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Exploring Sidemen Bali – Bali’s Best Kept Secret
Sidemen Bali is located on the East side of Bali. It is not as famous as many of Bali’s other areas, and for those that know and love the area… they quite like it that way! We too hope that Sidemen can retain its natural beauty and not become too much of a tourist hot spot, but we couldn’t not share the beauty of this area of Bali with you.
Sidemen is Bali green at its best! Rolling rice fields, rice terraces, rushing rivers, epic waterfalls, and total village vibes. It is a spot for nature lovers, people wanting to get away from the crowds, and people wanting to experience the real village life of the Bali of old.
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Where to Stay in Sidemen, Bali?
Sidemen has a number of accommodation options ranging from budget homestays to luxe resorts. If you are wanting to spoil yourself with a boutique and unique Sidemen stay, we recommend Samanvaya Resort.
Things to see and do in Sidemen, Bali
Explore Sidemen by bike
Just riding or driving through the villages in and around Sidemen gives you a great view of the rice farming around the area. Either adventure on your own bike (or car) or take a motorcycle tour with Samanvaya’s in-house local guides. We loved this option as not only did we get a heap of local knowledge along the way, but the bike used by the guide was super comfortable for a passenger and I could take photos and videos along the way.
Grab a bite at a local warung
There are many local warungs to stop and grab a bite at on your adventures. We ate at a cute little spot called Sweet Warung – it was delicious local fare, served by a very excited local family to have some tourists dining in. Our meals were authentically delicious and super affordable.
Explore Sidemen’s stunning waterfalls
If you are a waterfall lover, you are spoiled for choice in Sidemen. We explored two waterfalls during our stay and at each, we were the only visitors.
The first waterfall we visited was Jagasatru Waterfall. This waterfall is located in Salak Village which is about a 20 minute, very scenic ride from Samanvaya resort. This lessor-known waterfall has big plans, but if you are lucky enough to visit soon you may get it all to yourself like us!
The second waterfall we visited was in the actual village of Sidemen and only around a 10-minute ride from Samanvaya. Gembleng Waterfall has for sure become one of my favourite Bali waterfalls after this visit. You pay a donation to go in (they don’t specify any amount, we paid 20k each).
The waterfall is not huge, but the highlight is the small rock pools you can plunge in at the top. These pools have the most epic view of jungle, rice fields, and even the ocean. This waterfall you actually walk UP to (unlike most Bali waterfalls which walk down to). The stairs are shallow & easy and there are only around 60 of them. At the top, there is a little Warung selling drinks, snacks, beers and in true Bali style, even Arak! To get to the rock pools you need to climb over some rocks, these can be quite slippery, but it is not a far way. We loved plunging in the fresh water and taking in the gorgeous views!
Sidemen’s own yellow bridge
Sidemen also has its own version of the Yellow Bridge. Unlike the new Lembongan/Cenigan yellow bridge, this one is not really made for riding over on motorbikes (even though you’ll see quite a few people doing this). It’s quite rickety but provides a gorgeous view of the river below (don’t be surprised to see local villagers bathing naked in this river though). This cute little spot is just five minutes from Samanvaya resort.
Go hiking through the Sidemen rice fields
Beside motorbike tours the resort also offers guided hikes through the rice fields and down to the river. We didn’t get to do this during our stay but plan to do it next visit. The guide will take you right through the rice terraces and down to the river, explaining the local area to you.
After all that exploring the Samanvaya offers a luxe retreat to rest. We loved their newly renovated spa – The Ananda Spa. The decor is stunning, and their therapists are highly experienced. The warm tub at the resort was also a favorite of ours after dinners to sit and relax in.
We can’t recommend a Samanvaya Sidemen stay highly enough. For us living in Bali, it is a spectacular staycation spot. If you are visiting from outside of Bali, this is the place to experience the Bali village vibe of old!
Sidemen, we will be back to explore you more soon!
After 15 years of visiting Bali as a tourist, Karlie moved her family to Bali 4 years ago. She loves helping others to enjoy Bali and founded Bali Buddies to encourage others to explore the island she now calls home.
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