You just extend your Visa On Arrival, but you’re stuck with the same boring and repetitive Bali holiday like Kuta, Seminyak, or Ubud. To keep things exciting and full of new things, let’s take a moment to travel to the virgin and unexplored area of Bali – Candidasa.
Candidasa is a tranquil seaside surrounded by lush, beautiful landscapes, and authentic Balinese charm. It’s also a home to Bali Aga, the indigenous people of Bali. If you don’t know where to look in this area, you definitely want to read on.
Let’s start things off with the beach. Virgin Beach or Pasir Putih Beach for the most part is the most popular beach in Candidasa. The name Pasir Putih itself means white sand, so you know what you’ll find here.
Other than its famous white sand, which is great for sandcastles if you may ask, the beach also offers clear, crystalline, turquoise water. It’s great for swimming, but it can also be strong at times, so be cautious, especially when you’re swimming with your family and children.
On the shoreline, you can sunbathe and enjoy a massage for an affordable price. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants to satisfy your hunger. You can access this beach on your usual bikes or cars. From the parking lot, you might have to walk down several stairs, but even the way to the beach is breathtaking, so you know it’s worth your while.
Underwater Wonder in Blue Lagoon Beach and Gili Tepekong
The East Coast of Bali, especially Candidasa, is full of crystal clear blue waters. If you want to explore these clear waters even further, you must visit the Blue Lagoon Beach. At Blue Lagoon, you can freely snorkel and enjoy underwater adventures. There are many beautiful coral gardens that you can explore and beautiful tiny fish that dive freely to accompany you.
The combination of crystal-clear water and enchanting marine life makes it a snorkelling spot that you must visit in Bali. No need to worry if you don’t bring equipment because the locals rent equipment at affordable prices.
A little further to the east, in the Amuk Bay area, you can also explore the three main ‘Gili’ for its diving site. Each of them offers a different type of underwater wonder. Gili Mimpang, the closest one to Candidasa Beach is known for its small caves and teeming fish lives. Gili Tepekong for its dramatic underwater landscapes, and Gili Biaha for its thrilling encounters with larger marine species.
Goa Lawah Temple
Of the many temples on the island, Goa Lawah Temple is one of the most unique and special and is located not far from Candidasa. It’s smaller compared to the other temples, but it has thousands of bats inside.
Apart from its famous bats, Goa Lawah is also surrounded by stunning natural scenery. The area around Goa Lawah offers scenic trails through lush greenery. You can take a leisurely stroll along the pathways, surrounded by tropical flora and the soothing sounds of nature.
As one of the holiest temples in Bali, Goa Lawah is often visited by the locals to pray, especially on auspicious days in the Balinese calendar. You can visit the temple in the morning when the locals visit the temple for daily prayer, or in the afternoon when the sun casts a warm glow over the landscape.
Mekare-kare or Pandan War Ceremony in Tenganan Village
If you’re lucky enough to visit Candidasa in June, you might have a chance to witness Mekare-kare Festival. Mekare-kare or Pandan War Ceremony is an offering ceremony carried out to honour Indra, the God of War, and the ancestors. The ceremony is held every year for two days in Tenganan Village, one of the oldest villages in Bali.
In this festival, men in local villages will gather wearing sarongs, scarves, and headbands while bare-chested. Before starting the war festival, each man will be equipped with a shield made of woven rattan and a thorny pandan as their main weapon.
Two fighters will climb the stage and attack each other on their opponent’s back. One round lasts less than a minute. It will then be followed by another match and will continue for approximately three hours until it is finished. The wounds and scratches from the fights are then treated with a traditional concoction made from turmeric which is said to be effective in healing wounds.
You can only enjoy this spectacle-filled tradition in June – an experience that will last forever in your memories.
Even in this short article, you can see that Candidasa houses a wide variety of activities and places to explore – a beautiful beach, an ancient temple, and diving spots. All that is left is for you to go there and see it for yourself!