Going to Bali for a holiday a couple of years back, the only thing I had on my mind was spending a few days on the beach…just me spending some alone time with myself.
I had begun planning for the trip a couple of months prior and since I had only about a week there, the idea was to only explore a couple of places there well rather than jump around from one location to the other and only seeing a bit of all. Seminyak and Kuta were the front runners on my list but then, I realised they were quite touristy and my idea was to run away from crowds. Finally, I zeroed in on Jimbaran.
Now, if you read online, Jimbaran has nothing much to offer on a sight-seeing front. Its a simple fishing village. But it sounded absolutely perfect. The beach area was lightly populated and the village, being rather non-touristy didn’t attract large crowds.
So, Jimabran was on my list. The other town that was chosen was Ubud for its cultural side to things and the rice terraces.
I landed at Denpasar and a short taxi-ride later, I was in Jimbaran. It was time for some much needed “Me-time “now.
Jimabran is a quiet fishing village with beautiful sandy beaches. My hotel, The Intercontinental had its own private beach but a few meters walk, you could land up on the Jimbaran public beach area that hosted a bevy of pop-up sea food restaurants every evening. Now, this, is the only reason why anyone should make it a point to stay in Jimbaran anytime they travel to Bali.
The first day was spent lazing by the beach, splashing in the waves and basically getting a sun-burn along with getting tanned (unintentionally).
On the second day, I decided to explore the fishing village front and experience a bit of the local life there. So, taking some guidance from the hotel concierge, me and my friend set out at 7.00 in the morning to visit this fish market.
About 15 minutes from the hotel, we were dropped by our driver at a beach where fishing boats had come in. Some boats were loaded with bundles of nets while a few others had off-loaded their catch and had local ladies were selling these on the beach there.
We spent a few minutes there, taking in the atmosphere and then decided to walk in the fish market there to explore a bit. Now, I had never really explored a dedicated fish earlier being a vegetarian but I guess when you travel, it really doesn’t matter. These are the places where you learn.
So, a couple of meters walk from the beach is the local fish market. I am no fish expert and hence, couldn’t really tell the names of the fishes but there were masses of them. Prawns, Shrimps, Shell-fishes, Calamari and more. It wasn’t really a place that I would possibly go back to but that said, it seemed quite amazing to see all of the catches there.
Spending a few more moments there, we decided to made our way back to the hotel and spend the remainder of our day lazing around by the beach, again getting a bit more sun-burnt, wading into the sea and catching up on more reading.
Since we were more into local exploration that day, we decided to do away with dining at the hotel and instead opted for a local experience at the local beach restaurants that I mentioned earlier.
Sandals in hand and with the smooth sand slipping through our feet, we walked the short distance to the many beach restaurants that had opened up for serving the locals as well as the tourists who had ventured out there for the food. This, believe me, is an experience I would gladly go for if asked to undertake everyday of my life.
We were seated at our table with a single lit candle (quite romantic I’d say :D). It wasn’t a luxury set-up, if you are expecting something. The tables were wooden and the food was local sea-food along with a few vegetarian options thrown in. Local beer (Bintang was the best one here) was available with maybe a few non-alcoholic drinking options. The menu cards were single plastic sheets laminated to save themselves from the water or messy customers. It was all a no-frills setting.
But what changed it all was the setting it was in. The moon above in the clear sky, the smell of food being cooked and the aromatic spices wafting in the sea-mist loaded air, the sand beneath my feet and the sea-water gently splashing and foaming at my ankles. The tables were set-up on the beach just close to the water so that the incoming tide would just be close enough to crash at your feet when you are dining. This was what it was all about.
I opted for a vegetarian Mei Goreng which is the Indonesian version of noodles with vegetables in a gravy. The food, although simple, was freshly made and tasted amazing too.
This, along with a glass of wine and the complete scenario around was enough to melt my heart and tempt me to stay there the remainder of my trip in Bali.
I didn’t really have more days in Jimbaran post that evening else most of my meals would have been done here. I left for Ubud the next morning to explore a bit more of the interiors of Bali but Jimbaran will forever stay a favourite – and more so because of the beach restaurants and the experience they give you.
If you are a calm traveller, not one to crave night-life but instead seek solitude and simple pleasures, make your way here and don’t miss out the Jimbaran beach restaurants.