Beaches and more beaches

Bali’s dangling southern bauble, known as The Bukit (“hill” in Indonesian) is the limestone plateau attached to Kuta and Ngurah Rai International Airport in the north by the narrow isthmus that is Jimbaran—it boasts some of Bali’s most famous surf breaks and most astonishing clifftop views.

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The dry rocky, scrub-covered landscape is a striking contrast to the lush rice terraces and tropical vegetation that grows in the rich volcanic soils to the north and has more in common with Nusa Penida to the east. The Bukit’s star attraction is a string of jewel-like beaches along the west coast, home to famously challenging surf breaks and some of the most stunning coastline on the entire island of Bali.

Plenty of sand for you and me. : Sally Arnold.
Plenty of sand for you and me. Photo: Sally Arnold

It was surfing that first bought foreigners to the Bukit: International attention was piqued by the 1970s seminal surf classic, The Morning of the Earth a film by Albert Falzon which brought Bali’s culture and the staggering beauty of the Bukit into Western cinemas and had an indelible impact on the surfing community.

As Falzon wrote: "The sequence at Uluwatu was a two-day affair. The first time I went to Ulu’s it was two feet … the smallest I’ve ever seen it even after visiting Bali countless times. A few days later the beach break came up so we decided to go to Ulu’s and see what it was like … when we walked to the edge of the cliff there were lines all the way to the horizon … it was about ten feet. We surfed and filmed there all day much to the amazement and amusement of the locals who had never seen surfing before and spent the night against the cliff on the small beach next to the cave. It was a full moon and with Rusty playing his guitar, a few Balinese fisherman perched on the rocks against the cliff face and an exploding sea not far in front of us it was a pretty memorable ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 1,100 words.)

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