Indonesia consists of 17,508 islands of which only 6000 are inhabited. Bali is one and probably the most famous of these islands. Bali is no longer undisputed, it is considered overcrowded and many surf travellers use the island of the gods only as a transit for a further journey to other surf destinations in Indonesia or other Southeast Asian countries.
Whether you love it or not is up to you, but with certainty every surfer will visit this island once in his life, whether as a stopover or as a main destination is left to chance. We have collected some tips to make a surf trip to Bali easier.
As soon as you have passed the immigration in Kuta, hosts of taxi drivers attack you and try to lure you into their cars at horrendous prices. Apart from the fact that it is exhausting enough to fend off these attacks, the negotiation is extremely difficult if you are not familiar with the local prices. To avoid this first tourist trap, download the app “Go Jek“, which guarantees you fixed transport costs and allows you to pay either by credit card or cash with your driver.
Once arrived in the hotel, it makes sense to rent a scooter, because many surf spots are not reachable on foot depending on the location of the hotel. It is best to rent a scooter in Kuta, you should not pay more than 50.000 IDR per day for a ride, which corresponds to about 3 Euro, for a longer rental period a price of 40.000 IDR is also possible. Be careful, the traffic on Bali should not be underestimated, wear a helmet and an international driver’s license with you, the local policemen are sporadically very corrupt and cash you strongly if you violate these two rules.
If you have travelled to Bali with cash, you should choose the exchange office wisely. Especially if the exchange rate seems very high, you should doubt the seriousness of the facility. Often the boys let some of them wander into their shirtsleeves while counting the notes and so a fantastic course quickly turns into a huge failure. If you travel by credit card, you must be aware that most machines charge between 50,000 and 100,000 IDR service charges per withdrawal. The lift-off limit varies greatly in some cases. While some machines only spit out one million, others spend up to 3 million IDRs. The best way to save the service batch is to find a machine with a high payout.
3. Hotels and Accommodation
Bali has probably the best price-performance ratio for hotels worldwide. The pressure of competition in the gastronomy industry is high and so one finds comparatively luxurious hotels for little money. There are also several hostel options with bed lodging, but if you are travelling in pairs it is cheaper to book a hotel room. The app with the best prices is currently Agoda.
4. Surfing spots
Most tourists flee Kuta. Yes, Kuta is shrill, loud and damn exhausting. However, if your surfing skills are still in their infancy, the shallow sandy beaches of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak are probably the best for beginners in all of Bali. But with the spots Kuta Reef, Airports Right and Left, real experts also get their money’s worth in Kuta.
In the wet season, which usually lasts from November to April, the surf spots on the east coast of Bali usually work all day, highlights are the surf spots Keramas, Serangan and Greenbowl, while the west coast gets a lot of onshore wind and therefore has poorer surfing conditions. In the dry season from May to September the west coast gets the offshore wind, the best waves here are Uluwatu, Binging and Padang Padang, all three waves require a very high surf level. During this time, the east coast of Bali feels the unfavorable onshore winds. More detailed information about the surf spots like tide range, swell size and wind directions can be found for example at Magic Seaweed. Attention is required, however, with the recommendations for surfing clothes. Well-established sites often claim that you can surf with Boardshort in Bali all year round, but especially in the dry season, cool offshore winds blow on the west coast and give you goose bumps in the lineup. That’s why it’s best to pack a neoprentop so that your sessions last longer than just 1 hour.
The Balinese are mostly Hindu and are an extremely peaceful people. The people here are characterised by openness and cordiality and crime in Bali is certainly not an omnipresent topic. However, in tourist strongholds such as Canggu and Kuta, petty crime has spread, especially at night pickpockets and attacks on drunken tourists in particular, who make their way home alone. Therefore, especially in these 2 places, make sure that you do not take the Partyheimweg alone.
6. Celebrate in Bali
In no other surfing destination in the world can you celebrate as hell as in Bali, whether this is good or bad. The best places to celebrate are:
1. Canggu: Here the hipsters shake hands, top party location in Canggu: Old Man‘s2
. Seminyak: In Seminyak it is a bit more noble and also in price the parties here are comparable with Europe
That’s a good way to get rid of 200,000 for a long drink.
Top location: La Favela3 Kuta: In Kuta the sound gets a little rougher, here there is a flair that comes very close to that of a shooter.
Very popular with male tourists is the daily All you can drink and eat party at Skygarden.4 Uluwatu: Here are the surfers at home.
Since Uluwatu has the best waves in Bali, it is a magnet for surfers.
The atmosphere is very chilly, but every Sunday the single Fin, notorious among surfers, invites you to dance. If you miss the party, you have an empty lineup on Monday mornings.
It is not for nothing that Bali has become so well known, the island of the gods is much better than its reputation.