June 9, 2019. We had originally planned on a whole day excursion to Nusa Penida, an island east of Bali known for its picturesque beaches and cliffs. However, considering that we were still exhausted and that a trip to the offshore island would take an entire day, we decided to change our plan and opted for a more relaxed day at a beach club near our hotel in Seminyak and explore some of the nearer towns.
That morning, we skipped hotel breakfast and asked Joe to bring us to a place where locals love to eat. He decided to bring us to another “babi” (pork) place called Pak Malen where they serve babi guling (see photos below). True enough, even though we were there a good half hour before opening time, a horde of customers and Grab delivery riders were already waiting. Apparently, in Muslim-dominant Indonesia, Bali is one of those places with a big fascination with otherwise haram (forbidden food) pork.
How was it? The dish was hella spicy for me and it turned my face into a giant waterfall of sweat. It’s like lechon kawali, Bali-style, but make it tongue- burning with chilis and spicy sidings. Halfway into trying to finish my food, my tongue had numbed I couldn’t really decipher the other flavors anymore. I would, later on, learn upon further inquiry that it was possible to get a non-spicy version of the dish.
After breakfast, we decided to go to Canggu, Bali’s hipster and laidback surf town north of Seminyak.
In Canggu, we decided to walk to Batu Bolong beach, and on the way stop by some of the flea markets. This district of Canggu (well, Canggu in general, apparently) is known for its very hipster vibe with artsy cafes and boutiques along the main roads. This is where you’d imagine your digital nomads and millennials hanging out and working in chic co-working spaces.
After checking out the beach that morning, we decided to have drinks at the popular Old Man’s bar.
After spending half the day in Canggu, we decided to hang out at the Tropicola Beach Club for the rest of the afternoon.
Beach clubs are a thing in Bali. They are scenic and well-designed resorts where guests can enjoy the facilities for a day for a fee (which may be consumable through food and drinks). There are dozens of beach clubs all around Bali each with their own themes and ambiance.
We decided on Tropicola primarily because of the colorful retro theme we’ve seen on photos online, and partly because the price point is mid-range as compared to the more luxurious beach clubs where all your millennial influencers gather for their Instagram photos.
When we’ve had enough of lounging by the pool, we headed back to our hotel to freshen up before proceeding to have a sunset dinner at Jimbaran beach along the southwest coast of Bali, near the airport, popular for, well–it’s beachside open-air restaurants.
Dining on the beach and by the sea with a beautiful sunset really made for a great cap for the day.