4 Kick Butt Beaches in the Bukit of Bali

July 21, 2015
Ganung Payung Beach.
Ganung Payung Beach.

Biddulph’s in the Bukit of Bali. At least for another week.

I decided to do a bit more than write eBooks while I’ve been here.

By the way, the Blogging from Paradise Library has hit 76 books – paperbacks and eBooks combined – on Amazon. Here’s the latest eBook that travel bloggers will likely dig:

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As I make my way past the endless throng of dudes with thick mops of blond hair and surf boards hanging off of their motorbikes – all topless of course – I realized quickly that the Bukit was all about good surfing. I sometimes body surf. That’s it. I have eaten Surf and Turf back when I did the seafood thing. So even though I won’t hang 10 anytime soon I appreciate beautiful beaches.

The southern part of Bali has some of the best beaches on the island.

What Does “Kick Butt” Mean?

The beach must be:

  • beautiful
  • pristine
  • somewhere I’ve visited
  • not *too* overrun

If I call a pantai “kick butt” I have been there.

So if you have a few kick butt beaches to add, please do in the comments section.

Let’s talk beaches…

1: Ganung Payung

Ganung Payung is the prettiest beach I’ve seen in Bali. It’s in No Man’s Land, a few minutes past Pandawa Beach but a 5 minute motorbike ride through one of the countless projects that are popping up everywhere in Bali these days. You’ll also pass a golf course on the way.

On arriving to Ganung Payung you’ll look down a steep cliff to take in crystal blue, classic waters. Take in some serious surf where the water breaks over the reef, a little ways out.

Get your running shoes folks; Ganung Payung requires walking down and climbing hundreds of stairs with a serious grade kicking your ass in the process. I loved it. But I’m a workout sicko.

Kelli and I were greeted by a troop of over 30 monkeys at GP. Sweet.

Strong Points: jaw-dropping beauty and NOBODY goes there. I saw 2 and 3 people both times I visited.

2: Pandawa Beach

Pandawa Beach is all about clear waters, mild currents and more Air Asia beach umbrellas than you can shake a stick at. PB was my beach of choice early on in the trip because of its amazing beauty and because it’s a 12 minute motorbike ride from the villa.

We loved spending time with locals at the beach.

Note; many Muslim women at Pandawa are competing for the World Record Number of Selfies. Or, for the World Record Number of Group Selfies.

Pandawa Beach.
Pandawa Beach.

Expect to be interviewed by high school or college students if you’re white and speak English reasonably well. I almost didn’t make the cut on the latter.

Strong Points: Awesome sauce beauty, neat ride through the quarry-type-scenery to get there, local folks/flavor.

3: Jimbaran Beach

This one almost breaks my “is not too overrun” rule but just makes the cut.

Kelli and I take long beach walks on Jimbaran. Sure it’s pretty, but more than any beach in the Bukit I find Jimbie serene. Because of its bay-like quality you don’t hear the savage surf brutalizing the reef all day long, as you do in places like Ganung Payung and Uluwatu.

Jimbaran Beach.
Jimbaran Beach.

Strong Points: Lovely, peaceful vibe, and the calmest water in the Bukit…perfect for swimming!

4: Balangan Beach

This is a surfer’s beach. I spot approximately 43,453 surfers driving to Balangan each day via motorbike as I sit and enjoy a complete breakfast at the Balangan Cafe (Check out John’s joint; it’s tight).

Anyway, Balangan is a “damn it’s beautiful” type beach with dramatic cliff views, fab-looking waters and yep, some serious surf action. I enjoyed spending 10 minutes staring up and down the coast, watching the surf break and observing competing surfers either catch waves, wipe out, or get into fist fights over “stolen waves”. As if that’s possible.

Strong Points: That “beauty” thing again, with stunning cliffs, a wicked reef and some of the better surf in the Bukit.

Your Turn

Have you visited any of these beaches?

What beach can you add to this list?

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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He can help you become a full time blogger with this eBook.
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  1. You’ll love GP dude!

  2. Duke Stewart Says:

    Thanks for this set of beaches, Ryan! My wife and I will mostly be in Ubud but will absolutely be needing some beaches when in Bali. Mainly, I’m concerned with the crowds and am totally into a quiet patch of sand with maybe a place to eat and that’s it.

    Even with the stairs and grade, I think my fitness-mad wife and I will love Ganung Payung and its quiet. Monkeys aren’t a problem, as long as they don’t steal our food or anything. Seems like your monkey friends weren’t so bad, is that right? Haha.

    Great post, man! I can’t wait to test this list when in Bali. Take care.

  3. Dinesh Verma Says:

    I am planning to visit Bali next month. This article helped me a lot in planning my trip.

  4. Sab, awesome! You’ll love it here.

    When are you coming? We’re wrapping up our 6 month stay in late July.

  5. Noel, awesome 😉

  6. Michela that sounds like a plan! We’re leaving on July 30th. Jimbaran, or Pandawa, both would rock. Do let me know when you arrive through Facebook, OK?

  7. Sab Says:

    Thanks for this list, Ryan! I’m a total beach bum and really picky when it comes to beaches. Finally, my flights to Bali are booked, I can’t wait to explore those places! See yoi!

  8. Jon Bowes Says:

    Moving to Bali in October big dawg. Your posts get me fired up to get my ass there!

  9. Hey Ryan,

    Thanks for the recommendations. I look forward to when I’m free enough to visit these beaches.

    Being by the sea is one of my favourite things to do in the world. Here in my part of the world, the most famous beach is probably in the the town of Blackpool. It’s certainly not tropical and it’s had its fair share of bad press over the years due to pollution. Even now, although much improved, it’s still not so clean. The sea is certainly not the nice blue/green that it ought to be. Nevertheless, I absolutely love the town and I love walking by the sea or just sitting looking out whilst contemplating life. For an albeit brief moment I can find myself in paradise. No, Blackpool doesn’t compare to places like Bali or Fiji, but to feel free and in paradise, one is not soley dependent on one’s surroundings. It’s so very important to look within.


  10. Noel Says:

    A very interesting place Ryan. One day, I will be there in that place. It’s really like a paradise. 🙂

  11. Michela Says:

    Oh this is what I need for my upcoming visit end of this month! I want to go to Jimbaran Beach, maybe there is a chance to catch up if you are still around. Would love to! 🙂

  12. Here are some places to nosh Suze 😉


  13. Can’t wait to visit these in September, Balangan sounds amazing. Any restaurant/temple recommendations welcome!