by François Bacquet, surfer and owner of Isla Kitesurfing
Four years ago, I decided that I wanted to spend a few months a year dedicated to learning how to surf.
Since I was already living in Asia for 7 years, the destination of choice was clear: Indonesia, the mecca of surfing! Bali was then the easiest choice since it is a mix of good surfing conditions, good vibes, and it’s affordable – which was important since I was not working during my stay there.
I had already spent some time in Bali back in 2007 but I wasn’t there for surfing at the time. Oddly enough, I remember telling myself then that it would be the last time I would go to Bali. I had mostly seen the party scene of the island and was bored of it to be honest.
This time I came back with a clear objective in mind: surfing. Since 2014, I now spend about 3 to 4 months a year in Bali and love it! It is interesting how you can experience Bali with fresh pair of eyes when you decide to spend time there for another purpose. Spending time in Bali is very refreshing, and the food is absolutely fantastic – especially around Seminyak and Canggu. Local businesses are very creative and the result is good quality healthy food in every corner at affordable prices.
Waves are amazing and good for all levels. I first learned how to surf in Seminyak then moved on to Canggu for the next level. Now I surf mostly in Bukit and near the airport because of the unique quality of waves there.
Being in the sea is such an amazing feeling. Warm turquoise water, quality waves, the sun, good food and good people. What more can you ask for? Bali has it all!
For the ultimate blissful Bali experience, I recommend sunrise and sunset surfing. The golden hours adds a surreal aspect to the scenery and makes it extra special.
I have also been exploring neighbouring islands and visited East Java, Lombok and Sumbawa by motorbike and had a blast. Nature is very diverse and beautiful in Indonesia.
Surfing aside, the most memorable trip I had in Indonesia was visiting a volcano in East Java called the Bromo. We arrived at 4am to witness the most magnificent sunrise ever.
All in all, Bali and its surroundings have something to offer everyone.
If it is not yet on your list, I definitely recommend you to add it and be prepared to fall in love.