Bali Indonesia Photography Travel

Bali Photo Essay – Beaches

This is the first in a series of shameless posts with a lot of Bali photos. Click here for People and Animals & Food!

I don’t even really know what a photo essay is, but everyone seems to be doing one so I thought I’d finally get around to putting up some Bali photographs from my recent sojourn.

For many, the beaches of Bali are a disappointment. The main reason is that people dream of an idyllic paradise – palm-fringed white-sand beaches with bare chested beauties bringing fresh coconut juice and pina coladas at the snap of your fingers. OK, maybe that last part was just me. But really, it’s nothing like that. Perhaps they were once like this back in the 70s, but those days are gone.

The best beaches nowadays are off the main tourist trail, but are still popular enough to attract people with an entrepreneurial spirit willing to build decent hotels, provide delicious food and generally make you feel like you’re not roughing it. The beaches in the tourist areas are OK, but places like Australia and the US have better ones. Each of the photos below look better when you click on them as they expand to fill more of your screen. Lucky you!

Kuta Beach
Kuta Beach

The first beach most visitors to Bali see is Kuta Beach. It’s an impressive stretch of sand that is now developed to the point where it’s no longer pleasant in the middle of the day when all the other tourists are around. Harrassing beach vendors, sometimes dirty water and loads of people. Still it’s a great place to stroll in the early morning before most people wake up and it has a chilled vibe in the evenings.

Sanur Beach
Sanur Beach

When looking at the 5 or 6km long Sanur Beach, it’s easy to be torn. Sections of it are beautiful with trees shading raked sand and turquoise water lapping at your feet. Other sections are an eyesore with dated hotels shadowing unpleasant swimming areas. Overall, however, it’s a more family friendly area than Kuta and less hectic. It can be a good spot to relax with a beer and a nasi goreng.

Padang Padang Beach
Padang Padang Beach

Get away from the main tourist areas and everything changes. Padang Padang Beach is one of the best in Bali and is not visited anywhere near as frequently as those in Kuta and Sanur. It’s also small giving you the feeling that it’s a secret hideaway that the masses haven’t yet discovered. Much like the other beaches on the Bukit.

Sunset at Yeh Gangga Beach
Sunset at Yeh Gangga Beach

Yeh Gangga is one of my favourite places in all of Bali because it is so secluded. The beach stretches for kilometres in both directions and there is hardly another tourist to be seen – just locals playing football and the odd family paddling. What tops it all off is that you can watch an endless stream of ceremonies which arrive at the beach to complete the scattering of ashes of the recently cremated.


Amed beaches are different from those of the south as they are generally tainted black as a result of volcanic activity plus they are  home to coral reefs. Loads of them. And they’re easy to snorkel. The place commonly referred to as Amed is in fact a series of fishing villages which starts in the west at the actual village of Amed and finishes in the east at Aas. Amed is a top spot that is relatively empty outside of the Christmas period and the European summer. Cheap food, cheap accommodation and unlimited snorkeling. Could this be the Balinese Paradise that people are searching for?

So there you have it. Beaches in Bali. You like?

8 replies on “Bali Photo Essay – Beaches”

Thanks. It’s a top spot. Feels like you’re a million miles from the nearest town.

Yeh Gangga! Yeh Gangga. sounds like million days away to me! but yes an amazing spot to relax for a few days, walk down the beach and what else… let’s see… bike ride around to area or watch moon rise and set?
nice to keep up with your new articles each time. take care. au revoir.

Hi Adam,

Just curious, did you choose 5 because it’s a round number, or it is just 5 interesting beaches to do the essay?

I do love that spot of Amed. It’s great isn’t it?!

5 because I had 5 good photos of beaches. 🙂 I could have talked about more beaches down on the Bukit which is where I think many of the best beaches are such as the one at Uluwatu. Incredible! But Padang Padang will have to do for the time being.

As for Amed,it’s one of my favourite places in Bali these days. I never used to like it, but I think if you have the time to relax and just chill, it’s fantastic. I suppose it’s nice to like the water as well.

You didn’t go to dreamland? It’s nice there.
Also, if you go to Java, there’s this beach named “Ujung Genteng” which is reaaaallly nice. Turquoise water and white sand. Surfer’s paradise also

Yeah, I did go to dreamland and the beach is nice. But I really don’t like that big building on top of the cliff.

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