TRAVEL BLOG

Let Finns Take The Tension Out of Planning Your Next Party

Does the thought of planning a kids’ party put you into a cold sweat?

Don’t be deterred from organising an awesome day for your favourite family member just because you think you have to put together the event yourself. Finns Recreation Club is the perfect place to host your next family celebration. With all of the entertainment options you’ll ever need to keep everyone happy, excited and entertained Finns is a one stop shop for birthdays, end of term celebrations or graduation parties.



Where else would you be able to find a safe and secure venue with such a variety of activities to suit every age group?

Long gone are those grim days where party games to engage your guests were limited to pass the parcel and pin the tail on the donkey! At Finns, the only limit to your party program is your imagination!

Plan your next party around activities to really get your guests involved and active.

You can choose an entertainment package that focuses on one or two venues or include them all and with trampolining, ten pin bowling, water slides and a kids only club to consider, the options are exciting!

In this digital age, kids spend enough time glued to a small screen so any opportunity for some activity is always welcomed and what kid wouldn’t want to spend their birthday at a water park with their mates! Splash Water Park offers a great variety of slides and rides to engage partygoers in a day filled with thrill seeking and aquatic fun yet intimate enough to keep a close eye on your crew. Lifeguards on duty ensure that guests are safe and under care and attention at all times. There are ample undercover areas for groups to gather for private functions and Splash can fashion a food and beverage package to suit your group.

If you want to ensure wet weather doesn’t threaten to dampen the party mood, choose Bounce Trampoline Centre for the kids’ next birthday bash. The tramp team can put together a line up of party games like dodgeball, your very own disco or simply a few hours of free bouncing! You could also create a combo and include a few games of ten pin on the lanes at Strike Indoor Bowling adjacent to Bounce and Strike Cafe provides the perfect place for party groups to enjoy birthday cake with a view over the Bounce Arena.

Birthday guests a little too tiny for bowling or bouncing? Cubby House Kids Club is king when it comes to planning parties for pint sized peeps! As well as providing a fully supervised and secure area for the kids to run and play, Cubby House also has designated party rooms where the birthday crowd can celebrate in private. The party planners at Cubby House can create a themed party complete with drinks and snacks to satisfy your hungry crowd.

Adios any trauma and tears associated with party planning and contact the experts at Finns Recreation Club to help you put together the perfect birthday celebration for your cherub’s next milestone.
Email them on: [email protected] for an event free of headaches and hassles allowing you to be a part of the fun too!


Finns Recreation Club
Raya Pantai Berawa, Canggu – Bali
Phone : +62 (361) 848 3939
Email : [email protected]
www.finnsrecclub.com

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It’s Summer Somewhere!

Because I love swimwear, and that feeling of being poolside, on a beach or even better….melting in the Sun on a super yacht in the Mediterranean Sea, and because I’m currently dreaming of booking my yearly jaunt to Greece, I am all about those Summer styles. So let’s dream of the sunshine beaming through our Australian winter and think swim.

This season’s trends are simple, we are sheer and chic. Tones of the sunset across a turquoise sea shine through my new ‘Concrete Jungle’ collection that will be released in stores all over the world later this year. Keeping true to my boho vibe, I’ve chosen classic styles and reinterpreted them with a twist featuring high neck one pieces, classic overall style coverups and variated length kaftans.

Trending hot for summer is my personal fave, the classic one piece. Timeless, versatile and ultra flattering, a good one piece will have you looking stylish and put together, while covering any places that need a little coverage. After a swim, simply throw on a kaftan and you’re good to go from beach to casual drinks instantly.

So if you are traveling to the European Summer during our winter, visit our website for inspiration and new styles, and if not, have a look just to warm up!

10 BEST REASONS TO VISIT FIJI

“For the next few months I’m going to be highlighting some of paradises.com favourite holiday destinations starting with one of the worlds most popular, Fiji”

BULA= Like the Hawaiian word aloha, bula actually has a variety of meanings and uses. Its literal meaning is “life,” and when used as a greeting it implies wishes for continued good health (the official formal greeting is “Ni sa bull vinaka,” meaning “wishing you happiness and good health,” but it is almost always shortened to just plain Bula!”

