After two trips to magical Bali, I felt that Seminyak is too overcrowded and busy for my liking. It’s the kind of place that draws you back to it even when you swear that you will not make another visit to this bustling town. Let me give you an idea of the things that I don’t like about Seminyak: As soon as I step my foot outside of the hotel, every single passing cab will honk at me to get my attention, each cab or motor bike driver will ask me if I want a ride and any average Joe standing on the busy sidewalk will offer me Valium pills, other drugs or even condoms!
Having said that, I have strong affinities to this commercial, touristy and super busy Balinese town. That’s why this post is dedicated to Seminyak’s top hangout spots and must-visit places.
What to See and Do
Go for long, mindful walks at Seminyak beach: There’s a secret: there are two, extremely diverse sides of the Seminyak beach stretch. While staying at Alila Seminyak
hotel and mingling with Canggu residents, I learned that if you walk towards the left side of the beach, you experience the touristy part. That’s where the sellers, the tourists and the surf schools are located. If you want a more peaceful walk, turn right from Alila Seminyak
and walk along Batu Belig Beach. This is where the authentic, local experience is. You’re more likely to see locals at a traditional Balinese ceremony, Canggu residents fishing or meditating by the ocean and an overall quieter vibe.
Take a Surf Lesson: After a failed attempt at learning how to surf while I stayed in Canggu, I don’t think I’m at a position to recommend a good surf school in Bali. I do plan to take lessons with a lifeguard/surf instructor on my next Bali trip, so I will surely update you with his details then ?
Have a strawberry mint smoothie at Warung Cantina: You know that strip of beach where it’s quieter and more authentic? This is where you will find a casual, cozy beach bar called Warung Cantina. It’s a perfect spot for sunset watching from a bean bag with a refreshing strawberry mint smoothie or tuna wrap (if you’re hungry). Ask for coconut milk to be added to your smoothie for extra flavor. Pure bliss.
More Things to See and Do
Buy sarongs and beaded Mandalas/bracelets from Bella and Soniya: I will be featuring these two lovely, positive ladies on my inspirational women section soon. They are the only two ladies who I ever purchase gifts from when in Bali. This is simply because they both emit positive vibes and passion for what they do. You can find them near The Legian Hotel or The Samaya Hotel, at the beach of course. Stay tuned for the June and July inspirational women features for more about these two beautiful souls.
Get a body or hair treatment at Bodyworks
: This is by far Seminyak’s top spa for both ladies and men. Book a deep-tissue massage, an anti-cellulite body scrub or a hair cream bath treatment and indulge in some Balinese quality me-time. Whenever I’m in Seminyak, I always make at least two trips (three on my last visit) to Bodyworks Spa. Yes, that’s how good it is. Just make sure to book in advance as the place is buzzing with tourists and residents all day, every day.
Where to Eat and Drink in Seminyak
Earth Café Seminyak
: I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that I’ve had my lunch (and dinner on one occasion) at Earth Café
every day while staying in Bali’s bustling town. The planet platter is a healthy option with daily changing ingredients. When I’m not having that, I like to go for the chickpea burger but ask them to put it in a wrap instead of a bun with a side of sweet potato fries and chili. Yum! Check out my post
about this wholesome, organic eatery here.
: For a romantic night out with your partner or a relaxed dinner with a group of friends, head to this Italian restaurant’s intimate garden. They have a great live jazz band every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday evening. Chilled ambiance, authentic Italian dishes and a starry Seminyak sky backdrop, what more could you wish for? ?
: Having visited Chandi
twice for dinner on my two Bali trips, I would say that it’s worth a visit for the food, but not so much the service. In fact, the service was below average the last time I was there with some local friends. Do give it a try if you’re in the mood for some Indonesian fine dining indulgence.
More Places to Eat and Drink in Seminyak
La Lucciola Bali: Another high end dining option with great sunset views. With its high popularity and demand, the place has become very commercial. When I visited for an early dinner on my first Bali trip, I felt that the staff wanted me in and out as soon as possible to make space for new guests. It was too dark for me to see my dish and the vibes weren’t welcoming at all. I would recommend you go there if you fancy some Italian in a Seminyak beachside setting. Get there early to watch the colorful sunset hues and make the most out of your dinner. Remember to book a table as it’s a popular spot.
: I can’t talk much about the food or drinks at Metis Restaurant and Lounge
because I didn’t get the chance to dine here yet. I did a brief tour of the place on my first Bali trip and met with the gallery curator (who no longer works there). But basically it’s the kind of place where you can meet new people and network in a modern, hip setting.
Alila Seminyak Beach Bar
: Alila’s beach bar is the farewell spot where I end each Bali trip. Right before heading to the airport, I like to visit this chilled, relaxed bar for one last Seminyak sunset watching session and a quick farewell with friends. Choose an oceanfront bean bag for the ideal Seminyak beach sunset experience and sip on your favorite mocktail or cocktail as you let your troubles dissolve into the stunning, surreal beach view. No words can even begin to describe this magical setting.
If you’re not interested in taking cabs or scooter rides on every single journey to and from your hotel/villa, you can shop at Seminyak Village Shopping Mall
and get a complimentary buggy ride back to your hotel/resort/villa! As long as you buy something worth IDR 150,000 from any store at the glossy mall, then you’re good to go. All you need to do is present the retail invoice to the information counter in return for a buggy ride voucher.
Also, check out Sensatia
for natural beauty products and pure aromatherapy oils. They have a great selection of aromatherapy oils to choose from, so make sure to make a stop and sample their all-natural skin care product range.