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Designer boutiques, emerging artists and some of the best dining in Bali: Seminyak is a haven for style-conscious travellers who love a good photo. When you arrive, secure a seat at a seafront cocktail bar and wait for sunset, the most anticipated event of the day, to begin. Visitors to Seminyak come for the soft beaches and international entertainment venues that cater to a young crowd. This is the place to call up friends back home while you tuck into a vegan açaí bowl by the ocean.
Most hostels in Seminyak have a pool that acts as the social heart of the place. Upgrade to a hostel with bright gardens or, if you're in a group, choose a villa with private plunge pool for a dose of luxury. Solo travellers looking for a social scene should check out a Japanese-style capsule hostel complete with party bar and regular events. The best hostels in Seminyak have air con, usually with a female-only dorm option. Looking to learn a new skill? Opt for a homestay that offers Balinese cooking classes.
Seminyak Beach runs the length of the area and is lined with sleek bars and restaurants. You'll find the north end is generally quieter. For designer boutiques and top-end outdoor shops, take a stroll down Jalan Raya Seminyak. This major shopping street winds north past trendy eateries, chic home décor spots and teeny village temples fragrant with flower offerings. Foodies shouldn't miss an evening on Jalan Laksmana, nicknamed 'eat street'; it's considered the dining capital of the coastline.
Sunbathing, swimming and relaxing are the most common activities in this little slice of Indonesia. Surfing is also popular, and Echo Beach (a 20-minute taxi ride away) is famous for its advanced breaks overlooked by seafood cafés. The main cultural attraction in town is Petitenget Temple, where Indo faith and culture still flourish. Creatives can hunt out the next big thing in one of Seminyak's independent galleries, then after dark follow the well-dressed crowd to the venue with that night's best headliner.
Seminyak is a 30-minute taxi ride from Ngurah Rai International Airport. Once in town, you can save your coins and go everywhere on foot if you're planning on staying local for your entire trip. As for getting to popular spots like Echo Beach or the larger towns to the south, you'll find tuk tuks and taxis readily available. You can hit up the nightlife of nearby Legian, for example, with just a 15-minute taxi ride.