From the moment you step foot on Fijian soil you’ll be greeted with a vigorous friendly Bula and until the moment you leave, Bula will be ringing in your ears.

Fiji is one of Australians favourite holiday destinations for a variety of reasons and has been for many years.

And these are some of the reasons…

  1. The close proximity to Australia makes this exotic holiday destination so accessible.
  2. The variety of hotels and resorts mean there is something for every budget from backpacker hostels, village homestays, to five star resorts on private islands where butlers are at your beck and call.
  3. Activities abound including secluded island boating tours and private deep sea fishing
  4. Multiple water sports activities which include kayaking, jet skiing, jet boating, parasailing and much more
  5. Diving and snorkeling adventures
  6. Village tours, which can include volunteer work at a local village school or hospital
  7. Zip lining and boundless off road adventures
  8. Golf
  9. Beautiful beaches
  10. Extraordinary culture

I could keep listing activities to do or I can suggest you find a daybed by the pool with your favourite book and a cocktail and enjoy the

exceptional ambience and family like feel of one of the world’s finest holiday destinations.

Please go to paradises.com to find out the best accommodation deals for your once in a lifetime Fijian holiday….BULA

HOW TO GET THERE:

Vicki Gilden at Rose Bay Travel
(02) 9371 8166

Beach umbrella on blue sky background with clouds

Activities in Cambodia

Beach umbrella on blue sky background with cloudsWith its spectacular beaches, Cambodia has much to offer for those who just want to unwind during their holidays. But if relaxing is getting to be a bore, then you can always get some fantastic shopping done and top it all off with some rocking night time partying. On the subject of shopping, Cambodia is the perfect place to buy silk, ethnic / artistic pieces and silver work. Expect to find Buddha themes predominant in the art pieces. If regular shopping is what you need to do, then the Russian market is a good stop. Souvenirs, western clothing, handicrafts, fake ‘antiquities’ and knick-knacks of all kinds – this market has it all. The Psar Thmei or Central Market is a good place to go to if you want to avoid the sun during your shopping spree.

The market features a stunning domed hall that is anMassage by fishes added attraction. You will find the shops more organized here and there are food stalls if you want to ‘refuel’ in the midst of your shopping. Willing to bargain hard? Then Psar Cha is a shopping center that you will find quite interesting too.

Take a tuk-tuk ride to the nearest local night club or spa just to experience the novel transportation method. And while you are at it, also experience the ‘fish pedicure’ where little fish nibble your feet. Don’t worry, it is safe, although maybe not the perfect activity for the ticklish or squeamish. The Siem Reap night market is a great place to get some really cheap shopping done. There are quite a few casinos here where you can play games of chance and test your luck too.

3 Things To See and Do from Nagarkot

Approximately 25km to the East of Kathmandu, in Bhaktapur District, you can capture Nepal at it’s essence. Nestled in the hills and crevices of the Kathmandu Valley, beyond the famous heritage site of Bhaktapur itself, a beautiful selection of villages, temples and nature await.

I spent 8 days in this gorgeous nook of the world in November 2016. I found the climate in Nepal to be comfortable this time of the year. Daytimes were warm (in the mid 20’s) and nights were cold- a result of the altitude. Telkot was my base point- a tiny village in the hills, 10km below Nagarkot. Nagarkot is renown for it’s spectacular views of the Himalayas and Kathmandu Valley. I made my way here via a local bus from Kathmandu via Bhaktapur- an adventure in itself! Weaving through the dusty backroads with the locals, you feel you could be on the Knight Bus from Harry Potter, (Nepal, after all, isn’t known for having quality roads.) Having caught the bus too far, I was lucky to capture the view from Nagarkot when stopping by the luxurious KavyaEpikurean Resort for Nepalese tea and directions. A week here in the hills enabled an oasis of serenity, with a selection of must-see sites within reachable distance. Here are my top 3 excursions:

