In between entertaining the locals with our pale skin and small talk about European football players, we managed to find time to do nothing at all. Once you’ve dodged the paparazzi and media scrum at Bira beach, it is quite possible to find a spot along the coast where you won’t see another soul for a whole day. This would be pretty good on a normal beach. On the most exquisitely perfect beach you could ever hope to see, it was freaking astonishing.

There really is no good reason that this place hasn’t been turned in to a holiday destination of international repute. The powdery white sand stretches in either direction as far as the eye can see, and the sea is the temperature of bath water. While I enjoyed paddling in the shallow end with starfish and pipefish, Lovisa went out and dived with turtles and stingrays. Then at the end of every day the sun set over the ocean and we ate unbelievably delicious Indonesian food from the kitchen of our brilliant guesthouse.

In two weeks there we didn’t spend more than $20 a day, including our accommodation. That shouldn’t be possible but it is so for God’s sake book yourself a flight to Indonesia now and take advantage of the incredibly lovely people of Bira who will give you the most perfect holiday of your life for less than the cost of staying at home with the heating on and chips for dinner.

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