Bali’s Legian Beach is considered by many to be the United Nations of beaches since it is almost always filled with tourists from different nations. Americans, Europeans, Brazilians, Asians and local Balinese beach fans walk the sandy beach stretch side by side. Strolling along the shore and surfing the waves are the most popular activities here since Legian Beach is not really conducive to swimming. There are strong undercurrents that make it dangerous for tourists to swim. People simply enjoy walking back and forth, enjoying the sand, sea breeze and the sound of water sloshing. The sunsets are to die for, which is why the beach is still full of people just walking around at nights. “Legian” means “sweet and pleasant”.
Bali is a small island-resort near the island of Java in Indonesia, about 8 degrees below the equator. It is clearly the most tourist-friendly spot in this Southeast Asia country, which is made up of thousands of islands. It is the home of almost 4 million Indonesians, the majority of which are Hindus. The Balinese people are very friendly and are known for their traditional dances, sculptures, paintings, leatherworks, and music. As a race, they are strongly influenced by the Indians and the Chinese. The island of Bali is often compared to the island-resorts in Thailand and the Philippines, but Bali’s edge is its size. With a land area of only 150 kilometers by 80 kilometers, tourists and travelers could easily breeze through from beach to mountain, and from one tourist attraction to another. Bali has plenty in store – parks, shops, temples, mountains, hot springs, and a number of word-class beaches, which include Canggu Beach, Sanur Beach, Kuta Beach, and of course Legian Beach. Recently, however, tourists have been noticing that the many beaches in Bali are deteriorating in beauty and are in need of better management.
Legian Beach is always packed with surfers lining up to catch that perfect wave, while the non-surfing tourists content themselves by idly reclining on a beach chair listening to the surf and waiting for the sun to set. Legian is all about relaxing, laying back and enjoying life. Other than surfing and beach bumming, Legian is also known for its shops, bars and restaurants. Tourists enjoy snorkeling, canoeing, jet-skiing, sailing, windsurfing, riding glass-bottom boats, playing beach football, sunbathing, and partying all night. And to make this truly a “United Nations” beach, the Legian’s brown sands are always happy to embrace sunbathing Brazilian women in tiny bikinis. The beach is quite crowded in areas fronting the major hotels.
Other than the occasional overcrowding, this beach’s main problem is the amount of trash just scattered everywhere. Many western tourists are turned off with the irresponsible management and wantonness of other tourists who refuse to clean up after a night of partying. Not only are the sands and immediate surroundings dirty, sadly, even the blue waters are filled with pieces of trash and refuse. According to many, Legian Beach may “be compared to a giant trash can”. Yet, it remains to be that one beach most frequented by western travelers, primarily for its very relaxed and tranquil atmosphere.