Blue Point (Suluban) Beach – Badung, Bali

Blue Point (Suluban) Beach – Badung, Bali

Aside of being popular of having two names, this beach is always going to be in all surfers’ list. Surfers from all over the world with all level of surfing skill visit this place all year round to challenge its waves. Located in the southern area of Bali or in Kabupaten (regency) Badung Selatan to be exact, it is famous for its beautiful waves. Almost all beaches that located in the southern area are indeed blessed with this amazing feature. What makes Blue Point Beach special though is its easy accessibility as well as its surfing and accommodation facilities. In fact, it is not astonishing for visitors to find a couple of surfing tournaments held here every year.

What to do:

So if you are not a surfer, does it mean that Blue Point Beach should be scratched from your to do list in Bali? Absolutely not! “What should I do there?”, you may wonder. Well, as a starter, you could watch all the pro surfers doing their actions to conquer the waves. But, if it is still not really your thing, you could opt to relax in one of the cafes that located at the cliff on top of the beach and enjoy the scenery while waiting for the sunset. The sunset view from here has been said as one of the most indescribable beauty that one can witness in their lives.

Blue PointIn addition to that, you could also swim in one of the natural pools formed by the coral reefs that surrounded the beach. These pools are only accessible during lowtide in the late afternoon. At other times, they will all be covered by water due to hightide. It is not advisable for you to swim during this period as it could be dangerous.

However, if your priority is to sunbath, Blue Point Beach might not be suitable for you. It’s because during hightide that occurs mostly at noon- late afternoon, most of the beach area will be covered by water.

Best time to visit:

  • Surfing: Noon – afternoon
  • Sunset: (5.30 pm-6.30 pm)

Direction:

If you are coming either from Ubud, Denpasar or Kuta, go to Nusa Dua direction through Jalan I Gusti Ngurah Rai. Afterwards, head to Jalan Raya Uluwatu Jimbaran and Jalan Raya Uluwatu Pecatu. Follow both main streets all the way. Then, you could either head to Jalan Labuhan Sait to enter the beach from Blue Point Resort main entry or head to Jalan Pantai Suluban.

Estimated time required (with no traffic):

  • from Ubud 1 H 30 min; from Denpasar 45 min; from Kuta 45 min

Bingin Beach – Badung, Bali

Bingin Beach – Badung, Bali

One thing that you MUST do while visiting Bali is definitely going to the beach. But if you’re not into visiting overcrowded beaches like Kuta or Sanur Beach, then Bingin Beach might just be the right option for you.

Located in the southern area of the island, this beach is strategically located in between the famous beaches like Dreamland and Padang Padang Beach. In fact, this particular beach is not only could be seen but also could be reached from Dreamland by boat or swimming. Both Dreamland and Bingin beach are separated by a significantly high cliff. Thus, made it impossible for us to walk in between the two beaches during high tide seasons.

Bingin BeachLike most of the other beaches located in the southern areas of Bali, Bingin Beach is surrounded by hard texture white sand with lots of coral reefs on its side. Nevertheless, it is this special feature that makes this beach as one of the new emerging favorites among tourists and Bali residents. It is because, the coral reefs will transform into small pools with mild current that is just perfect for both swimming and relaxing.

What to do:

Bingin Beach provides all kinds of pleasures and activities for all visitors. If you are a surfer, this beach might provide enough challenges for you with its roaring yet beautiful waves. If you happen to be there for more relaxing activities, you could always opt to sit towards the western side of Bingin Beach. There, you could just wait for the breathtaking view of sunset, read a book, stroll around, do some sunbathing or stroll around the area.

The facilities there include local small shops (warung) that provides both foods and beverages with adequate selection. If you plan to spend the night near this beach, there are a range of private villas and homestays in the vicinity area.

Best time to visit:

  • Sunbathing or relaxing: Morning – noon
  • Surfing: Noon (The waves during this time is usually perfect for surfing.)
  • Swimming: Afternoon during low tide season

Direction:

If you are coming either from Ubud, Denpasar or Kuta, go to Nusa Dua direction through Jalan I Gusti Ngurah Rai. Afterwards, head to Jalan Raya Uluwatu Jimbaran and Jalan Raya Uluwatu Pecatu. Follow both main streets all the way. Then, head to Jalan Labuhan Sait and Jalan Pantai Bingin.

