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With three days in Seminyak, you can go beyond the area’s signature charms of spas, boutiques, restaurants, and beach clubs. You’ll also have time to get a taste of Ubud, watch the sun set over Tanah Lot Temple, and head even farther afield, to volcanoes, offshore islands, or timeless water palaces. Here’s how to get the most of three days in Seminyak.
Day 1: Balinese Cuisine and Spa Time
Seminyak is known for its food scene, so start your stay the Balinese way, with a trip to the market and a Balinese cooking course. Grind up fresh roots, herbs, and spices into a flavorsome feast of dishes: Bali-style salad, banana-leaf parcels, fragrant minced seafood satay, and more. Once you’ve eaten the fruits of your labors, check out the stores on “Oberoi” (Jalan Kayu Aya), Bali’s boutique epicenter, then hit a spa for a couple of hours of pure indulgence with a massage, esthetic treatment, or organic facial. Alternatively, take a class in massage or even yoga. Wrap up your first day with a spectacular sunset at Tanah Lot Temple or Uluwatu Temple; at Uluwatu, you can watch a kecak performance and fire dance too.
Day 2: Ubud Adventures
If you’re not planning to stay in Ubud while on Bali, spend your second morning exploring its rice terraces, arts villages, and temples. Get up close and personal with macaques at the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary; learn how coffee is roasted at a plantation; or shop for wood carvings in Mas Village. After lunch overlooking the rice terraces, head to the highland landscapes around Ubud to zip through the paddies on an ATV, race down the Ayung River gorge on a raft, or enjoy one of the area’s tumbling waterfalls. Hit Seminyak Beach in time for an ice-cold beer at sunset, then set out on a street-food safari. With around 18,000 islands, Indonesia’s cuisine is exceptionally diverse. Savor spicy small plates in a classic Padang joint; try Obama’s childhood favorite, bakso (meatball soup); and discover the nation’s distinctive Chinese-Indonesian fusion.
Day 3: Volcano, Snorkeling, or Water Palaces
Devote your third day in Seminyak to discovering the island’s farthest reaches. Rise in the small hours to scale the active volcano Mt. Batur for sunrise, then feast on a breakfast cooked in volcanic steam and lounge in hot springs. Alternatively, discover the underwater world on a snorkeling trip to the island of Nusa Penida, known for the giant mantas that flock to its fast-flowing currents. Instagrammers won’t want to miss the delights of east Bali: the Gates of Heaven at Lempuyang Temple, the Tirta Gangga Water Palace, and perhaps the Ujung Water Palace as well. Back in Seminyak, wrap up your stay with a fine-dining feast on Petitenget (“Eat Street”), then party into the small hours at a beach club such as Potato Head or Ku De Ta.