Slowing down for sunset
Just last weekend we got to spend three days in Bali! It was such an incredible trip. What an amazing, beautiful island — with the friendliest people we’ve met so far. As we tend to do, we rushed around the whole time to try to see as much as possible in our short time there! But we did slow down for sunset each night.
Each night, three nights in a row, we got to enjoy the entirety of an amazing sunset. We truly just sat and watched every moment, from those gorgeous golden hours when the sun was very much still a fiery ball in the sky, all the way until it dipped below the horizon, leaving the sky streaked purple and pink.
Even better, we got to see it in three different locations, so we had three different beautiful views to take in.
Night one – swinging sunset on Gili T
We spent our first partial day and full night on Gili Trawangan island, affectionately known as Gili T. The island has two sister islands, Gili Air and Gili Meno, and all three are technically part of Lombok, Indonesia. But lots of people consider them part of a Bali trip, as did we. I promise to do a whole Gili T post soon, because it was PARADISE! I’ll link that here when it’s done, but for now, the sunset:
On Gili T we stayed in a hotel that is known as a sunset viewing spot! There were tons of brightly colored beanbags set up all along the hotel’s beachfront specifically for sunset watchers, so cute! Called the Hotel Ombak Sunset, it is located on the much quieter western coast of the island. The area boasts an amazing view of … A VOLCANO! Bali’s Mount Agung Volcano, to be exact. The sun set directly behind the volcano, making the silhouette stand out magnificently.
Another fun addition to this sunset was the swings. Really as a touristy photo op, the hotel has set up a couple of these big wooden swing sets out in the water just in front of the sunset viewing beach. Cheesy? Extremely. But still a fun photo op!
Night two – temple sunset at Tanah Lot
Day 2 of our trip was “back to the mainland”. Actually, just over to a bigger island – Bali! We spent the day in and around Ubud with a great guide/driver/new friend Panca, who took us out to Tanah Lot temple for the sunset.
This was a very popular tourist spot, but not in a nasty tourist trap way. It is truly a genuinely beautiful and spiritual spot that many people, tourists and locals alike, all want to visit. This is one of those places that fit this phrase James and I say sometimes on our travels: “Some places are touristy for a good reason.”
Located on the west coast of Bali, Tanah Lot is a Hindu temple situated on a rock formation that juts out into the sea. We learned that Tanah Lot means “land in the sea” (thanks Panca!) which describes our experience perfectly. We spent the time before the sunset walking around on the rocky areas below the cliff-top temple, and huge waves were splashing up around us and flooding the walkway between land and temple. Eventually the temple really was out in the sea. It was incredibly cool.
For the actual sunset, we walked up and found a great seat atop a cliff just to the north of Tanah Lot. We watched the sun set over the ocean with huge waves still crashing against the cliffs below us. There were two surfers taking advantage and doing a sunset surf, which was so much fun to watch and photograph!
James enjoyed a couple of Bintangs (delicious local Indonesian beer) as the sun dipped low. Right as the sun went completely out of view, hundreds and hundreds of bats rushed out from a cave in one of the cliffs and flew overhead! It was spectacular to watch all the tiny black dots against the pink and orange sky.
Night three – surfer sunset at Balangan Beach
Our third day in Bali was the most low key. We spent all day at a secret little surfer cove – Balangan beach. This area had massive cliffs but also a long strip of white sandy beach. It ended up being the perfect spot for us, as we enjoyed the beach during the day and then watched the sunset from the cliffs at night.
Our bungalow was conveniently situated on the cliffside, so we just walked a very short distance to get a great viewing spot. Unsurprisingly there were tons of surfers during this sunset, which were again fun to watch. There were also lots of other boats sailing or motoring around at dusk, which looked so nice against the horizon as the sun went down.
Sunsets worth chasing
Overall, they were 3 AMAZING sunset spots in Bali that I would highly recommend to anyone visiting!
- Beachside at Ombak Sunset Hotel, Gili T, Lombok
- Cliffs at Tanah Lot temple, Bali
- Cliff at Balangan beach (all the way at the very end of Jl. Pantai Balangan), Bali