Feeling like you are missing something about Bali? Maybe you are a fan of Bali who pays a visit once a while, feeling excited about each new thing, but deep inside getting a bit tired about the crowds, the wait line, about experiencing the same thing like others. You want something a bit different, the exotic and charming Bali days. Well, it is the time to change the direction, or at least fill the gap for some days with different experiences to keep things exciting.
Head east to Candidasa, a seaside area about 2-hour drive from touristy Kuta. It is a hidden charm of Bali you can easily miss out on unless you stop and take a look. No one will notice a bright and inviting sign on excitements. Yet here is the home of many accommodations ranging from budget to five-star sharing the similar calming sea views, bringing each visitor the real peace of being in Bali. There no ‘real beach’ in this area, unless the tide is very low, instead of the flowing gentle sea breeze and the sound of crashing waves hitting the rock formation, built to prevent the erosion, those are the things you can expect.
Candidasa is also a strategic home base for travellers who want to have more time to explore the attractions in East Bali and Central. Going east to Amed and its surrounding areas will take around one hour drive from Candidasa, while going to Central will take similar duration, too.
That being said, Candidasa will attract solo travellers who prefer to spend some days in a slower pace atmosphere, family who travels with kids, honeymooners wishing to spend more time of being together or in general anyone who looks forward to a mix of quiet time and a little adventure journey. One thing to consider is the choice of your accommodation. Depending on with whom you are travelling, or for what intentions, you need to check if the hotel has everything you (might) need. If you prefer to stay and relax, all-inclusive hotels with many facilities will be more suited than the budget offering standard facilities, for example.
In addition to all simple pleasure that you can find inside the hotel, there are things to do and discover in Candidasa and its surrounding area.
Nature & Culture
Ask the hotel reception if they offer a bike for complimentary use, or rent one, and make your way to Candidasa’s beautiful landmark, the Lotus Lagoon. It is the nearest one and should be the first for a visit. The lagoon is big enough, filled with water lilies and if you are lucky enough to visit in the right time of its blooming, it will leave a beautiful, and unforgettable memory of Candidasa.
Going further, you will need a car or motorbike for this, Goa Lawah, or the Bat Cave Temple. The cave itself is located inside the complex of Hindu temple, which is believed as one of the most important temples in Bali. Watch hundreds of bats flying around the cave, sleeping, and squeaking. As the bats usually leave the cave during the night and come back in the morning, visiting this place in the morning will give more interesting sight.
Another cultural site to visit is Tenganan Village, where you can experience the traditional life of Balinese people, and discover the making process of the iconic Geringsing cloths. Read more about this unique community through this link.
Sea & Beach
You may not see a beautiful white sand beach in this area, but you can find it nearby. Only a short drive from Candidasa, you can enjoy a lazy day at the beach, minus the crowds, at this beach with many names. If you find online or hear from someone the Virgin Beach, or White Sand Beach, or Bugbug Beach, it refers to one same place. Unlike some beaches in the Eastern area of Bali which are black sand beaches, here is the White Sand one. Lining up with sunbeds under the colourful umbrellas, Virgin Beach promises an undisturbed day as you enjoy reading books and drink a whole young coconut. Want to change the view, you simply follow the road up to the hill to Bukit Asah.
As you explore around the small town, there are some snorkelling and diving operators offering the service to explore the underwater world nearby. They will safely take you for a-30 minutes boat ride to Gili Tepekong, one of the most popular diving sites in Bali.
You really want to experience this without getting wet? Choose instead to book the service of Odyssey Submarine, and find the joy of colourful life under the sea from a comfortable seat inside the submarine. It is a bit pricey, but won’t disappoint.