Still one of my favourite memories from Bali.
I made a little vlog out of this trip! Watch it below :)
This trip to East Bali was one of my best experiences on this island. We drove along the east coast, visiting "secret" white sand beaches, through lush ricefields and small villages. We spent the night in the super chill diving town of Amed, with the towering Agung volcano in the background. The next day we drove up mt. Batur (all offroad!) then down through Ubud and back to Canggu.
The trip started early in the morning. We drove for about an hour from Canggu to the east side of Bali. Once there, we took a nice big road along the coast, with the ocean on the right and ricefields and mountains on the left. Everything was green and beautiful.
After about 30 minutes on that road, we arrived to our first destination: Secret Beach.
Although Bali is known as a "beach destination", there's actually not many picturesque swimmable beaches on the island. Most beaches have black sand and/or big waves (great for surfing but not swimming).
On the east coast however, there are a couple of "hidden" beaches with white sands and beautiful blue water. The best thing is that they are not very well known - and far from everything - so not many people here.
When we arrived at Secret Beach - around 10:30am - we actually had it all to ourselves! About 30 minutes later, a couple of other people showed up, but it remained mostly empty the whole time we were there.
As you can see we had tons of fun playing in the waves, taking photos, exploring the surroundings and just lying in the sun with a coconut.
We left about 12:30pm, as it was getting hot and we still had lots of driving ahead of us - and two more beaches to visit :)
Secret beach is still one of my favourite places in Bali.
Next on out list was the Blue Lagoon. This one is a bit more well-known, especially for snorkeling and diving. It's also next to Padang Bay, where boats to the Gilis and other surrounding islands depart.
We got here around 1pm and it was already too hot to be in the sun, so we found a nice shadow spot inside a little beach cave and bought some food from the nearby warung.
Around 2:30pm we left for our next destination - Virgin Beach. This one was another 40 minute drive. There were no big cities here and we drove through beautiful ricefields and jungles. Agung volcano appeared in the background and got bigger and bigger as we drove further.
Finally we reached Virgin Beach. It was quite remote and my friends said it has a vibe similar to Coron in the Philippines (I still haven't been to this country, I need to go).
We loved it here and stayed for a while. The sun was gone and it we didn't feel like swimming, so we just walked around and took some photos, then relaxed with a beer.
There were some chill warungs on the beach, selling nasi goreng and Bintangs.
We left around 5pm, as we wanted to get to Amed before dark.
On the way out we stopped at this amazing viewpoint. The clouds were gone and we were rewarded with a beautiful view of Agung and the surrounding landscape.
Arriving in Amed
We drove for about an hour more up northeast towards Amed. It was another beautiful drive through jungles, ricefields and small villages, with the towering volcano in the background. We even had to drive over bamboo bridges at one point!
We arrived at sunset. I had booked Tanaya Homestay, a really nice local house owned by a very kind and friendly local family. They welcomed me with tea and cake. Then I took a shower relaxed at my room for a while.
Before leaving for dinner, I went to the roof of the house for an amazing sunset view of Agung!
I met up with my friends again (they had booked a different hotel) and we went for dinner at a nice restaurant nearby. There was even a musical perfomance by some local men.
We were very tired from the day so we went straight back to our hotels after dinner, and I passed out in my bed around 10pm.
Sunrise and Agung
The next morning I woke up at 6am for sunrise! I watched it from the rooftop. The sky was clear and it was beautiful. This was easily one of the most chill and relaxing moments I've ever had in Bali.
Around 6:45am I went downstairs for coffee and breakfast. The food was simple yet soo delicious!
After breakfast I met up with my friends again. We quickly checked out Amed - the town was very small and there was not much going on other than diving. Nothing was open yet, save for some 24 hour shops.
We stocked up on some water and gas for our bikes before hitting the road again.
As we drove north, the landscape got very dry. We were now going along the east slope of Mt. Batur. At one point, we took a small road going up the mountain.
Climbing that mountain on our scooters was an adventure! The road soon turned into a dirt road. It was very dry and rocky, and we only saw a couple of very rural houses.
The got steeper and steeper, and at one point it seemed like our bikes could barely handle it. The road also wasn't there all the time, at some point we had to drive over rocks.
It took us over 2 hours but we made it! Near the top of the mountain, trees and houses started appearing. We drove a final crazy steep road - barely made it - and suddenly we were at the top of Batur!
As we finally made it to the top, we were rewarded with a view of the volcano lake. We rested here for a while before driving down to the village on the lake.
We checked out the village but there was not much there. Instead of stopping here, we decided to keep driving.
We made a pit stop at Kintamani for food, and to escape the midday heat. Then we drove down towards Ubud. I enjoyed the road down - it was all straight and downhill so I almost didn't have to drive :)
Before Ubud, we stopped at the dfamous Tegalalang ricefields as my friends wanted to see them (I had been here before). It was very touristy so we didn't even bother entering. We just had some drinks in a restaurant with the view.
After Tegalaland, we drove through Ubud and stopped at the raw chocolate shop before heading back to Canggu.
Overall this trip was one of my best experiences in Bali.
We liked it so much that the next week we came back to Amed for some snorkeling. We did it at the Japanese shipwreck and saw so many colorful fish and beautiful coral. (I didn't take any photos this time, just enjoyed the trip.)
Spending the night in the chill town of Amed was also incredibly relaxing. At night I lied on the roof of my hotel, watching the clear night sky with millions of stars. It left me feeling so rejuvenated. I can't wait to come back.