Changu Village

Changu is located on a high hilltop surrounded by forest, a panorama of the Himalayas completing it’s landscape. You can walk here from Telkot (the next nearest village), passing by the huts and farms of the locals along the way. The beauty is in the contrast between snowy mountainsand a landscape below that in not unalike desert villages I’d expect to see in Africa.

walking with friends to Changu Village, seen in the distance
Cows and Goats

The village of Changu houses the ancient Hindu temple of Changu Narayan, one of the oldest in Nepal. This temple miraculously survived the 2015 earthquakes while the village around it near- shattered. The locals are gentle, many of them selling quality, inexpensive home-made goods on the lane leading up to the temple. They have been working together to rebuild their village, and it’s fulfilling to be able to support them. Should you wish to stay longer, homestay with a local family is also an option. (Regrettably, I wasn’t able to do so due to my schedule.) With a 3 hour return walk- if you’re coming from Telkot- the combination of stunning views, history and shopping make for a lovely day.

Changu Temple

Sankhu Village and Bajroyogini Temple

Stand in the right place and you’ll see the vast village of Sankhu sprawled in the valley below Telkot/ Nagarkot. Surrounded by crop fields, and with a river that weaves its way around the outskirts, Sankhu provides a classic example of Nepalese daily life. Take a walk down the hill from Telkot to capture the valley in it’s entirety (the nearest buses go to Telkot, or to Sankhu itself if you’re coming from the direction of Kathmandu.) Greet the locals as you pass through- you’ll find they are as interested in learning about your culture as you are about theirs.

The view of Sankhu as seen from the direction of Telkot and Nagarkot Heights

Across the valley and halfway up the opposing hill lies Bajrayogini Temple, celebrating a Hindu Goddess by the same name. Getting there requires a walk up over 1000 steps through the jungle (a challenge- I won’t deny it) though the view is worth it. The main temple is 3 stories high and beautifully constructed. Monkeys, goats and cows can be seen along the way. Go there on the right day and you’ll be able to sit and listen as Nepalese play music and sing in celebration of their God. As you return through Sankhu, stop for some lunch at a local restaurant- after all that walking, you’ll need it

The steps to Bajrayogini
The temple itself

Sunrise at Nagarkot Heights

At 2,195 meters, Nagarkot Heights offers panoramic views of the Himalayas (including Everest) and Kathmandu Valley, making it one of the most scenic places in the District. Coming here at sunrise is probably the best way to see it. This will require an early start- but do ensure you get up there in time to source a prime location for the spectacle. To watch this everyday occurrence in such grand surroundings is truly powerful. The Himalayas sure have a way of capturing your full and undivided attention. If possible, take some masala tea up there with you. Not only will it keep you warm until the sun rears it’s head, but it will add to the experience of capturing Nepal’s finest.

Sunrise at Nagarkot Heights.

Why I Fell in Love With Hoi An, Vietnam

Visiting the graceful historic port of Hoi An felt like taking a glimpse into an older version of Vietnam.

The peaceful Old Town is filled with ancient tea houses, Chinese temples and perfectly preserved merchant houses. Unlike the huge sprawling metropolises of Hanoi or Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An is small enough to navigate on foot. It is much quieter and more laid back – without the snarling swarms of motorbikes at every intersection.

I fell in love with the elegance of this old fashioned town as I explored its narrow alleyways and peaceful streets. There are many things to love about Hoi An – here are the aspects of the city that enchanted me:

The Food

Food in Vietnam was superb and dining in Hoi An, on the atmospheric streets surrounded by colourful lanterns, was a delight. There are several fantastic restaurants there serving up the fresh, fragrant and flavourful Vietnamese dishes such as spring rolls, Pho, Banh Mi and Bun Bo Hue.

Whether you are looking for a cheap authentic local lunch from a street cart or a night of fine dining in a luxurious restaurant, you’ll find a great selection in Hoi An. If you like seafood you can head out to the beach at An Bang. There are also plenty of food tours and cooking classes to enjoy.

The People

Another reason to love Hoi An is the people. In this quiet town the pace of life is a lot more laid back, so you have more time to stroll down the street, smile at people and strike up a conversation.

