Looking for a more upmarket and fashionable destination than Bali’s other main beach towns? A laid-back slice of Bali where you can still enjoy the perks of dining at fine restaurants, shopping at boutiques and finishing the day sipping something that’s maybe not a Bintang beer, Seminyak might just be the place! Quieter and less developed than Kuta, this once sleepy beachside town is today the place to be for Bali’s trendiest guests. If the designer stores, art galleries and shiny bars don’t sound like your scene, rest assured that the calm waters of Seminyak beach are for everyone.
If you’ve already been to Bali’s main tourist town, Seminyak's tag as a “grown up version of Kuta” might just give you some idea of what to expect on your visit. People are still attracted to Seminyak for the beach, shops and restaurants, but the ones you’ll find are much more refined than elsewhere along this stretch of Balinese coast. Its beaches, Seminyak Beach and Petitenget Beach, are more popular for watching a sunset rather than surfing, while it is high-end spas rather than rowdy bars that consume more of people’s time in Seminyak.
Eat And Drink
The past 10 years have seen Seminyak’s dining scene really explode and it’s here where you’ll find some of Bali’s best bites. Tasty warungs (local diners) where you’ll be able to sample Indonesian classics like Nasi Goreng (spicy fried rice) and Babi Guling (sucking pig) can be found right throughout the town. For a more upmarket meal, head to Jalan Laksmana, Seminyak’s main dining strip. Prices might be a little higher by Balinese standards, but are still cheap compared to what you’ll get back home for the same price.
Where To Stay
These days more than ever you really are spoilt for choice when it comes to deciding where to stay in Seminyak. Recently an area consisting almost exclusively of luxury and fashionable high-end accommodation, the middle end of the market has opened up to allow people on a smaller budget to enjoy sensational Seminyak. If you’re visiting in low season, grab a bargain at one of the family-run hotels in the lanes that run off the town’s main streets, while if money is no object to you, Seminyak is the place to indulge in a luxury oceanfront villa. No you’re not seeing an extra zero. Some of the beachside villas in the area can set you back over $3000 a night.
Forget Bintang singlets and pirated DVDs. Seminyak is Bali’s centre of contemporary and boutique buys. Along Jalan Laksmana, Jalan Raya Seminyak and the adjoining streets you’ll find many stores showcasing both Indonesian and overseas designers. Antiques, some genuine and some reproductions, can be found along Jalan Kerobokan. If you’ve hired a car or motorbike to come shopping in Seminyak from elsewhere, the Seminyak Square shopping complex, on the corner of Jalan Laksmana and Jalan Kayu Jati, even has public parking available.
Seminyak Like A Local
Though there’s no denying that modern Seminyak is very much a tourist town, a special encounter with the locals can be found at the sacred grounds of Pura Petitenget. Just beside the beach, this well-maintained temple complex is where locals come to shift down a few gears, make offerings to the gods and say their prayers. Best visited just before sunset when light catches the mossy sculptures in beautiful ways, if the gods are being kind to you there’s even a chance you might catch one of the spectacular beachside ceremonies during your visit.