City: Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia
Time of Year: February
Stay: Hotel Vila Lumbung was a lovely resort that is in a great location and a short walking distance from some of the great eats and sights of the area. The staff are incredibly friendly and hospitable just like all Balinese, and the rooms are clean and comfortable. The pool area boasts a waterfall and swim up bar, and the breakfast spread is impressive offering a range of hot noodle asian foods, fruits, pastries and breads, yogurt hot western food and their very own pancake station. What’s even more enticing is that travelling in February is off-peak and prices are very affordable.
See: Seminyak is known for its shopping and good eats. In this part of town you’ll find a lot more brand name stores you might be familiar with back home and it is generally the more expensive part of Bali to shop. My experience with browsing the markets was that the prices of clothing and jewellery were more expensive here than in other parts of Bali I have visited.
Save: Bali is already a fairly cheap destination to travel to and around but if your budget is super tight its always worthwhile having breakfast included as a part of your accommodation as this usually isn’t a significant cost. Having said that just about anywhere you eat that doesn’t have a waterfront view is going to be pretty affordable so I recommend just exploring and trying whatever takes your fancy. Two yummy finds I chanced upon were Biku, a tea longe/antique cafe, and Ginger Moon, home to the most delicious steamed buns I have ever tried.
Splurge: A meal at one of the many waterfront beach clubs, hotel restaurants or bars is definitely worth the indulgence. Dinner at the Potato Head Beach Club was a highlight for me. The prices of meals and cocktails are similar to Australian standards but the food is amazing and a sunset view makes it very worthwhile.
Eat: I just can’t get enough of Mi Goreng. I love the stuff. It doesn’t matter where I am in Bali, it is usually the first meal I order when I arrive.
Pack: Keep your clothing and underwear to cotton because you will sweat buckets in the humidity if you’re not used to it (like me). Hairspray was a life save for me as my thick blonde hair would just frizz up in the heat.
Good to Know: If you’re planning to swim stick to the hotel pool or the designated beachfront at your hotel. Some areas of Seminyak beach are designated sacred areas and showing too much skin can offend the locals.