Nusa Penida

Time to get back into Bali’s neighborhood. Nusa Penida is the largest of the small islands east of Bali, and the least developed. I had previously visited its southern attractions like stunningly beautiful Kelingking Beach – I’ll include a photo I took in 2019 below – but now I wanted to check out the northern coast.

The speedboat there takes three hours from Gili Air, and it’s a bumpy ride in a large uncomfortable boat. Gone are the days of lazy sailing in a wooden fishing boat, back when I was here for the first time, many years ago…

Compared to the Gilis, the town of Sampalan is loud and not very attractive, but it does have a number of Balinese temples. And honest warung restaurants replace the beach bars with dragonfruit smoothies and piña coladas; Sampalan doesn’t feel artificial at all.