top of page


Our year of travel starts in Bali, Indonesia.

Despite being a trendy destination for Australians, neither of us had been to Bali before. We chose this as our first location for two reasons – it’s affordable and an excellent place to break away from the 9 to 5 routine. We were looking for somewhere to start our trip slowly, to dip our toes into full-time travel, while still having time to relax and learn to live within our new restricted travel budget. Seminyak ticked all these boxes and was the perfect place to spend our first week overseas.

Seminyak Beach


We arrived.

Our plane from Sydney landed in Denpasar at 9:15 pm, the equivalent of midnight for our body clocks. It took us an hour to get through the airport, including the COVID health checks, visa-on-arrival, immigration and customs. We had pre-arranged a taxi on, so we met our driver outside the airport and drove to our accommodation in Seminyak, where we checked in, showered and jumped straight into bed.


Exploring Seminyak.

We had no plans, schedules, or obligations for our first full day overseas. We woke with the sun and headed out early to beat the crowds to coffee. We enjoyed breakfast at Revolver Espresso before strolling through the streets and along the beach for the rest of the morning. In the early afternoon, we settled at Mano Beach House, where we enjoyed snacks, drinks and dinner as we watched our first spectacular sunset over Petitenget Beach.

Streets of Seminyak


A day trip to Garuda Wisnu Kencana Cultural Park.

On our first day at the beach, we noticed a massive sculpture in the distance that towered above everything else you could see. It didn’t take long to discover this was the Patung Garuda Wisnu Kencana sculpture in the GWK Cultural Park. This became the day-trip plan for day 3. After a 40-minute drive, we spent 2 hours exploring the many gardens, sculptures and museums, taking in the views of the island and learning more about Hindu mythology. We arrived back in Seminyak just after lunch and enjoyed a bite to eat at Monsieur Spoon (making plans to come back for more pastries the next day). We then spent the afternoon in the pool at our hotel and enjoyed dinner at The Junction House that night.


Sunrise and a relaxing day by the pool.

We set our alarms for 5:30 am and walked across the road to the beach for sunrise. Mornings in Seminyak became our favourite time of day – the weather is already warm, but the sun is not too harsh, the streets are quiet, most tourists haven’t left their rooms yet, and as a result, there are no lines at the popular cafes. After sunrise and breakfast back at our hotel, we spent the day lazing by the pool and snacking on the many pastries we bought from Monsieur Spoon that morning. We walked up to the northern part of Seminyak in the evening and ate dinner at Kynd Community.

Sunrise in Seminak


Our first rainy day.

We woke to heavy rain, which was forecast to hang around most of the morning. This gave us a great excuse to stay in bed until hotel breakfast started at 8 am. As soon as the rain stopped, we were straight into the pool before heading out to lunch at the highly recommended Motel Mexicola down the road. We spent the afternoon strolling down Seminyak and Double Six beach before settling in at La Plancha, which we very quickly decided was one of our favourite beach bars in Seminyak.


Good coffee and bargains at The Flea Market.

We thought it was about time we tried the coffee shop next door to our hotel, and we were thrilled to discover it opened at 6:30 am – not many places around us opened that early. Expo Artspace & Coffee did not disappoint. The coffee was terrific, and there was also a great selection of artwork to look through while we stayed out of the rain. Being there early in the morning, we could also enjoy sitting out on the street without the noise or fumes from the usual daytime traffic. Afterwards, we headed to the beach and stopped by The Flea Markets. We had our first go at bartering and walked away with a beautiful sarong. Another afternoon of swimming in the pool was followed by dinner at an excellent local Indonesian restaurant called Warung Dedalu.


Our last day in Seminyak.

While enjoying our last day in Seminyak, we also had some unexpected errands to run. We were, once again, the first people up at the hotel breakfast. We then wandered the streets while we waited for the hardware shop to open at 10 am some could get a screwdriver for our drone. When we returned to the hotel, we discovered the issue with our drone screws was more complicated than we initially thought. Clark decided to head to a DJI store a short taxi ride away. Upon arrival, Clark discovered that the store was closed for renovation. So after a useless detour, he returned to put some more elbow grease into the drone and finally, at 4 pm, he had worked his magic and fixed the problem. We got ready to go and celebrate at a beach bar when we walked out the front door to pouring rain. So we ran down the road to Sea Circus, where I tried my first Bintang (as a non-beer drinker, this was quite adventurous for me, so stay tuned to see if I get converted to beer drinking this year to help stick to our tight travel budget).

Seminyak Beach Sunset


A hidden and affordable gem in the heart of Seminyak. This hotel is a short walk from everything you want to see – the beach, great restaurants, bars and shops. It may not have the beach views of the more prominent resorts across the road, but it makes up for the quiet, secluded courtyard pool that all rooms open onto. The entrance is tricky to find at first, with only a tiny sign indicating the alleyway to the hotel, but the bright orange currency exchange next door makes it easy to locate once you know where to look. The rooms are small but clean and have basic amenities. The included breakfast is simple but always tasty and served on the rooftop, offering a garden oasis with views across the neighbourhood's backstreets. To top it all off, the staff are super friendly and welcoming. Don’t expect extravagance, but this place was perfect for travellers on a slightly-tighter budget.


Staying in country #1, next up on our trip, we head to Ubud.


When planning our travel destinations, we pin our bucket list of sites to see and recommended places to eat and drink on Google Maps. We are then never lost for ideas when travelling, and we can easily share these lists for our friends and family.

Related Posts


bottom of page