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So you’ve only got three days to spend in Bali, Indonesia. Where will you go and what will you do?
We considered Kuta Beach but found it to be more of a party scene than the tranquil experience we were seeking. So we looked a little further north but not too far from the airport since we were only there for such a short time. This led us to Seminyak.
It seems a shame to only spend three days in Bali in retrospect. But we made the most of the time we had and here are some tips so that you can to.
Book a Private Villa with a Pool
This may seem extravagant but once we got there we found them on every single corner in Seminyak! So when in paradise, why deprive yourself? I mean when in Bali, do as your friends would do – bask in your private pool, post a gorgeous photo of it on Instagram and don’t forget to sit back and relax.
And while you might expect it to be way overpriced and expensive, it really is not compared to what you would expect in Vegas or Miami for similar digs. They start around $250 per night in Bali vs. $1,000+ in other locations around the globe! So, go ahead, live it up. You’ll thank me later.
We stayed in Maca Villas (view on Expedia) which is certainly on the lower end of the budget where we paid $238 per night and we were not hurting for luxurious lodging in this value-priced resort. It included a 5 course breakfast delivered every morning to our villa.
Get a Massage
There are many places to get massages here and you really cannot go wrong. But, the prices and experience vary vastly. Ranging from exclusive hotel spas to side of the road shacks, to find what you are looking for be sure to ask your hotel’s concierge for a recommendation. And, since they are likely to recommend their spa (if they have one), you probably should start by saying we want to see a new place so they don’t just charge it to your room right there and then!
But, once you have found the right spa experience for you, you will be greeted by a massage you’ve dreamed of. Perhaps on the beach or in a private open-air couples suite. Whatever you choose, the Balinese people know how to work out even the toughest kinks and leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated.
Drink the Koolaid – aka Bintang Beer
It’s the Corona of Bali and it tastes like heaven as you sit on the beach, relaxing and enjoying your vacation. I’ve traveled the world and tried the local beer in every country – some are great and some are downright awful. This one is really good! And, admit it, there is nothing better than a cold beer on a hot beach in an exotic location. It’s also less expensive than the alternative imports so drink up! When on vacation…
Grab a Cab – It’s Cheap
For what works out to about $2, you can grab a taxi from your villa to the beach or a local restaurant for dinner. And even if you want to go visit a temple an hour away, you can negotiate a round-trip price with the cab driver (you may want to ask your hotel for a ballpark figure before you get in) for around $25 that includes the hour or two that he will wait for you at the temple. So, while you can walk many places in Seminyak, there are not many sidewalks and it’s mostly dusty roads. So, either cab it or rent a motor bike. That’s how the locals travel.
Taxi tip: be sure there is a bluebird on the side of the taxi if you catch it on your own as they are the most reputable company on the island.
Visit a Temple
For the aforementioned $25 round-trip cab ride, we visited Tanah Lot. Tanah Lot is one of the most sacred Hindu temples in the area and also the most spectacular. It is located literally on the sea and as the tide rises, you can no longer actually reach the temple. So, it is only at low tide that visitors can make it to the main temple but that does not stop people from visiting all day, every day. It is especially beautiful to visit at sunset when the sun is low in the sky splashing lights of pink, purple, orange and yellow across the bright blue ocean. If you take the time to explore the spiritual aspect of this sacred site, you will leave a little lighter, even if you enjoyed a snack among the tourist shops in the area.
We like to eat and there is no shortage of good food in Seminyak. But, you have to make choices when your tummy starts rumbling. So, during our three-day stay we tried out the following restaurants and were quite happy to recommend them (so long as they are still open… we hear there is a lot of turnover in local eats.
This was a surprise to beat all surprises. It is a Japanese restaurant where you sit at the “bar” and they cook right in front of you – every single thing. And it is a very team oriented environment where the waiter shouts out your order as you are placing it and the cooks vocally accept the challenge and get started right away. This sounds annoying but it was actually quite the opposite – we felt like VIPs as everything was custom-made to order, on the spot. The service is fast, the atmosphere is beautiful and the food delicious. It is also further from the beach and a bit off the beaten path so the prices are very affordable and it is not a crowded party scene. Ratin was a fun and somewhat romantic experience for me and my husband but it could also be fun with kids.
When searching for restaurants, we started on TripAdvisor. That led us to a couple of really swanky, overpriced, stuffy places that were not letting us enter in nice shorts and tops. Really? It’s Bali people! So, we ventured across the street to find a much more approachable restaurant and happened upon this lovely patio restaurant. We learned that waroeng or warung means cafe in Indonesian which we also learned translates to a little less stuffy and expensive than “restaurant”. Great Indonesian food so you can get a taste of the local cuisine while also enjoying a lovely outdoor atmosphere, complete with colored lanterns hanging from trees and bug spray on the tables, because, well, you’re gonna need it.
Mase Kitchen and Wine Bar at Maca Villas
The last recommendation was not a far journey for this traveler as it is located at the hotel where we stayed. The wine bar has a great high-end feel and the wine selection is one of the best we found in Seminyak. Plus, you can drink your wine, beer or cocktails on a patio table beside the pool! It’s a pretty special place and, since the patio is behind the bar, it’s a quiet oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the busy roads. We only tried breakfast, but the food was outstanding. I would imagine any meal there would meet the same high standards so as not to disappoint!
See You Later Bali
While three days in Seminyak Bali was hardly long enough, we made the most of our time by checking off every box on this list above. There were also some less savory aspects of our visit but overall it was pretty remarkable. Not many places that provide a spiritual awakening alongside your massage and beers! Bali is a special place for sure and I cannot wait to go back to spend more time on the spirit rather than the spirits. 😉
What is your cannot miss recommendation for a quick visit to Seminyak, Bali in Indonesia?
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