Tag Archives: Things to do in Indonesia

Nusa Lembongan + Nusa Ceningan – buy one, get one free!!

Let’s start with Nusa Lembongan! To often associated solely with Bali, Nusa Lembongan is very much it’s own and unique island paradise!
  
Many tourists visit Nusa Lembongan for the waves it offers but with breaks such as Shipwrecks and Lacerations who would want to surf here right? (Well… me and a few thousand other people every year apparently).  

Did I mention the surf was flat?
 

Even more tourists come here simply to chill out by the beachside, however, I can’t say that locations such as Devil’s Tears evoke too many feelings of relaxation. I’m quite sure Mushroom Bay is a more popular spot (can’t say I’m surprised).

Can’t see any devils crying around here! Better have a closer look!

But for me, Nusa Lembongan was simply about exploring! The freedom of hoping on a motorbike and riding off into the sunset so to speak is beyond addictive! In my opinion, getting away from the beach is where Nusa Lembongan really comes into it’s own. The ride up to the lookout from which you can basically touch Nusa Penida is definitely worth the effort. 

   
 

During the long hours I’ve spent in Indonesia, I’ve developed something of a fascination with riding across bridges. Particularly those bridges seemingly not sturdy enough to bear the weight of small creature (perhaps, a mouse?), let alone the weight of many motorbikes + riders at once. And this is where Nusa Ceningan comes in! Though the bridge connecting Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan appears significantly more structurally sound than most that I’ve come across, it still seems unfit for it’s role as a two lane highway!

  

Dream Point is quite a lovely spot on Nusa Ceningan. And if you’re looking for a nice spot to hang out for a little while, the new Le Pirate Beach Club is in a great location, if you don’t mind paying for it. 

   
 

A few side notes :
 – Seaweed farming is the main source of income for local families on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan and it is quite the sight to watch the seaweed plots slowly emerge as the tide ebbs away. 

  

 – Just because you can rent a motorcycle, doesn’t always mean you should. I saw many tourists with significant injuries due to crashes. Just because there are no cars as such on Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, doesn’t mean it is safe to ride around. 
 – Most of the food options on both Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan are overpriced as they do cater solely to the tourist market. If you’re looking, for a cheaper (and tastier) alternative, try out Warung Bu Edy’s on the main road. Best meal I had by far!

  

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Off the Beaten Track in East Bali!

Often described as the ‘real Bali’ by those few tourists who visit, East Bali is something of an escape from the overdevelopment seen in the south of the island. For now, rice fields and agricultural land still reigns supreme and visitors are exposed to a much more traditional way of life. 

Taman Ujung ‘water palace’ – built by the late Raja of Karangasem – is a spectacular site consisting of various large pools and historic structures set against a backdrop of Bali’s eastern shoreline.

  
   
Taman Ujung’s ‘sister site’ – Tirta Gangga – was also designed and built by the Raja of Karangasem and is equally beautiful. Also considered a water palace, Tirta Gangga is a maze of pools and fountains surrounded by a lush garden and stone carvings and statues.

   
    
 
In addition to two remarkable water palaces, East Bali is also home to a little known surf break, located near Desa Jasri. Chances are you’ll have the whole place to yourself while everybody else fights the hordes for waves elsewhere.

   
    
 
And all this under the watchful eye of the impressive and sacred Gunung Agung!

  

Batu Karas – surfing heaven! 

I seriously wish I could spend the rest of my life right here in Batu Karas! Surfing perfect waves one after the other was absolutely incredible! Even when I wasn’t in the water there was plenty to do, including cruising around in the Villa Monyet surf mobile, exploring secret beaches, riding a scooter over a rickety old bridge made entirely from bamboo and volunteering in a local turtle conservation centre. In a word… Or three : thumps up times!