Mini Guide: Intoxicating Seminyak

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.

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Be careful when you walk around Bali or you might just step on one of these little baskets filled with rice and some flowers on the sidewalks. These are called canang sari which Balinese offer to the Gods as a way of giving back for the blessings bestowed upon them.
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A path lined with bamboo (W Hotel)
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Thanks to my daughter for indulging me on my crazy photo ops. She was across the street from Sea Circus Bali  when she took this photo. Love the yellow bench against the Tiffany blue facade.
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The more colorful side of Sea Circus Cafe.
Dash Hotel Seminyak
This way to our hotel. Stop and smell the….

 

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A colosseum of mismatched shutters is one of the chill-est place to hang out in Seminyak. #PotatoBeachHeadClub

We stayed in Seminyak for the FOOD…

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A favorite brunch place is the NOOK. How can you not love dining in the middle of rice fields? Only in Bali!

 

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This is the bomb! Wah Wah’s Burger with Foie Gras was so delicious, I had to order another one as soon as I finished my first. So good!

 

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Our first breakfast meal in Bali was so healthy. Actually, Bali has a ton of healthy options such as this Acai smoothie bowl at Cafe Organic.

 

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Our dinner at Potato Head Beach Club. A sampling of local dishes including Babi Guling (similar to our lechon) and curry.

 

nasi lemak bali
In Bali, one must eat Nasi Lemak. It’s the most popular breakfast dish. But you can actually get it any time of the day. Every resto (from padang to 5-star) has a version of this dish.

 

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Balinese people like spicy food. That’s why I was not at all surprised to find Spicy Chicken Bites and Spicy fish bites in the McDonald’s menu.

….and DRINKS!

Motel Mexicola
Tacos & drinks at Motel Mexicola.  Yes, there’s a huge chunk of ginger in my drink.

 

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Even MG got to drink. This was a complimentary fruit nectar shot at Wah Wah Burger so don’t worry, it’s non-alcoholic. Just a palate cleanser and is actually healthy.

 

Mya Restaurant & Bar Seminyak
Happy hour in our hotel bar means drinks with burnt marshmallow. #MYA

 

Potato Head Beach Club Bali
Drinking out of a conch shell is not unusual in Bali. #PotatoHeadBeachClub

 

Dash Hotel Seminyak
Even take-outs are allowed. #theshack #Mojito

So what else can you do in Seminyak?

Deus Ex Machina
Shop at Deus Ex Machina for one of a kind items.  It’s a specialty shop that carries motorcycles, surf boards, trucker caps, and other accessories.

 

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Stroll along the iconic Seminyak beach and wait for the sunset.

 

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We love Bali!

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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seminyak-mini-guide

Not fond of DIY tours?  You can join one of these tours, and don’t forget to compare hotels, vacation rentalsrooms, or even homes for your trip before you go. And never leave home without Travel Insurance!

6 Comment

  1. Clara says: Reply

    The food looks amazing. I would go for that reason alone.

  2. Scott says: Reply

    We love to walk also when we visit a new city. As long as it is daytime, it’s usually pretty safe no matter where you end up!

  3. Elizabeth O. says: Reply

    It’s really beautiful there! I’m glad it exceeded your expectations. There’s just so many things to do and you can really immerse yourself in their culture while you’re there. The place is as relaxing as can be.

  4. What a journey, thanks for inviting and taking us along with you. I would enjoy the drinks, the shopping and beach watching too…For me the flight expense is not the point, afterall money is what we want it to be. Its the experience. Sorry to hear you got scammed. Such is life!

  5. I’m really glad that you enjoyed the place especially those foods! I would love to go in this place one day.

  6. I am jealous. I’d love to get to Bali. The shutters are amazing and the food looks great

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