On the northeast coast of the Bukit peninsula is Nusa Dua with it’s many luxury hotels. These hotels are not frequently visited by backpackers, and you could easily empty your bank account here. The rooms are normally priced in US dollars, on some hotels you have to prove that you are a guest to enter. This is in many respects an artificial version of Bali closed for the “real” daily life going on at the outside.

Bali, Badung, Nusa Dua. Hotels on Nusa Dua, Bali. (From helicopter) (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Nusa Dua. Hotels on Nusa Dua, Bali. (From helicopter) (Bjorn Grotting)

Only specially chosen artists are allowed to enter and perform for the guests. This was originally meant to be a form of elite-tourism that had less impact on Balinese culture than the tourism on for example Kuta. There are split opinions about this, but as long as people like to pay a lot to stay here, who can argue?

Bali, Badung, Nusa Dua. A large hotel by the cliffs in the southern part of Nusa Dua (from helicopter). (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Nusa Dua. A large hotel by the cliffs in the southern part of Nusa Dua (from helicopter). (Bjorn Grotting)

The beaches are wide and white, most of them are however reserved for the hotel guests and closed for the public. There are periodically good conditions for surfing, and some superb golf courses.

Bali, Badung, Nusa Dua. Hotels on Nusa Dua, Bali. Nusa Dua is relatively flat compared to the rest of the Bukit peninsula (from helicopter). (Bjorn Grotting)
Bali, Badung, Nusa Dua. Hotels on Nusa Dua, Bali. Nusa Dua is relatively flat compared to the rest of the Bukit peninsula (from helicopter). (Bjorn Grotting)

North of Nusa Dua is the Tanjung Benoa peninsula, including the Bualu and Benoa villages. Also this area is by many referred to as Nusa Dua, which can be quite confusing. But here the style is totally different, with several cheap restaurants and accommodation. Tanjung Benoa is a center for water sport, like diving, parasailing, jet ski and water-ski. Equipment can be rented here. Prices can be a bit excessive, but in the low season you can easily make a good bargain. North of Tanjung Benoa and south of Sanur is Benoa harbor. This is today the largest commercial harbor on Bali, and also home to Bali International Yacht Club.

You can make a boat trip from Tanjung Benoa to Pulau Seringan (the turtle island) north of here. The beaches on this island used to be important nesting areas for sea turtles, who came there to lay their eggs. Uncontrolled harvest of eggs put an end to this, but now there is an ongoing project to bring the turtles back. You can see the large animals behind fences. The island is also good for a relaxing walk.

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Bjørn Grøtting

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Photographer based in Norway. See a collection of my best photos in the portfolio. Licensing of images is done through Photoshelter or alamy.
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