Estimated time required (with no traffic):

  • from Ubud 1 H 30 min; from Denpasar 45 min; from Kuta 45 min
More Articles on Bali

Berastagi (Part 2)

Berastagi (Part 2)

Berastagi Tourism Spot

Previous article has elaborated on basic facts about Berastagi. This article will be discussing about travelling activities that you would discover on your way to Berastagi (from Medan).

Penatapan, Berastagi Tourism Spot

Stopping by at ‘panatapan’

Panatapan is the local Batak Karo language that means a place for sightseeing. As suggested by the term, it is basically a range of warung (small shops) that offer some light meals and beverages. Scattered at the side of the main roads heading to Berastagi, it is an ideal resting place with astounding mountaineous beauty for all the visitors before continuing on their journey. Some of the popular foods would be grilled/steamed corn and fried/ boiled Indomie (popular brand of instant noodle) with eggs accompanied by sweet ginger tea. And while sipping on your tea or munching on your corn, you could also watch some of the monkeys swinging or sitting on the trees nearby. These should recharge your energy just fine before embarking on your adventure at Berastagi.

Relaxing at hot springs

Another travelling adventure waiting for you on your way to Berastagi is to submerge yourself into one of the hot springs at Lau Debuk Debuk area. Situated at ± 10 km away from Berastagi, you could easily find the gate at the right side of the main road. Though the hot spring pools are manmade, the phosphorus warm water inside them is not. It is channeled from the water flowing in the southern lava crack of Mount Sibayak’s slope located in the vicinity areas. As a result, you would still enjoy the benefit of the natural sulphur for your skin. For additional note, these hot springs are on the same path that heads to the base of Mount Sibayak hiking route.

Enjoying rides at the theme park

At ± 10 km before entering Berastagi (in proximity area to Lau Debuk Debuk), you would encounter Mikie Holiday Resort on the right side of the main road. Aside of providing accommodation for guests, it is also famous for its theme park known as Mikie Funland. There, you could try out more than 30 types of rides with one day single entry ticket or purchasing individual ticket for rides that you want to get on.

Chilling at Bukit Kubu

As you get closer to Berastagi (± 2 km before the city gate), you would see a vast greenery pasture on your right hand side known as Bukit Kubu. It is a popular spot for picnicking or playing kites. There is also a historical house at the center of the hill dated back to the colonial era.

Berastagi (Part 1)

Berastagi (Part 1)

After travelling around the bustling city of Medan while enjoying the street culinaries, you might opt to visit another place that is more slow paced and chillier than Medan. If that’s the case, it is time to visit Berastagi.

BerastagiSituated ± 70 km from Medan, Berastagi is a thriving city that depends mostly on its agricultural activities. Set in between two active volcanoes, Sibayak and Sinabung Mountains, the city has a cool yet fresh climate. The two mountains also make Berastagi and its neighboring areas not only lush enough for agriculture but also surrounded by natural beauty that would leave a lasting impression in your memory.

The good thing about visiting Berastagi is how most of the places to visit are located either in the heart of the city areas or only a few kilometres away from it. This would allow your trip to be more efficient as less time would be spent on the road.

How to get there:

(1)By private car/ travel car:

  • From Medan, it would take around 1.5 – 2 hours depending on the traffic and weather condition
  • From Rantau Parapat (Toba Lake and Samosir Island), it would take around 4-5 hours depending on the traffic and weather condition.

*Note:

Private car means you rent the whole car for yourself and thus you could travel to various attractions with it once you are at your destination.

Travel means you only pay for the car to take you to the destination by sharing the fee with other passengers (usually 10 people per travel car). Once you arrive, you need to arrange your own transportation to visit various attractions there.

(2)By public busses:

  • From Medan: Head to Padang Bulan/ Pinang Baris bus terminal (around 30 minutes from the city center by taxi or becak). The well-known busses include Sinabung or Sumatra Transport. It would take around 2-3 hours to get there.
  • From Rantau Parapat: At the pier of Ajibata ferry terminal (the ferry that would take you to Samosir Island), you could book for mini busses that would leave for Berastagi every one hour (07.00 am – 07.00 pm). It would take around 5-6 hours to get there.

