If you think that Bali is all about beaches, parties & visiting touristy attractions, you might be wrong. Beside being a vacation island or a digital nomad destination, Bali is full of some astonishing off the beaten track activities. One of those activities is tracking two abandoned airplanes that have a lot of stories around them but no one knows for sure why they ended up there. I heard there are other abandoned planes on the island but I had no luck getting accurate information about their location back then.
About the two planes
The two airplanes are in two separate locations. The first one is in South Kuta so close to the touristy Kuta Beach while the other one is a bit further to the south in Bukit Peninsula. By asking the locals in the area, no one had a clear idea about the reasons why those airplanes ended up on the island except for some stories that there was no way to confirm any of them.
My story back then
Despite disliking kuta and not even seeing it as a good party area, I stayed there for a bit over a week during my first visit to Bali late 2016. The reason wasn’t to enjoy the party scene there since it seemed specifically made for Australian vacationists and backpackers, but it was to explore the southern part of the island for the first time. It was just the best deal I found given my limited knowledge about Bali at the time. It was a good deal to have a temporary base in South Bali so I can explore the area.
I had a small project as a freelance web developer so I was working for 4-6 hours every day from my room back then. There were no work friendly cafes in Kuta that I could find. If I had the knowledge that I gained about Bali, I would have had a room in Sanur instead.
The first airplane
The first plane is a Boeing 737 located 15 minutes away from the touristy Kuta beach, on a highway, next to a Dunkin’ Donuts store. It is recommended to go there by motorbike as it is the most convenient way to move around Bali. The plane is surrounded by a fence which made it a bit hard to get closer to it.
I heard a story that the owner planned to open a restaurant inside the old airplane but it seems that the plans didn’t go well so it ended up in an empty field.
The location on the map:
The second airplane
The way to the second one took a bit more time. It is a Boeing 737-200 located further to the south of the island at Bukit Peninsula. I spent some time looking for it until I spotted it in a lower ground. From the surrounding objects, I guessed that the area was to be created as a paintball arena or at least this is how the field looked like. However, I heard another story that it was to be converted to a restaurant.
The location on the map:
Sunset at Balangan Beach
At the end of the road, it was almost sunset. By doing a bit of research, I found that Balangan Beach was very close to the location of the second airplane. Balangan Beach is a famous surfing spot and as I noticed, there were a few photographers there doing photo shoots and wedding photographers as well.
The best place to watch the sunset at Balangan beach was from a higher ground where the beach can be spotted. There was no access to the beach from this area which wasn’t an issue since the sunset view was all what mattered. After sunset, the day came to an end. It was another amazing day in Bali followed by busier and more productive days.