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Regions / Maps of Bali & Lombok

Not only do Bali and Lombok differ greatly as islands (their respective flora / fauna, separated by the geologically significant "Wallace Line" or Lombok Straight, are as different as their histories / cultures / religions), but also the regions within these islands are completely different and each only attractive to travellers / tourists according to their respective tastes / needs.

Nb - The links to the various maps are at the very bottom of this page.

Important - In order to get the very best out of your trip to Bali and / or Lombok, it is important to understand these differences, as they range from noisy bar / club areas to cultural centres to sculptured agricultural areas to surfing waters to snorkelling areas to packed beaches to shorelines where you can walk for miles without coming across another hotel / tourist. So have a read of the following tourist region summaries and chose wisely! People

Bali web site owners, have you checked out our Featured Sites Page?

"Balifiles" - Don't be shy to suggest extra text, links or other information.


The South - Nusa Dua / Bukit Peninsula
What was once virtual wasteland, now bears home to the highest concentrated number of luxury hotels on Bali. These are generally located in Nusa Dua proper, a 4 km stretch of white sandy beaches on the eastern side of the Bukit Peninsula. Adjoining Nusa Dua going north is the small "sub-peninsula" of Tanjung Benoa, where you can find more reasonably priced accommodations, a multitude of water sports and local fishing village. Nusa Dua itself boasts the sizeable "Bali Golf & Country Club", a big draw for the big spenders! And can be fairly described as a 5 star tourist enclave - people either love it or hate it. Take note, there is little in the way of traditional Balinese life or real bargain shopping opportunities here!

Around the rest of the main peninsula are a number of temples, some famous surfing breaks (such as Uluwatu), a few family run accommodations and a lonesome 5 star cliff top resort.

The South - Kuta & Legian
The busiest, by far, tourist area. Kuta is much more boisterous than its neighbour, Legian. Which seems positively laid back after a few days / nights on Kuta's busy beaches or down its main street (Jl Legian). Kuta is packed solid with large and small hotels, from its southernmost point (actually called Tuban) with the inappropriately named Denpasar Airport (it is nowhere near Denpasar), to its northern boundary with Legian (which runs on to become Seminyak and decreasingly built up / increasingly quiet).

Kuta Beach SunsetTuban-Kuta has a number of family options, given its proximity to the
Waterbom theme park, although the beach around Tuban is not very good.
Along the coast of Kuta proper, there a number of 3 / 4 star hotels
(unfortunately, a busy road separates them), often booked exclusively by
tour companies. The beach here is long, sandy, flat and west facing -
making equally for a good learners / interim surfing and sunset watching
area. Between the coastal road and main shopping / entertainment street,
there are literally hundreds of small budget accommodations, targeted
almost exclusively at the young, surfers and backpackers. Legian tends to have more upmarket 3 to 5 star accommodations for people interested more in quality than proximity.

A link for you to try is Kuta Night Life.

The South - Sanur
This is only 8 km from Kuta / Legian, but on the reef protected south eastern coast. So it is much more suited for swimming, snorkelling and water sports. Sanur was the original "ex-pats" (Dutch) favoured seaside "town", and is markedly more reserved than Kuta, making it perhaps even more suitable for many family holidays then Legian or Tuban. Sanur town is a long road and its coastline a 5 km long beach.

Much of the lower to mid price range hotels are located along the central section, the north being mostly dominated by the Grand Bali Beach Resort, and the south a collection of equally exclusive, though smaller hotels. With regard to the beach itself, there are a number of water sports operators on location, and the southernmost section tends to have more palms, more sand, less tourists and less "hawkers" (beach sellers).

The South - Jimbaran
A small bay / village just south of the airport, known for its beach front open seafood restaurants and small number of exclusive luxury hotels - it has quite a number of lower cost options as well. Otherwise, a fairly lonesome area.

The South - UbudUbud Area Rice Paddies
The cultural capital of Bali. A market town with a multitude of crafts shops
and outlying crafts villages. The town centre has two main lower cost
accommodation areas, along the often tightly packed Monkey Forest Road,
and Hanoman Road. You will also find several opportunities off the main
high street itself, especially going towards Penenstanan (the Northwest). In
the villages, you will find quite a large and good selection of smaller hotels,
some remarkably good value midrange options, many overlooking the local
rice paddy fields. Out along the exceptionally lush tropical river valleys, most
notably the Campuhan and Ayung, there are some especially good views
from a range of mid to extremely expensive luxury hotels.

Ubud is extremely culture rich with nightly dance performances and festivals. It is also very relaxed. Being that it is higher than the southern coastal resorts, it has more early / late cloud and attracts river valley breezes. So it is not as important to have air conditioning switched on, or at all!

Blakes 1999 Visit gives a good & humorous taste of Ubud.

