Black sand beach, in the Amed region. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Black sand beach, in the Amed region. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)

Coming back to Bali

  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

Dear English-speaking readers, this page is an automatic translation made from a post originally written in French. My apologies for any strange sentences and funny mistakes that may have been generated during the process. If you are reading French, click on the French flag below to access the original and correct text: 

I often go back to Bali while traveling in Indonesia. The island is a magician, who always brings me back to her. The more I go back, the more I love it.

Bali, my favourite air hub

Well, there are practical reasons, of course: Bali airport is a big hub, both international and domestic. It's very convenient for arriving and departing from Indonesia, and especially for connecting flights, when you need to take a flight to another destination in Indonesia or a neighbouring country.

And then, we do not land in Denpasar (name of the capital of the island, given, by extension, at the airport), but right next to Kuta, the big seaside resort of the southwest. The airstrip is at the far end of the beach, to the south.

In Bali, the airstrip is at the end of the beach. (Indonesia, July 2011)
In Bali, the airstrip is at the end of the beach. (Indonesia, July 2011)

I do not like Kuta, terribly touristy. But it's a nice stop anyway, between two flights, two pieces of travel, when you arrive exhausted from a long-haul flight from Europe, or just before taking the flight back.

I like every time to walk long hours on Kuta BeachBeautiful black sand beach, which stretches endlessly to the north, along Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan. From one year to the next, I return to admire the sunset.

Beautiful sunset on Kuta Beach, Bali. (Indonesia, July 2011)
Beautiful sunset on Kuta Beach, Bali. (Indonesia, July 2011)

There, facing the waves, it's an immense euphoria that invades me at the beginning of the journey ; or, on the contrary, a sweet and tenacious melancholy, when I am about to take the plane home

July 2011

In July 2011, most of my trip to Indonesia was Flores and Komodoin the Lesser Sunda Islands. An extraordinary trip! Again, I arrived in Bali. I've already talked about it, quickly, at the end of this article dedicated to Air Asia X's long-haul flight from Paris.

But I still haven't told the rest: after Flores and my diving cruise in the Komodo archipelago, I went back to spend a few days in Bali!

I chose to land in the northeast of the island. I was in Tulamben, near Amed, where I had stayed in 2008.

I love the area and can not recommend staying a few days in the area for those visiting Bali for the first time. There are cute coves of black sand and fishing villages along the coast, beautiful rice terraces in the interior of the country, temples and palaces full of spirituality, and especially the volcano that dominates everything, the magnificent and imposing Gunung Agung.

Jemeluk-Bunutan Bay, near Amed. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Jemeluk-Bunutan Bay, near Amed. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
View of Gunung Agung from Tulamben. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
View of Gunung Agung from Tulamben. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Black sand beach, in the Amed region. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Black sand beach, in the Amed region. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)

In addition, it is a renowned dive spot. Tulamben is where the fabulous wreck of the Liberty, in front of a beach of black pebbles.

For several years, I go back to dive, without getting tired ... And for those who do not dive, there is something to marvel too, simply snorkeling (palms-mask-snorkel), on the coral trays and the top of the wreck.

A parrot fish glides over a gorgon on the wreck of the Liberty. (Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
A parrot fish glides over a gorgon on the wreck of the Liberty. (Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
A turtle moves away, indifferent to our presence. (Liberty wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
A turtle moves away, indifferent to our presence. (Liberty wreck, Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
The wreck of Liberty is huge, it takes several dives to explore. (Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
The wreck of Liberty is gigantic, it takes several dives to explore. (Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)

Good plan for accommodation and diving in Tulamben

July 2012. Small addition : I would like to point out this really good dive resort map (you have a guide for yourself and you dive at the time you want, preferably outside the busy hours), which is also an excellent address, especially if you are a sub photographer, and you want to discover the wreck in the best possible conditions. →  Liberty Dive Resort

→ See all my articles on the wreck of Liberty

The mesmerizing island

Bali is often decried by travellers who swear by "the authentic". It's true, Bali has changed. It has modernized, developed. And you don't need to be a specialist to see and understand the damage that mass tourism can cause.

Bali has nevertheless remained captivating. For those who want to take the trouble, it's easy not to meet only Australian surfers. Take a step aside to escape the crowds, including in famous tourist spots. To soak up the beauty of the island, its special atmosphere, linked to Hindu traditions and beliefs of the population, for whom spirits and gods are everywhere.

Balinese in traditional costume. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Balinese in traditional costume. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Rice fields near Amed and Tulamben. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)
Rice fields near Amed and Tulamben. (Bali, Indonesia, July 2011)

The island is neither too big nor too small. It can be easily crossed during the day, to change region, atmosphere. And I am always touched by the incredible welcome of the Balinese. By their tolerance, their availability, their openness, their contagious good humor.

In Bali, it is easy to be invaded by an incredible SENIENCE, which we no longer believed capable. To rediscover yourself a little. To savor the time that passes, the pleasure of living.

How lucky I am. I'm going back soon!

