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Exploring Bali will be not complete without visiting Menjangan Island. This small pulau (pulau = island in Indonesia language) is located on the north-west of Bali. It is attracted by many visitors every year for spectacular diving and snorkeling opportunity. Surrounding sea is rich in tropical fishes and soft corals. The water is usually clear with great visibility. I visited Menjangan Island with big group of my friends in June 2012.
Getting to Menjangan Island
Well, I will describe the way from Bali airport but depending on your current location you can decide to take also another way. First have a look at what kind of transportation to use for this trip. The budget and less comfortable solution is to rent a motorbike – approx. Rp. 40.000,- /day. If there is more people traveling together and for more comfort it makes sense to rent a car – approx. Rp. 180.000,-/day for 8 seated car. You can also rent a car with a driver which will be a bit more expensive (Rp. 450.000,-/day)
There are two main routes to get to Menjangan Island. One is a scenic road leading thru beautiful central mountains and passing three lakes (L. Bratan, L. Buyan and L. Tamblingan) with spectacular views. The second one is the south-west main road to Gilimanuk leading along the coast thru Tabanan and Negara. As this road is widely used for tracks going to Java, it is more busy than the first way. The driving time from airport is 4 hours for the scenic- and 3 hours for coastal road without any stops. As there are a couple of interesting things to see on the way (scenic road only), it is better to count with 6 hours. For directions see the map below.
|scenic road||coastal road|
The other option is to take a bus. From Ubung Terminal (15km from airport) there is a bus departing to Gilimanuk (the crossing harbor to Java) every 1 hour. The price is Rp. 40.000,-. The bus will stop 1km before Gilimanuk harbor on the T-junction. Here you have to get off from the bus and take the public transportation waiting there for passengers heading to Menjangan Island.
Accommodation in Menjangan Island
On the Island there is no place to stay overnight and you have to find some place in Bali. There are no many options, if you want to stay close to the harbor. We stayed in Penginapan Banyuwedang Homestay (5 min. from harbor). The price for double room is Rp. 100.000,-/night. (Ph.: 082 144 989 600). For high-end level there is a Mimpi Resort walking distance from the harbor. The price for double room is Rp. 900.000,-/night.
Activities in Menjangan Island
As I mentioned before, the main reason to go to Menjangan Island is Snorkeling and Diving. Besides to this two main activities you can walk around the island (approx. 1 hour) and visit the local temple Pura Gili Kencana, dating from the 14th century. For the snorkeling tours, there are many boats waiting for tourist in the harbor. The boat will take you to the three snorkeling spots around the island. When we were there, the sea was too rough and we had to skip the first spot. The whole tour take 4 hours and cost Rp. 450.000,-/boat. (max. 11 people one the boat). Additionally you have to pay for entrance and for boat parking on the island. The final price per person is Rp. 70.000 (if the boat is fully occupied). You can also rent the snorkeling gear directly in the harbor for Rp. 50.000,-.
At the end one practical tip. On Menjangan Island there is no place to buy food or drink and if you do a lot of snorkeling you will get hungry, so it is a good idea to bring something to eat and drink. After tiring water activities you can chill out on the beach and admire surrounding landscape.