I’ve spent the last 3 days in Seminyak, Bali, just chilling. Before I came I had a long list of things I wanted to do in Seminyak and surrounds – parasailing, horse riding on the beach, bali cooking classes, surfing – everything. Then I arrived and I was exhausted.
The last week of 4am bed times and 7am wake up calls on the Tao Expedition sailing trip in the Philippines along with a 6am flight from Manila to Singapore and that night’s ‘sleep’ on the floor at Singapore airport had really taken it out of me.
So I have ‘pottered’ my way around Seminyak catching up with work and just generally having a lovely time. This is how I’d like to travel from now on.
Here’s how you can enjoy 3 days in Seminyak…
First though, how do you get there?
Getting to Seminyak
Obviously it depends where you’re coming from. If you’re flying in say from Jarkarta or Medan, then you’re going to arrive into Ngurah Rai International Airport. Great news, you’re only about a 15 to 30 minute drive away and even better news, there’s a fixed rate taxi system in place.
Depending on whereabouts you’re staying in Seminyak, the amount of luggage you have etc, it shouldn’t cost you much more than the equivalent of £30, less if you’re splitting it. But make sure you handle your own luggage so you’re not entering dangerous tipping territory.
What you could do to make things a little easier is see if your hostel, homestay or hotel has a shuttle bus or transport they can arrange for you just to save any hassle.
If you’re coming from somewhere else in Bali, say Ubud or Kuta, your best option is still likely to be travelling by taxi. Rates will obviously depend on your origin but you’re welcome to put your bartering to use.
Getting around Seminyak
Breathe, you made it.
Now it’s time to work out how to get around. Seminyak is fairly walkable which is great because it saves money. You can walk along the beach from one end, say from La Lucciola restaurant (a winner by the way) and be at the Cocoon Beach Club at the other end of the beach, in just over 30 minutes.
Heading in land, you’re looking at roughly the same time.
If, in the heat, you’re just not feeling that walk though, you can opt to take a taxi. There are plenty all over the place so you won’t have trouble flagging one down and they’re incredibly cheap, but of course you have to get your haggling game on.
A third option is to rent a moped. Are you even in Southeast Asia if you don’t brave the roads? There are rental shops on almost every corner but maybe ask your accommodation for which they think is the best company.
For a day, you’re looking at spending about a fiver, bargain. Just make sure you’ve got your license, double check insurance is included and give the bike a once over for any damage.
Things to do in Seminyak
If, unlike me, you arrive in Seminyak pumped up and raring to get your tourist on, there is plenty to do in this little beach haven, aside from spreadeagle on the beach that is. The number one activity for most visitors is to surf. That could be because of the large portion of Aussies on holiday but that doesn’t mean it’s off limits for us pasty Brits. There are loads of surf schools dotted along the beaches and a 2.5 hour classes costs around £30.
If you’re better suited to being underwater, Seminyak is a great diving spot. For newbies, you can become PADI certified for around £50 or for old hacks there’s loads of dive sites to explore for around £100 an expedition.
Back on dry land, try horse riding through some of the rice paddies for £50, flex and pose with one of the many yoga classes for as little as £3.50 somewhere like Seminyak Yoga Shala (you’ll be ashtanging every day for that price) or get your cultural fix at the ancient and pretty stunning temple of Petitenget Temple.
Seminyak Night Market is also a must if you want to take home a few quirky bits but you’re never too far from some decent shops in Seminyak so hold back some baht for a walk down Jalan Laksmana.
If all that sounds far too intense and you’d planned to do nothing but veg, I’m with you and it’s definitely the option I went for.
If you want a super chilled three days in Seminyak, like me, then here’s what I’d recommend you do…
Day 1: window shopping, pork, pools and sleep
I got to my accommodation, Villa Chandra to find it was an absolute delight for my £8 a night. It’s rated 6/10 on Booking.com, and as I was welcomed by the sight of a pool and my own Balinese style bedroom for my pennies I wondered what exactly those moaning reviewers were expecting in life. They’d certainly never be happy.