Bali will be a stopover, again, in a wider Indonesian journey ... But I'll tell you more in a few days.


  Indonesia: Flores + Komodo + Bali - July 2011

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  1. ahhh me too much like Bali. I met him in 2006 shortly after an attack and thus discovered this island while the tourists had deserted it. I returned a few years later to stop for a few days in Ubud before going to Flores. It was August ... A hell with a number of tourists to the incalculable km2!
    I dream of returning like you out of season and find the tranquility, traditions and smiles of this island that remains despite mass tourism, an island of zenitude.
    Have a nice trip to Indonesia Corinne. I can not wait to read your next adventures!

    1. I traveled to Bali in high season and high season, just before and after the attacks of October 2002. But I have not been in Ubud for a while. I think I will not recognize the place !!! I keep the memory of a peaceful village (yet it was July) ...

  2. I had planned to stay only 5 weeks on Bali and I finally never took my flight back, I spent more than 7 months diving there every day! Magnificent! Menjangan to the North with these magnificent drop-offs, these giant gorgognes! Tulamben of course and the liberty! More than 50 dives on wrecks and always surprises on every dive. Amazing night dive and top, morning dive at 6:00 am! The humpback parrots leaving the wreck in a group! Amed not to neglect. The gillis near padang bai and Nusa penida for the big mola mola! I left almost 3 months ago and I miss the island a lot! I will return there too, there is no doubt! Can not wait to read your articles!

    1. I would like to stay for the winter 2012-2013 in Bali, Flores Komodo. We are going as a couple with an 8 months old baby, I am looking for advice and know if it is possible to stay 2 to 3 months for not too expensive, like renting a bungalow with feet in the water and eat fruits and fish, enjoy the sweetness of life away from our daily life sometimes stressful city 🙂 I am a snorkeler and I would like to know if there are sites where to practice, without necessarily taking a boat full of divers. Thanks to all.

  3. So it's finally true this rumor that holds in suspense all the Web and mobilizes all the Indonesian authorities: Corinne leaves to Raja Ampat 😛
    Enjoy!!! 😀

    1. I have not guessed anything, I do not hear voices and I do not have a crystal ball. This is "trusted source" info obtained through my network of informants that covers all of Southeast Asia and that the CIA, MOSSAD and KGB want to buy me out for a price 🙄
      For teasing, I know you'll bounce back and you'll notice I didn't quote the host facility 😀
      By the way, you're off to a good start next week ❓ 😆 😆

    2. Your fortune is made then!!! You can sell your informants to others... 😛 They are not that reliable. Well inspired, but, how to say, a bit inaccurate....
      The date of departure is a hair closer than that. As for the structure, my faith ... It would be more accurate to talk about structures.
      😀 8) 😈

  4. yay! Bali is where I wanted to go this year!
    But because of the finances I'm going to Koh Lanta ❗
    So I'm going to make 2 trips, mine and another virtual one with you! A foretaste for a trip to Bali next year? 😉

    1. Oh, I hope that this Balinese travel project will materialize for you next year !!! Already, you should have fun in Thailand. But Bali is a different atmosphere and very different dives. Nice to transport you in advance there virtually!

  5. Hello and thank you for this article and these beautiful photos. I fell in love with the island too. I went there for 7 weeks last summer and can not wait to go back. However, we must quickly leave Kuta and visit the interior of the land to find the Balinese soul.
    Here is my selection of photos:
    I am currently preparing a series of articles about Bali on my blog: An itinerary in 8 stages to discover Bali, Lombok and Gilis on
    A nice journey to all of you !

  6. What a coincidence, you publish this message the day I reserve air tickets .... for Bali! It's been 2 years since I returned, it misses quickly!
    So, did you find a good plan for Raja Ampat??? 😉

    1. Crazy !!!!! 😀 Madame is a connoisseur too, I see....

      For R4, in fact, the "good shots" that I could spot are really root roots, as far as I could judge ... And as I'm embarrassed, that I have a limited time and I lug a little too fragile electronic gear, I preferred to play it "comfort". And I discovered that the comfort has a sacred price, in these lands still not won by the mass tourism ... So: big big piggy bank breaking (and again, I am well below the category "luxury" ... j have hallucinated by discovering the rates of some resorts and cruises).

      In short, I have a dream, that I drag for so long! It will be fantastic !!!

  7. I really like your "title": Return to Bali and not Return to Bali ....
    As far as I'm concerned, I dream of going back .... ❓

    1. The nuance is subtle. We use rather "come back" when it comes to the place where we are. And "go back" when it comes to a place other than where one is. One refers to the context in which one is, the other to the context in which one projects oneself. So it's a question of situation, from a point of view: which one may be concrete, geographical; or imaginary, dreamed ...

      In short, by saying so, finally, I go back to Bali, a little as if I was still there, as if I had not left the island. I also suggest a notion of going back and forth to this landmark that is Bali. Interesting…

  8. Thank you Corinne for confirming that Bali still has some corners preserved!
    I missed an appointment with the island of Gods two years ago, the next, I will not let go!

