Indonesia has about 17,000 islands, which means it’s beach count probably stands somewhere in the hundred-thousands. Bali’s beaches often get the most attention, but there are so many other gorgeous locations. The best beaches may be hidden gems right on the main island.
East Java is known for many things: great tempeh, Mount Bromo, and Arabica coffee to name a few, but it’s stunningly gorgeous beaches are often overlooked.
Want a beach with a Hindu temple on par with Balinese temples, with significantly less of a crowd? How about finding your own private stretch of beach with only the sound of waves and no one else in sight for miles around? The place to go is Bale Kambang in East Java.
Bale Kambang beach is an oasis for relaxation and culture. The beach is situated about 2 hours outside of Malang which makes it an ideal day trip escape from the city. It’s said to be ruled by the ancient Javanese Goddess of the Southern Seas; a beautiful and powerful deity with a bit of a temper. Hence the size of some of the waves she creates.
The main attraction is the Hindu temple right on the water that’s connected to the beach by a bridge. The temple has many beautiful traditional Hindu carvings of deities, flowers, and legends. It’s a gorgeous photo opportunity for visitors with beauty in every detail. The temple is also a great place relax on a step and stare out at the surrounding crystal clear water and large waves.
Many people come to Bale Kambang only for the temple, but don’t realize that there are numerous hidden beaches and cliff viewpoints just a short trek away.
If you pass the temple and walk down the beach you’ll find a path parallel to the water that leads into the jungle. Among the bamboo trees and vines you can find sacred pools, and if you venture even further you’ll be led out to the more remote beaches of the area.
The trekker who makes their way out to these beaches is rewarded with their own private little piece of paradise, sharing the beach solely with driftwood and coconuts. The only cost of having the beach all to yourself is the barefoot walk through muddy paths. It’s well worth getting little dirt between the toes!
About the author:
Andrea Napoli is a traveler, writer, photographer, artist and English teacher in Indonesia. She loves exploring new places, eating delicious food, and making her students smile. Check her blog: internationalandrea.com and follow her on Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest to see that traveling is more than going places and seeing things.