While most of our trip to Bali was relaxing, our arrival was anything but. Our arrival coincided with several important events occurring on the island. First, our planed landed at the same time as the Indonesian President, who was there to inaugurate a brand new highway that had just opened on the island. As a result, upon landing we had to wait on the plane for a while while the president and his entourage made their way through the airport. Later, while we were waiting in the immigration line, we saw hundreds of photographers, video cameras and news reporters following a group of important people. We were right at the front of the line, and several cameras were in our face so we probably ended up on the local Indonesian news.
Bali was also hosting the APEC conference, a global economic summit, early the following week, and some of the delegates – who had their own section of the immigration area allotted to them – were already trickling in, which added further to the chaos. After about an hour waiting in line for the passport check, we finally made our way out of the airport and met our ride to the hotel.
We got a great deal on a brand new hotel called D’Penjor located a 10-minute walk from the main drag in Seminyak and about a twenty-minute walk from the beach. We were hugely impressed by this hotel and the wonderful staff there. Here are some photos of our room and the hotel:
We spent the next few days wandering around Seminyak, sampling many of its restaurants and cafes, visiting the unique shops, and watching the sunset over the ocean. I even treated myself to a Thai massage at Bodyworks, which was wonderful (spa treatments are very inexpensive in Bali).
Strolling through Seminyak:
This temple is situated right by the beach in Seminyak. There has been a temple here since the 16th century and it is still used regularly today for ceremonies. This was our first of many temple visits in Bali. In order to enter the temple both men and women must wear a traditional sarong and sash.
Seminyak's nightlife was just right for us. The town is chock full of delicious restaurants and we were far away from the college/spring break crowd in Kuta. Seminyak is really laid back and full of people who want to enjoy the local food and drinks in a more relaxed atmosphere. These are a few of the spots we tried:
Motel Mexicola - Fun, colorful atmosphere; cheap tacos
Chandi - Fancy for Seminyak; great place for sharing appetizers
Khaima - Good Nasi Goreng lunch & ginger lemon juice
Potato Head Beach Club - This club is quite a scene. It's expensive (for Bali), and it gets really crowded at sunset. We went for one cocktail at sunset, which was beautiful. It would have been more fun to rent a daybed for the afternoon & evening but you need to reserve one in advance and there is a minimum spend. If you like a scene, then this is a great spot. I prefer to watch the sunset directly on the beach for free and then hit up one of the many restaurants in town.
While we were really sad to say farewell to Seminyak, we had a bigger treat in store for us as we headed off to meet up with friends near Ubud...