Up until this trip, I have always wondered why people I follow on Instagram often go to Bali. What’s in Bali, anyway? We have beautiful beaches here in the Philippines so why would anyone travel to as far as Indonesia for the beach? I’m quite sure El Nido and Boracay are better in terms of “beach quality” so that got me curious, obviously.
So I had this very little idea about Indonesia when we decided to finally take the plunge and travel to Bali for my 44th birthday. All I had were expectations, very high if I may be so honest. Blame it on the expensive plane fare. I felt I needed to justify the expense by thoroughly enjoying this trip. And so glad we did.
Balinese people are warm, polite and always with a smile minus those scammers from the money exchange shop we had the misfortune of dealing with not even 2 hours into our trip. But that’s just an isolated case. Everywhere you go, scammers abound.
Bali proved to be everything we had hoped for. We chose early on to make Seminyak as our base while in the Island of the gods. I chose this neighborhood for its numerous cafes, restaurants and quaint little shops as well as big brand outlet shopping (which we didn’t get to do) scattered all over this small beach neighborhood. I love the vibe here. Yes, it’s geared towards tourists but you can still experience authentic and local culture.
TIP: We stayed in a hotel. But in Seminyak and elsewhere in Bali, villas are a thing. You’ll never run out of villa options. You can choose to have a villa with your own pool or choose to have a villa with a lagoon. Your choice. There’s even one that offers glass bottomed room but that’s in Ubud.
Let me tell you early on that there’s nothing much to do in Seminyak except to eat, drink, shop, party and watch the sunset. We did all but party and shop as we basically had only 3 full days on the island.
In Seminyak, we did a lot of walking. Walking is still the best and cheapest way to see a city. While walking, we saw many trendy restaurants and interesting things you won’t normally see in Manila.
We stayed in Seminyak for the FOOD…
So what else can you do in Seminyak?
SIDE NOTE: If all the above don’t interest you, you can take trips to other neighborhoods or cities. Seminyak is so central that taking day trips to other places is possible and convenient. If you’re looking for more adventure like surfing, Canggu or Uluwatu may be the place for you. For more authentic Balinese experience such as visiting temples, meditating, art appreciation, look no further than Ubud. It has this hippie vibe going on there.
If we had an extra day or two, we would definitely include the following in our itinerary:
- Lunch or dinner at Mama San and La Favela.
- Drinks at Frankentein’s Laboratory and literally drink from syringes and IV bags.
- Visit Santo Mikael Church.
- A luxurious spa session at Prana.
- Play at SuperHero Factory.
- Have coffee and breakfast at Revolver Cafe and tacos and drinks at Sea Circus Bali.
- Tattoo Tuesday at Deus Ex Machina.
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Not fond of DIY tours? You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentals, rooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!