Been there, done that. Some of you probably have different places in mind and different destinations when you’re driving along the east coast of Bali. Despite all famous destinations in the East Side of Bali, there's plenty of beautiful places that you probably don’t know about.
Bukit in Bahasa means Hill and by hill I’m talking about the real, steep kind of hill. Not a lot of people know Bukit Asah, the off-road access and when you got up the hill it looks like, “Uhm, just trees? Any road?” – matter of fact, yes there is. It is accessible with scooter or you can enjoy a 15 minutes walk to the camping spot. What’s so amazing about Bukit Asah? The ‘private’ access to the virgin beach, your own beach while the sun rise or when the sun set? Yes, yes, and yes!
To add more, you can see a little sparks of Milky Way in summer night. Not very obvious, but the stars look like they’re dust and spread all over the sky!
Best time to visit: 10AM – July/August
Cost: Parking IDR 2,000 | Camping: IDR 20,000 per person
Tent & sleeping bag available for rent!
Virgin Beach located in a very long alley full of coconut trees and somewhat looking non-accessible by any vehicle, ever. However, recently they just built a little lane where you can ride your scooter on or simply park your car and take a good 25 minutes walk. Virgin Beach has been more touristy that it ever was, but still not as crowded as usual famous beaches in Bali. At this beach you can enjoy an amazing clear blue water that feel very fresh an untouched, I would recommend coming early in the morning for the best swim you will ever experience. Massage is also available upon request, the tiny houses and warung by the beach offer extremely good and cheap massage! Bargain for IDR 60,000 for 1.5 hours with Coconut Oil. Worth it!
Best time to visit: 8AM – April/May
Cost: Parking IDR 2,000
Located right as the gate to climb Bali’s most sacred mountain, Mt. Agung—Pura Besakih offer more than just an ordinary temple. Known also as Bali’s most sacred and holiest temple, this temple will also surprise you with the magical ceremony (more than 60 ceremonies along the year) if you come on the right time. Once, a friend of mine went there and the Hindu priest gave him the sacred Balinese bracelet which only a tiny twine with 3 different colors representing the holiness of 3 Hindu gods— you can also see the temples that represent these 3 gods. This temple complex comprises at least 85 temples with Pura Penataran Agung as the main temple.
Best time to visit: Morning/Afternoon (Sarong is required to enter the temple, female in menstruation is prohibited to come around the temple. Sarong available for rent/purchase nearby).
Cost: IDR 15,000 – IDR 20,000
One of my favorite destination on the east-side of Bali. Jemeluk gives you the calm, quiet and less tourist snorkel in the afternoon which is—believe me—the most amazing time to snorkel in this beach. The beach is not sandy, more rocky but once you dive inside the water and go further than 10 meter farther, you will see what I’m talking about! This spot has a post-office temple hidden underwater and an amazing view of Mt. Agung as well as great food nearby! You can even hike a small hill nearby to watch sunrise/sunset. Snorkeling equipments are available for rent. Magical!
Best time to visit: May-September (14.00-17.00)
Cost: Parking IDR 2,000; Snorkeling Equipment IDR 25,000/person
The reason why I love Tibumana is that when it’s quiet (which is around morning 9-11AM) – it’s just spectacular. You can hear the nature singing as you swim down this amazing waterfall. Very accessible and easy to find and a very fresh untouched nature of mid-east Bali is so mind blowing.
Best time to visit: 9:00 – 11:00
Cost: IDR 10,000
Keramas Beach is the surfer’s paradise, expert level surfers love this place as the triple overhead waves crushing and the beautiful pearly black sand gives you the extraordinary view of Bali. Famous for its beautiful sunrise and non-touristy beach, this place got a lot of attention from local tourists. If you like a quiet place to sit on the sand, drink your bintang and just stare at beautiful waves… This is your place.
Best time to Visit: 09.00AM
Cost: Parking IDR 2,000
Sindhu was never as famous as it is today. Just off the main road, this beach is now one of people’s favorite; the blue water, calm wave and just a good time beneath the tree with your friends. If you like chilling out without sun, Sindhu Beach is the one!
Best time to visit: 3PM
Cost: Parking IDR 5,000
Diver’s paradise, USAT Liberty located just 1 hour to the west from Amed offers you rocky beach with such amazing coral paradise. There are a lot of cheap and affordable diving courses around if you want to get certified. What’s so unique from this beach? Definitely the 120 meters long USAT Cargo ship that torpedoed by Japan’s submarine. This massive ‘ghosty-look’ boat will give you shivers underwater!
Best time to Visit: March
Cost: IDR 2,000 parking
Amed village offers such amazing spectacular view from just the right angle and the right heights by the hills that surround it. The people are very nice and the village is very quiet and relaxing. Volunteering in Amed Village is highly recommended if you would like to feel the real local life!
Best time to visit: January/June
Cost: - N/A
- The Green Canyon
Located nearby Keramas Beach, Bali’s Green Canyon offer an amazing physical experience especially if you try it in the mid-December. There are 3 different canyons that connected by wide rice paddies where you will have to cross each time you finished exploring each canyon. This place can still be considered as hidden, mostly only locals visiting this place but they are trying to attract the travelers which going pretty amazing!
Best time to visit: Early Rainy Season
Cost: IDR 35,000/person – for guide