Best time to visit:

  • Best to avoid: (1) rainy season (September – January) as it would be quite foggy there; (2) major national and international holidays as the traffic would be terrible.

Berastagi (Part 3)

Berastagi (Part 3)

Tourism Spot Berastagi

Berastagi Part 2

As last article talked about some places to visit on the main road heading to Berastagi (from Medan), this article will describe about the travelling activities in the center of Berastagi.

Pasar Berastagi, Tourism Spot Berastagi

Shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables

One of the highlighted activities in Berastagi is to do some fruit shopping. At the center of the city, you would see a complex of traditional market. At the outer area of the market, you would find some stores selling common souvenirs as well as some eateries. However, the special commodities of Berastagi, the fresh fruits and vegetables harvested from the surrounding local farms, would be sold inside the market. Once you are inside, you could see lots of vendors selling similar items. Thus, don’t rush yourself to directly purchase the items at the first vendor you find. Take your time to look and ask a couple of vendors around to compare the quality and prices of the commodities. Berastagi is famous for its passion fruits and oranges so make sure you do purchase some of them. Other agricultural products that are also commonly found here would be avocadoes, strawberries, sweet potatoes, yams, cabbages, and tomatoes.

Another option to do this is by directly harvesting the fruits and vegetables from the local farms which are scattered around in the city area. Once you are at the farm, you would be handed either a basket or a plastic bag for putting in your harvested items. Afterwards, you could stroll around the farm to choose the fruits or vegetables that are according to your likings. Then, they would be weighed on a scale in order to determine the price that you would have to pay. If you opt for this alternative, one thing to bear in mind is the limited types of fruits and vegetables that you could purchase from one particular farm. It is due to the fact that each farm would only focus on a certain type of commodity. Thus, choose wisely as to what kind of farm you would like to visit beforehand.

Horse riding and souvenir shopping at Gundaling Hill

Next to the traditional market, you would discover a road heading up to the hill. Once you pass through a small post to pay for the retribution fee, just follow along the main road to reach the top of the hill. Along the way, you could stop to enjoy or take pictures of the city’s magnificent view. Once you are at the top, you could choose to ride a horse with either a shorter or a longer route. Each horse would be accompanied by a guide. There are also a number of stores lining up at the sides of the area offering a more complete selection of souvenirs than those offered in the traditional market.

Berastagi Part 4

Berastagi (Part 4)

Berastagi (Part 4)
Tourist Attraction Berastagi Berastagi Part 3

To conclude the description about fascinating Berastagi, this final article would talk about things to do in the southern outskirt area of Berastagi that leads to Rantau Parapat.

Cultural Exploration

Berastagi is the homeland of Batak Karo people (local ethnic in Indonesia). Thus, if you are interested in finding out about their culture and lifestyles, spare some time to visit Lingga Traditional Village. The village is located at 15 km south of Berastagi. Once arrive, you would be served with a view of some traditional houses built on top of a stilt like structure with high pointed roofs. Some of them are more than 200 years old. You would also learn about the history of ancient Karo Kingdom by visiting the museum that housed some of its relics. In addition, you are also allowed to observe the villagers’ traditional lifestyles that have been preserved for hundreds of years.

Sipiso Piso Waterfall, Tourist Attraction Berastagi

Trekking

If you still want to explore more of Berastagi’s natural beauty, you could head to Tongging and Sipiso-Piso Waterfall. Situated at 35 km south of Berastagi, you would find that these two places are adjacent one to another. In fact, Tongging is the natural entrance gate that encircled the waterfall. At Tongging, you would find several gazebos and eateries that face towards the majestic views of Sibayak and Sinabung Mountain. If you want more, you could head towards the waterfall by climbing up and down the stairs provided for visitors. Some parts of the stairs could be really steep and slippery so make sure you wear appropriate shoes for trekking. Once you’ve completed the path, the amazing view of water falling down from the height of 120m will definitely drown out all of your fatigue. The water is originated from an underground river that flows to Toba Lake. At the vicinity area of the waterfall, there are lots of huge chunks of rocks where people sit around to enjoy both the view and the refreshing breeze of the waterfall. It is also safe to swim in the small river around the waterfall.

