Bali always surprises me with yet another special spot.
When you think you've gone non-mainstream by going east or north, you then realise there is idyllic Balian on the west coast, north of Canggu. Surfers might have heard of it and might have already visited, but it is worth a visit by anyone who's looking for a quieter place with direct access to the beach.
Here are some of the things that you can do at Balian Beach.
Skipping the crowded southern beaches, many surfers from around the world go directly to Balian village as soon as they land at the island's airport.
The waves are not quite suitable for beginners, since there is a strong current at the entry point, which is very close to an estuary. Surfing at mid or high tide is recommended, to avoid contact with the coral.
Several resorts and homestays are very accommodating to surfers at the village; a few even have direct access to the beach.
Surfboard rentals are abundantly available, as well as repair equipment and motorcycle rentals if you're looking to visit nearby beaches for more surfing. With so many accommodations catered to surfers, these sports enthusiasts quickly feel at home after meeting people with the same hobby.
Is there a better location for jogging than the beach? The black sand beach is soft and clear from rocks and corals, allowing you to jog without shoes.
The stray dogs or the dogs owned by nearby occupants may join you in your run, as it typical in almost every part of Bali.
You'll seldom feel alone on this beach because it seems to be a favourite spot for locals to go fishing.
Retreats for yoga and bootcamp
Once you have made it to a place as far out as Balian, it only makes sense to stay there for at least a couple of days.
Other activities you can participate in while you are there include yoga retreats or bootcamps for getting into shape. Such physical activities are offered as a part of resort activities, such as the ones at Pondok Pitaya.
When you sign up for a yoga or bootcamp programme, it is a good idea to do it in a quiet village where there is less distraction.
Balian village is blessed with a long beach behind a cliff, where the sun dramatically sets every day.
Guests at resorts, villas or cafes that face the west line up and sit watching the sunset. A wooden table and long stool are arranged on the side of the road overlooking the beach. It may be the "watch tower" for surfers by day, but it's a VIP seat by sunset.
Massage and spa
After all the upbeat activities, massage and spa treatments would be a good way to finish off the day.
Resorts with massage and spa menus usually offer the treatments at open huts or rooms with wide windows facing the ocean. You can choose from a wide range of spa and massage options, anything that you feel might relax your muscles and all the stress from the city to melt away.