The southern tip of Bali is famous for it’s world-class surf breaks at Uluwatu and it’s gorgeous, though expensive, ocean-view villa’s perched on the cliffs. Thus many backpackers only make the trip down south for Sunset Sessions at Single Fin. But with its beautiful remote beaches, surf-breaks for different levels and a hidden paradise between Uluwatu and Padang Padang, this area is just as interesting for backpackers as it is for tourists seeking luxury.
SINGLE FIN SUNSET SESSIONS
Single Fin is THE hotspot of Uluwatu. And it’s the setting that makes this place so remarkable. I’m nibbling on a freshly baked pizza, whilst spotting surfers in action far down below. The place is packed and buzzing on sundays during sunset sessions with live bands and dj’s. The view is amazing, as is the food. No, really. Try one of their divine curry’s! Delicious Nalu Bowls with gorgeous toppings, can be ordered here as well.
PADANG PADANG, BINGIN & DREAMLAND BEACH
Early birds get to experience some rare found peace and quit down Padang Padang Beach. The place is packed after just a few hours though. The same thing can be said about Dreamland unfortunately. However, surf is excellent for beginners on both these beaches. While surf is more rough at Bingin, it remains your best pick from these three famous beaches. It’s definitely worth the hike down the endless stairs. Go find Kelly’s Warung while you’re there, it’s a real winner with delicious foods and fresh smoothies.
THOMAS BEACH HOMESTAY
A gorgeous beach is hidden amidst the busy crowds of Padang Padang and Uluwatu. A small barely readable sign is it’s only clue. I shouldn’t be sharing this, but this is place is a real gem. So I’ll do it anyway.
I can’t help but wonder whether I’m in the right place, as we drive up the bumpy dirt road. This beach was recommended to me by other travelers. We park in front of a homestay and I’m not impressed to say the least. My jaw drops, as I enter the homestay and walk past the reception. Thomas Homestay is located at the entrance of Thomas Beach, on top of a cliff, from where a zigzagging stairway leads to the beach. And the view here is just stunning, so amazing.
Rooms are definitely basic and it’s facilities don’t work properly. As I’m brushing my teeth, the water of the sink, including toothpaste mix, just lands right on my feet! The owner is a bit weird and clearly knows his location is worth a small gold mine. So no negotiating. Yet it remains a bargain, with just 350k. r.p. per night.
Two Warungs serve basic Balinese dishes. Combine this with a Bintang during sunset and you’re satisfied. A handful of tourists already find their way to this secluded beach every day. It remains a pretty peaceful place though. Swimming and surfing can only be done during low tide. Reef and rock formations are exposed during high-tide.
Bali is all about healthy eating. And the area around Uluwatu is no exception. With it’s refreshing smoothie bowls, Beetroot became my favorite breakfast spot. This cute little place is located near Padang Padang Beach and is the place for a power breakfast in the aftersurf scene. They open as early as 7 am.
Quotes and life motto’s are the first thing I see when I enter this lovely restaurant. What a cute vibe. The menu is very diverse and a healthy morning kickstart can be ordered here as well. I went for a sweet pancake treat, made with typical Balinese black rice. It just sounded so interesting. Turned out to be a great choice! Tasted just like a chocolate muffin and it’s the perfect way to start your day.
As the name reveals, this place is all about burgers. Buns made of coconut, beetroot or kombucha, toppings and burgers of your choice, super healthy and so good! Try their signature beetroot Omburger, you won’t be disappointed.
P.S.: to all guys who love their meat, they serve regular burgers as well ;)!
OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: NYANG NYANG BEACH
As I descend down to Nyang Nyang Beach, I wonder how the heck this is possible. The view from the top is amazing and down below it’s no different. Despite this all, there’s nobody here. We’re just a 10 minute scooter ride removed from touristy Padang Padang, down at a gorgeous beach, and there’s just nobody here! Rent a scooter and go get lost yourself! There’s lots more of these hidden gems to discover in the southern tip of Bali.
Thomas Homestay is the perfect base for an adventure through the Bukit Peninsula. With it’s remote beaches and world-class surf breaks, this place will appeal to almost anyone. Oh and it’s not a bad place to be during sundays as well. Dance the night away at Single Fin and don’t forget to order a Curry!