We arrived in the evening to our Airbnb where we checked into the Baby Mellon Villas on Mellon street. You can find tons of decent villas on airbnb for around $50 to $100 USD a night. We unloaded our luggage and then decided to take a brief stroll to Seminayak beach to watch the sunset before grabbing dinner. The beach was such a beautiful sight with arrays of colored umbrellas and bean bags chairs spread everywhere along the sandy shore. There were a ton of restaurants and bars on along the shore that you can grab a drink at while watching the sunset. The waves are mild here and the scenery is extremely relaxing and peaceful around sunset time. We then took a Gojek to Sarong, a very nice restaurant, for around $5 USD and had a very nice fusion meal by candlelight. The cost of dinner was around $70 USD which is much higher than if you were to eat at a local restaurant. The local restaurants are called Warungs and typically cost a lot less than the westernized restaurants that have been made very popular by bloggers and influencers in the recent years. Sarong got pretty busy around 7:30 PM. I would recommend making reservations if you plan on eating at any of the fancier or more popular restaurants in town during dinner time.
Westernized Eateries in the Seminyak Region
- Sarong – Elegant Dinner ~$100 USD, dinner for 2
- Merah Putih – Elegant Dinner,~$75, dinner for 2
- Sister Fields – Brunch spot
- Coffee Cartel – Vegan friendly brunch spot
On the second day we spent a day at Bodyworks spa and enjoyed a full hour long massage along with a full body scrub and full body yogurt masks. The price is relatively low compared to anything you can get in the US. The full body massage was around $25 USD. We then went up to northern part of Kuta to meet with a good friend at a café. The food and style reminded me of the cute cafes we had in Los Angeles. We then headed to the Denpasar Market, which was a totally different experience than being in Seminyak. The disparity between the lush villas and the lifestyle of the native Balinese is shocking to experience. It seems to me that westerners have set up their own little villages filled with tourist shops, boutique stores, and yoga retreats in the midst of Balinese villages. Much of Bali is westernized and caters the tourist population. It is very easy to navigate around the island, and cities and most people you encounter will know English. Our taxi driver told us that the Balinese people typically start learning English at a young age. Bali by far has been the most Instagram friendly place that I have traveled to; with restaurants that look like they were built from inspiration from Instagram hash-tag interior pages. In some restaurants that we visited, I wouldn’t have been able to tell from the inside alone that we weren’t in the states. Every blog that I read on the first page of the search results from Google led us to another westernized restaurant that served avocado toast or organic vegan pancakes. By our second day, I was determined to try authentic Indonesian fare. We found a place near __ called Warung Nia where we had ordered a Bali flavored combo of meat and vegetables. The flavor was still a little mild to my linking but I’m not too surprised because just nearby, there were a ton of places to shop that seemed curated for tourists. We headed back to our Airbnb to get packed up and leave Seminyak for Ubud (check out my blog post on Ubud) the next day.
Some General Tips:
- You would fly into DPS (Denpasar Airport) and take car transit to get to wherever you are staying. There are very few direct flights from the US to Bali.
- Current conversion rate from USD to Indonesian Rupiah: Here
- Rideshare apps can only be used in certain areas in Bali, make sure that you are not breaking any rules by getting picked up in a “red zone”. Gojek & Grab Car are the most commonly used apps.
- Rent a Klook wifi egg at the airport for pretty cheap so that you can use multiple devices while you are moving around. I would advise booking it before you get to Bali.
- Download Whatsapp to communicate with people in Bali.
- Scooters are probably the most economic choice for transportation, but they can be the most dangerous. We fell and suffered minor scrapes and injuries. Be very wary of the dogs that are in the street when riding a moped/scooter. Read the my blog post on Ubud for our experience.
- Bali experiences Island weather, which can be fickle and unpredictable. Be prepared for rain and wet, and humid weather.
- Warungs are local Indonesian restaurants and are typically not as fancy as the westernized restaurants.
Bali is one of those places one dreams to visit at least once in a lifetime. Seeing your descriptions and the pictures, it makes me want to travel now, even if it’s not possible. However, it is definitely in my list and I hope to experience that sunset someday.