Hiking Sibayak or Sinabung Mountains

For nature explorers that are up for more challenges, hiking these two active volcanoes would be the right choice. If you are still a beginner climber, head to Sibayak as the hiking path is pretty easy. Sinabung is more suitable for experienced climber as some routes leading towards the top of the mountain is very challenging. Regardless of which mountain you choose to climb, it is best to climb with a guide as both of them have confusing routes that are similar to one another.

Baron Beach (Part 1) – Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta

Baron Beach (Part 1) – Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta

Aside of being famous for its Keraton (monarchy), Yogyakarta also has a lot of hidden jewels when it comes to tourism destination. One of the rising stars would be Baron Beach. Located at Gunungkidul Regency that is well-known for its numerous fantastic beaches, Baron Beach manages to surpass the others in terms of fame. Some of the beaches that are located at the same coastline in parallel to Baron Beach are Siung Beach and Sundak Beach.

Pantai BaronWhat makes this particular beach more special compared to the others is how it becomes the meeting point of both the sea water and freshwater. This contributes to the abundant sea resources that benefits the local fishermen. Baron Beach is also recognized by most locals as the most natural and green beach at Gunungkidul as it is located in between two green hills. This makes the beach itself looks more similar to a bay instead of most beaches with long coastline. In addition, what makes it even more attractive would be its clear water and its glistening sand.

Another good news for Baron Beach visitors is how it is easy to find both accommodation and eateries in the vicinity areas. When it comes to culinary experience, you should definitely go for the fresh seafood offered by most of the eateries nearby. Meanwhile when it comes to accommodation, you could find lots of options of places to stay depending on your itinerary budget.

Best time to visit: Avoid rainy season as the waves would be quite fierce.

Location:

Baron Beach is located at Kemadang Village, Tanjung Sari Subdistrict, Gunungkidul Regency, Yogyakarta Province. It is situated at ± 20 km from the city center of Wonosari (the capital of Gunungkidul Regency) or ± 60 km from the city center of Yogyakarta.

GPS Coordinate: -8.128825,110.548776

How to get there:

By private car:

  • There are two main routes heading to Baron Beach from Yogyakarta, Wonogiri and Imogiri route. Wonogiri route is the route that is mostly used by most visitors since its access is easier than Imogiri route. Imogiri route is indeed more challenging and secluded but you could enjoy a more picturesque view along the way as the reward.

By Trans Jogja bus:

  • From Adi Sucipto Airport, take Trans Jogja bus with 3B route that goes to Giwangan bus terminal. Once there, take a minibus heading to Wonosari. The journey would take ± 1-2 hours. Once at Wonosari, take another minibus to Baron Beach.
Baron Beach Part 2

Baron Beach (Part 2) – Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta

Baron Beach (Part 2) – Gunung Kidul, Yogyakarta
Baron Beach Part 1

Baron Beach

As you would perhaps already know about what the famous Baron Beach would have to offer, this article would give some ideas about the what-to-do-list at this magnificent beach.

What to do:

  • Swimming

One of the most classic activities when you are at the beach would obviously be swimming. However, swimming at Baron Beach would offer you a new experience unlike the others. It’s because only at here, you could experince swimming in both sea water and freshwater. It is truly one of a kind experience. Not to mention the clear water and the beautiful green hills surrounding the beach would make you forget about the time once you plunge yourself into the enticing sparkling water. As for safety, you need to pay attention to the borderline made by the local authority since some areas have fiercer waves. Therefore, they are totally off limit for swimmers.

  • Enjoying affordable fresh seafoods

As mentioned previously, Baron Beach is known to be blessed with rich sea resources that makes it into a paradise for seafood lovers. Many local fishermen often make their living by catching fishes and other popular sea animals here. You could even encounter those fishermen auctioning off their freshly caught fishes with affordable prices to the visitors. However, if you prefer to enjoy the fresh seafood directly on the spot, there are a number of eateris lining up at the beach area offering a diversed selection of seafoods. One the most famous cuisine would be the snapper soup so make sure you try it.

  • Surfing

Besides being known as the paradise for seafood lovers, Baron Beach is a paradise for surfers as well. It has been widely known between the locals and most professional surfers that Baron Beach has the most challenging waves compared to the other beaches in the area. It is however not recommended for beginner surfers as the waves could become fiercer at any time.

