Balian Medewi: day trip:
If you want a bit of a change of scenery, head north to Balian and Medewi. It takes about one and a half to two hours from Canggu or Seminyak depending on traffic and it really is worth a visit.
In case you have the time, do stay more than a day. Two to three days would be ideal. But if you are short of time, a day trip is also good enough. For a day trip though, once you check the tide of the day, make sure you make it early enough. Starting off at 5am is cruel but highly recommended!
What you should expect:
Both Balian and Medewi are quite underdeveloped compared to Canggu and Seminyak so do not expect to have a crazy night life here. What you should expect is to have some quality surfing, to catch some uncrowded waves, to enjoy the beach and the nature and to relax.
The place to stay the night is definitely Balian. Even if you are planning to mainly surf in Medewi, getting a nice room in Balian is recommended. There is a selection of rooms from low budget to more pricy ones but all quite decent. The restaurant at the beach is a must. Do order ahead a fresh fish barbecue after your sunset surf.
Now in terms of surfing, Balian beach is generally good on really small swell days. On a flat day in the rest of Bali, Balian can be pumping as the wave there tends to be much bigger compared to the rest of Bali. The spot works on any tide apart from very low tide. Mid to low on a small swell day is ideal. As the beach tends to get windy, it is better to try it out either quite early or at sunset time.
Rumours have it that there were sharks spotted on the beach. As it is a river break, during rainy season when sharks come more often, it is a no no. Personally I have surfed Balian (always on the dry season) and never had any problem. But before you take any decision, do your own research to decide whether or not to take the risk.
Even if you don’t surf Balian, you can still stay the night there and go surfing to Medewi. Medewi is only a 30 minute drive away and most importantly not a shark’s favourite spot. What is more, it is the longest wave in Bali and one of the longest in Indonesia.
It is an easy mellow wave where you will definitely enjoy the ride. It takes a bit of paddling to reach the lineup but it is definitely worth it.
Make sure you jump in on mid to high tide as it is a reef break with quite a rocky bottom. Booties here are recommended. If you want to avoid wearing booties, jump in from the very right where you see the fishing boats and where it tends to be steeper so you will not feel the rocks.
The ideal day trip to Balian & Medewi:
An ideal day trip can combine a morning surf at Balian on mid to low tide and an afternoon session at Medewi on mid to high tide or vice versa. And to finish off the day, a well-deserved fresh fish barbecue by the beach is a must!