At the southern end of Bali, lies a place that’ll take your breath away in a moment. With the great Indian Ocean caressing the sand, bringing shells and other treasures of the sea to the shore, there’s a place with so much colour and culture, always leaving you wanting for more. And, I had the privilege of spending three whole days in this magical place.
Seminyak. The most lively, bright, and all good adjectives I could possibly think of to describe it, is truly the place to be when you’re in Bali.
You may wonder the reason for my such strong emotion. It’s because Seminyak has a little something for everyone.
You’ll love it too if you
- are a party animal
- love exploring new cultures
- love meeting people from all over the world
- want to catch a wave for surfing
- are a foodie
- want to blow off some steam at the beach
- love diving and other watersports
- want to destress at some of the best spas
Now, do you see why I love Seminyak so much? Alrighty then! 😀
Too many people told me that I’ll feel no different than I already do in Bangalore, while I’m in Bali. And boy, how awfully wrong were they!
Day 1 in Seminyak
We arrived at the Ngurah Rai International Airport which is about 13 km south of Denpasar and Kumar, our Pickyourtrail tour guide/driver was already there with our names on a placard and with the warmest and welcoming smile. We began to drive towards Seminyak, which is about 10 km from the airport. The clean roads, crisp air, lane discipline, and friendly faces all hit me at once, making me realize what a beautiful place Bali is.
It took us about 40 minutes by car to get to our hotel Ibis Styles Petitenget. Nothing special, an average hotel chain, you may think. But everything was better there.
The clean sheets (I destroyed in less than a minute from when I entered the room. Mother, forgive me), the wide windows and long drapes through which I could see the beautiful streets of Seminyak, Nasi Goreng, and an infinity pool. And then, I knew I was far away from home.
The first thing on my mind? Food. We ordered some room service. The most artistically plated Nasi Goreng stepped into my life and I’m so thankful to the culinary Gods of the universe for Sambal.
Judge away. But you’ll know what I mean if you get your hands on some authentic Indonesian Chili Sambal.
After a short nap, we went out to explore the streets of Seminyak. And let me tell you, I packed light. I packed so light that I literally carried 3 outfits for my 7 days of vacation in Bali.
Why? Bali is a shopaholic’s paradise.
As I was saying, we stepped out of the hotel and I was awestruck.
Seminyak is a super upscale place and you’ll find some of the best boutiques, hand-crafted articles, art, high-end restaurants, luxurious spas, happening bars, local markets, and locals singing songs of Shah Rukh Khan’s movies.
The streets will make you feel brand new, the lights will inspire you.
Did you just sing that line in your head? 😛
The local shops have some of the best hand-made bags, sarongs, beachwear, hats, and more. But beware, they’re priced well beyond their worth. One thing you should remember while shopping is that you should always, always bargain.
Not really a new concept, things being priced higher than usual at tourist spots, but seriously, negotiate. You can pretty much bring the price to one-third of what’s quoted if you’re good at it. The first question from the shopkeeper would be “how many?” So, if you’re buying more than one at a shop, your discount is better. Explore shops before closing in on one. The next shop always has better pricing.
All in all, Seminyak still falls under the more expensive side, even if you’re shopping at the local market.
Seminyak has some of the best food to take your tastebuds on a rollercoaster ride. As we finished our bargaining (more than actual shopping) I said, “I feel like eating Mexican food.”
Voila! We passed through Kynd, a plant-based restaurant, running an event called Mexi Mondays. And, it was a Monday. It was just meant to be!
We got a taco platter that looked something like this. Please excuse my bad photography.
And the shrimp, fish, pulled pork, etc. were a raw banana, aubergine, and pulled jackfruit. This was an amazing meal because it was my first time eating vegan meat. I can’t really say how close the taste was to meat because I’m a vegetarian, but the food was out of the world!
Next, we went back to the hotel for some rest, thinking we’ll get room service again because we were too tired to step out again. But, we ended up resting for way too long, until all the restaurants were shut, including the kitchen at Ibis Styles.
