Four years ago I was told about a little beach spot on the south coast peninsular of the island of Bali. As I was already heading to the island at the time for my Yoga Teacher Training with Yandara Yoga Academy, I decided to end my adventure in Bingin.
From the moment I walked down the first few stairs and looked over the ocean, I knew that I was home.
I know people say that all the time but it doesn’t quite describe enough how much I was struck with the magic of this little place. The combined smell of incense from the offerings laid out every morning as a daily ritual of gratitude. The frangipani flowers from the many abundant trees that adorn the cliffside. The hint of smoke from either the fires burning in nearby yards or the many warung’s preparing food. This combined with the salt carried by air from the ocean, all waft through the warm air. The view is beyond spectacular. Clear ocean, colourful buildings, flowers and artwork surround every step as you move down towards the beach.
Ive come to Bingin five times in four years. Ive come from my home in Australia, as a pit stop from any trips to other parts of the world. It truely is like a home on the road. And this, above all else is because of the people you will find here.
Needless to say, Bali is an island full of magic seekers. Everyone you come across, locals and expats alike, are more than ready to have a good chat, learn about your life, your passions and your journey. Everyones eyes seem to have this brightness about them that you cannot ignore.
But for me it is no more apparent than when I come home to Bingin.
Annie, at Mama Ketut’s Warung and Accomodation, always welcomes me with an huge smile and open arms, even if it has been many months since our last interaction. The accomodation is simple and perhaps not for those looking for the lush life but THE VIEW!!! And Mama’s food will steal your heart and put a sparkle in your eye that will not quickly be lost.
And if your not the type for views and food, im sure Bobo the dog will have you giggling till you cant anymore, with his overbite that makes him look so tough, when really he’s an old softie. Theres also another dog who lives with Mama, Rory. Unfortunately Rory was hit by a car a few years ago and now just likes to sleep and to bark (harmlessly) at passers by. He will keep your belongings well protected but leave him be, as he’s not a huge fan of being touched by humans after being hit by one of our cars!
In the day, if your a surfer your view stems from the Uluwatu, Pagang Padang, Impossibles, Bingin and Dreamland breaks. The ultimate surf check while enjoying Mamas coffee and fruit salad (for only 350,000 / about AU $3)
Scooters can be organised either at the accommodations set into the cliff or above, to boot scoot yourself to the neighbouring beaches. There you'll also find amazing local food, massages for $8, temples with monkeys and so much more. The roads are not busy so its a super cruisey spot for exploring solo.
If you’re not the surfer girl/boy then I would recommend cafe hopping for coconuts, raw food and smoothies. Walk down the wonderful Bingin Steps to the beach to find white sand and clear waters. Order yourself a smoothie at Kelly’s Warung and lounge out on the balcony in the sun or shade, read a book, listen to the music, relax.
There you will meet some of the ladies who trek from their homes everyday to sell sarongs, jewellery, massages and more! They hustle the good hustle! Especially my darling friend Yomen. I have been coerced many a time into a purchase or two and I wouldn’t change it for the world!
Every time I return, wether its been two months or ten, I am welcomed like a sister and I appreciate that more than any money I could have held tight to.
You’ll find Deborah on the beach selling corn. She works 14hours a day to sell her delicious snack and then walks home for over an hour in the dark.
You will also find Eric selling seriously good quality (im not actually kidding) sunglasses and ice creams. Eric is an absolute legend and has recently started making his own sugar free frozen banana and cacao ice pops (when he can get his friends in Australia to send him the organic cacao) He speaks multiple languages after his many years of interacting with travellers and he has a smile and demeanour that will make your day!
I know you can get these trinkets and snacks in the markets for a lot cheaper but I urge you to take a little extra cash to Bingin to buy from and help these wonderful people! They work from sun up to sun down everyday and a mere few dollars for a beautiful memory is NOTHING TO US BUT EVERYTHING TO THEM!
Up one of the other sets of stairs to the top of the cliff you will find yoga classes every morning, or if your after a little exercise, run the stairs, you'll be cooked! Haha
First rule of Bali would be, never miss a sunset! Whether you watch it from your accomodation, the balcony at Kelly’s or the beach with a coconut or cold Bintang. The sunset is the most magical time of day that brings everyone together to experience the pure delight in the sky that carries with it new purpose and motivation.
And maybe after sunset in Bingin, check out the famous seafood BBQ on the beach. Tables are laid out with candles and you can pick your dinner from the catches of the day form the local fishermen. All serves with rice and greens, I can never get enough.
There is a magic about this place that is hard to describe if you haven’t seen it for yourself. The release of stress knowing that nothing is costing you much at all, the people are all so caring and lovely and the views and opportunities to immerse yourself in nature are enough for a lifetime.