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5 Secret Places to Visit in Bali with EOS M50

From photos of crystalline blue waters to colourful smoothie bowls filled with tropical fruit, not a day goes by without seeing a Bali-related Instagram post on your feed. Surely there is more to this tropical island paradise than hipster cafes of Seminyak or rice fields of Ubud? We set out in search of 5 secret spots in Bali with Canon’s latest mirrorless camera, the EOS M50.

Our search for Bali’s secret hideaways starts at West Bali National Park, the first stop of this five-day adventure. Built to protect the Bali Starling, an endangered bird species, Bali’s only national park measures 190 square kilometers and includes Menjangan Island that is accessible solely by boat. It is home to wild stags and deer that swim from the mainland every Spring, where they roam freely on the grounds

Location 1: West Bali National Park

The park makes for great hiking, with three trails that take between two to eight hours to complete. All hikes require hiring a local guide, most of whom are incredibly sharp-eyed and can spot various species of birds and monkeys hidden in the dense foliage. 

bunch of monkeys

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO640, 45mm

We spot a family of monkeys as they groom each other. Unused to visitors (this part of Bali doesn’t see that many tourists as it is so far from the main drag), they are particularly skittish but the EOS M50’s high-speed continuous shooting of up to 10 fps when using One-Shot AF allows me to capture them before they run for safety of the trees. 

hermit crab macro

Canon EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM, f/6.3, 1/250sec, ISO2000, 45mm
Trying out the macro mode on the EOS M50

The forest floor is also covered with tiny hermit crabs scuttling about underfoot. The park boasts not one but three different ecosystems, and the area we are exploring is part mangrove, which explains the presence of these tiny crustaceans.

Location 2: Menjangan Island

bow of boat

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/1300sec, ISO100, 15mm

After the first part of the hike, we hop on a small speedboat to Menjangan Island. The boats here move slower than anywhere else in Bali and use less engine power to conserve marine life and reduce residual pollution. Even though the boat sways slightly, the EOS M50’s improvement in image stabilisation performance holds up well to produce sharp images. 

deer on the beach

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/6.3, 1/640sec, ISO100, 42mm

The first deer! I spot her just as our boat approaches the island, and I hop off quickly to capture this shot. The EOS M50’s new Digic 8 image processor allows me to turn on the camera, quickly autofocus and grab this shot in record speed.

deer with horns

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/6.3, 1/85sec, ISO100, 45mm

I hear a rustle behind me, and I turn to see a stag emerging from the trees. The camera holds up again as I swing around to snap just in time before it disappears. 

Location 3: Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon

cave with water

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/6.3, 1/320sec, ISO100, 45mm

From Menjangan, we head south toward Gianyar, home to the Beji Guwang Hidden Canyon. The river meanders between stone walls formed and patterned over hundreds of years of erosion, creating a natural masterpiece. This challenging trek takes about two hours if you are fit, but be prepared to trek across wet and slippery rocks.

cavern rocks with water

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/40sec, ISO800, 21mm

It is an overcast day, and the EOS M50’s high ISO speed performance (25,600 expandable up to 51,200 to be exact) lets me snap perfectly-exposed shots despite the lack of light. The EOS M50 also features a Vari-angle LCD screen, which rotates to capture the stunning relief from odd angles. Due to the terrain, some shots would have been impossible to capture without getting the camera wet!

Location 4: Genius Café

hut cafe shopfront

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/250sec, ISO100, 18mm

Heading further south, we arrive at Sanur, a coastal village popular with expat retirees, families and honeymooning couples. A popular dining spot here is Genius Café, parked on the Mertasari beachfront that serves mostly plant-based meals, although fish and poultry are available too. It is also Sanur’s most popular co-working spot that regularly hosts talks by entrepreneurs from around the world.

hut cafe entrance

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/4, 1/400sec, ISO320, 17mm

interior hut cafe

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/60sec, ISO1000, 15mm

hut quote

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/4.5, 1/100sec, ISO500, 24mm

Constructed almost entirely from bamboo and kept cool by the fresh ocean breeze, it is easy to understand why many choose to make this spot their office. It is also incredibly Instagram-worthy, and the EOS M50’s built-in WiFi and NFC function makes it super convenient to transfer photos straight to my phone. Using the Canon Camera Connect app made the transfer even easier.

Location 5: Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach

From Sanur, it’s a short ride via fast boat to the island of Nusa Penida, where the turquoise waters of Angel’s Billabong and Broken Beach await. The boat leaves early, so after a hearty breakfast at Genius Café, we make our way to the harbour.

angel's billabong

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/800sec, ISO100, 15mm

Located on Nusa Penida’s west coast, Angel’s Billabong is a gorgeous tide pool that cascades into the ocean and is ideally visited during low tide (around 8-10am) for the best views of the interesting patterns beneath its surface. 

top view angel's billabong

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/1000sec, ISO100, 15mm

Within walking distance of Angel’s Billabong is Broken Beach, the little cove that got its name from the “broken” archway that wraps around the bay, allowing water to flow in and out from the ocean. 

broken beach

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/320sec, ISO100, 15mm

One of the most beautiful beaches I’ve set my eyes on, I want to bring back memories of the scenery here. The EOS M50’s 24.1 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor means seriously high image quality, which will enable me to produce prints to hang on the walls of my home. 

broken arch

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO100, 15mm

broken beach west view

EOS M50, EF-M15-45mm f/3.5-6.3 IS STM lens, f/5.6, 1/400sec, ISO100, 15mm

The next time you visit Bali, why not venture beyond luxury hotels and perfect villas of the south because there is so much more to the island of the gods than what social media would have you believe. It would be a shame not to.  

To discover more on what the EOS M50 can do, check out: Why the EOS M50 Is A Must For Europe Travel

If you’ve caught the wanderlust for Bali, get more inspiration with these articles:

Island Life Photography in Bali Part 4: Nusa Penida

Island Life Photography in North Bali

 

 


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