Once a sleepy backwater of southern Bali, Jimbaran Bay has today come to life. A beachside destination where you can still experience traditional daily life, Jimbaran Bay is home to a pleasant beach, a growing number of luxury accommodation and just enough shops, bars and restaurants to keep you occupied on a rainy day. Only twenty minutes from Kuta, if you can’t afford to stay in a region known by some as the “Beverly Hills of Bali”, at least make time to visit and enjoy some fresh seafood and one of the best sunsets Bali has to offer.
The real reason people come to Jimbaran Bay is to unwind by the beach. With white sands and calm waters, Jimbaran’s laid-back beach is suitable for people of all ages. Come late afternoon, another attraction arrives in the form of one of the most beautiful sunsets in Bali. The town itself provides a few interesting sights, with the main one being the Jimbaran Fish Market. Located at the northern end of the bay, early morning is when restaurant owners from all over southern Bali come to Jimbaran to bag the day’s best catches.
Eat And Drink
Jimbaran Bay is synonymous with seafood and lining the beach are dozens of restaurants serving mouth-watering maritime finds. The beach area is split up into three different areas – north, middle and south. North is where you’ll find the most exclusive restaurants, middle beach has the most affordable establishments, while south is where to find a balance between no frills and fancy. It can be tough deciding which restaurant to choose, so simply take a stroll along the beach and browse the fresh seafood on display at restaurant entrances until you find a fish or crustacean you want to hook into.
Though Jimbaran offers less shopping options than nearby tourist areas, you don’t have to travel far if you’ve got some baggage allowance to fill. Along the beach are bamboo stalls selling sarongs and souvenirs, while Jimbaran Corner is the town’s main shopping destination, home to over 20 boutiques that sell a range of clothes, jewellery and homewares. Jimbaran shops cater almost primarily for tourists, so it is a better idea to hire a car or taxi if you plan to go on a shopping spree. Nearby Kuta is home to numerous malls selling international brands as well as typical tourist items like DVDs and Bintang t-shirts. If you fancy some serious shopping, head to the hillside towns around Ubud and stock up on locally-made art and furniture.
Where To Stay
Unfortunately for some, Jimbaran Bay is not a place that caters especially well to budget travellers. A destination favoured by those wanting close proximity to Denpasar airport and Bali’s popular sights, but a quiet escape from Kuta, close to the beach are a number of resorts and hotels that are perfect if you want to treat yourself. If you don’t want to break the bank, but are okay with splurging a little bit, it’s still possible to find a room in Jimbaran Bay - just take your pick from one of the smaller bungalows and locally-run hotels located a few blocks back from the beach.
Jimbaran Bay Like A Local
Local life hasn’t changed for decades at the Jimbaran Bay Fish Market. Still the place where Balinese locals come to fetch the best daily catch, rise early if you want to see the market in a frenzy of activity. Around 4am is when the market opens, but between 6am and 9am is when the market is the most frantic. It’s okay if you decide to hit the snooze button as meal time is an equally great period to visit. After taking your pick from the seafood on display, hand your purchase over at one of the grilling stations where for a couple of dollars you can have your seafood perfectly cooked up for you right there on the spot.