Linger in a cafe or chat to the local street vendors – the people you meet and talk to will be one of the most memorable parts of your visit. We had a great time talking to our guide who took us on a boat tour down the river, he had a warm and welcoming smile that I will never forget.

The Architecture

You will get a sense of history as soon as you arrive in Hoi An. The town mostly consists of beautiful timber-frame buildings, brightly painted pagodas, ancient temples and 200 year old shophouses. The town itself is designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the many ancient temples, bridges and other buildings.

There are many heritage buildings that have been lovingly restored and can be visited for a fee.The streets are blocked off to motorbikes and cars during the day, so it’s easy to wander around and explore the colourful buildings without worrying about getting run over! When you are visiting historic sites and temples in the Old Town, make sure that you dress respectfully and cover your shoulders and legs.

The Affordable Custom Made Clothing

One of the amazing things about Hoi An is that for a very affordable price you can get beautiful one of a kind custom tailored clothing made for you at one of the many tailor shops. No matter what you want, whether it is a pair of pajamas, a suit or an elegant evening gown, you can have it made for you at a fraction of what you would pay at home.

My boyfriend Lee had a suit custom tailored while we were there and I got a lovely dress. I would love to go back again and have lots of different clothing made. Many of the tailors are so talented that you can simply show them a photo of a piece of clothing you like in a catalogue and they will be able to recreate it.

The Beautiful Colours

Bright red silk lanterns, emerald green rice paddies, banana yellow houses with cyan doors- Hoi An is a photographer’s dream. The brightly painted walls and curved roofs are a result of hundreds of years of history.

It is a feast for the eyes, with splashes of colour on every surface and a lively energy in the streets. If you truly want to be overwhelmed by colour and texture, visit the Central Market in Hoi An where vendors gather to sell live chickens, fresh tropical fruit and handwoven crafts.

These are just a few of the reasons why I loved Hoi An. When you make your own trip there, you are likely to find things about this charming place that will make you fall in love with it as well.

How to dress when the temperature is soaring…!

Hi to all my paradises.com regulars and guests.

Planning your outfit every morning is hard enough on a normal day, however when the temperature is soaring and you are expecting to turn into a frizzed, bloated, sweaty mess in the midst of the day, the job becomes 100% harder.

The idea is to gain the maximum amount of “breeziness” in your outfit, starting with your shoes. Opt for a comfortable and chic open toed sandal but make sure they are broken-in and don’t pinch, blisters are not conducive to an effortless look.

The most important rule for that blistering heat and one that is often dismissed is, bigger is better. Try a loose kaftan or shirt as pictured (our Lisa Maree Symbol of Simplicity cotton Kaftan in black), this will allow the air to circulate, a tight crop or shorts tend to add to the sweat factor.

Sweat stains, the elephant in the room. Avoid sweat stains by wearing a mesh cotton or a style with low scoop arms, like our “Escape the Truth” crochet one piece swimsuit under a pair of pants or shorts. The knit won’t show any sweat and the open back will give you an overall coolness from the top down. Always opt for darker colours, to hide the shvitz!

Layering. It may seem like a winter option, however layering in summer is actually key. We’ve done so in the below image in all white using our ‘Escape the Truth’ crochet one piece. Layering allows movement, in summer your’ll find one piece will stick and tug and you’ll be constantly counter-tugging and adjusting your outfit. Layering allows movement and also the option of removing layers if need be.

Natural Fibres! Anything synthetic will start the sweat. Stick to cotton and natural fibres that are on the loose side to allow your body to breathe and add movement.

Swim tops are made to keep you cool! When the thermometer is rising use a swim top as a bustier or crop paired back with a high waist skirt or pants. It’s not work appropriate but on a casual date night or a weekend hang, this can be an incredibly smart option!

