Nusa Dua

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Home Page > Travelogues > Indonesia > Bali > Nusa Dua and Benoa


Nusa Dua and Benoa -- The Beauty of the Benoa Harbor! 


The Bukit Badung peninsula at the southernmost point of Bali is a great attraction for visitors looking for natural beauty.  While Ulu Watu on the western side provides great cliffside views of the ocean, the east is flat and provides the largest natural harbor on Bali, the Benoa Harbor.  Benoa Harbor is largely protected from the ocean currents coming from the west, thus making it an ideal location for Sunset from a Benoa dinner cruise marinas and some of Bali's largest and most exclusive resorts.

Benoa Harbor is surrounded by the isthmus of Jimbaran to the west, the Benoa peninsula in the east, and Serangan (so-called Turtle Island) to the north.  The two locations covered in this travelogue are two towns near the harbor, Benoa Port and Nusa Dua, where the resorts stand at the southeast.

Benoa Port is an artificially-enhanced island that is accessible only by water or by a single bridge running from Denpasar.  This is the Port that provides most of Bali's tour cruises.  The cruise business is alive and well on Bali, and tourists can take dinner cruises with a cabaret show (which is what I was in the middle of enjoying in this particular photograph, despite my obvious sunburn).  Longer distance cruises  are also available to Penida and Lembongan Islands, which are clearly visible from Benoa Harbor.

The dinner cruises are a great deal as they provide wonderful spreads of food for a reasonable price, and a mostly unobstructedEntrance to the Nusa Dua resort area view of the sunset even during the winter.  This is the best sunset shot I took during my vacation there, and I took several (I leave it your judgment whether this one or the one from Jimbaran is better.)

As written earlier, Nusa Dua is the home of the major resorts, and it is practically set up as a private community separate from the town of Nusa Dua nearby.  Visitors to the complex will drive through the town and then enter a secured area before reaching the main traffic circle shown here.

The resorts are lined up along the southeast and southern coasts of Bukit Badung on Nusa Dua Beach, a pristine beach of white sands and high-class hotels.  The Beach has two small rocky peninsulas jutting from it out to the ocean, each with its own Hindu temple.  These peninsulas are made of volcanic dolomite, providing its shores with perfect havens for Bali's indigenous crab and snail species.  Animal lovers will find the crabs a lot of fun to watch!

The resort area has its own large shopping center which sells many of the Rocky peninsula of Nusa Dua same souvenirs, but higher quality (and higher priced), as places such as Kuta.  The restaurants are also very classy and numerous, and several provide Balinese dance nightly to the patrons.

I won't lie to y'all, I didn't particularly care for that aspect of Nusa Dua.  I tend not to like so-called 'classy' resorts that attempt to overly capitalize on native customs, producing a watered-down product at champagne prices --  my term for it is 'corporated culture'.  The best way to describe it is to compare the rather sanitized and flavorless 'Balinese' dancing I watched at dinner in Nusa Dua vice the passionate and inspiring rendition of the Kecak Dance in Batubulan or other Balinese recitals in Sanur that I attended.  Also, the cost of the dinner in Nusa Dua (which was not bad, but not particularly memorable) was several times the cost of a better dinner with better atmosphere at Jimbaran.  My suggestion is thus:  Nusa Dua is very picturesque and the shopping is worth a couple hour visit on that account, but given a choice, go to a more traditional Balinese restaurant for dinner in nearby Jimbaran or Kuta.

Trip taken 23 January 2002 -- Page last updated 28 October 2006

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