Leaves rained on us from the jungle canopy, not your typical Bali beach experience.
I have nothing against beautiful Jimbaran Beach, I love Pandawa and Dig Seminyak and I’ve even snoozed on the beaches of Sanur, too. But Ganung Payung Beach definitely takes the Balinese beach taco, at least for me.
This off the grid, secluded beach in a remote area of the island offers unrivalled, stunning views of the Indian Ocean. My peepers were treated to a tantalizing view of both a serene and savage Indian Ocean. Picture a deep blue sea gradually transitioning into turquoise blue, then crystal clear waters, as your gaze travels from the horizon to the sand. Monstrous waves pound the sand bar located a few hundred meters from the beach, while lazy, peaceful currents lap gently at the sand. What a delicious contrast.
Ganung Payung Beach arrivals find themselves positioned high atop a dramatic, craggy jungle cliff. Enjoying insanely eye-popping views of the cliffs leading both East to Uluwatu and West, heading toward the quiet, sleepy village known as Sanur.
As my wife Kelli and I slowly navigated the hundreds of steps down the cliff side toward the beach – note of caution; slippery stairs and no guardrails make for a potentially dangerous duo – we met our monkey buddies. 30 plus monkey buddies. Hopping to and fro on large, imposing branches, these guys were the Ganung Payung Welcome Brigade… we spent 20 minutes with the cheeky monkeys before moseying on down to the beautiful white sands.
2 folks greeted us, just 2 people on this little, peaceful, quiet beach… told you this place was off the grid.
During high season you can wade into the water sans worries. Low season is another story. Since lifeguards aren’t present – heck, few sentient beings will be present – swim with caution. Check the rip currents from the beach, if things look a bit choppy just play it safe and soak up the beauty from the beach.
I wandered a bit, back from the waterfront, into a jungle cove. The temperature seemed to drop by 10 degrees, but the oppressive, heavy humidity seemed to grow in power and presence. Looking to and fro, the monkeys played primate games in the surrounding canopy.
I found paradise on the Island of the Gods.
Ganung Payung is located on the Bukit, or Southern Half, of Bali.
From the Kuta/Airport Area, take Jalan Nusa Dua Seletan and hook a right at Jalan Ganung Payung. This right is about 5 minutes after the little circle (and police station) by Pantai Pandawa (Pandawa Beach).
This is not a huge beach by any means. You’re working with limited real estate but it is one of the few unspoiled, quiet, peaceful beaches on the Bukit of Bali.
We rode about 10 minutes by motorbike, through a golf course and burgeoning development, off the main road to reach the beach. Factor in the location in a quiet, rural area of Southern Bali and you have the makings of a relaxed, laid back, pristine pantai which is an unknown on the Bukit scene.
While surfers traverse the Bukit looking for legendary waves in Uluwatu and Padang Padang you’ll have your own little slice of paradise to yourself.
Have you been to Ganung Payung Beach?
Have you heard of it?