Seminyak, Legian, and Kuta
We weren’t sure what to expect from Bali. Having always seen it as an exotic paradise, we had recently read a few negative posts. Primarily about Kuta, but also about the beaches in general. Our first stop was Seminyak where we would explore the resorts of the west coast. This is what we found.
Our first stop was in Seminyak. Our research had told us that this was the more refined of the main 3 west coast resorts. Boasting a wealth of dining opportunities, ranging from the most basic traditional shacks serving local fare, to high end restaurants with international menus. It has a reputation as the place to eat in Bali, and we found this to be well founded.
Seminyak is a pretty resort. There are flowers and, what we initially thought were temples, everywhere you look. We later discovered that ornate brickwork and shrines adorn residential and business properties, some more elaborate than the temples they emulate.
Offerings are everywhere. They can be found outside pretty much every doorway, to both businesses and residential properties. We also saw them on cars, and scooters. Don’t take your eyes off the pavement for a second or you’ll get a foot full of flowers and rice. You will see locals dressed in traditional costumes replenishing, and blessing them. We were later to find that this practice isn’t unique to Seminyak, it happens throughout Bali.
To the south Seminyak blends into the resort of Legian. We found Legian to be a little non-descript. It had the feel of a buffer zone keeping the peace between the party resort of Kuta, and the more upmarket neighbour Seminyak. That said the beach was a little better in Legian, and it was a nice enough resort to amble about in.
Kuta is by far the most developed resort on the island, this comes with the usual benefits and perils. We didn’t visit on an evening so cannot tell you what the party street “poppies” is like when it’s in full swing. What I can say is that their are many more touts and these are more persistent in the heart of Kuta. However once you are away from the epicentre things calm down a little, and there are some decent looking restaurants and bars with a more relaxed feel.
There is no doubt in our mind that we made the right choice in staying in Seminyak. Of the 3 main west coast it is the prettiest. It’s reasonably tout-free, and there are some excellent places to eat. That said if beaches are important to you, then the west coast resorts should not feature high on your list.