The South - Candi DasaPadang Bai Beach
Candi Dasa used to have a wonderful sandy beach. Then they used the
coral reef that protected it to make cement, and the beach was washed
away, literally. There are still a few reasonable sections of shoreline further
south along the bay towards Padang Bai, which is the main ferry port for
Lombok. Candi Dasa does still make a very useful base though for
discovering the extremely beautiful rural areas just beyond. It also serves as
a very useful scuba diving base, with Nusa Penida island and Tulamben
both relatively close.

The South - The Rest Of The Coast
There are a few remote luxury hotel developments for those with the money, including a spa and golfing resort at Tanah Lot, Bali's most sacred coastal temple. But otherwise, there are only a few patches of accommodations to reflect the more rugged coastline outside the main tourist areas, such as at Medewi, another known surfing spot.

The Central Mountains & LakesMount Batur
The area around the active volcano / lake area of Batur, can be very
aggressive hawker / trickster wise - so be careful. Although there are
accommodation options here, they tend to be targeted at backpackers.
However, around Bedugul / Lake Bratan, Lakes Buyan & Tamblingan /
Munduk, you will find some very acceptable mountain / lake view
accommodations from an expensive country / golf club to some particularly
good low to mid price range, traditional options.

The North Coast - Lovina & Singaraja
Lovina is really the tourist area, and Singaraja the former Dutch rule capital, more of tourist visit / curiosity value than of hotel potential. Lovina offers a large number of coastal hotels, normally in the low to mid price range, and notably less expensive then those in the south. The coral protected, 8 km long, black sandy beach is ideal for snorkelling, and is often marketed for its Dolphin Watching and glass bottom boat tours. With a fairly high number of small restaurants and a very laid back way of life, this area is without a doubt the seaside bargain area of Bali, especially for families. As with all north / east coast areas, there tends to be noticeably less rain here than the south in the rainy season (a point worth remembering).

As you travel west along the coast, you will reach the village of Pemuteran and shortly after Labuan Lalang, the small, almost shanty "port" for snorkelling / diving excursions to the remarkable Menjangan (Deer) Island. Pemuteran has around 4 mid priced hotel options, all next door to each other with good value waterfront restaurants, each open to non / each other's guests.

The North East Coast to Amed
The northern coastal road from Singaraja to Amed passes through Air / Yeh Sanih, where there are two or three low coast beach front hotel options, on for many miles / kilometres through noticeably tourist sparse villages, to Sambi Renteng (where there is a very good mid range hotel inclined towards divers), through Tulamben (where there is a wonderful wreck / wall dive area and some useful diver oriented quality hotel options), on finally to Amed / Lipah.

Amed / Lipah (Amed tends to be the reference point, but the hotel options are mostly / actually in Lipah) themselves are along a very poorly maintained road with no public transport options (they stop at Culik, around 7 km from Lipah). This area is, however, probably the driest on the island, and can get very, very hot at times. This, and local corals, makes it very popular with the adventurous traveller looking for a quiet beach / snorkelling / diving life (and with people avoiding the rains from October to early March).

The West Coast
Is pretty rural / Spartan to say the least, with very few tourist accommodations. Those that exist, tend to be in the Java crossing port area of Gilimanuk and Cekik.


The West Coast - Senggigi
If you are looking for a luxury hotel option on Lombok, this is pretty much the only place you will find it except for new / planned developments on the northern Gilis (islands). To its credit, Senggigi offers an incredible range of accommodations along an even more incredible coastline - wonderful bays with towering headlands. A very relaxed area with significantly lower numbers of beach / street sellers, a low-key night life and good range of restaurants prevail.

The Gili Islands (Air, Meno & Trawangan)
The most talked / bragged about secret in paradise? These 3 islands have an increasingly growing, loyal following. Mostly taken with the bamboo beach huts, absolute lack of hawkers, often lack of electricity and mainstream tourist amenities (though increasingly less so). The spotless "Robinson Crusoe" beaches, clear blue water and easy opportunity to watch both sunrises and sunsets from these small islands, together with the snorkelling / diving areas, provides, for some, the perfect rustic appeal. Gili Trawangan attracts younger people looking for the occasional late night beach party.

The South & South West Coasts
A surfer's paradise, perhaps. Around Kuta (the Lombok Kuta that is), you will find a number of low cost, basic accommodations, a few with hot water and air conditioning. There are also some basic accommodations around the ferry port of Lembar and the enticing smaller Gilis just off the coast, such as on Gili Nanggu.

The Rest of Lombok
Most of the accommodations outside the above areas, including in the capital Mataram (which really includes Ampenan, Cakranegara and Sweta), are mostly geared up for Indonesian travellers. Tourists may be somewhat disappointed with the options available.

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