Travel tips for Sidemen, the undiscovered masterpiece of Bali
My summer vacation is over and I have gone back to work. The next few months coming up are a crazy mix of plenty of trips that I’m making for We12travel but there is light at the end of the tunnel, as I booked a planeticket back to Bali for November. I really miss Bali and even though many people don’t understand how an outdoor enthusiast can enjoy Bali so much, I just can’t wait to go back there. I miss the friendly people, the bright green rice fields, the massages I took almost daily and the relaxed atmosphere in Sidemen.
One of the places I’m really looking forward to returning to in Bali is Sidemen. This small village receives little visitors compared to bigger tourist places such as Ubud and Canggu and it’s called the Ubud of 20 years ago. Even though I really enjoyed Ubud a lot (despite the mass tourism yes) I really liked Sidemen just a little bit more. Then I realized I still had plenty of drafts ready to be published and one of them is this post, the one with my travel tips for Sidemen in Bali. Enjoy!
Practical information and travel tips for Sidemen
Sidemen is a small valley in eastern Bali and is known for its agriculture. Rice is the main item grown here, but in addition you will find all sorts of chili’s, beans, peanuts and other food being grown here as well. There isn’t a real town center, but more a long road with plenty of small houses. There are not a lot of shops, just a few small warungs where you can buy food and a few small supermarkets as well. Most hotels are located on the streets off the main road and their restaurants usually have view over the rice fields in the distance. Booking offices are all over and you will also find an ATM on the main street, however make sure to bring enough cash as it doesn’t always work.
Things to do in Sidemen in Bali
The good thing about Sidemen is that there is not a whole lot of things to do. When you are looking for shopping malls or a busy nightlife, then this is not the place for you. If peace, quiet and a beautiful nature is what you are looking for, then you have come to the right spot. So what can you do in Sidemen then? Well, first of all a walk through the rice fields is a lot of fun. You can book it at the reception of your hotel or one of the booking offices you will find on the main street. I wouldn’t really want to hike by myself as there are plenty of rivers and streams to cross and the guide will be able to tell you all about the area while you are hiking.
Another fun thing to do is make your own jewelry at Agung Silver (I made my ring with the word ‘Wanderlust’ engraved there) or you can go rafting on the Telaga Waja River. Additionally you can take plenty of massages, drink fresh juices while hanging out in the infinity pool of your hotel, you can read, sleep and just basically enjoy the relaxed Bali life.
Hotel in Sidemen
Sidemen unfortunately does have some construction going on. So it’s really well worth going now rather than in two or three years. During my visit to Sidemen I stayed in Abian Ayu Villa, a gorgeous hotel that overlooks the Agung volcano in the distance.
During my visit it was rumbling a few times, causing some minor earthquakes during the night, however nothing major occurred. The Abian Ayu Villa has a gorgeous infinity pool but the main reason I can really advise you to stay here, is because of the friendly staff. Everyone knew my name, they made small chats with me and they were all super kind whenever I had a question or comment. This is by far my favorite hotel in Sidemen so I can definitely recommend going here.
More hotels in Sidemen can be found here.
How to get to Sidemen
I had a driver (Ketut) who drove me all over Bali. I just messaged him and he’d pick me up and take me where I wanted to go. Usually it was not the same price as I’d get in the streets, however I’d rather pay a bit more to a reliable and safe driver rather than someone I don’t know. Even though the actual distance is just a few kilometers, driving from Ubud to Sidemen can take quite a while. The drive is gorgeous and will take you through all kinds of valleys, from one stunning valley to the next. I shared my ride and paid 500.000 RPH for two persons, which is about 30 EUR or 35 USD.
Conclusion and disclaimer
I hope you found my travel tips for Sidemen useful and that I inspired you to add this place to your Bali itinerary. Note that this article has affiliate links. If you make a purchase through any of those links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you!