Seminyak is the village immediately to the north of Legian with a reputation for all the pleasures in abundance to its south, but with a distinctly upmarket vibe. Here the sunglasses are bigger, the dresses designer and the drink of choice champagne.
Seminyak stretches from Jalan Double Six in the south and morphs into the villages of Kerobokan and Umalas somewhere north of the Petitenget temple.
Fashion designers flock to Seminyak in their hundreds and use this area to showcase their wares with little boutiques lining Jalan Raya Seminyak and Jalan Kayu Aya/Laksmana and Oberoi. Consequently, this increases the level of fashion awareness among the crowds that call this place home and you'll notice plenty of people attempting to uphold their image while slamming back cocktails at one of the many chic bars in town.
The beach here is simply an extension of the one further south in Kuta and Legian, but there are fewer patrolled areas for swimming and there are constant rumours circulating of the latest tourist to have drowned due to the treacherous waters. It's best to heed the warnings of the many signs along the beach to swim only been the flagged areas and ensure that a life guard is on duty in case you get into trouble.
The hotels in Seminyak represent some of the best in Indonesia with the likes of the Legian and Samaya showcasing just how well luxury accommodation can be done. At these sorts of places you can easily fork out in excess of US$500 per night — but these prices are bargain when compared to similarly priced rooms in the West. Despite the abundance of top end accommodation, it is possible to find cheaper digs located away from the beach but they are generally more expensive than what can be found in Kuta and Legian.
A big feature of the Seminyak scene is eating. Some truly amazing restaurants call Seminyak and more increasingly Kerobokan home. Eateries such as La Lucciola and Sarong are top notch while cafes such as Café Bali and The Tuckshop do fantastic coffees, cakes and lunches. The inner foodie in many people will delight at the options available here.
The main roads of Seminyak are Jalan Raya Seminyak, which is simply an extension of Jalan Legian further south and Jalan Kayu Aya, which houses a full range of boutiques, cafes and restaurants. Somewhat confusingly, Jalan Kayu Aya is also referred to as Jalan Laksmana and Jalan Oberoi. For the our purposes we use Jalan Laksmana from the junction with Jalan Raya Seminyak down to Seminyak Square, then Jalan Oberoi from there to Kudeta and the Oberoi Hotel and then Jalan Kayu Aya from there on to where it meets Jalan Pettitenget just after La Lucciola. It sounds confusing, but for all intents and purposes it is the one road and takes about 30 minutes to walk from end to end.
Outside of these roads, the area can feel like a bit of a rabbit warren as once tranquil ricefield laneways become sandwiched between the concrete walls of villas and upmarket hotels.
ATMs are available on Jalan Raya Seminyak and in some convenience stores located on Laksmana and Jalan Caplak Canduk. Internet cafes are predominantly located on Jalan Raya Seminyak, but free WiFi is widely available at the cafes on Jalan Laksmana. Medical emergencies are best treated at Sanglah hospital in Denpasar, though there is a small medical clinic on Jalan Laksmana.
By Adam Poskitt.