Lisa Maree
xxxx

CEO & Founder
LISA MAREE GROUP
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BALI FOR FIRSTIME VISITORS

The myriad of tourist attractions in Bali can easily overwhelm first-time visitors. But, here are five things on the island that any newcomers shouldn’t miss Words:

 

Close up of a traditional Balinese God statue in Bali temple

#1. Kecak dance

Kecak Dance is the most dramatic and unique Balinese dance, and a trip to Bali will be less than ideal without experiencing this grand and mystical performance first-hand. In a nutshell, Kecak Dance is typically performed by no less than 150 people. It is a combination of drama and dance, adopting the epic Ramayana. The dance is always performed just before sunset for a good reason—the ruby-red splendor of the setting sun to visually serenade the dance. And as the story unfolds, the lights from torches add magic to the chants and the delicate limbs of the dancers. Garuda Wisnu Kencana in South Kuta is one of the best places to enjoy Kecak dance. There are Aston Ungasan Hotel & Convention Center, The Beverly Hills Bali and Harris Hotel Bukit Jimbaran for some of the accommodations near the location.

See Also

What To Do & Where to Stay in Sanur, Bali

#2. The Ultimate Splash

For a fun splash-filled day and adrenaline-pumping slides, you can do no wrong for opting for Waterbom Park. Located in Jalan Tuban in Kuta, Waterbom Bali offers nine extraordinary rides. They are truly challenging and are sure to be unforgettable. Waterbom Bali is home to Constrictor, the longest tube-shaped slide in the world. There are also extreme slides, like Boomerang and Climax. No wonder Waterbom Bali is dubbed The Best Waterpark in Asia. Garden Beach Resort and Adhi Jaya Hotel are two of the hotels located near the waterpark.

Asia Bali Indonesia Ubud elephantsafaripark 002

#3. On the Back of a Gentle Giant

Soaking in the soothing greenery while sitting atop a friendly elephant should be in your agenda before and after frolicking at the beach. At Elephant
Safari Park in Ubud, managed Bali Adventure Parks, the smart and gentle elephants are unlike any other—they can even paint! The park also has lodges where you can crash in and be greeted by a giant funny face of an elephant appearing at your window in the morning.

 

#4. Under the Sea Moment

Bali offers some of the best locations for snorkeling and diving, either for a family or for more experienced divers. Sanur Beach is one of the best places for snorkeling due to its gentle waves and clear water. It is an ideal starting point for going to Nusa Penida Island or Lembongan Island. You can easily find snorkeling instructors in Bali with varied rates. Sanur Beach Hotel is an affordable hotel to stay in, as well as Puri Sading and Puri Santrian. Another location to visit is Tulamben in the northeast of the island. The place is the best place for snorkeling in Bali with its black-sand seabed and hundreds of schools of beautiful fish, including lion fish, scorpion and blue-spotted stingray. Matahari Resort and Blue Hill Resort are some nearby accommodations.
Asia Indonesia Bali Uluwatu semarauluwatu 011

#5. Surfs Up!

Bali and surfing are a match made in heaven. For first time visitors to the island, you can take on a surfing lesson at Balangan Wave Surf School in Uluwatu and revel in a captivating day riding the waves. You can spend the nights at either Balangan Paradise or Aman Gati Hotel during the holiday.
Alternatively, Dreamland Beach is a 100-meter stretch of white sandy beach leaning on a white stone cliff. You can take on a surfing lesson from Padang Padang Surf Camp, and stay at one of the many hotels in the area.

Where to stay:

 

WHAT TO DO AND WHERE TO STAY IN UBUD, BALI

Ubud, the cultural sanctuary located surrounding heavenly temples and picturesque paddy fields, is where local and international artists called it home.

Tourists coming to Bali aregreeted with the island’s local charm and pampered with anendless variety of attractions –all guaranteed to make the most of your stay here on the Island of Gods, from beach strolling fun and great shopping bargain to cultural excitement. And Ubud is where you should visit to get the island’s spiritual vibe. Contrary to the always busy Kuta and Denpasar, it boasts unspoiled country side with the hoopla as created by the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love. Don’t miss cultural performances and attractions, usually held in beautiful temples, art centers and local theaters. Aside from the presence of art galleries, you will also find an interesting array of restaurants, bars and cafes and streets of shops selling goods from local artisans. All in all, Ubud is where it preserves local culture while opening its doors to foreign visitors.

Where is Ubud?

