Now, Bingin was recommended to us by Max, but another Twitter follower also said Padang-Padang. We wished we could have made both, but there's nothing stopping you from hitting all the beaches along there if you're really into gauging the wave qualities.
To reach Bingin, our driver had to ask directions. He's from Bali and yet had never been to Binginthat's just how small it is. Bingin is one hundred percent a sweet secret. After parking in a dusty, dirt lot, you must walk down bricked sidewalks, following only graffiti-painted arrows on the walls. "Beach --->"
Eventually the maze opens to a stone stairwell, descending straight down to sand. Prepare to sweat on your way back upyou've been warned. Once you've reached the bottom and sunk your toes in the sand, you'll have a choice of two warungs (small, informal bar/restaurants) on either side of the stairs. Each has Bintang beer, fresh juices, basic snacks, bottled water and Bingin Beach T-shirts for $10 (though bargain them down even further).
Unless you're there to surf, there's not much else to do than watch the serious dudes attack those waves. Some stone steps at the base of surfer-basic cottages provide perfect sightlines out to the water, but do not slack on the SPF application.
Spend an hour here just gawking at the surfers or join them, but whatever you do don't be too tired to miss what's up next...
Our full "Awesome Day on Bali" series:
· Breakfast at Biku
· Late morning at the "Starbucks Temple"
· Noon drinks
· Seafood lunch on Jimbaran Bay
· Afternoon and evening surfer-spotting on Bingin Beach
· Sunset cliff-side
*Private car info: We recommend hiring a private car and driver if you plan on doing a full day of sightseeing and touring Bali. It's not particularly luxurious; it's something of the norm, since Bali is huge and the streets are not pedestrian-friendly. Any hotel should easily be able to arrange a car; we got ours through the Anantara Seminyak for $45/day.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher]