Adeng adeng is a standard Balinese mantra that means “slowly, slowly”. It’s a phrase you don’t usually hear today among the many site visitors jams and sunbed logjams of Bali’s booming tourism centres. Individuals say that Bali is spoiled and for years the search has been on for a “new Bali”. However the previous Bali by no means actually disappeared: it simply went west.
Bali map
The nation’s airline, Garuda Indonesia, has maybe sensed this, because it has a brand new, direct 15½-hour flight from Heathrow to Bali beginning on Tuesday (22 January) – though the return journey goes by way of Jakarta.
I first fell in love with west Bali 16 years in the past when, as a backpacking surfer, I used to be “adopted” for a yr by a rice-farming household. I used to be attracted not solely by uncrowded surf however by the mist-shrouded rainforests that descended via clove and cacao plantations to coconut groves that sheltered fleets of vibrant fishing boats. Much more than the breathtaking landscapes, it was the splendidly hospitable locals that lured me again, often, till the realm turned my residence 5 years in the past.
Few individuals on the island, even amongst Bali’s giant expat group, ever take the time to go to this space and, since there’s solely a comparatively small chain of roads circling the inland forest, maybe they think about there’s little to see. However Bali’s “wild west” affords surprising highlights.
For a begin, there’s one of many world’s most vibrant fishing fleets. The little river inlet at Perancak is residence to greater than 100 enormous timber boats. Far more than only a working fleet, the flowing bunting and ornately embellished crows nests lend the looks of a floating carnival. With their ranks of longtail engines protruding from the gunwales, they could possibly be mistaken for garishly painted Viking longships. You’re unlikely to see a vacationer right here however, for a small quantity, you’ll be able to usually persuade a boatman to provide you a tour.

Conventional wood fishing boats, Perancak village. {Photograph}: Denis Moskvinov/Alamy
It’s believed that the standard sport of makepung (buffalo chariot racing) arrived in Bali from the close by island of Madura. Shortly after daybreak on most Sunday mornings you’ll be able to witness a frantic stampede of charging buffalo (a lot of them with startlingly pink pores and skin), hauling chariots at speeds of as much as 25mph alongside a tough dirt-track racecourse across the paddies.
Then there’s west Bali’s forgotten sea temple: Rambut Siwi is among the many least recognized of the island’s coastal temples, which defend the island from evil forces from the ocean. The sprawling grounds are peaceable and, except there’s a ceremony on, invariably abandoned – a world away from the bustle of well-known sister temples at Uluwatu and Tanah Lot. Take within the views over miles of seaside that hardly ever see a footprint earlier than you descend to the haunting grotto cave on the foot of the cliffs.

Rambut Siwi. {Photograph}: Craig Lovell/Alamy
The western finish of Bali is roofed by greater than 200 sq. miles of uninhabited jungle, residence to endemic ebony leaf monkeys, deer, big monitor lizards, hornbills, civets and flying foxes. West Bali nationwide park, on the westernmost tip of the island, is probably the most accessible a part of this wilderness and affords wildlife-watching alternatives. The attractive Bali myna, or Bali starling, was as soon as so endangered there have been solely believed to be eight left within the wild. Gleaming white with a flash of blue eye-shadow, these birds will not be arduous to identify within the wild if the place to look; the rarely-visited ranger station at Teluk Brumbun affords an opportunity to see a sizeable wild flock of those avian goals.
In line with the uncrowded theme, west Bali additionally has its share of abandoned seashores. Stretching east and west from the rocky level at Medewi is an unbelievable 20-mile sweep of seaside with not a single sunbed. The black volcanic sand is shaded with arching coconut palms fairly than looming accommodations and the one individuals you’ll should share it with are a couple of Balinese fishermen.

Balinese youngsters surf a wave at Medewi seaside. {Photograph}: Alamy
There are browsing stats to admire, too. On a clear day, rides of a 3rd of a mile have been recorded at Medewi. The paddle out to the line-out might be difficult however a deceptively simple takeoff makes this a really rideable left-hand wave for intermediate surfers. All the things comes with a worth, in fact, and visiting surfers usually quickly realise that a couple of drops of blood left on the sharp rocks is the price of a session right here. (Employees on the close by clinic get greater than their share of suturing follow).
For many who like longer beneath the waves, there’s Menjangan Island (lower than two miles lengthy and named after the deer that roam its seashores). That is Bali’s most spectacular diving and snorkelling venue and is the best place to flee the over-crowded reefs off the east coast. The steep dropoff right here is a good place to look at a whole universe of marine life that steadily consists of turtles, rays, eels, sharks, dolphins and, often, whale sharks.

Sergeant main damselfish above a reef, Menjangan. {Photograph}: Alamy
You’ll be able to lease a stand-up paddleboard to skim throughout the reefs at Pemuteran seaside or rent a kayak from The Menjangan eco-resort to discover the mangrove forested inlets of Bali’s north-west coast. The sheltered lagoons and reefs are a pleasant distinction to the wave-smashed south and up right here you continue to have an opportunity to discover the flooded mangrove forests that after coated a lot of the shoreline.
The place to remain

Medewi Surf Homestay
Medewi Surf HomestayOn the gorgeous expanse of paddies north of Medewi seaside, this can be a favorite with surfers on a price range. It has rooms with followers from £14 and rooms with air-con from £22. Surfboard and bike rental additionally obtainable.•
World Dive LodgesUnusually named since it is vitally native and it’s the one one, this can be a gem within the north-coast seaside city of Pemuteran. Beginning at £12, the rooms are nice worth and the restaurant is likely one of the city’s finest price range locations to eat. The employees can prepare diving journeys and Padi programs.•

World Dive Lodges
Bombora Medewi Wave LodgeThere are spacious rooms overlooking Medewi’s legendary left-hand pointbreak. The bar and swimming pool present the very best locations to relax and watch the waves.• Doubles from £58 room solely,
The MenjanganInside West Bali nationwide park is the island’s best wilderness resort. It is a wonderful base for diving Menjangan Island, kayaking alongside the perimeter of mangrove forests and bird-watching, and likewise merely for stress-free amongst a spectacular variety of wildlife.• Doubles from £100 B&B,
Getting there Public buses are erratic and, though they are often quick, discovering the stops might be time-consuming. It takes about 4 hours to drive from the airport to the centre of west Bali. It’s attainable to rent a motorcycle (from £2.75 a day) however, for a safer different, a seven-seater hatchback prices from about £11. Many individuals rent a driver to achieve the west finish of the island (for round £27) after which lease a motorcycle to discover regionally. For an inventory of skilled Balinese drivers who know the west see westbali.internet/transport.
• This text was amended on 22 January to incorporate the Getting there part