Around 4 hours’ drive from Bali Airport, on the north west side of the island you find the West Bali National Park and Menjangan Island. Menjangan is one of the largest islands off the coast of Bali and is part of the only national park in Bali. The National Park was founded shortly after independence to protect the endangered Bali Starling Bird (Jalak Bali), which is the icon of the National Park.
It’s a beautiful part of the island, but unfortunately I haven’t had the chance to visit recently. The last time I visited Menjangan was back in 2010. Back then I visited the island to go diving. The reefs around the island offer some of the best dive spots in Bali.
On my recent trip to Bali I decided it was time to escape the hustle and bustle of the south of the island and surround myself with nature. My friend, her Mom and I, arranged a weekend getaway to The Menjangan Resort.
We departed Seminyak at around 8 am. We wanted to make the most of the drive so on the way we decided to visit Taman Ayun and Pura Ulun Danu. It was nice to break up the trip with a visit to the temples. We spent two hours or so exploring the two sites and taking photos then hopped back into the car. We finally arrived at the resort at around 3:30 pm.
Menjangan Resort and Spa is tucked away in the West Bali National Park. From the main road, it’s a 15-20 minutes drive down a quiet lane. The rocky road was surrounded on both sides by thick jungle. We arrived at the reception area, which is called Bali Tower. It felt isolated and relaxing, which is just what I hoped for.
We stayed in one of the Monsoon Lodge Deluxe rooms. The Monsoon Lodge is close to the reception area, and a 10-15 minutes by the mini shuttle to the jetty area, the beach and the restaurant. The Lodge has its own lobby area and a pool in the middle of the compound.
Staying at the Monsoon Lodge leaves you feeling like you are surrounded by nature. The lodge had a beautiful wood floor, and trees surrounded it. On the first night I felt like I was camping in the middle of the forest—with super comfortable amenities.
The room I was staying in had an en-suite bathroom and it was equipped with natural toiletries in stainless steel storage containers. I was impressed by the eco initiatives they had implemented. For example they provided a refillable water bottle, which we used during our stay. The other thing that caught my attention was the beach bag made from up-cycled garbage that is collected around the National Park.
After checking in to our room, and taking a short rest, we went to the reception to enjoy sunset from the fifth floor of the Bali Tower. I realised as I sat there with some other hotel guests just how quiet the resort was. I could hear the rustling sound made by the movement of leaves and twigs, the birds chirping, and rhythmic crash of the ocean.
I imagine The Menjangan Resort can be a perfect place if you are looking for a place to stay for honeymoon in Bali. Viewing sunset from the tower was enjoyable. As far as the eye can see, it was all trees. I could also see Java from afar. After sunset, we went to the restaurant by the beach. We went to sleep shortly after dinner, as we were tired after the long day.
The next morning we were up at 6 am for the bird watching. Our guide that morning was Bli Alit. We trekked into the forest in search of wildlife. We stopped at several bird spots during the first half of the tour before arriving at the Starling Sanctuary where we saw the famous Jalak Bali.
Then we continued on to the beach, which is where the tour ended. In total we walked around 3 km. During our tour, besides the deer of course, we spotted pigeon, kingfisher, yellow-vented bulbul, dove, woodpecker, long-tailed shrike, scaly-breasted munia, Bali starling, black drongo, and shrike.
One of the highlights of the tour was the bird tower. The view from the top of the tower was really nice. It was very calming up there. The trees, the breeze, the nature sounds. I kept telling myself, go ahead Firsta, close your eyes and breath. This is a great feeling you won’t get in the busy part of Bali.
Bird watching wasn’t the only activity that you could do at Menjangan Resort. You could also go snorkelling, diving, horseback riding, kayaking, take a cooking class, and some other activities. If we had more time I would have liked to go kayaking through the mangrove and snorkelling. As I mentioned before, the island has some of the best coral reefs around Bali.
Have you ever been to the West Bali National Park and Menjangan Resort? How was your experience?
I always believe that Bali has a lot of things to offer, so that’s why this island never get me bored. Anyway, I love that atmosphere when having dinner by the beach. Isn’t it romantic? 😀