Well the answer is no! There is so much more to do in Bali, it just so happens that the food is very good.
On this trip Ross, my husband went scuba diving off Nusa Lembongan with the great 5 star Padi rated team at World Diving, and he also took surfing lessons in Seminyak with the guys at Odyssey Surfing school.
Surfing he chose to take 3 private lessons, three days in a row. Each day he would be picked up and dropped back to our villa, too easy.
We both enjoyed massage too.
I had been told “Body Works” on Jalan Kayu Jati #2 was excellent, so it was the perfect place to start. First I tried the 1 1/2 hour shiatsu massage, it was bliss, and at roughly $34AUD, it was a steal!
A couple of days later we both went back, Ross for a Thai massage and I chose a full body massage.
“Body Works” offers a full menu of fabulous treatments.
When I first walked in, I was greeted with this scene, 7 ladies all lined up under old fashioned dryers, treatments in their hair, whilst one therapist was manicuring and another doing a pedicure.
Talk about the ultimate girls retreat.
As it is just around the corner from “Sea Circus“, I thought a great idea would be to book treatments in the morning, then lunch there. Or you could always pop up to Biku and have an Asian high tea and a tarot card reading.
After all that relaxation, it was time for shopping!
Seminyak has so much to offer, so I decided to explore a different pocket every day.
Think up to the minute trends, quality fabrics and finishes. While there is an emphasis on beach wear, fabulous jewellery and accessories abound.
If you would like leather made to measure, this is available too. If you do decide to have something made, my tip is to have the tailor copy something you already own. When I have done this, I have been more than happy with the end results. I would also advise to do it at the beginning of the trip. If alterations are needed then you have plenty of time to sort this out.
This trip I bought a buttersoft lambskin leather jacket with a waterfall neckline off the rack for $130AUD. The starting price was $150AUD. I probably could have got it cheaper, but I was happy with the quality of workmanship and leather.
Remember, only start haggling if you intend to purchase the piece.
The Balinese on the whole are friendly, gentle people. Keep a smile on your face, a happy tone in your voice and you should get a great response (a few words in Indonesian can impress too).
Most boutiques have fixed prices, but it never hurts to ask.
So here is my directory for shopping in Seminyak.
Take a cab to Jalan Kunti #1 and ask to stop at Bali Deli. Most local taxis know cafe’s and restaurants so it is good to use these as landmarks. If you desire, have a coffee before you start, then it’s down to business!
With Bali Deli behind you, walk up the left hand side of the street and you will hit Uma & Leopold.
Great colours, silhouettes and cool accessories for women. I have a beautiful belt I bought here 3 years ago and it still garners compliments.
All pieces can be made to measure and usually in a few days. So, if you see a style you like, but want it in a different colour, just ask.
Keep walking to Jalan Seminyak and head to Bagatelle for stunning interiors, turn right and pop into Lilla Lane for fab bags, shoes, accessories and a small range of clothing. Across the road is Jelly Fish Kidz. Bright and fun, just gorgeous for your little princess. Think hot pink tutus and crisp white sundresses, I want one in my size!
Back across the road is Mekong stocking fab, funky jewellery and clothes. Still on the same side is iMade`,chock full of, well “stuff”.
This shop had changed since I last visited. It had been a streamlined space, now it is packed with product. Definitely worth a look for decorating details, furniture and jewellery.
Cross the road and you will find Dear Angel. Fantastic quality stretch fabrics and cottons, perfect for all ladies, especially those voluptuous plus size beauties.
The road then snakes around to Jalan Laksmana.
I’d grab a taxi up to Seminyak square around now, and at around 80 cents, it’s worth it. Pop into The Junction for lunch. Bali in the middle of the day is hot, hot, hot!
Sit down, grab a bite to eat and a refreshing drink, a girl can’t live on shopping alone (although I have tried)!
Just along from here is a cool interiors place called Hobo. It’s funky designs are simple and stylish.
After lunch make your way back down Jalan Laksmana to Jalan Drupadi,on the same side of the street. Then cross the road and make your way back to where you started.
This strip is great shopping.
A few of my favourites are Innuendo Femme et Homme, great designs for gals and guys, and lovely jewellery. In fact my first purchase on this trip was a gorgeous silver bangle from here.
Beachgold and Samsara for kaftans in floaty fabrics and stunning colour palettes.
K&i across the road is sequin central.
I love a bit of bling and if worn correctly (not head to toe), it’ a great look. Just remember to keep the rest of the outfit simple, nothing worse than looking like you just stepped off the stage in Vegas (unless that’s your thing)!
Cafe Zucchini is in this stretch, so if you need a little more sustenance, this is the perfect place, oh, there’s a little boutique for guys and gals out back to check out.
There are many other boutiques worth checking out, but I have to leave a little for you to discover yourselves.
A word of warning! It is easy to get carried away shopping on holidays. This trip I bought less, but spent a little more on each piece.
You might love that colourful kaftan matched with tribal bangles that you are wearing whilst sitting at Sarong sipping a Rupiah Billionaire, but will it translate into your wardrobe back home?
As you, dear readers, may have worked out by know, I have a soft spot for Bali. For me it is my dream destination for relaxation, retail therapy and tasty treats.
It is so unfortunate that it strikes trepidation in peoples minds. Having visited before and after each of the bombings, and seeing the side effects they have had for the local economy, I feel for the Balinese.
Next time you are thinking of an island adventure, why not give it a try.
The great thing about travel is the diversity and in Bali there is something for everyone.
So by all means stay in Kuta, get your hair braided and go to the Hard Rock cafe, if that’s your thing, or follow my top tips and see a side to Bali you never thought existed.