Information before you go
Balian Beach is located around the corner of Lalang Linggah (meaning 'The Wide Grassland') village on Bali's west coast. Since centuries the village area is home to the cultivation of rice but slowly it has transformed itself with several accommodations into a spot popular among surf fanatics.
You can still see many rice fields running down all the way to the beach and occasionally a couple of cows grazing lazily in the sun.
Compared to the beaches in the south, this piece of beach is pretty underdeveloped tourism wise and hence one of the most quiet Bali beaches. This of course makes it attractive for those looking to experience something far from the crowd and low key.
As the story usually goes, surfers were the main visitors here. The volcanic sand beach has great waves. This surfing point is wonderful for intermediate surfers but dangerous for swimmers. So you can imagine that if you are not into surfing you won't be able to fully enjoy the beach.
Nevertheless the village has a great atmosphere and it's a perfect place to walk endlessly along the coast. That alone makes it worth visiting.
This village is also a great budget travel option too considering everything isn't as posh as they are in the south.
Start your day with a walk along the beach
Balian is located along the busy main road that runs from Gilimanuk in the West, pass Tulamben to the Southern tip of Bali. Trucks full of cargo drive here almost day in day out and traffic is can be a real nightmare.
So once you arrive at the small road leading to Balian beach, you will notice that the contrast couldn't be more different. The first accommodations are already found along the big main road, but more are located near the beach and along the river called Balian river, also known as Tukad Balian.
Since the village is tiny you don't need any form of transportation. However if you plan to spend a couple of days here and want to explore other surf beaches such as the nearby Medewi beach or you want to do some sight seeing then you should arrange a motorbike. You can easily rent a bike at one of the accommodations there.
Just like the traffic in this part of Bali, public transport wouldn't qualify as a fun thing to do on your holiday.
So what is the best way to get there? Arrange a private driver to take you. If you want to stick to your own transportation, make sure you are not in a hurry and don't mind tagging behind a slow truck. Overtaking is pretty dangerous despite everybody doing it. We noticed that if you drive early in the morning, traffic is less bad.
Surfing Balian beach is almost a must for surfers traveling around Bali. Surfers come here year around to catch some easy waves but the area is not suited for swimming due to the strong currents. You can swim upstream on the Balian river but with more accommodation
in the area providing swimming pools you'll have other options.
The best season for surfing here is during the dry season when the water is clean and clear. During the rainy season the Balian river can bring along a lot of rain water, including rubbish, wood etc making the ocean murky.
Other west Bali beaches that are popular nearby Balian is Medewi beach. It's quite a walk to get there, so it would be best to grab a motorbike.
Since this little villages is the place where you should just relax and unwind, it comes as no surprise that besides surfing, yoga another upcoming activity is here. For full yoga retreats head to Shankaris Bali Retreat. They offer classes, retreats and workshops for yoga but also detox, meditation and raw food.
An other option is at Pondok Pitaya Surfer Hotel Bali where you can join a yoga session held in a semi open yoga shala (studio) located nearby the river facing the ocean.
The area around Lalang Linggah village is ideal for rice field trekking or even bicycling. There's a great 4-kilometer trek which starts on the Tabanan-Gilimanuk
highway between Lalang Linggah and Antap village.
Look for the white sign 'wates Desa Antap' and continue for 2km until you reach Pengererengan village.
Continue for 50 m and find the small path after the coconut grove on the right side. Keep on going until you reach Tireman village. From here you continue south back to the main road again. Here you can walk back to Balian or take one of the bemos (minibuses).
Balian beach is ideally located and you can walk for 30 miles on end, passing the black sands of Soka beach (see picture) where you can even find the Pura Luhur Srinjong temple with its bat cave (goa lawah in Balinese).
Another temple of interest is the Puri Rambut Siwi (meaning holy hair) temple near Yeh Embang village north of Lalang Linggah village. Here the the Balinese claim that the priest Nirartha cut his hair here and left it in a shrine in 1546.
From the temple you can have stunning views of the black volcanic sand and the ocean during sunset.
If you like to travel in Bali a bit more head for the scenic route from Balian to Medewi, Pekutatan, Tista to Pupuan.
On its way near the village of Pekutatan you will find a sign leading you to Tista village and not far from here you'll find the eye-catching bunut bolong (meaning 'hole in tree') banyan tree.
There are a couple of places where you can stay and they range from the steeper priced ones such as the Gajah Mina Beach Resort, the mid-ranged Balian beach house, Pondok Pitaya (a favorite among surfers and also has a nice pool almost right on the beach), Shankari's Bali Retreat, Pondok Pisces, Kubu Balian Beach to the budget Ayu Home stay.
Just like other parts of Bali a couple of white two-story villas are being built, this time by Russian invaders and they don't do the Balian picture any good ;-(
Tom's garden cafe restaurant
For lunch and dinner there are some nice places where you can go too but so far they are all part of a hotel or home stay. There are no independent restaurants.
Our favorite place by far is Tom's Garden Cafe at Pondok Pisces but other popular restaurants can be found at Pondok Pitaya and at Ayu Home stay.
Home > Balian Beach Ins and Outs
Only accessible at low tide makes this temple an amazing sight. Thousands of visitors visit this temple every day and their favorite time to go is at sunset...Read more
Surfers have already discovered the beaches in this part of the island. People seeking peace and quiet are settling there now as well. So time to check it out?Read more
We might as well warn you straight away. If you take this route you will be stopping frequently to take yet another great picture of the amazing rice terraces...Read more
Now and then people send us inspiring emails and this generates even more enthusiasm to share all of the things we know about this lovely island in the hope that you can plan your tropical holiday properly and have as such a great time as we always have. Hope to see you there!
When I wrote the mail I never really expected a reply. I might have expected a computer generated but never a personally written one. The information you provided is invaluable, thank you so very much. I have been using your website as a bible through Bali. Through your recommendation, I will be heading to Ubud then follow the sightseeing route to the coast of Candidasa.
WOW...what an awesome website. I could only dream that there would be a website like this for all our travel destinations! You guys have done an fabulous job and now, I am sooo excited about our upcoming trip to Bali. To be honest, I wasn't quite sure Bali was the place for us considering some of the travel warnings (we are Americans). But I can tell from your experiences that the Bali people are so very kind and peaceful.
hi and congratulations on the blog it s brilliant and helpful....we are going to Bali in September with my family (including 2 little girls) so we need to have nice spaceous rooms garden and pool access rooms preferably in Semikyak but not too far from it all...I hope you can recommend a great place thats not full of Australian crowds as we like meeting people from other countries.
Hi, I have been travelling for years and I want to say that this website is the best I have EVER come across. It is easy to navigate, it is really descriptive, gives all the info that you could ever want and is accompanied by the best photos and advice. GREAT.