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  • 5 Best Attractions in Tanjung Benoa

    Best Things to See in Tanjung Benoa

    Tanjung Benoa is a southern peninsula just north of the five-star resort enclave of Nusa Dua, famous for its numerous water sport operators that continuously draw adrenaline junkies to its tropical shoreline. The combination of white sand and considerably calm waves make it an alternative tourism destination, where you can enjoy the common thrills of jet-skis, fishing tours, parasailing and banana boat rides, to novel additions such as water jetpacks, ‘flying fish’ and underwater ‘sea walks’.

    Apart from countless action to be had, Tanjung Benoa is also home to one of the pioneering Balinese cooking schools on the island, which offers great insight into the local culture through its food. The peninsula also has several notable highlights that are worth a stopover, such as peculiar old Balinese sea temples with shrines made of coral, as well as one of the island’s oldest Chinese temples, with impressive adornments and architectural features.

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    Tanjung Benoa Beach
    Tanjung Benoa Beach

    The main beaches of Tanjung Benoa are found along its 3km eastern coastline, easily accessible from the Nusa Dua hub and from Denpasar or Kuta via the new Bali Mandara toll road. A single road, Jalan Pratama, runs parallel the coast, connecting the collection of beachfront resorts, restaurants, art shops and water sport operators. The waves here are overall much calmer when compared to Bali’s other beaches, even to neighbouring Nusa Dua. Beaches nearer to the north of the peninsula are dominated by water sports, while those on the south, namely from the coconut palm-fringed beachfronts of the Bali Tropic to the Grand Mirage, are great for swimming and snorkelling, and the clean, white sand is ideal for strolling or sunbathing.

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    Water Sports Activities
    Water Sports Activities

    Tanjung Benoa is home to Bali’s main water sports playground, and you can zip across the waves on a jet-ski or hover high up in the air for a breathtaking bird’s eye-view of the peninsula by a speedboat-towed parachute. Jet-ski rides are usually accompanied by an instructor on piggyback while you freely take the controls, and rides take between 15 to 20 minutes of fun and splashing thrills. Inflatable craft include banana boats and flying fish, both not for the faint of heart, with the latter gliding two-to-five metres high up in the air as it gains speed. Water jetpacks are the newest to enter the scene, which let you soar like Iron Man. Underwater adventures include scuba diving, sea-walking adventures, and the latest underwater scooters to enjoy lush coral gardens. Most of the operators are easily found along the northern coastline.

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    Caow Eng Bio Chinese Temple
    Caow Eng Bio Chinese Temple

    Caow Eng Bio, otherwise known locally as Klenteng Caow Eng Bio, is one of Bali’s oldest Chinese temples. It’s certainly worth a visit for the culturally inclined, especially as it serves as a contrasting highlight against the modern hotels, boutique resorts and the buzzing water sport action of the coast. The Chinese temple, built by Chinese merchants and early immigrants of a bygone era, is also said to predate some of the Balinese Hindu temples along the peninsula.

    The temple is hard to miss, with its bright red walls, roof tiles and intricate Chinese-Buddhist ornaments and figures. It is located right on Jalan Segara Ening, in the northernmost area of the peninsula. Through a heavily ornate wooden door, a central pavilion filled with statues of Chinese deities is only for those praying. It has a cooking area and a small room for the ‘god of kitchens’ on the right side of the compound, as well as another pavilion on the right side functioning as a public hall. Open every day, best time to visit is of course around the Lunar New Year celebrations, usually between February and April each year.

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    Pura Dalem Ning Lan Taman Beji Temple
    Pura Dalem Ning Lan Taman Beji Temple

    Tanjung Benoa has a handful of local Balinese temples with a significant presence, with large towering gates and heavily decorated walls and shrines. Most are part of the village community’s functioning temples, but are good examples of Balinese architecture if you haven’t the chance to travel elsewhere. One temple displaying Balinese architectural grandeur is the Pura Dalem Ning Lan Taman Beji, that is within walking distance to the Caow Eng Bio Chinese Temple, making it a great stopover to enjoy two highlights at once. These landmarks also provide a great side attraction if you’re here mainly for the water sport action. This temple’s façade comprises three majestic temple gates made up of white sandstone called ‘kori’, each framing ornately carved wooden doors that are painted in gold. The temples are mostly only open during religious ceremonies and rituals, but friendly locals who frequent them with daily offerings will not hesitate to explain their temples’ culture and history. The Taman Beji in fact is a smaller adjoining temple close to the sea, built with cut coral stones.

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    Bumbu Bali is one of the pioneering Balinese cooking classes on the island, which takes participants to explore the traditional morning markets of Bali to show you the many fresh ingredients that make up Balinese cuisine, before heading back to the kitchens in Tanjung Benoa to turn them into great dishes. But before picking up any cooking utensils, you enjoy a satisfying breakfast of Balinese cakes, the freshest fruits, black rice pudding and a bowl of tender sweet rice flour dumplings in palm sugar coconut sauce. In the kitchen, which is built to closely resemble a traditional Balinese one complete with unique utensils that you might never have seen or handled before, you don the black and white aprons and learn the many secrets, flavours and techniques from Heinz von Holzen, author of four highly acclaimed cookbooks, and former chef of a five-star resort in Nusa Dua. The joy of lunching away on your own Balinese dishes is unparalleled. Read More...

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