I spent my first day of my 3 days in Seminyak chilling in the Villa Chandra pool, wandering the home and clothes shops (some ber-utiful things here), trekking down to the Echo beach (awoke on my sunbed dribbling) and scoffing a pulled pork butty at the Texas Smokehouse where they smoke the pork in huge tunnels in front of you.
I’d been confused by the exchange rate all day and it wasn’t till I sat down with a spa menu after getting stuck into the pork that I realised that an hour-long Balinese massage was just £3. A few minutes later and I was sprawled on the table at Bali Spa. I started off confident asking the petite masseuse for a strong massage, three strokes in and I felt like her fingers were running up my bare spinal cord she was that tough, I downgraded to medium, vowing my next time would be a soft.
After I pretty much sleepwalked home I collapsed into bed. It was 8:30pm and it wasn’t until exactly 12 hours later that I woke, with no interruption. Needed that.
Day 2: work, work, sleep
Next to the pork bar I’d noticed one of those hipster coffee shops inviting me in, the Pison Coffee Bar. So after an hour lie in debating what I’d do today I gathered up my laptop and made my way there. The Sunrise Breakfast – poached egg, mushrooms, toast and spinach – was just what I needed. I was feeling strong. Strong enough to start some of the work I’d gotten so behind on thanks to a week offline.
Getting the balance between ‘travel’ and ‘blogger’ can be difficult sometimes and just lately the scales have been touching the floor on the ‘travel’ side. Seminyak in Bali seemed like the perfect place to restore the equilibrium. It helped that it was raining and that I’ve got a slight cold, which left me feeling like I’d rather be in a hipster café in Seminyak than battling the Aussie teenagers that frequent the surfer area of Kuta in Bali.
I spent the afternoon in another coffee shop, after I felt like 4 hours was outstaying my welcome in Pison. I did space out a smoothie and a coffee to extend my time there, as well as the breakfast. The Fat Turtle was my new home and a pressed juice was my way in. I lasted 5 hours here, and enjoyed a Nasi Goreng Indonesian lunch/dinner to pay my stay. The weather didn’t get any better – perfect working conditions – and as the night fell I decided to forgo the spa and go to bed. Again, out like a light.
Day 3: Kuta, bike, beach
I rented a great little bike from over the road of Villa Chandra and made my way into Kuta. Kuta is the Australian area of Bali, I’m guessing a bit like Benidorm – pretty much everything you read with any credibility will recommend you steer clear, obviously that made me want to go even more.
It was a 30-minute drive from my hotel, past lovely shops, nice looking coffee bars and some great restaurants. I love being on a scooter – I can’t believe I’ve only just started to realise how great they are. The feeling as you’re driving to your destination and being out and open to the elements is impossible to beat. I spent the day in and out of the shops, lying on the beach for two hours, eating noodles at a beach side cafe and wandering round the markets of Kuta.
I decided to stop at Seminyak Square on the way back for a look round the boutique shops there. Obviously I forgot where I’d parked my bike and it took me an hour to find, and then when I got to it, it wouldn’t start. Taxi!
Day 4: work, food, Ubud
I went to fetch my bike with a guy from the shop in the morning. Turns out it was because I had the kickstand down and it actually worked perfectly, not the petrol like I thought. Oops.
Lots of work to do so I found a café in Seminyak to settle for the morning. Turned out to be the best café ever – 3three – lovely staff, delicious menu and the waitress even asked if I’d like a charger for my laptop. That’s never happened before!
Over the three hours I had an iced coffee, a very berry smoothie and, it was a difficult choice, but again I went for the Nasi Goreng. All delicious.
After lunch it was time to leave for Ubud. The Bali that was made famous in Eat, Pray, Love. I’ve spent the last year on the eating part, maybe it’s time I progressed through the Pray to be eligible for the Love. Hopefully visiting the temples in Ubud will be enough for whoever decides this progression.
It’s been a relaxing and productive 3 days in Seminyak – this is my kind of office.
