Best months:
March to September


Travel article Surfing guide
LAST UPDATED 07/01/2008
Bookmark and Share


Bwmodular: Indonesia Bali; 6 March 2007

Bali is an island in Indonesia with the area of 5,632.86 km². It lies between Java to the west and Lombok to the east and is the largest tourist destination in the country.


Napiez: Mt Agung, East Coast Bali; 2007

Where do you start..what hasn't already been said..If you only ever go on one overseas surfing trip, go to Bali!

The island enjoys a virtually year round swell window with a dedicated East and West coast around the Bukit Peninsula that offers offshore conditions at least somewhere. No more being ties to wet and dry seasons.

It would be difficult to design a better piece of surfing topography than the Bukit Peninsula, offering clean conditions on at least one coast at some stage of the day. The peninsula bisects the prevailing SW swell train and either wedges it along the west coast and the big wave gladiator pits or bends it around the more mellow but shapely east coast spots along Nusa Lembongan.

April to September are the peak periods but it's difficult not to get waves year round here. Might be a little wet around Christmas thats all. Make sure to put the wife and kids up in a nice resort if this happens to minimise the nag factor. 


Golbez: Map of the provinces of Indonesian in English; 8 January 2006

There are many ways of getting around Indo: by plane, bus, car, boat, train, ojek or becak. The last one, pronounced as "BEH-chuck", is a tricycle (pedicab) transportation mode for short distances such as residential areas in many cities. The better your communication skills are, the less you will pay and check the cost beforehand. By the way, there are no becak in Jakarta. Instead, there is the motorized bajaj (BAH-jai). In some other provinces (eg. North Sumatra, Aceh) there are motorbikes with sidecars, known as bentor (short for becak bermotor).

Ojek is motorcycle taxi, which you may want to take if you're in such a hurry that you're willing to lose a limb to get there.

Car is not the safest way to travel as well – rules on the roads are ignored, driving on the road shoulder is common, buses speed like maniacs and stop without warning, pedestrians cross the road anywhere, even across highways…and police is not doing anything about this mess. So it’s your decision, mates. Just in case you still decide to hire a car, the traffic moves on the left in Indonesia.

Not sure if you should consider bus as well…drivers are often drunk, on drugs or just reckless; keep an eye on your bags at all times and avoid overnight journeys in the wilder parts of the country (notably South Sumatra).

Travelling by plane is probably the safest option, though the safety record of the smaller companies is dubious. But the good thing is that a select a few carriers, such as Garuda, Lion Air, and Mandala among others, have recently bought brand new planes straight from an aircraft manufacturer which have replaced some of the older planes in their fleet. So the situation is a bit better, though be prepared that many carriers have poor on-time records and frequent cancellations.

Ferries are very popular and with PELNI (the largest company) you can go to practically every inhabited island in Indonesia. But as usual, safety records are poor, so look for safety devices on board and postpone your trip if the weather is bad.

Java by far has the best railway network; some parts of Sumatra are covered as well. Journey will take quite a long time, but the scenery is a bonus. Be aware of theft and lock your doors at night.

where to stay

Vnmbali: Villa Naga Maya; 24 May 2008

Bali has, by far, the largest choice of accommodations in Indonesia, ranging from the $3 per night hostels on Poppies Lane in Kuta to the $4,300 per night stays at Begawan Giri in Ubud.

Budget travellers tend to head for Kuta, which is the cheaper option, whilst most five-star resorts are clustered together in Nusa Dua. Seminyak, Sanur and Jimbaran providing spas and cultural pursuits over surfing and booze.

For rest and relaxation, Amed is a peaceful fishing village on the East Coast with some good hotels and restaurants.
Most villas and bungalows offer open-air bathrooms, placed in a lush garden. They look amazing, but you may find unexpected/unwanted guests, it is definitely something to experience though!

what to pack

Brandon Blinkenberg- Toilet paper; 2007-03-07

Basically, it depends on whether you are going to remote areas or not. if yes, then take all things you might need, otherwise you can buy them in the cities.

Trainers, loose clothing - everything for the tropical weather. Definitely take along some bug repellent spray, good sunscreen and sunglasses! Better take your medicines with you (esp. anti histamine tablets), as the brands can be unfamiliar and cost more. By the way, getting a medical insurance for the trip would be a good idea. And take a good protection for your camera from the sand. 

Least but not least, toilet paper. Funny? Won't be that funny if you don't take it.

You must be a registered user to comment. Click here to register.