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Entries in kuta (8)


Bali: The Traveler's Dream Destination

Bali in Indonesia has long been a popular tourist destination. Benefiting from a warm climate, clear blue seas and long golden beaches, it has attracted travelers from around the world. 

Having fun on the beautiful beaches of Bali. Boys greet us happily on Sanur Beach


Bali is a province of the country of Indonesia. An archipelago of thousands of islands spreading either side of the equator in the Pacific Ocean, South China Sea and Philippine Sea. The world's fourth most populous country, Indonesia is renowned for it welcoming atmosphere. The culture developed with generation of seventeenth and eighteenth century traders and Dutch colonialists. A central tenet of life in Indonesia is a sense of community and consensus, making it a relaxed place to take a holiday.

The Best of Bali


Most international travelers will fly into Ngurah Rai airport. Many transnational air companies operate flights into and out of this airport, and it is positioned ideally in the south of the country to access some of the most interesting places for travellers to visit.


Kuta, on the south coast of the island, is renowned for its long sweeping beach. Water sports, diving and beach sports are popular pastimes and there are many bars and restaurants set back from the sand. It is also well-known as a place to dance the night away, including at beach parties.


Ubud is another popular area with travellers. It is a small town set among the volcanic mountains and rice paddies of the central lands. Popular for its food and arts scenes, it is also the perfect base for hiking in the spectacular countryside. Arguably the most popular place to hike in is the Monkey Forest, a sanctuary home to hundreds of Macaques. More fearless animal-lovers may wish to hike among the volcanoes for the chance to meet a komodo dragon.

Nusa Lembongan

A small island just off the coast, Nusa Lembongan is a laid-back place popular with surfers. With no cars and crystal clear waters it is a great place for a few days of dedicated rest and relaxation, helped in part by its reputation as a place to practice yoga and get an expert massage.
With year-round sunshine, a great food scene based on fresh produce and a fascinating mix of cultures and histories, Bali is an enticing place for all travelers looking for a tropical paradise.



Bali Photo of the Day ~ Candi Dasa Reflection

The Bali Deep Culture Photography Tour ~ Oct 19-26 ~ Click here to reserve your spot today!

Today's photograph from Bali features the seaside town of Candi Dasa (also spelled Candidasa) on Bali's East coast. Candi Dasa is a nice escape from the often crowded South but the town is getting more crowded and much of the beach is eroded. This is why we prefer it's little sister town of Amed. For tips, accomodations, and other travel information on Amed, check here.

The seaside town of Candidasa is a great place to visit for the day.

That is not to say that Candi Dasa is not worth a visit and its a good place to stop for lunch as well. The Lotus group of restaurants has a spot there called Lotus Seaview and the food is quite good. The restaurant also boasts an impressive display of Chinese Antiquities, mainly Ming & Quing Dynasty porcelains and ceramics. The Lotus group also has bungalows in the area.

Candidasa is about an hour from Sanur by car. It is more relaxed than the hot spots of the South like Kuta, Seminyak, Legian, etc. One thing not to miss while visiting this area of Bali is The Bali Aga of Tenganan.  The Bali Aga are known as the original Balinese people and predate Hinduism in Bali. Please see our post on it here as there are some precautions. 

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Balifornian Photo of the Day ~ Two Beautiful Girls Share a Hammock on the Beach

Hello Balifornians!

Today's photo of the day comes to us from Bali's neighboring island of Lombok. We were there recently to visit our family and we visited beautiful Kuta Beach. For those of you that do not know, this is nothing like Kuta's doppelganger in Bali. Bali's Kuta Beach is beautiful but overrun with tourists and hawkers. The litter can be off putting as well. But Lombok's Kuta is unspoiled white sand beach with clean water and interesting rock out-croppings. The surfing might not be quite as good as Bali's Kuta but it does make for a more relaxing and relatively more private beach day.

Bali wellness yoga girls beachBeautiful girls relax in a hammock on Kuta Beach, LombokThis photo is getting quite a bit of exposure on Facebook and other social media so I thought I should put it in its rightful place as well as our Balifornian Photo of the Day.

Sign up now for our unique Photo Tours of Bali and Indonesia today. Just email us here for more information.

If you would like to submit your Bali photo to be included in the photo of the day, just email the photograph and description to us here.

Happy Travels!


