Rainy season has begun in Indonesia (to my utmost gratitude because the heat has been horrible) and this semester’s final exams have already begun. In these crazy weeks, one needs to think of a goal to raise some hopes for a better day ahead. In my case, this goal is to come back here after this hectic academic year is over.
If you happen to be driving along Nusa Dua and come across a huge sign that says “PANDAWA BEACH – THE SECRET BEACH” with photos of the beach plastered on the billboard (oh, the irony), it wouldn’t hurt to follow the sign. You’re going to be driving past karsts and dry bushes, heading downhill. Your phone reception will disappear (except if you’re using Telkomsel) the further along you go. But then the road ends at a parking lot located on a cliff overlooking the sea and you’re just going to want to jump down and run to the sea.
Pandawa Beach is the “secret” beach of Bali. At least that’s what all the signs were saying. But the words “secret beach” is an understatement: this place is the epitome of summer paradise.
The sand is smooth with a lot of stranded algae close to the breaking waves. The sea is an incredible gradient of color: from clear turquoise to dark blue with calm waves. You can take a plunge at the sea or go kayaking or just lounge on the chaise under an umbrella. Add some pristine clear skies and strong wind and you can’t not want to stay.
Words wouldn’t do this place justice so I shall write few. Instead, here are some photos of the place.
Although the far right end of the beach is more quiet than the left end, there are still a lot of things to watch. My recommendation for you is to get a pair of chaise (for Rp50.000), sit down, sip some coconut water and watch as different life stories unfold in front of you – and let’s just say you’ll find quite some entertainment.
Over two hours, I saw some women flirting excessively to the point where I was cringing at how they make themselves cheap. I saw a couple of dogs wandering the coast, looking for scraps of food. I saw five guys my age trying to get on one kayak, capsizing it over and over again, laughed, and then tried to get on again and capsizing again. I saw warung owners on the beach conversing with each other. I saw a couple of good-looking guys play a game of volleyball.
It was fun – watching life in different shapes and sizes and complexities.
I honestly hate how this place isn’t exactly a secret anymore because I fear for its beauty. Whenever a place gets too crowded, the next few years later, you come back there and the sands will have plastic wrappers and God-knows-what-else among them, the sea won’t be the same color of turquoise, the vendors will be more aggressive, the amount of tacky people taking abundant amount of selfies will be too high and it just won’t be the same. Frankly, I’m quite afraid of this beach turning into an overly commercialized place and not enjoyable anymore like Sanur.
Pandawa Beach is an incredibly beautiful place, at least for now. And if you decide to visit this beach, please don’t take anything but pictures and leave nothing but footprints.