Legian Beach, Bali

Legian Beach is probably the second most popular area with visitors after Kuta because of its close association with beach life and its parties. Indeed, one of Legian’s main attractions is its extravagant nightlife. Another attraction is the white sandy beach filled with tanned wannabe celebrities.

For first timers, Legian is just like another Kuta but give yourself a day, and an evening walk along the famous Double Six Beach, and a night in a cosy club, then you decide what you’ll do with the rest of your vacation. As its name suggests, literally 'sweet' in Balinese, Legian promises sweet memories of a Bali holiday.

Stretching north from Kuta, Legian offers the same easy access to shops and bars but a slightly more relaxed and less chaotic feeling. It is a low-key area where you can still get the low prices of Kuta without some of the hassle. The northern area of Legian bordering Seminyak offers a bit of an escape from the crowds and is also a popular surf beach.

To Do in Legian:
(The Beach)
Head into the ocean with boogie boards (Rp 20,000/hour) and surfboards hired from at beach or take surfing lessons from the Surf School based at Blue Ocean beach. Quiksilver surf school offers lessons lasting 2.5 hours for Rp 390,000 (+62 361 791 2220). They also rent boards for Rp 50,000 per hour, but if you have taken lessons with them, you can get a reduced rate of Rp 20,000 per hour. If renting from locals on the beach, be sure to use this fact to get a good price.

On Saturday and Sunday evenings, the beach front is packed with tourists, expats, locals and motorbikes, with fire pois and musicians jamming on the beach - you'll be more than welcome to join in.

Almost every evening at about 5PM a game of beach football begins right in front of de ja vu on Blue Ocean Beach. Visitors are normally welcomed if they want to join in.

A more leisurely beach pursuit is to situate yourself, cocktail in hand, at one of the many beach front cafes on this stretch, and watch one of the world's great sunsets. Be in position by about 5.30PM. Alternatively, sit on the beach itself, and buy a beer for Rp20,000 and soft drinks for Rp10,000 and buy nasi goreng or mie goreng from the outdoor waryungs for Rp15,000 each. The waryungs close around sunset. The hawkers might drive you crazy, but the sunset can be spectacular and the locals are very friendly. In front of the Legian Beach hotel, "Rico's" is recommended. After sunset, the mosquitos start biting.

If you just want to relax on the beach, you can hire sunbeds for about Rp50,000 per day, but take care to avoid sun exposure as many tourists get badly burnt. The locals wisely visit the beach late afternoon.

(Spas and Treatments)
Informal massages, manicures, pedicures and hair braiding, are all widely available while you relax on the beach in this area.

Fish spa, where small fish nibble the dead skin off your feet and hands, are available on Jalan Melasti and Jalan Legian, for RP 35,000 for 15 minutes (December 2012 pricing). Whilst the foot pool is large enough for four people, there are only enough fish for two people at a time.

1. Glow Spa At Mandira, Jalan Padma 2 (opposite Padma Hotel), ☎ +62 361 751381,  10AM-8PM daily. A spa Treatments based upon the principles of restoring balance, beauty and harmony to mind and body From US$16.

2. Legian Beach Spa, Jl Melasti (at the Legian Beach Hotel), ☎ +62 361 751711, 9AM-7PM. A full range of treatments on offer including from basic therapeutic massage, to Javanese 'Lulur' body scrub and "Rempah and Honey" treatment, a traditional massage followed by a body mask of honey, clay, flowers and roots. From.

3. Talaga Spa, Jl Dewi Sri 16, ☎ +62 361 8733831, 09:00-21:00. A high-end day spa offering a variety of treatments and packages lasting from 90 minutes to three hours. Specialise in the use of VCO (virgin coconut oil). From US$45.

To Buy in Legian:
Legian is crammed full of shops selling everything from the latest designer surfware to Balinese souvenirs to take home. This is a shopping destination. Covering the main shopping area in Legian will not take too long. It encompasses Jalan Melasti, Jalan Padma, Jalan Werkudara and Jalan Arjuna, all of which run perpendicular to Jalan Legian on the beach side. Jalan Padma is especially good for beads, shell work and other similar trinkets. Jalan Arjuna is lined with small stores selling sarongs and fabrics. On Jalan Legian look for slightly more upmarket boutiques, and the ubiquitous surfwear/sportswear stores (although the larger of these are in neighbouring Kuta).

There are two markets on Jalan Melasti. Close to the beach at the western end there is a large art market selling Balinese handicrafts and other items for tourists. You could easily buy all of your presents to take home in one visit here. At the eastern end where Jalan Melasti becomes Jalan Sri Wijaya, there is a morning fresh produce market which opens from about 5AM. In 2012, the fresh food market was demolished for a Mercure hotel to be built. The nearest fresh food market is now in Seminyak, on Jalan Sri Rama, off Jalan Padma Sari.

To Eat in Legian:
Legian's beachfront restaurants are popular spots for sunset and people watching.

Get Around:
Most of Legian can be covered on foot if you are not in a hurry, but taxis are plentiful as are motorbike rental outlets. Expect to pay Rp 50,000 to 80,000 per day for renting a motorbike.

Rental cars, with English-speaking driver, are available for Rp 500,000 per ten hour day. This includes petrol and parking fees.
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