Sunday, May 15, 2016

Ten pointers for a holiday at Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak is to Bali, what Paris is to France. Gather around for Bali's finest cafe culture, the pristine white sand beaches and an unparalleled nightlife. A five day holiday in Seminyak, a southern region on the island of Bali, Indonesia made me realise how the culture and vibe in all its regions was so different. I might have sold my soul to trade the Eat, Pray, Love experience for a beautiful tan and a very European boutique shopping experience but that is not to say that it does any less justice to a Balinese holiday. More on that later.
My first impression of Bali was that it was a very warm and welcoming city. It definitely has something to do with the fact that the people of Bali espouse a culture that is very laid-back and very dependent on ensuring the people in Bali, especially tourists are content.
Start off with booking a villa as opposed to a hotel while planning a trip to Bali. Villas give you a more authentic insight into the Bali life as opposed to hotels and are obviously more private (and that is never a bad thing). Look for one that is close to the Seminyak beach and the bars, preferably since that is the real essence of a Seminyak Balinese holiday.
For all those of you with attention spans shorter than a goldfish, here are the important things to know, places to go to and general pointers from my holiday in Seminyak, Bali:


  • The currency is a little complex and slightly confusing. First things first, if you have trouble doing mental math like me, you might want to practice a few basic conversions before you go to Bali. The Indonesian Rupiah includes notes of 5000, 10000, 20000 and so on and might take you for a surprise. I cannot even begin to explain how dreadfully rich I felt with lacs of Indonesian Rupiah just before I figured out how little that was in IDR. IKR?


  • Coffee and Cafe. Seminyak boasts of some of the best cafes in all of Bali and beautiful coffee. The Australian cafes have delightful breakfasts made with the freshest produce. Get your fill of eggs, avocados, organic cakes and even smoothies before you take off for a day in the smoldering town. Revolver for coffee and Sisterfields for breakfast would have to be my two DO NOT MISS choices. It helps that Revolver also has cute outdoor booths with the greatest interiors (For cool, rare weather) and brilliant wall art too. Sea Circus has great churros but the food was kind of disappointing.



  • Day bed and chill. Netflix and chill is so passĂ© when you could be booking a day bed or cabana at Ku De Ta and Potato Head and chilling your day away. Not literally of course. Work on your Bali tan, order some great cocktails, smoke some cigars if you like, some of that great food and music to really get you into the holiday mood. The cherry on top, undeniably is the great view of the Seminyak beach and the infinity pool just before that. DO NOT MISS the beautiful legendary KU DE TA sunset. The best photo op and every bit worth the hype.



  • The local food experience. Personally, I am a huge fan of Indonesian food. Just something about it with its spices and fragrant rice and just the aromas of the meat makes my mouth water. Really not an Indonesian holiday if you do not get yourself some of that Warung. Aside from that bad joke, my best Bali food experience would have to be at Made's Warung, which just so you know is pronounced as Muh-day, not Made as in Maiden. It is this great restaurant (with an adjoining icecream parlour) with the greatest satay, nasi goreng, nasi lamak, randang and other such. 

  • Art and street art. A very essential part of the Seminyak experience, is the traveler's tryst with art. You need not necessarily be a serious, pensive art shopper to assimilate the beauty of fine Asian and Oriental art on display in the numerous art galleries in Seminyak. Apart from the art galleries (that also have some really affordable pieces of art by the way) there is also the street art that is a DO NOT MISS. Be it the graffiti outside Cafe Revolver or the famous one of Frida Kahlo with guns.


  • The Bali Rains. Although it is dry and hot all year around in Bali, occasional downpours are not unheard of. Incidentally, the first day of my trip saw a heavy downpour beginning in the afternoon extending all the way till the evening. While I was happy it cooled things off a little, be ready to find a plan B for the time being to make the most out of the rains. A Balinese massage at a Spa or some great seaweed facials are a great way to spend that holiday time productively. DO NOT MISS Bodyworks but make sure you book in advance. 

  • Visa procedure. This is stated often yet there seems to be some kind of apparent confusion about it everytime this comes up. So let me be your travel agent extraordinaire, un momento. The visa for Indians is on arrival in Bali. Also, since October 2015, it is now free of cost for Indians. All you need on yourself is a valid passport and your flight tickets to obtain a visa. 

  • Flea Markets. There are a lot of flea market options for the enthusiastic shopper in Bali. Not only are there flea market pop-ups, there are also some that are regular fixtures. DO NOT MISS the brilliant wristbands (ideal for stacking), funky necklaces with Hamsa charms and all kinds of stunning Dream Catchers. Not only will these serve as the perfect souvenirs, they will also always remind you of the Balinese beach life. There are also great bargains you can find on hand embroidered bags, pouches and home decor pieces. Interesting hangings, cute looking mirrors and even the ever popular Balinese soaps are great options to treat yourself to in Bali. Always remember to bargain when thrift shopping.

  • Beach please. It's almost hilarious to be mentioning it as a separate pointer but no really, what is life without some Vitamin Sea. Now that I have exhausted all my beachy puns, let me tell you about the cool Seminyak beach with a pristine blue sky and white fluffy clouds that should totally be hashtagged as #cloudporn. There is the option of drinking some Bintang beer and coconut water as you lie on the day bed and work on the tan. If you're feeling adventurous, get yourself a surf board or a boogie board and jump into those waves. Speaking of beaches, head to Jalan Mesari beach and DO NOT MISS this Spanish bar there by the name of La Plancha. With its colourful beanbags and colourful umbrellas, that sight is breathtaking by the beach at night.



  • Boutique shopping. If you're looking for investment pieces or have deep pockets in general, then the Seminyak shopping experience might be just what the doctor ordered. DO NOT MISS Jalan Raya (name of the road) dotted with the best designer boutiques on either side. A few that I personally loved would have to include Magali Pascal (easy breezy with a French sensibility), One Teaspoon (Those frayed denim shorts and their bikinis), Uma & Leopold (for their sexy beaded, sequinned shorts). 

Have questions?
Fire away. 

x


5 comments:

  1. nice blog and thanks for sharing it.
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  2. I am bookmarking this for my planning-and-wishing-the-plans-come-true Bali trip next year!! Thanks for all the DO NOT MISS updates! And yay for free visa for Indians!!! Now to just convince hubby to book those tickets! :D

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  3. This has been such a helpful article and at just the perfect time! I am planning a Holiday in the first week of June to Singapore and Bali and while i did have an idea for how to go about Singapore , Bali seemed confusing to plan! This has been great! Thanks a lot. Any pointers about the night life in Bali, any must do places that you would recommend?

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  4. Love how playful you are with words!
    Keep moving forward xoxo

    ~ Jagman

    ReplyDelete
  5. Good blog.I like this blog Thanks for sharing. Keep sharing.

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