We spent the first and last weeks of our two months in Indonesia on the beaches of the Bukit Peninsula. Bukit is home to some of the prime surf spots in Bali (happy hubby!), and for those of you who haven’t been, it’s that little dark green genie lamp sticking out at the bottom here.
Beach Run Down
There are many fabulous beaches, most on world class surf breaks. We sampled the majority but spent most of our time on Bingin. Here’s a run down.
1. Bingin (my fav)
My favorite of them all because of the beauty and the vibe. To reach Bingin you must descend a wicked set of stone stairs as the village is built into the side of the cliff. Because you have to work for it, it keeps the day trippers to a minimum and you get folks that are hunkering down to stay for a few days. Beach BBQ’s under the stars every night, daily yoga, killer surf, and a real surf/chill vibe it’s hard to beat Bingin. Accommodations range from full out villa to basic rooms with shared bathrooms.
The most family friendly beach on Bukit. The biggest beach in the area with lots of chairs with umbrellas for rent if you need a break from the sun. Rent a board (watch out for the wicked reef in the shallows!) and buy the photos taken of you from one of the many surf photographers on the decks. Hotels here tend to be a short walk from the beach on flat ground, easy accessible and you’ll find pools which you can’t get in Bingin. I recommend Balangan Sea View Bungalows, especially if you have kiddos.
3. Padang Padang
Dramatic cave entrance to gorgeous nook of a beach. More secluded and less touristy but you won’t find chairs, umbrellas for sale here. Maybe the occassional sarong lady or ice cream vendor if you’re lucky! Be sure to check out Single Fin restaurant on the hill for lunch or just a drink for the view!
We spent a lot of time in Bingin, and it’s a small place, so I have more to share here. Still I found nooks and crannies my last day that I hadn’t seen so I’m sure I’m missing some gems. Here are my favorites:
Where to Stay:
1. Deeksha Warung
We found this little slice of heaven on Airbnb and spent the first week in Indonesia here with our good friends Crystal and Dakotah who we were lucky enough to have visit us from San Francisco. Sitting on the deck, overlooking the beach break with a cocktail in hand I felt like a Billionaire Baller. It really doesn’t get much better than this…
Outdoor shower, A/C room, full kitchen and best of all – Ida our housekeeper turned good friend who arranged scooters, rides with her partner Komang, carried cases of beers up and down the hillside, told us stories, taught us new phrases in Bahasa (Indonesian language) and overall is a total joy to know. We came back twice to Bingin and she helped us arrange for accommodation and greated us with a huge smile, squeal and hug every time. I heart Ida.
2. Bingin Ombak
- Great location, steps from the beach.
- Spacious rooms, big comfortable bed, gorgeous view from private balcony.
- Hot water
- Friendly staff, decent food
- Shared bath (clean though)
- Bit noisy since it’s next to beach bbq joint
- Mamma Tom Tom’s – Bit pricy during high season (July/Aug) for 70o,000 IDR but we have friends who swear by this place. Mama and Papa Tom Tom are very sweet and we rented our scooters from them every time (~ 70,000 IDR/day) (UPDATE: Looks like this listing has been taken offline, trying to find out if her place is still in business. Will update when I know more)
- Balé Bingin. We found it to be overpriced at 500,000 IDR with small rooms, cold water and grumpy owner. But I’m told it has new owners and is nice now, Airbnb reviews back that up. Try it and let me know!
1. Kelly’s Warung (on the beach)
Our go-to breakfast and lunch spot when we didn’t want to charge the stairs up the hill. Chill atmosphere with big couches front and center to watch the surfing action. The Pitaya Bowl (below) is a must. Dragonfruit smoothie with tropical fruit and meusli topped with coconut. BOOM! Their daily specials for lunch are usually pretty great and the juices are to die for, and even though he permanently smells like wet dog, the resident pooch is adorable.
2. Beach BBQ (on the beach)
Nightly, few different providers but we like the one furthest to the right if you’re back is to the water. Get the squid and dip it in the sambal sauce, oh my amazingness…
3. Swami’s (on the beach)
4. Cashew Tree (top of the hill)
- Best food in Bingin for lunch or dinner. Play area for kids, strong wifi, soy cappuccinos and to die for Tofu Cashew Curry. Skip the Asian Noodle Salad.
5. YeYe’s (scooter ride to Padang Padang)
- We ate here three times, love this place. Order the samosa, passionfruit squash (non alcoholic, amazing) and #32 with squid. The fish wrapped in banana leaves are amazing as well. YUM! Fabulous gift shop to browse too!
What to DO on the Bukit Peninsula
- Yoga at Swami’s on Bingin with Dani – daily 10am. 100,000 IDR (~$10USD)
- Buy a sarong from one of the many beach vendors. Spread it on the sand, order a Bintang or a fresh coconut and watch the sunset on the beach daily.
- Rent a scooter from Mama Tom Tom and take day trips to Uluwatu, Balangan, Padang Padang
- Hire a car and spend the day in Nusa Dua shopping or relaxing at Geger Beach.
- Hire a driver and have a night on the town in Seminyak. I recommend my friend Komang, you can hire by emailing Ida, tell her Lisa sent you. See my upcoming post on Canguu and Seminyak for recommendation on where to go.
Where to Shop
- Sarongs from ladies on beach. I found Padang Padang to have the best prices and variety but the Bingin ladies are so sweet I had to buy some there too!
- YeYe’s gift shop next to restaurant. I got my favorite skull knocker there
- Bali Collection (outdoor mall) in Nusa Dua (30 min drive from Bingin)
- Kuta and Seminyak – it’s a 45 minute drive but worth it and tons of shopping. Duck into side streets to find the deals.
You really can’t go wrong with Bali and if you’re looking to surf or have a relaxing beach stay, Bukit Peninsula is a no brainer!