Whether you like it or not, Bali is now overcrowded! Some believe it happens because of the rapid developments in the recent years. However, most of the developments are still focusing on the southern coast. And, you know what? Bali is large! There are still places to be discovered. Sidemen Village on the east side can be a new destination you can opt if you are looking for a less-crowded ambience.
Situated at the foothills of the majestic Mount Agung, Sidemen Village invites travellers to experience a rural side of Bali; agricultural life with refreshing green views. The village is surrounded by rice farms, making the village is entitled to ‘Ubud: 20 years ago’. Well, that title was popular a while ago, yet seems still relevant as we speak.
As expected from a laid-back Bali, you will meet friendly locals with a genuine smile, lush rice fields and flowing with time daily routines of Balinese. If you are craving for late-night parties with booze and half-naked men walking on the street, well you are in a wrong place. There are no wild parties here, making the village as the best spot to escape and retreat from the island’s hustle and bustle. You can at the very least stay 2 nights here to get the ‘real’ vibe of Sidemen Village.
The highlight of the village is its expansive green rice fields. At one quick look, it may seem not so interesting. But try to find a local guide and book a trekking tour. It is well-assured you will feel a whole new experience. Listen to how they explain each plant or when they tell jokes as you walk through the rice paddies, it seems that every simple detail is working hand-in-hand to take your mood up to the next level. Alternatively, for more energy-consumed activities, opt for a cycling tour, hike trekking or rafting at nearby Telaga Waja River.
You can also take part doing the local’s daily activities at the jewellery studio. Here, you can see and interact with the artist. For sure, some of them will offer a service so you can create your own piece to sell. If you are fancy for fashion, walk around a bit to see the local women weave the traditional fabric. Those who love booze, do a quest to find tuak (local alcohol) distilleries. Again, you need a local guide who is familiar with things around the neighbourhood.
Accommodations are located in one area; most of them overlook the rice fields. The price range is lower than Ubud – which is only one hour drive from Sidemen, so you have the flexibility to choose one that suits the budget. An accommodation with complete facilities should be your preferred choice, just in case you want to do nothing but stay at the hotel all day.
Now, when you are ready to take your weekend break, travelling to Sidemen has only a few options. Because of its long and narrow way, it’s almost impossible to bring a big vehicle. It means there is no flooding mass tourism here yet. Thank God for that! You may rent a scooter or hire a small car service with driver. Once you are there, it is important to ‘blend’ with the locals by wearing proper clothes. They might look at you with a strange gaze when you are wearing something inappropriate.