Where to eat, sleep and enjoy in Bali, and if it is worth the hype
Initially, I couldn’t wait to visit Bali. After all, everybody in Germany is talking about the Indonesian island. Hence, it was pretty clear that after moving to Singapore, our first trip in Asia would bring us to Bali. Our excitement was so big, that we even bought a new camera before the trip.
Our first impressions of Bali were already captured in our Vlog. You might have noticed, that we were unfortunately not as impressed with Bali as we expected. Anyway, the camera turned out to be wonderful and I certainly want to share the pictures at least.
You might wonder why Bali disappointed us and I will try to explain. Though I have to admit that my negative impressions have been relativized with a little more Asia-Experience. Because let’s be clear here: Asia is dusty, muggy, littered, full, a little chaotic – no surprise. And it is very much different from what we know from our “Western World”. While Singapore might be a great exception, Bali simply isn’t. However, it tries to adapt to western demands really well which probably had led us to a different expectation in the first place. Also, it is the adaption to western requirements that in my eyes destroyed Bali’s beautiful culture and its unique heritage.
Bali is popular, trendy, and over hyped and the Balinese make every effort to meet western wishes, which causes problems like the threatening traffic collapse, the increasing littering of the island, and the sea as well as crime, just to name a few. Frankly, this is an unhealthy ambivalence in my eyes.
Let me give you an example: 20 years ago, the Balinese still ate from banana leaves, which were afterward simply disposed of in nature. Due to the increasing demands of the most western tourists, the banana leaves were replaced by plastic plates, but the disposal or the handling of garbage has not developed further. Let me emphasize that: Some Balinese nowadays eat their food out of plastic dishes and then just throw it on the floor! This describes quite strikingly what I’m getting at:
Don’t get me wrong – I don’t want to be taken for a fool. After all, I’m the first person on holiday who wants to have avocado for breakfast… But when nature and culture suffer as much as it seems to happen in Bali, the question arises whether I genuinely need my avo toast at all costs. In my eyes, the exaggerated hype is destroying Bali, which is not least causing suffering to people, animals, and nature. And that’s such a shame.
Having said that, I need to clarify that we were only in Seminyak, Ubud, and Uluwatu, so I can’t talk about Bali in general, I was on the island for a period that was probably too short to see enough. Others rave about Bali, its nature, the artist’s town Ubud, and other parts of the island that I simply don’t know. I just can’t quite understand the hype about Bali, period. But that doesn’t mean, that I am not glad about the experience. I know that I’m in a very privileged situation to a) be able to travel around the country and b) to have the right to evaluate it.
In that sense, enough for me and my opinion about Bali. Here’s everything you know about Bali and especially Seminyak. Where to stay, eat, and enjoy?
Where to stay in Bali?
For our first visit, we have chosen the Indigo Hotel Seminyak which was excellent. With three outdoor pools and its own access to the beach as well as two restaurants, a bar, a huge gym and altogether a large green area, the hotel really offered enough to discover and enough space to walk around (if resort, then I like to move and not only want to go from room, to breakfast, to pool and back…)
Where to eat and drink in Bali?
x Single Fin Bali is an almost legendary cliff-top bar. It evolved from a surfers’ hangout but has now developed to a tourist hotspot. Make sure you make a reservation upfront and have a driver on site – we made the mistake to drive to Uluwatu without and happened to be lost.
x SugarSand beach bar & restaurant was located in our hotel which is why we spend there almost every day for either breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The food (sushi!!) was very modern, fresh and valuable.
x Ku De Ta, located right in front of Seminyak Beach, was Bali’s first beach club but if you expect it to be out-dated, you’re wrong. It is super modern, serves great and fancy drinks and the view on the sunset is unique. If you’re spending your holidays in Bali with friends, you can rent out your own pool in front of the beach.
x Unfortunately, we couldn’t make it to Potato Head even though we know their Singaporean branch and love it. Next time, we will make sure to give it a try.
Activities in Bali
x Ubud is a town on the Indonesian island of Bali in Ubud District and is regarded as the cultural center of Bali.
x The Ubud Art Market is a good place to find beautiful scarves, woven bags, prints, and many other hand-crafted goods. Locally known as Pasar Seni Ubud, the market is just opposite Puri Saren Agung (Ubud Royal Palace).
The Tegallang Rice Terraces are famous for its scenic landscape. Bali’s traditional, centuries-old cooperative irrigation system (known as subak) has created some of the most beautiful terraced landscapes in Southeast Asia.
Karang Boma Cliff in Uluwatu, also known as the Uluwatu Cliff, is a scenic viewpoint in the south of Bali.
The Uluwatu Temple is a Balinese Sea Hindu temple that is renowned for its magnificent location, perched on top of a steep cliff approximately 70 meters above the wave, and is considered a great place to see the sunset view in Bali. We watched the sunset from the Karang Boma Cliff from where we could see the temple at the very end of the cliff which was also magic. Next time, we will make sure to watch the sunset from this spot though.