Everyone loves Bali.
There are many ways to enjoy yourself on this island; from being the infinite party animal (drink, dance, sleep, repeat) to just being a motionless log on the beach.
It is all possible.
The key thing is, you got to know where to go.
Now, all the googling, research and recommendations from friends are unquestionably a fabulous source of info when you need to plan your itinerary.
However, there is always an issue of communication (with the locals), SAFETY and “how to get there, where, what“, besides of course, the costs.
This is where a good guide comes in.
Marcel from Bali Conservancy was our perfect guide.
English speaking (he speaks 4 languages), VERY well versed with the local customs and habits, thoroughly knowledgeable (not just about Bali but almost every country in the world as he is very well traveled), helpful to a fault, knows his way around Bali like the back of his hand, extremely gracious (we needed to buy medication, find a Maybank, go to selective locations for shoots, I wanted to buy specific items like cutleries), Marcel ensures that all our needs are met to the best of his ability.
And of course it helps that he knows when to travel (avoiding peak hours) and all the back alleys to get us to where we need to be in a timely manner.
Most of the locals know him as well, for he’s been around and about, and greeted him warmly at most places we went; whether it is a restaurant, a warung, on the beach, or at the temples/villages.
He is reliable and punctual, which is truly a god-send.
And of course, having a comfortable vehicle to move in rather than having to rely on multiple modes of transportation eases our travel a lot.
One of the many places we went was Jimbaran Beach. Now, this is not exactly an unknown territory but rather a popular one with both locals and tourist.
However, do you know which are the best places to hang out at this peaceful beach?
I can’t claim to have tried every one of these seafood restaurants. Nor every cafe here.
But Marcel seek to recommend the best for us, and since we have concurred on a number of topics over the past week, I’ll take his word for food recommendations as well.
For a start, Marcel swears by this “Nyoman” restaurant for an evening seafood feast.
He claimed that it is much cheaper here than all the others on the same stretch, and tastier too.
Below: Meals with a view, natural ventilation from the sea and with ice cold Bintang beers.
This huge fish is a seawater one and only cost about 110,000 rupiah (RM33++).
I love the accompanying sauces; one garlicky with oil, another the famous kicap manis of Indonesia, third a red sambal which was mildly sweet and lastly an appetizing pickled onions plus chili.
Each of us was served a bowl of ABC (potato, carrot) soup, rice and a plate of greens as well.
I personally thought that the fish wasn’t too bad. And they serve fresh fruit juices as well which is a plus point in my books.
I had wanted to order more, but the portion is so generous (for 1 fish!) so it wasn’t necessary.
BELOW: They offer fresh prawns, crabs, squids, etc too.
Jimbaran Beach on the weekends can be crowded but not to worry as it is not a rowdy crowd. Most of the people are likewise enjoying the sea breeze and are contented to scroll along the beach, taking photographs and having dinner.
If you wish to have a snack, then grab yourself a sweet, smoky grilled corn for 10,000 rupiah (RM3) each.
When night falls, it can be really romantic. I was told many marriage proposals and wedding photography took place here.
A few days after, we headed back to Jimbaran for a relaxing day out.
The Black Paint shoot was over, and it was our last day in Bali. Marcel thought we could do with a break and he was right, as usual.
Jimbaran Beach is clean with strong waves & soft, fine sand with little disturbance. Unlike Kuta, no one here bugs you for beers, mani/pedi, surf lessons or ask you to pay for your spot on the beach.
Just you, your drink/food, the beach & your selected chill pill (book, music, smartphone).
For the active sun lovers, rent a surf board and surf to your heart’s content. The waves can go really high yet gentle enough for beginners.
For me a hearty breakfast is first on the book. And of course Bintang beers for the boys.
White Sand Beach House is the place to be at, Marcel had said. Food is good, music is great, service is warm & prices are decent.
Run by a local woman and her Canadian hubby, the menu is almost a gastronomic adventure from all over the world.
They offer Mexican fare, local Indonesian, western, Indian, Greek to salads and pizzas and burgers. And they even have WIFI!
Jaffles: Choice of 2 fillings for 25,000 rupiah.
Omelettes – choose to add cheese, sausages, bacon, mushrooms, etc. Prices are from 35,000 – 60,000 rupiah.
Bintang beers (L) – 35,000 rupiah.
My Breakfast Burrito: 50,000 rupiah. 2 scrambled eggs, bacon, beef sausage, jalapeno, tomato, mozzarella wrapped in a flour tortilla.
It was stuffed fat with all the ingredients as promised. Definitely worth its price!
Something as simple as spring rolls goes with beers as well.
Beverages available includes wines (yes, wines whole day), spirits, cocktails, coffee and tea and fresh juices as well as milkshakes.
Jimbaran Beach in Bali is my favourite beach (without having to take the speedboat elsewhere) to just relax, eat and drink.
I stayed in Le Meridien Jimbaran before and I loved the resort and the daily runs on the beach.
You can check out the photos of this gorgeous resort here –> http://www.rebeccasaw.com/le-meridien-bali-jimbaran-resort-my-lagoon-access-room-review/
Other than the stretch of seafood restaurants and the little shacks that faces the beach which offers other food, beverages and rental of surfboards, etc, another stretch of humble “warungs‘ are worth checking out too.
This humble Warung-Ku is run by an English speaking guide & his wife Putu.
Putu cooks very well, and prices of food here is reasonable; RM5-10 for one meal dishes & RM12-15 for a whole fish.
Oh, remember to try the local “arak”, a type of distilled coconut flower drink .
It is strong as hell. Enjoy it iced with a squeeze of lime or neat.
Munch on some snacks & let Putu’s hubby tell you more about Bali as he is also a reliable tour guide with Marcel. He speaks good English and is ever friendly for story-telling.
There you have it.
Mornings at White Sand Beach House, afternoons at humble Warung-ku and night time seafood indulgence at Nyoman. Do feel free to share anywhere else/other outlet that you have tried (and worth recommending) so I can try them too on my next trip to Bali! 🙂
Going on a free & easy Bali trip soon? Get Marcel to help you out.
Search: “Bali Conservancy” on FB or go to this profile: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100008258411667&fref=ts
He had posted many gorgeous pictures of Bali and that was how I got to know him and eventually got him to take care of us for our Black Paint shoot.