When you’re in Seminyak, you don’t have to go too far to find what you’re looking for. But timing is crucial. And by the time we wanted to eat, there was just one place with their lights on, just diagonally opposite the hotel. El Greco.
A Greek-owned restaurant with authentic Greek food, not something I expected in Bali. The owner took care of the restaurant, personally going up to tables and asking how everything was. This was easily one of the best food experiences I had in Bali.
Day 2 in Seminyak
Pickyourtrail had arranged for scuba diving for the day. We started from our hotel to Nusa Dua, which is a 45-minute drive from the hotel. As we reached Dolphin Bali, we had to wait for about an hour as there was low tide, which is unlikely for that part of the sea. And, you can’t dive during low tide as the sediments settle, making the water murky.
It seemed like it got better, so we went far from the shore on a boat. As we reached there, the instructors told us that it was absolutely pointless for us to dive into the water. The low tide was caused by a mild earthquake and the eruption of Mt. Agung. So, without simply extorting money like most tourist places, they asked us to come back the next day.
Now that we had more time to spare, we went to the most happening place in all of Bali – Potato Head Beach Club.
This place was really something else. Facing the Seminyak beach, the beach club is famous for the sunset view. We went during the peak hour, at 5.30 pm to watch the sunset. The view from this place is still very much alive in my eyes. The Indian ocean being very wild, sent humongous waves crashing to the shore. The sunset created this soft golden ambiance that made its way all around. The ocean got wilder as the light got dimmer, and all I focused on was the sound of the waves amongst the music. And just like that, the night ended.
But not just yet.
I’d heard way too much about drag shows in Bali. And, I didn’t wanna miss out on one while I’m there. Although my company didn’t seem to appreciate the art, I dragged them over to BaliJoe for an unforgettable night.
So, we ended the night the next morning, on that note! Goodnight, indeed!
Also read: Where to party in Bali: 6 best places to experience Bali’s nightlife
Day 3 in Seminyak
Since we couldn’t dive on day 2, we went back to Nusa Dua to try our luck. We went away from the shore, again, on a boat and joined other groups who were also waiting to dive in. Turns out it was a good day to explore the deep waters of Bali.
Nusa Dua is home to coral reefs and tranquil waters. Getting lost at the sight of the endless water, we dove into the water for the view of a lifetime.
My scuba diving experience? Totally dramatic and worth telling. But for another time.
We were pretty worn out after diving. We got some takeout from El Greco and went back to the hotel. A short nap later, we stepped out to see the sunset at Tanah Lot temple. By the shore was the magnificent Tanah Lot towards the edge of land. This was truly mesmerizing because it seemed like waves were competing in a race of some sort while the sun was setting. Another amazing sight was the dance of a thousand birds, simply doing roundabouts.
After a while, we stepped out to find a spa, thinking it would be the best way to end our stay at Seminyak. We found one, which was slightly cheaper than an average spa in Seminyak. This really turned out to be the worst mistake ever.
Nothing shady, don’t get any ideas, but the massage pretty much ruined my back to a point that I couldn’t walk without squealing every now and then. But I forgot all about it when we went to Ling Ling’s for dinner.
This place served some really good Korean food we simply couldn’t get enough of. Eating to heart’s content, we bid adieu to Seminyak and traveled to Ubud the next day.
If you get to spend a couple of days in Seminyak, here’s a recap.
- Potato Head Beach Club
- Dolphin Bali for watersports and diving
- Ling Ling’s for lip-smacking Korean barbeque
- BaliJoe for drag shows and a brilliant atmosphere
- Local shops and boutiques for a great shopping experience
- Nasi Goreng and Mie Goreng from any restaurant or shack
So, that’s my story! The long and short, Seminyak has left a vivid sense of wonderment and I still don’t think I’ve had enough. More about my experience coming soon. Until then, check out Pickyourtrail’s Bali packages, customize, and book your spectacular Bali vacation! 🙂