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It’s no secret that I wasn’t a fan of Kuta, the most popular beach resort town in Bali.
But if you want to escape Kuta, you don’t have to go far — just visit Seminyak. Seminyak is part of the Kuta area, but it’s so different that it could be a different island.
Instead of stores selling homophobic bumper stickers, you have designer boutiques and art galleries. The Bali holiday packages often include quieter, nicer hotels. Instead of beer-soaked bars, you have sexy cocktail lounges.
And the beach, while being as good for surfing as Kuta, is much, much cleaner.
If Kuta is the degenerate little brother who just can’t kick that crystal meth habit, Seminyak is the gorgeous older sister who made straight A’s, captained the lacrosse team AND landed the hottest guy in school.
Kuta is Jesse from Breaking Bad. Seminyak is Ellen from Damages. You know, before all the murder and corruption and stuff.
Nightlife establishments in Seminyak don’t feel like they’re in Bali or even Southeast Asia — more like Miami or Las Vegas!
Best of all, Seminyak is close enough to Kuta that you can take part in the same activities. It’s no big deal to take an ojek (motorbike taxi) to Kuta for shopping or dining, and if you book transportation or adventure tours, they’ll gladly pick you up in Seminyak.
Backpackers and budget travelers tend to avoid Seminyak for their Bali holidays because it’s a bit more expensive than Kuta. And with Bali already being more expensive than Thailand, Cambodia, Laos or Vietnam, it’s hard to justify adding on the cost.
But there are a few places in Southeast Asia where spending a few more dollars can get you exponentially higher value. Seminyak is one of those places.