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An Awesome Day on Bali: Bowing to the Surf Gods on Bingin Beach

April 26, 2012 at 2:51 PM | by | ()

BALI. For some, the word conjures up images of infinity pools, surfing beaches and tropical temples. For others, it's a nightmare of topless tourists and sweaty sightseeing. Well, we just got back ourselves and we, with the help of tips from friends and locals, did something in between...something that turned out to be awesome. Put on the SPF, hire a car* and join us this week as we reveal an An Awesome Day on Bali (Jaunted-style).

Our awesome day on Bali continues with some surf-spotting on Bingin Beach, recommended by our own contributor Max Graham.

If you've been following along on our recommendations for an awesome day in Bali, we've reached afternoon, post indulgent fresh seafood lunch. Resist the food coma siren song to chillax right there on Jimbaran Beach, and instead pile back into your private car* for a short drive further south, in the direction of Uluwatu.

It's here, along the coastline between Jimbaran and Uluwatu, that you'll find a strip of prime surfing beaches at the base of cliffs. Dreamland is the first major one for which you'll see signs, but just below is Bingin Beach and believe us that it's worth the extra few minutes driving.

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 Bingin—that'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 up—you'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]

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