Kuta Beach, Bali. Best and Worst, Old and New. The Real Deal.

I am perhaps the harshest critic of Kuta but I do have to give it its due on a couple points.  It has changed quite a bit in the 17 years I have been coming here and just 20 years before that, Jalan Pantai Kuta was just a dirt road lined with coconut trees linking Kuta, Seminyak and Legian.  But now it is packed with hawkers, chain stores, drunk loud bule and the traffic can be worse than the 405 at rush hour on a Friday.  Sure, for the first couple hours you can politely say ‘no thank you’ or ‘tidak tertarik’ to the hawkers yelling out to you every 4 steps, but they are so numerous and persistent that even Gandi would want to get a sign that reads, “NO, I am NOT interested in transportation, neon beer cozies, spiked motor bike helmets, drugs, massage, etc.” I remember thinking after first arriving, “How sad.  Bali is over.  Some places can handle tourism and the influx of the almighty dollar, but unfortunately, Bali can not.”  This was of course before I smartened up and got the hell out of Kuta as fast as I could and saw the real Bali. 


The short video above is from The Balifornian Tours & Travel Blog's "Quick Look" series. 

I return to Kuta seldomly, but I do have some dear friends there like Mas Ngurah and his sweet family who run the newly renovated Baleka Hotel and Resort.  If you want to be in Kuta, it’s a great value in a good location and with the Balifornian discount, you can get a steal of a deal on some modern and impressive lodging.  They have a pool and The Gula Gula Restaurant and Lounge.

That being said, the cause of the over-crowding is in fact for good reason as the beach itself is a world-class beach with white sand and great waves.  If you can avoid road rage getting in, and the crowds at the beach, it can be close to a quintessential beach experience (although I greatly prefer being on a beautiful beach alone or with a small group which Bali also offers).  The trash on the beach is certainly disappointing.  “Littering” is an unknown concept to many Balinese.  In fact our close friend Kadek is a bright and very spiritual person, but I have seen him toss his trash onto the ground on occasion.  Its not that he and many other Balinese don't care or are bad people, they just did not receive the same repeated messages that we in the west did- No cute owls telling us kids to “Give a hoot and don't pollute”.  I in no way blame the Balinese for all the trash on Pantai Kuta as much of the blame falls on the tourists.  However major efforts are underway to educate and its effects are being seen already.  For example, this last weekend was Eco-Weekend on Kuta beach and a massive clean up volunteer effort was held to clean up the beaches.

The surfing in Kuta is great for most levels including the beginner and there are tons of activities.  One secret we recommend is a place on the beach called 27 Beach.  The short video above was shot at this location. Neither I nor the staff knows the significance of the ‘27’ as I asked half a dozen of them, but they have a great pool, post-surf shower, comfy lounges and decent food and drink.  It serves as a great home base to sit with friends, have lunch and drinks, head to the beach for play or surf, and return to your own un-crowded spot.

As much as I can get down on Kuta, I am thankful for it, as it being the easiest place to get to (just a few km from Denpasar Airport), it keeps most of the obnoxious tourists in one small spot leaving much of the real Bali for the rest of us.

Leave a comment and let us know what you think of Kuta.


Gerber Wins Oakley Surf Contest in Bali on Huge Wave

The Oakley Pro 11 was hosted at beautiful Canggu Beach in Bali this week. After the six day competition, Marlon Gerber and his childhood buddy, Pepen Hendrik competed in the heavily contested and exciting 30-minute final.

The Oakley Pro 11 is the first of seven events in the 2011 Indonesian Surfing Championship Tour. 

Copyright © 2010 Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog ~ Michael Doliveck

During the final, Gerber got some great large waves and his opponent was not so lucky as the surf died down a bit.
Marlon’s first ever win in an ISC Tour event was in October at the Rip Curl Surf and Music Festival also in Bali at Kuta Beach in 2010.

The next stop of the ISC, The Rusty Rumble In Da Jungle, is scheduled for April 18 to May 8.  It is also in beautiful Bali at Sanur Beach.

Check Balifornian Tours and Travel Blog for much more surfing news and events.

Planning a surfing vacation?  Let Balifornian Tours handle it for you and leave all the stress and hassle behind.  We know the best spots, hidden locations, ways to beat the crowds and we can help you get the very most out of your epic surf trip.