Favourite spots around Jimbaran and Uluwatu.
As I have said before, we have been moving very slowly around Bali, actually barely moving at all. We spent the first month in Canggu and then moved on to explore Jimbaran and Uluwatu where we spent about five weeks. Now that the world is opening up again, and Bali is busier than ever, I thought I would share a little about the fun we had and suggest some places we thought were worth a visit.
We initially booked a week at Villa Viking, Jimbaran, as we usually need to suss whether the wifi is strong enough for us to work. Once we arrived I knew I’d want to stay for longer as it was beautiful. It is a small guesthouse with only 4 rooms, each having its own balcony and pool view.
For a small fee of $2 per day, you can also include breakfast which was delicious every morning and always different. The owners are lovely and very helpful, always had a scooter available for us and we became best friends with the villa cat! We left after a month and after spending a week in Kuta, we ended up coming back to stay for another week because we missed it that much. Our favourite place to stay in Bali so far and very affordable.
Jimbaran has a fish market right on its beach. You can enjoy some fresh fish with your feet in the sand, ice-cold Bintang, all while watching the sunset. We had dinner here a bit too much and eventually got sick of fish for dinner but the setting is outstanding and we are always chasing the sunset. There are plenty of restaurants along the beach if you don’t fancy fish for dinner – Beekini Bowl was our favourite sunset spot.
While we have been enjoying exploring and being travellers, we are also using this time to completely relax. After spending eight months living in a van, we are energising for the three months we will be heading back to our homes, meeting families and showing each other around the places we grew up. This means that we have been really enjoying being horizontal and spending the weekends getting our tan on by the pool or reading at the beach.
Therefore, we have tried and tested a good few of the pool bars and beach clubs…
Sundays Beach Club
Sundays beach club is about a 30-minute scooter ride from Villa Viking, located in Ungasan, Uluwatu. It sits at the bottom of a cliff and there is a lift and stairs to get you down to the white sand and crystal clear water. It costs 200,000 IDR for entry per person and there is a minimum spend of 250,000 IDR per person (around $45 aud/£25 altogether)
This gives you access to the private beach, a towel, and a bean bag. They also have water sports to enjoy – you can grab a snorkel, paddle board or kayak and head out to the lagoon to cool off from the heat. The food and cocktails are priced on the higher end, although this is the same with most of the beach clubs so your minimum spend doesn’t go too far and before you know it they are asking for your card.
As any Scottish person does, I immediately judge the place based on its beer price, and you can get a classic Bintang for around 60,000 IDR ($6/£4) which is reasonable for a Bali pool bar.
Single Fin’s pool bar is probably one of, if not the, best sunset viewpoints in Bali. It sits on a cliff edge with a large infinity pool overlooking the Uluwatu surf break and humbles itself with its deck chair decor and reasonable pricing.
While most pool bars require an entrance fee and minimum spend, you can walk straight into Single Fin without spending a penny. The sunset views are epic, the pool is the perfect spot to watch from, and a Bintang costs 50,000 IDR ($5/£3) – the cheapest pool bar pricing that I’ve found.
While during the day Single Fin has day drinks and tanning vibes, on a Sunday it quickly turns into nineteen-year-old heaven when the sun goes down and the DJ starts playing. If you’re looking for a Sunday night dance, this is your place to go (I am not).
Locca Sea House
When we first arrived in Jimbaran, we hopped on the scooter and went for a quick ride around to explore. We just so happened to come across the newly-opened Locca Sea House and were blown away by the view.
During the day Locca is super quiet, I’m not sure if it’s because it’s new and not that many people know about it, but I wasn’t complaining about having the place to ourselves.
It has a gorgeous, large, infinity pool with a swim-up bar. There is no entrance fee here and you can choose to rent a day bed for 1,000,000 IDR minimum spend ($100/£50), or they also have seats with no minimum spend. This meant that we could swing by after work for a dip in the pool and watch the sunset.
When the sun does start to set, the place fills up quickly and the DJ gets going. Honestly, that’s about when we pack up and head home for a shower and movie in bed, but the vibes are good if you’re looking for a sunset party.
The only thing is, they charge 70,000 IDR ($7/£4) for a Bintang Crystal. It’s not awful pricing and Crystal tends to be $1 or so more than regular Bintang but if you’re like me and treat it like water on a hot day, it can add up quickly. One of the more expensive pool bars.
Exploring beach clubs is our second favourite weekend activity (the first is sipping on a perfectly balanced espresso) but there were a few other things that stood out in Uluwatu…
With bright blue waters and another gorgeous sunset view, we frequently took the scooter down the dodgy hill towards Dreamland beach – the hill is not for the faint-hearted.
Here, you can rent two sunloungers for 100,000 IDR ($10/£6) or go traditional and lay your towel right on the sand. While the water is to die for, the waves are powerful and you have to wait for just the right moment to enter the water. I lost my bikini more than once to a wave.
However, on the days we got extra lucky, we would turn up and the ocean would be waveless and it was our version of Saturday heaven. We both love a dip in the salty water on a roasting hot day so would get so excited to see it calm (although we equally love getting thrown about by waves).
I would say this is my favourite beach in Bali so far, also has a perfect sunset view and can get an ice-cold Bintang for 30,000 ($3/£2). Great cheap weekend day.
We headed to the temple as part of a day trip, it was the stopping point in between Sunday beach club and Single Fin… a perfect cocktail breaker. The temple costs 50,000 IDR ($5/£4) per person to enter, and like all temples, you have to cover up your legs and torso.
It has beautiful cliff views and is packed with menacing monkeys so be sure to take off all loose items and keep your phone close.
We also enjoyed Padang-Padang beach, as well as Bingin beach. Both have many stairs down to access, and the climb back up is a bit torturous on a hot day. I refused to have a beer on the beach as I knew my future, stair-climbing, self would not thank me for it. But the water in both is gorgeous and the sand is super soft.
Our month in Jimbaran was next to perfect. Spoiling ourselves with poolside day beds and sunsets on the beach, you really can’t go wrong here. It’s easier to explore this area if you can drive a scooter (which I don’t, I simply sit passenger and am in charge of leading the way), otherwise, you will have to get a taxi to most places.
Now we are back in Canggu, the most tourist spot in Bali, and I can feel the mental energy all around me. We enjoy being here as it’s nice to be able to walk to the beach and get everywhere on foot but it’s known for the parties that I do not attend.
If you made it to the end, thank you for reading. Having spent three months in Bali so far, if anyone has any questions feel free to drop them in the comments.