Best spas in Seminyak
As you can tell, much of this trip for me was about eating, relaxing, and getting a load of work done. I only went to the one spa but Seminyak is famous for having multiple making it a miracle I managed to get so much done.
Bodyworks is a bit of a classic and much more affordable than some of the fancier options at £16 for a full body massage. It ticks all the boxes, including being a stone’s throw from the Potato Head Beach Club meaning you can go from massage to mojito in minutes.
The Prana Spa is a bit more pricey at £30 but the ambience is on point and for almost the same price you can have all that relaxing goodness take place on the beach. If there was ever a quintessential Bali moment this might be it.
If you do a quick walk around the area, you’ll also find ones with less fancy facades but even cheaper prices and often the staff there do just as good a job on the old joints. I went to Bali Spa, which was super cheap and got rid of all those ‘I spend a lot of time at my computer’ knots for next to nothing.
Best restaurants in Seminyak
Up next is the all important food in Seminyak. I spent a fair bit of my time in cafes rather than restaurants but there are more than a few good ones.
Made’s Warung is popular with the locals so it must be doing something right. It’s all about traditional Indonesian dishes like nasi goreng, tuna fish, and ribs in papaya for as little as a £4 price tag.
Warung Eny is also a treat but much more casual and understated, no fancy frocks needed here. Its food is among some of the best for local authenticity though and again bargain prices mean you can fill up for a fraction of what you’d pay back home.
For something a little different, Bo & Bun keeps it cheap at under a fiver for a healthy portion of Thai and Vietnamese classics like bao, spring rolls and pho and Sardine, a little on the fancier side, offers great seafood cuisine in a really cool bamboo built open air restaurant for £15.
And that’s a wrap. I hope I’ve introduced you to the delights of just some of what there is to see in Seminyak, Bali. I much preferred it to the rest of the island and had a great time on my three day tour of Seminyak – I hope you do too!
3 days in Seminyak: The Best Booking Resources
These are my favourite companies to use when I travel anywhere, including travel to Seminyak, Bali. They always give the best deals, the strongest customer service and after 8 years of travel as my job, they’re the ones I’ve found to be the absolute market leaders. These are the companies I turn to when I want to book my travel.
– Skyscanner – I always use Skyscanner. They’re my favourites thanks to the interface and wealth of results. Not all airlines are on there, so sometimes I just use them as a starting point. But it’s extremely rare that I’d ever book a flight without consulting Skyscanner first.
– Netflights – After Skyscanner I go and check Netflights to see what they come up with. They’re another comparison engine, and they promise the best deals. You can also book cheap holidays and your car hire with them too.
– Airbnb – Airbnb is great for groups looking for accommodation together, or for solo travellers just looking for a room. There are always plenty of options to get excited about on Airbnb. (If you’re new to Airbnb, get £25 off your first stay!)
– Hostelworld – I used to work for HostelBookers so it feels weird to recommend HostelWorld, but since they bought HB out, I feel it’s ok. They’re the best hostel booking site on the internet with the largest inventory and best search interface.
– Booking.com – I love Booking.com. Is it weird to love a hotel booking website? Yep. Well, the way they display their property pics and info just makes the decisions easy to come to. You can easily look for parking options, internet, reviews, location – and I love that most of the properties can be cancelled with no charge. Absolutely, definitely my favourite hotel booking site.
– Viator – if you want to book your activities and adventures before to travel to Seminyak then I’d recommend Viator. They have all the main things to do in Vietnam listed, and you can compare and contrast tours, activities and adventures.
– Post Office Travel Money – the Post Office is the best stop for your travel money. They have over 70 currencies and you can get free delivery to your home, or to collect in over 11,500 branches with 0% commission.
– World Nomads – As I mention above, somewhere, I have travel insurance with Nationwide FlexPlus. It’s fantastic. If I didn’t though, I’d get my travel insurance from World Nomads. They’re well known in the industry for their customer service, competitive prices and in-depth coverage. Never, ever travel without travel insurance – it’s absolutely not worth it.