Ubud’s central location is quite convenient for tourists to go visit the mountainsand other places of interest on the island, such as beaches and shopping and entertainment centers. Dubbed the cultural capital of Bali, Ubud is home to local galleries, art museums and luxury accommodations.

How to get there?

Ubud is a 60-minutedrive from NgurahRai International Airport, located on the slopes of Bali’s central mountainous region.

What to find in Ubud?

Ubud is a highly recommended destination for art enthusiasts. Endless galleries are stretching from east to west, running from Peliatan cross roads all the way to Sayan. This is where you can expect to find unusual facades as well as Balinese fabrics, carvings, jewellery and paintings.

Art museums are also among most popular destinations here. Museum PuriLukisan, Antonio Blanco Museum, Neka Art Museum are just to name a few of art museums you can explore in Ubud – exhibiting rich varieties of artworks, from paintings to sculptures and other worth seeing masterpieces.
Saraswati temple is one must-visit site. This artistically magnificenttemple is dedicated to honor the Hindu Goddess Saraswati, the goddess of learning, literature and art. Entering inside the temple, your eyes will be feasted on the beautiful water garden with lotus pond at the center.

Other tourist attractions are Monkey Forest Sanctuary and PuraDalemAgung(Great Temple of the Death). The former is the home to dozens of macaque monkeys. Some are mischievous, but they are actually funny and entertaining. Just explore the forest and befriend them. There are several sacred sites in the forest related to the Balinese Hindu belief. Pura Dalem Agung is one of them. Literally meaning Great Temple of the Death, the temple is dedicated to the goddess of death, Durga.

As Ubud is also known for its peaceful mood, therefore holiday in Bali should also include staying in one of the available luxury hotels which offer spa treatments and healthy retreats with stunning view. Indeed, Ubud is known for its plethora of spas offering varieties of modern and traditional spa treatments. Karma Spa, Lembah Spa, Reflexology Bali are some of the popular spa venues. Try any of the traditional treatments on the menu from any of these venues. They are really good and complement your holiday on the island.

Where to Stay?

Royal Pita Maha Hotel was built using the traditional Balinese design methods, meaning the resort is fully integrated to its surrounding. Overlooking the Ayung River, the accommodation was built and is managed by Ubud’s royal family. If art is the reason of you staying in Ubud, this hotel regularly invites local artists and dancers to perform on its open-air stage and at in-house art gallery. FuramaXclusive Villas and Spa Ubud is another nice alternative. A 30-minute-drive from Denpasar, FuramaXclusive Villas and Spa is located in BanjarBindu. This place is fit for those seeking to stay within the tranquil area, but requiring an instant access to the city. But if you’re in the town for yoga, spa and romantic dining, you may want to consider Viceroy Bali.The place offers such facilities, and is also conveniently situated within minutes from the town center.

When to Visit?

Ubud Writers and Readers Festival is one annual event held in Ubud, usually taking place in October. The event gathers writers around the world with such activities as book launches, cultural programs and others related to the festival. Ubud can be crowded when international festivals are held or during holiday seasons. Regardless of the month you visit, Ubud never lost touch with the spirit of a close and pleasant rural community. If you miss the beach, Nusa Dua or Sanur can be easily reached within an hour or so.

Where to stay:

SOMEWHERE IN SEMINYAK

Seminyak is Bali’s most sophisticated playground where hip restaurants and clubs stay next door to fancy shopping boutiques and modern beach resorts.

Having lived in Bali for two years has given me a great opportunity to know and see the island through and through. Having lived in Seminyak, to be precise, for most of my time on the island has been remarkably enjoyable. For one, it’s presumably the island’s downtown, the place to see and be seen. And secondly, it remains right at the heart of everything—a beautiful beach for sunsets, fabulous retail counters, fine eateries, eclectic clubs and fantastic accommodations.

Where is Seminyak?

Seminyak is ten minutes away from Kuta, where the international Ngurah Rai airport is also located. It stretches along the Seminyak Beach, which actually remains part of the long strip of the west coast of Bali. Seminyak can also be a great spot for you to take a break before continuing your journey to Canggu or Ubud or even Menjangan at the west end of Bali.

