SEMINYAK: THE MAGIC DESTINATION OF BALI
Travel notes from one of the most mesmerizing Indonesian cities, Seminyak.
Have you ever dream about being in one of those postcard-like spectacular places?
The world is full of incredible spots, like Maldives, Australia, Mexico, Africa, Italy, Iceland, and so on.
But Mother Nature gifted humanity with a dreamy magic land, located between Java and Lombok island: Bali.
The island represents the perfect geography of paradise on Earth.
No wonder why this treasure is called the Island Of The Gods. Its strong religious spirituality blends with thousands of temples that are on the island.
There are many incredible Indonesian destinations not to be missed, such as Ubud, Denpasar, Kuta, Sanur.
Fasten your seat belts, you are about to land on Seminyak, the modern city located in the southwest coast of Bali, Indonesia, just north of Kuta and Legian.
Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar Airport, is the closest one nearby Seminyak.
Plus, you can already enjoy the ocean breathtaking view when arriving here.
Meaning, you immediately forget the sad grey city you left behind.
The stamp on the passport is the entry ticket to heaven. And it designs a natural smile on your lips.
Just a few days here in Seminyak, thus the best has to be experienced and discovered.
Magic words are discovery, adventure, colours, culture, oceanview, spirituality, traditions.
What about accommodation? The magic begins at the moment you step into an amazing peaceful villa and this incredible view of vibrant green belonging to a landscape garden welcomes you in the best way. It looks like Mother Nature is keeping all the luminous light here, letting you reach a nirvana state.
A wooden (or straw) roof, small pool, guardian statues to watch over you, dreamy bedroom and open space is better than a five-star hotel. Especially at night, when you look up to the sky and million stars are above your head, right before your very eyes.
Balinese architecture has the power to instil a calm and relaxing feeling, a peaceful atmosphere, and be interconnected with the earth. With design elements of plants, flowers, natural construction materials, and large open spaces, staying in a Balinese home or affordable luxury villa is the perfect way to balance the inner energy and to enjoy everything that Mother Nature has to offer.
This is pure luxury.
After unpacking in the fastest way possible- just because you are craving to visit and discover one of the most gorgeous places on earth- you can enjoy your walking. Forget sneakers or fancy shoes, you only need flip flops. What a great sense of freedom.
Going around Seminyak, there's this café+restaurant called Café Bali, located on Oberoi Street.
Is more than a café. Perfect interiors, design, and style, if this place could talk wit would tell you 'Oh, you are so welcome at home'. A peaceful mood and a warm atmosphere, good food and nice people working in this beautiful place.
Fresh marigold scented flowers fill the rooms. The most exceptional experience you can live is to have breakfast just nearby the flower-embellished Ganesha Hindu Elephant God statue, triumphant on the small pool water. Ganesha represents the God of Good Fortune, the Lord of Beginnings and the Remover of Obstacles. Everyone should have breakfast here.
Not just a place, but a state of mind. It's love at first sight.
Another place to stop by is Pandawa Beach, located on Bali’s southern Bukit Peninsula. It is distant from the Seminyak centre, so you can rent a motorbike or you can bargain a good price with the taxi driver who can wait for you while you dive in the crystalline blue ocean waves. Fifty shades of Blue is not the title of a new movie but is a real-life beach place which is absolutely recommended.
Pandawa Beach was once also named as ‘Secret Beach’ and it was officially opened in 2012, due to growing popularity, thanks to locals and tourist adventurers
The welcome drink is delicious coconut water and a peaceful front row to the ocean view show. Nothing else to add.
Day two is good to visit the streets of Seminyak, enjoy some shopping and breathing an everlasting feeling of western plus eastern atmosphere blend, from architecture to stores. Much art, traditional and colonial inspiring architecture, many cool stores with an amazing selection of clothing designs, small craft lab-stores from locals who welcome you with the biggest and warmest smile.
As the morning turns into afternoon, be ready for one of the most spectacular shows.
No, it's not on TV.
Is Mother Nature, once again, to make a unique appearance into the body of the sunset.
The place is called Padang Padang Beach, locally referred to as Pantai Labuan Sait, located on the north-western coast of the island’s Bukit Peninsula. Padang Padang means slowly 'slowly'. Yes, you have to come here, take your time, take it slowly, and simply enjoy what happens at sunset time, around 6.15-7 pm.
It's one of Bali’s most famous surf spots. But this location mostly symbolizes the golden hour, showing to the visitor's eyes all the best colours that the Universe has to offer.
When the sun goes down, it kisses the rocks, turning them into gold, and its show ends when all the soft shades of violets, purples, greens and cyan shine and radiate pure love. Everyone is in religious silence. You just sit on the sand and slowly enjoy this work of art.
Feeling really emotional.
Day three means just one thing: treat yourself with the best.
Bodyworks is apparently one of the original spas in the area. Traditional Balinese massages and pure relaxation is what you deserve.
To relax your body and mind.
Is not easy to leave this massage temple, but as long as you walk out, putting your relaxed feet on the streets, your attention is captured by incredible statues wrapped with checked fabric.
Balinese philosophy of balance called 'Rwa Bhineda' is here represented by the Poleng cloth draped over two statues. White and black. There's no good without evil, white without black, joy without sorrow. Opposites depend on each other to exist, and the ultimate goal is to reach harmony and balance.
This sense of exotic and yin yang cultural traits never leaves you. In restaurants neither.
There are many extraordinary dishes to taste because Balinese cuisine has a lot on the plate, literally.
One of the best meal ever experienced is this exotic plate: local herbs, spices, steamed rice, shrimp paste-based and sauer flavours are served in the most stylish presentation. The name of the restaurant is Bambu.
For your eyes and hungry mouth, only. One of a kind.
After dinner, be sure to have a drink and enjoy the thrilling nightlife. Some really cool spots in Seminyak are La Plancha, La Favela Bar and Restaurant, Ku De Ta, W Bali Seminyak, Motel Mexicola, Potato Head Beach Club, OPIVM Bali Nightclub.
Seminyak is surely a traffic city, but you do not mind because you are totally intrigued by the smell of lit incense right next to the Canang Sari, a small decorative square-shaped palm basket, filled mostly with flowers of different colours. An explosion of chromatic homage that you can find outside every door and in every corner of the streets of Bali. This offering is a dedication to deities as a thank you symbol as well as to remove and push away the demon spirits.
As well as the locals have constructed statues and temples drawing pinnacles up towards the sky, towards the deities and good spirits, as a blessing and a grateful sign of strong spirituality.
Gratitude and devotion are part of their tradition and it's experienced by everyone with extreme respect.
And grateful is every human being who comes and enjoy this work of art called Bali.
Seminyak, terima kasih (it means 'thank you' in Indonesian language)!
Photography credit: Alessandra Fanizzi