Bali is home to a handful of mesmerizing beaches. There are just so many to choose from that tourists find themselves confused as to which one to visit first. Bali is the most popular tourist destination in Indonesia and its leading beaches are Kuta Beach, Nusa Dua Beach and Sanur Beach. A rarely mentioned beach is Petitenget Beach. Its name is not easy to say but it can hold its own as a location, and anyone visiting Bali should come check it out.
Petitenget Beach is important to the Balinese people, especially the devout, because this beach is primarily known for the Petitenget Temple. In fact, the beach was named after the temple, and not the other way around. Believed to have been constructed in the 16th Century, the tiny temple, locally known as Pura Petitenget, draws in a number of tourists and devotees to its unique beach-side ceremonies. As one of the west coast temples located between Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot Temple, Pura Petitenget is not really a major temple, since it is not one of Bali’s nine directional temples.
Directional temples are sanctuaries built in auspicious locations around the island for the purpose of driving away evil spirits. The Balinese are very religious people and they revere their temples very highly. The directional temples are regularly visited for prayers and laying of offerings. Only three of these temples are normally toured by foreigners. In such cases, any visiting tourists are asked to wear appropriate clothing that does not show one’s shoulders or knees. Most temples rent out sarongs, which guests may use to wrap around their bodies and stay covered.
The temples, including the one in Petitenget, are Hindu temples. Bali is the only surviving Hindu-Buddhist island in Indonesia, which is a Muslim country. The main temple, also referred to as Mother Temple, is Pura Besakih.
Locals come to Petitenget primarily to visit the temple, which is why this is a not a popular beach tourist destination. The beach has grey sand, which makes it look very mysterious and less inviting than the nearby white-sand beaches. Bali is a tiny island-resort, and if given a choice, tourists would rather go to another beach. So far, only the local people come here to swim, stroll or play around, but a number of foreigners do come to see the beautiful sunset over Petitenget.
The closest beaches are Seminyak, Legian and Kuta beaches, three of the most frequently visited beaches in Bali. Not only are they of close proximity to Petitenget, they are in fact connected. Petitenget Beach and Seminyak Beach is a continuous stretch of grey-sand beach. To the south are the noisier and busier beaches of Legian Beach and Kuta Beach. Visitors to these four beaches normally park at a large public parking area between the La Luciola restaurant and Petitenget Temple. Parking costs 2,000 Rp.
Petitenget Beach is easy to find. It is by Badung Regency in southwestern Bali, about 15 minutes away from the airport. And, again since it belongs to the same coastline as the more popular Seminyak, Legian and Kuta beaches, taxis and public transports know where to find it.