How to get there?

Bali can be a little bit trying when it comes to transportation. From the airport, you can get a taxi to drive you there, although an island’s insider would advise you against getting on any taxis other than BlueBird taxis. The typical scene is that as you arrive at the airport, a pack of taxi drivers will approach and even come to the point of hustling you. Simply ignore them and walk straight through to the taxi stand. There’s a booth there showing the flat rates according to the destination you’re going. The BlueBird taxis I mentioned earlier may sometimes pass by the taxi stops, but if not, you can fetch one outside the airport, that is five to ten minutes walk. They all use taxi meters and normally the cost is comparably cheaper. Mind you, there are other taxies copying the BlueBird logo and color, though. So make sure you pick the right one. You can, otherwise, have the hotel’s driver pick you up at the airport. If you’re in for an adventure, go out to the motor parking area to find “ojek,” motor taxis, that will take you to Seminyak for a bargain.

Taxi ride from Bali airport to Seminyak is a short drive, the airport taxi fare is Rp60,000 or USD$6. If you don’t have a lot of luggage and you don’t mind trying to catch a blue bird taxi outside of the airport it will cost half price.

For more information, check out: Bali Airport Guide (Transportation)

What to find in Seminyak?

On Jalan Seminyak Raya, you’ll see a lot of clothing retails as well as inviting restaurants. A great pit stop would be the Bintang Supermarket, smack bang between Legian and Seminyak. Here you can either stock up on local Bintang beer or purchase exotic items the island has to offer—frangipani massage oil is a must-buy! From there, you can saunter at ease and head north to discover so much more.

The Bar Street :

At the crossroad of Jalan Camplung Tanduk (also known as Jalan Dhyana Pura), you’ll see Warung Ocha that’s usually packed with surfers and flip-flopped ladies sampling Balinese and international meals. Jalan Camplung Tanduk is infamously known by the islanders as the bar street, where round-the-clock diners and a bevy of bars crowd together on one long lane leading to a stunning beach. Before the coastline though, there is a string of four gay bars that will give French cabarets a run for their money with drag shows and sometimes a pole dance. Some nearby accommodations vary from reliable three-starred lodgings such as FaveHotel Seminyak, to upscale hotels like Courtyard Seminyak by Marriot Hotel, The Breezes Bali and Anantara Seminyak.

The Eat Street :

Further down north, you’ll hit an intersection where the Shampoo Lounge—a hair salon attached to a bar—resides on the right-hand side. Take the left road and you’re bound to meet another intersection where Will Meyrick’s super-delicious MamaSan Restaurant is snugly nestled on the right turn. But take the left turn instead and get ready for a culinary adventure through Jalan Laksmana or Oberoi (the frequent changes of the roads end up in road-name confusion). It’s not much of Balinese cuisine, but Italian, Greek and Japanese fares are running this traffic-laden lane. Strolling on your feet is much more advised, as there’s tons of awesome shopping outlets you don’t want to miss. By the way, the Eat Street is also packed with wonderful hotels: The Ize Hotel, U Pasha Hotel, The Legian, The Seminyak and The Sentosa Seminyak. All these are within walking distance from the must-visit Ku De Ta beach restaurant and bar.

The Petitenget Street :

It’s not Seminyak yet if you haven’t been on one of the island’s best kept secrets: The Petitenget Street. Literally meaning “Sacred Chest,” Petitenget is marked with a stunning, incredible landmark that is Petitenget Temple. It is glorious in stone carving and located a stone’s throw away from the beach. You can dine at Petitenget Bistro next it to while admiring the temple’s magnificent presence. But Petitenget’s claims to fame are these three must-visit venues: Hu’u Bar, Potato Head Beach Club and W Resort Bali-Seminyak. But as you trot along the winding road of Petitenget, you’ll discover many hole-in-the-wall eateries and boutique accommodations, such as Alila Seminyak, Hu’u Villas, The Samaya and The L Hotel.

Where to Eat?

