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Bali Barat (Part Three) Posted by on May 7, 2018 in Uncategorized

Traveling around West Bali is a great adventure. You can hike to remote waterfalls, catch some waves in Medewi, take in the amazing Makepung races, go diving at Menjangan Island, and so much more. It’s been a pretty bagus trip so far – check out Part One and Part Two if you missed them – and it’s coming to an end today in Bali Barat (Part Three).

Moving on From Pemuteran

North Bali traffic jam.

Leaving Pemuteran, you’ve got a few options for your West Bali road trip. Actually, we’re technically in North Bali by this point, but it’s still the western half of the island. Driving up the main road, don’t be surprised if you hit a Balinese traffic jam in the form of a raucous funeral procession. Just pull over to the side of the road and take it all in. After all, funerals are more of a joyous than somber occasion in Bali.

Anda mau pergi ke gunung atau pantai?
Do you want to go to the mountains or the beach?

After coming this far, it would be silly to turn back around. Where you go next depends on if you want to be in the gunung (mountains) or near the pantai (beach). We’ll get to the different choices in a minute. Either way, you’ll definitely want to make at least one pit-stop along the way.

Banjar Hot Springs

Relax in the hot springs.

About an hour up the road from Pemuteran, you’ll find the Air Panas Banjar (Banjar Hot Springs). After several days on the bike in addition to hiking, surfing, and snorkeling/diving, your body will appreciate the chance to kick back and relax in the therapeutic waters.

Anda bisa bersantai di sini.
You can relax here.

Enjoying the hot springs.

There are even some pretty cool dragon spouts you can sit under, giving your head, shoulders and back a massage from the rushing hot water. If you get thirsty or hungry, there’s a restaurant and a few vendors here as well. Now we’ve come to a fork in the road. Here’s a look at your options for heading back south.

Lovina and Gitgit

Welcome to Lovina.

If you continue to head east along the main road, you’ll eventually hit the chilled out beach town of Lovina. It’s famous for the lumba-lumba (dolphins) that can be seen early in the mornings, and there’s even a statue of one on the main beach. Just about everyone in town can arrange early morning tours if you care to chase the dolphins around.

Anda dapat melihat lumba-lumba di pagi hari.
You can see the dolphins in the morning.

Other than seeing the dolphins, there isn’t really a whole lot to do here. If you’re looking for a super chilled out beach town to laze away a few days, though, this is a great spot.

Dinner and drinks in Lovina.

There are plenty of choices for accommodation, dining, shopping, and drinking here to keep you entertained. Lovina is small enough that you can just walk everywhere, and it’s not plagued with the awful noise and traffic of beach towns in the south of Bali.

Gitgit Waterfall

When you’re ready to head out, start making your way south. It’s a long way back, so you’ll probably want to stop a few times to stretch your legs or grab something to eat. One of your best choices is the massive Air Terjun Gitgit (Gitgit Waterfall). Park your bike and pay the small entrance fee before hiking down to see the rushing waterfall. There are also a few restaurants around here where you can grab lunch before jumping back on the bike.

Some of you might prefer to head up into the mountains to enjoy the relatively cool air and the stunning lake views, though. Let’s see what your alternative option is after visiting the hot springs.

Munduk and the Lakes

Enjoy these views and more in Munduk.

Rather than continue up the road to Lovina, you can take a detour and head up into the mountains to the peaceful town of Munduk. Compared to the stifling heat in the lowlands, it’s quite pleasant up here. You may even need a light jacket for the nights!

Munduk has a handful of places to stay and eat, but it isn’t a full-fledged tourist town. It’s just a nice little Balinese village in the mountains with beautiful surroundings. If you enjoy peace and quiet and casual strolls amongst rice terraces, this is a great place to unwind for a couple of days. With a motorbike, you’ve got lots of places of interest within an hour or so. You can even head down to Lovina for a beach day and back up to Munduk in the evening as the two really aren’t that far apart.

Mountains and lakes.

Bali is so famous for its beaches that many aren’t even aware of the three beautiful lakes in the island’s interior. If you’re heading out from Munduk to go back down south, you’ll pass by Danau Tamblingan and Danau Buyan. There’s a beautiful viewpoint here where you can pull over and take in the views of the lakes. Those who have an extra night or two may want to look into staying in one of the small guesthouses around here to enjoy some hiking around the lakes. From here you can head down the hill and toward the third lake. At this point, you’d be taking the same route regardless of whether you stopped in Lovina or Munduk.

A Famous Temple

An amazing temple to visit.

Sitting right on the lake, Pura Ulun Danu Beratan is one of Bali’s most famous and most scenic temples. Sure it may be full of tour buses, but it’s still worth the quick stop to check it out. Plus, you can still get some great photos of the temple seemingly floating in the lake with no other people in the frame.

Pura ini indah dan terkenal.
This temple is beautiful and famous.

If you’ve got some extra time to spare, there’s lots more to see and do in this area. You can rent a paddle boat and go out for an afternoon on the lake. The Bali Botanical Gardens are nearby as well and are well worth a visit. There are even campsites around the lake if you want to give camping in Bali a try. From here, you’re only an hour and a half or so away from places like Canggu or Seminyak, bringing your West Bali adventure to an end.

 

After three trips to Bali and almost a whole year living there, I’d have to rank my West Bali motorbike trip among my favorite experiences. It’s so refreshing to just jump on the bike and ditch the overcrowded towns of the south to go and see the rugged, traditional, gorgeous Bali that’s still out there. With hiking, surfing, rice terraces, lakes, diving, hot springs, temples and so much more, there are plenty of reasons to add West Bali to your itinerary.

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About the Author: sasha

Sasha is an English teacher, writer, photographer, and videographer from the great state of Michigan. Upon graduating from Michigan State University, he moved to China and spent 5+ years living, working, studying, and traveling there. He also studied Indonesian Language & Culture in Bali for a year. He and his wife run the travel blog Grateful Gypsies, and they're currently trying the digital nomad lifestyle across Latin America.