Travel Itinerary: Seminyak, Bali where to eat, stay and goMay 23, 2016
I didn't know Bali is so big. In my head, it's like Bangkok - you only need 3, 4 days maximum to cover everything. However I found out just how big Bali is during my first time there staying in Ubud (read my guide to Ubud too if you are thinking of staying there), which is why I had to go back a second time when I was enroute to Lombok/The Gilis over a long weekend in March 2016. This time I decided to stay at Seminyak, which is the less touristy version of Kuta in the south of Bali, closer to the airport in Denpasar. Going to Seminyak from the airport should be cheaper, especially if you can use Grab in the day with the free wifi at the airport -- otherwise I think it is somewhere between 180-200k rupiah from any of the Bluebird taxi operators.
Here's a Google Maps screengrab of most of the places I have been to or wanted to check out.
Where to stayI used HotelsCombined.com, which is a site aggregator for ALL the major hotel/accommodation booking sites like Booking.com, Agoda, Hotels.com and Expedia and allows you to compare and get the best available rates to find a hotel. Funny story - the room I stayed in at Primera Hotel near the Courtyard Marriott had a minor haunting on the first night, so I changed room and it was all good for the price (S$113 for 3 nights?). After coming back from Lombok, I stayed at Ananda Resort Seminyak, which was this huge bungalow compound along the super happening Jalan Kayu Aya street. The only complaint I had with my bungalow is.. it's too big. Haha. What, I know right.
|The pool at Ananda Resort in Seminyak|
Where to eat
Probably the best cafe to have brunch/breakfast items at in the heart of Seminyak - the coffee was also surprising and even better than what I had at Revolver the past couple of times! It gets crowded during weekends so be prepared to queue a little bit.
|My pancakes from Sisterfields was alright, but the coffee is much better|
2. Grain Espresso
One of the first places that I dropped in for for breakfast when I landed. The coffee's alright, but I really liked the hearty breakfast I go, plus the super friendly service from the staff!
1. Pitstop Burgers
Recommended by a friend in Singapore - Pitstop Burgers is a tiny shophouse, alfresco near Livingstone Cafe where you can get delicious burgers cooked to order. My burger was soft and juicy!
I wrote a full review of this Italian restaurant here, which is open mostly for dinner, but does a small lunch menu as well.
Instead of Mamasan, check out Made's Warung instead. It is one of those super-touristy huge eating compounds that even comes with a stage for local performances. I did not have any high expectations, but the Nasi Campur with Babi Guling blew me away. It was quite cheap too - under S$15 for a huge serving. The satay was so good. Amidst the food I also got to see the performances up close, which wasn't too unpleasant to say the least! They also have Thai, Viet and Western food there which I am pretty sure will be decent.
Based on another Singaporean friend's recommendation I headed to Lestari, tucked away at the back of the Courtyard at Marriott. It is a quiet little place with live music - my aglio olio with extra prawns was tasty, simple and well-made. Another romantic restaurant without too many tourists.
One of those places that most people who visit Bali would go, I wanted to visit it the first time around but did not have the time. It is about 40 minutes drive away by taxi. One my second visit I finally had time to go and catch a rather underwhelming sunset. It was a nice place though for half the afternoon, even though it takes quite some effort to get to. Some people say that couples who visit the Hindu temple on Tanah Lot will break up after the trip, so you have been warned... You can also go to Uluwatu's famous Rock Bar, but again it will take some time/money to get there.
|The beach along the Sheraton, on Sengigig Lombok|
|The pool at Sheraton Lombok|
|4 seasons pizza from The Lotus Bay View Restaurant|
|Seafood platter from Lotus Bay View restaurant, Lombok (SO GOOD)|
We then booked a mini bus, which included a slow ferry ticket to get us to Gili Air for our day trip one-way. We paid 60k rupiah for that. However when we got to the ferry terminal we decided instead of wasting time we would take a speed boat instead, which costs around 150k rupiah each two-way. Probably got ripped off, but Gili Air was worth it. The waters were so clear! We just walked around and ate some beach bar food while soaking in the Gili Air Festival (just a few bars playing DJ music).