Although Seminyak is practically restaurants galore, my three favorites would start with Revolver Coffeehouse that’s located hidden behind a fancy boutique called This Is A Love Song. Revolver is run by an Australian surfer girl who embodies a modern hippie lifestyle. She has a Melbourne-esque coffee recipe that definitely is at par, if not better, with that of Starbucks and the like. And, oh, the sandwiches are to die for; order Holster or Double Barrel that will make one breakfast to remember.

Mexican foods are not scarce in Petitenget. While you can find the uber-artistic Motel Mexicola on Jalan Kayu Jati—an architectural landmark on its own—my choice of Mexican eatery is Taco Casa, five minutes passing W Resort Bali-Seminyak to Canggu. It serves a spicy enchiladas and hefty tacos although it tends to get pretty busy in the evening. But for a South American-styled bar, go back to Jalan Laksmana and ask around for La Favela bar. It’s tucked away across the Coco Mart next to the Champagne Lounge, and it’s actually a spacious bar bedecked with creepy-and-quirky ornaments, drawing inspiration from Brazilian shantytowns. The place’s normally packed at midnight.

For a little bit of splurging, both W Resort Bali-Seminyak and Potato Head Beach Club have troves of culinary treasures to uncover. FIRE at W Resort Bali-Seminyak rolls out mouth-watering steaks and has wicked cocktails to sample—ask for the secret cocktail topped with cotton candy, which has won a number of bartending recognitions. Meanwhile, Tapping Shoes at the second floor of Potato Head Beach Club is totally unique. It brought in Osaka-born chef Take who presents a mind-blowing fusion of classic French and innovative Japanese culinary offerings. Slurp in some avant-garde foie gras while soaking up the breathtaking views of Petitenget Beach; life simply cannot get any better than this. Potato Head Beach Club will have a hotel on its own soon, called La Katamama.

When to Visit?

There’s no actual timing as when to visit Bali or Seminyak best, since it’s summer all year round there. But spending a year-end in Bali is simply unforgettable. You can catch a fantastic firework show at Potato Head Beach Club during the countdown to the New Year or enjoy a string of DJs pumping the W Retreat Bali-Seminyak’s floor. Seminyak also throws a great deal of parties during mid-year, such as Ku De Ta’s white party and Potato Head Beach Club’s summer party—where global entertainers including Ellie Goulding, Fat Boy Slim, Snoop Dog and more have performed here. However, like most beautiful places in the world, the sooner to visit is always the better.

Where to Stay?

Although Seminyak is never short of great accommodations, those who want to make the most of their first time visit to the island could perhaps use some of the recommended places here.

For starters, single or couple travelers who want to soak up the real vibe of Seminyak should definitely check out W Retreat Bali-Seminyak. The Spectacular Ocean-Facing Retreat rooms couldn’t get more spectacular. Perched on the top floor—in Bali, buildings may only be six floors high maximum—the rooms offer a sprawling view of the beach, which at night send gentle white noise to your sleep. The bathtub is even more spectacular with an optional “open” rooftop that looks at the beautiful Bali moon at night.

If you’re traveling with the family, The Legian is hard to beat. Not only was the hotel previously booked by international celebrities including Tyra Banks and British singer M.I.A., The Legian has rooms, suites, villas, gardens, swimming pools and, best of all, direct access to the beach. And for some unknown reason, I personally think that the sunset here is among the best out of the Seminyak stretch (you can walk down from here to Ku De Ta and complete the experience with a glass of cool mojito!). The neighboring resort, The Seminyak, is also recommended and comprises relatively similar facilities.

For a selfishly satisfying stay, hotels standing right on the Jalan Laksmana or Oberoi Road are excellent picks. The Ize and the U Pasha are surrounded by great restaurants and bars and shops. You can simply laze around for a few days, whiling the days with venturing into nice clothing boutiques, such as Somewhere, Uluwatu Lace, Bamboo Blonde and Body & Soul, and letting the nights go by peacefully as you down Bali’s signature Bintang Beer. You can alternatively walk through a small alley beside the Ultimo Restaurant and find beautiful Bali-styled villas. There’s B Villas, K Villas and the sophisticated I/II (called One Eleven).

A list of our recommended hotels in Seminyak:

 

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