal area there’s the cold tropical Lake Beratan and the majestic Pura Ulun Danu Bratan Water Temple, which appears to rise out of the water. There’s also a stunning Botanical Garden nearby, with cactus, orchids and tropical plants as well as a treetop walk. Another huge attraction in this area are the Angseri Hot Springs, where you can bathe in the therapeutic natural springs surrounded by scenic rice paddies.

Head to the Top

Although increasing in popularity and tourist numbers, the black-sand coastal resort of Lovina in Bali’s north is still a world away from the hustle of Kuta and other more popular resorts in the south. The journey up to Lovina takes you through the wonderful volcanic mountain scenery around the central highlands, which is an adventure in itself. Once in Lovina get yourself up at the crack of dawn and hitch a ride with a local fisherman to watch the dolphins play in the bay. In the nearby forested hills there are some great wineries, a Buddhist monastery and the Banjar Hot Springs.

Amy Dalgleish

Wanderlust pommie, currently living the dream in sunny Byron Bay.