  • Syuro Thanksgiving Ceremony

Once a year, the local people who live in the vicinity areas and who are mostly fishermen would hold a thanksgiving ceremony. This annual event would be celebrated in the Syuro month (one of the months in Javanese calendar). The ceremony is a way for the locals to express their gratitude for the abundant sea resources that they caught during that particular year.

Sonobudoyo Museum – Gondomanan, Yogyakarta

Sonobudoyo Museum – Gondomanan, Yogyakarta

Sonobudoyo MuseumIf you happen to be interested in Yogyakarta’s amazing cultural aspects like its traditional handcrafts or keraton (monarchy), you might be curious about the Javanese culture which is a dominant influence there. One great place for you to learn more about it would be at Sonobudoyo Museum. It is the second largest art and cultural museum in Indonesia right after the National Museum at Jakarta.

What to see:

  • Collection of Javanese cultural heritage

Sonobudoyo museum is the house of thousands of relics that describe the story of the Javanese cultural development from earlier times. The relics dated back from the prehistory era until the arrival of Moslem influence at Javanese kingdoms. These relics vary from daily life tools used at those periods of time to cultural heritage like keris (Javanese sword), wayang (Javanese puppets), and batik (clothes with hand drawn pattern). One of the highlighted displays at the museum is Puspa Sarira golden mask which is believed to be the manifestation of Gayatri (one of the Javanese spiritual’s icons).

  • Old manuscripts

Sonobudoyo museum also has a library that houses various magazines, newspapers, books, and even old Javanese manuscripts like Babad Tanah Jawa and Babad Diponegoro. Some of these old manuscripts are even written on palm leaves which are used as paper during the ancient Javanese kingdoms’ era. The old manuscripts have all been digitalized and thus visitors can easily find information from the library’s computers. Due to the library’s limited accessibility, visitors must register themselves at the security booth before they are allowed to go inside.

  • Wayang show

Sonobudoyo museum also hosts the shortened version of wayang show for visitors. The show is held on Monday-Saturday at 08.00 pm – 10.00 pm.

Location:

The museum is consisted of two buildings in different location known as unit 1 and unit 2.

Unit 1: Jalan Trikora No. 6 (located at the northern side of the keraton’s palace.

Unit 2: Ndalem Condrokiranan Wijilan Yogyakarta (located at the eastern side of keraton’s northern square)

Operational hours:

Tues-Thurs & Sat-Sun (08.00 am – 03.30 pm); Fri (08.00 am – 02.00 pm)

Closed on Mondays and national holidays

Affandi Museum – Sleman, Yogyakarta

Affandi Museum – Sleman, Yogyakarta

affandi-buildingFor all painting lovers both domestic and international, the name Affandi would directly be associated to the genius art maestro. In fact, Affandi is still one of the most influential painters until now despite of his death back in 1990. Many of his works have been valued highly by Indonesian and international art communities. There are also many painters that still love to learn his painting style. As a result, the museum which is also his former residence and art gallery has been transformed to commemorate the works of this maestro.

What to see:

Affandi Museum comprises of three main galleries and some other buildings. Each gallery and building has different function and things to be displayed. Here is the description:

  • The first gallery

The first gallery is the oldest one among the three and was personally opened and officiated for public by Affandi in 1962 and 1974 respectively. The first gallery houses a number of Affandi’s works from his earlier career until his death. You would also encounter some of his treasured belongings like his modified 1976 yellow Colt Gallan car and an ancient bicycle known as onthel in the local language.

  • The second gallery

The second gallery houses a number of works by other painters both amateur and professionals that were personally collected by Affandi. This gallery was officiated for public in 1988 and consists of two main floors.

  • The third gallery

And the last gallery which functions as a multipurpose building is comprised of three main floors. The basement is used as the painting’s storage room. The first floor is used as the location of ‘Sanggar Gajah Wong’, a place for children to improve their painting skill. Meanwhile, the second floor is used for painting’s restoration room.

  • Other buildings

In addition to the three main galleries, you could also find Affandi’s former personal residence with its uniques architectural design. There is also a tower located not far away from the third gallery that overlooks the entire view of the museum, Gajahwong River and the bustling main road.

Location:

It is located at the main road connecting Yogyakarta and Solo, at the western side of Gajah Wong River. The exact address would be Jalan Laksda Adisucipto 167.

Operational hours: Mon-Sun (09.00 am – 04.00 pm); closed on national holidays.