  9. It's true that Bali is a great island. I did not really like Kuta even though I admit that the beach is very beautiful and ideal for surfing. By cons, Amed is beautiful is very calm. The small fishing villages are very nice and we do not see so many tourists.
    The Ubud area is also great.
    I only went once but I would like to go back ...

    1. I'll have to go back to Ubud one day ... I'll be surprised by the change, I think.

      I love the region of Amed-Tulamben too. The coast is beautiful, and atmosphere question, it is rather quiet, indeed ...

  10. Bali, this timeless island! Finally, I went there more than 10 years ago already ... I'd like to go back but I'm so afraid of being disappointed with what I keep in mind: Kuta, the Australian surf spot, the beautiful rice terraces, the north and its volcano, and Ubud, the city of artists. I also remember the kindness of the Balinese and their great serenity, their sweet smile, the flowers they know so well arrange in pretty little bouquets they lay in front of the altars at the foot of their house, the smell of incense omni-present in the streets ...
    I can't wait to read your stories about your return to Bali and find out what face Bali offers now! 🙄

  11. Hello Corinne,

    It's decided, I'm going to Bali this year!
    I have 2 practical questions:

    1. What period do you recommend? recommends from June to September.

    2. Do you have an airline or a flight to advise?

    Thank you 😉

    1. Bali can be visited all year, the seasons are not very marked. June to September is indeed the most pleasant period, it is there that it rains the least.

      For airlines, no, I do not have one to advise. For my part, I monitor rates regularly, specials, etc.

  12. Hello, I would like to go to Bali, in a club with breakfast. I was told that eating out was cheap. Can you give me more information? Thank you in advance.

    1. Yes, eating out is not expensive at all, from a few cents to a few euros, depending on whether you eat on the street, in a warung (local restaurant) or a tourist restaurant. Take the time to leaf through a travel guide (Lonely Planet or Routard) on Indonesia and Bali, you will easily find this kind of information ...

  13. Hello,

    First of all, it's simple, I love to browse your site, we dream about it slowly and we find so much useful information. The problem is that suddenly I have a deep dilemma that I must solve and I can not decide.

    I leave this summer 20 days between July and August with my 13 year old daughter and I prepared 2 courses, one on Bali and one on Sulawesi, and there I do not know which to choose: a traditional Bali / Flores but the number I'm a little scared of tourists, and another authentic and profound from Makassar to Manado via Bira, Toraja and the Togians, there are the distances that worry me a bit.
    Would you have a word that would allow me to decide.... 💡
    Thank you in advance.
    And keep on making us dream 🙄

    1. @ Stéphane: thank you for this little word! I can hardly solve the dilemma for you ...

      However Bali + Flores seems feasible to me in 20 days. Spend time on Flores, much less touristy than Bali, especially as transport, by the only road that crosses the island, are particularly slow.

      As for Sulawesi, want to investigate Makassar + Bira + Toraja + Togian + Manado in 20 days, it seems a little presumptuous. It is not only a question of distances, but road infrastructure in bad condition (we advance very slowly), random schedules with boats, possible air links to combine ... The Togian Islands are not easy to join. If you want to enjoy Sulawesi in 20 days, I would suggest you do less.

      Good preparations!

  14. Thank you for his beautiful photos and stories of this magical island. We went a little longer than 3 weeks in October 2011. Motie Bali in Padangbay and half Flores, the little Képa at Cédric. I can not wait to come back, stay a little longer, dive in again, discover its riches and people. But I would like to try Papua too ..

  15. Hello Corinne,

    I'll be back to you a few years later!
    Following our fabulous honeymoon in Polynesia in 2009, you helped us a lot for our trip to Derawan-Sipadan in 2010 !!! In preparation for a stay Bali-Komodo-Flores, our first piece of cabbage arrived followed the 2nd 18 months later !!!
    Our dives have remained Mediterranean since ... And the call of the tropics is urgent!
    We would like to go 4/5 weeks in Bali-Komodo-Flores in July 2019 for our 10 years of marriage. We do it early but we already think very hard, especially since we will take our caps which will be 7-1 / 2 and 6 years.
    Could you guide us a little? Knowing that we would like to dive anyway (so keep the little ones) and pmt with them because they are already very fond of the underwater world !!!
    I thank you in advance for your help and also for your blog which is always a mine of information and a perpetual journey ...

    1. @COSTANZO Eric: I tried to answer you in private by e-mail, but there must be an error of entry in the address which you entered ... So I do it in brief here:

      - Bali: to dive, aim at Tulamben / Amed (wreck of Liberty), Pemuteran, Nusa Lembongan

      - Komodo: as you are with your family, I recommend you to book a small boat just for you for 5-6 days a la carte cruise in the archipelago, for example the awesome Duyung Baru on which I was this summer 2016 (I'm in my posts, I have not talked much about it yet), but there are other possibilities and other boats ...

      - Flores: rent a car with driver to cross the island and explore at your own pace as I did in 2011 .

      Good preparations!