East Bali is one of the most underrated travel destinations on the island. Home to a stunning coastline, quaint rural villages, and some of the most significant cultural landmarks to Balinese Hindus, East Bali offers a lot to be discovered.
Sidemen Village is a quiet village in Karangasem Regency. Situated just 30km from the heart of Ubud, a day trip to Sidemen gives travelers a chance to dive deep into Balinese culture and explore some of the island’s most impressive natural landscapes.
Most people choose to take a private driver or tour guide for their day trip to Sidemen. It is not uncommon, however, for tourists to hire a moped and explore the area at their own pace.
Remember, if you’re hiring a moped in Bali, you must have an international driving license and wear a helmet, along with adhering to local traffic laws.
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Sidemen is safe and could even be described as sleepy. This typically Balinese village, or rather a collection of villages, is slowly opening up for tourism.
There is plenty to explore, from locally run warungs serving locally grown coffee to waterfalls, rice terraces, and artisanal craft experiences too.
All good day trips start with a strong cup of coffee. Visitors first arriving in Sidemen often make a B-line for Warung Ceptik.
This locally owned and managed cafe serves up exceptional organic meals and great coffee. It’s the perfect place to take a minute to get your bearings in this new landscape.
@saradaviestravel 3 things to do in Sidemen, Bali #bali #balitravel #balilife #bali2022 #sidemenbali #thingstodoinbali #thingstodoinsidemen #balitips ♬ original sound – mi1lie.x
The cafe overlooks heritage rice terraces and local vegetable gardens. Food and service at Warung Ceptik are so good that day-trippers to Sidemen often find themselves returning for lunch and even dinner before they head back to their hotel.
For a slightly more upmarket vibe for lunch or dinner, check out Sleeping Gajah Kitchen & Lounge. Diners are also welcome to use the swimming pool and stay a while to sunbathe and relax before, during, or after their meal.
The views at Sleeping Gajah Kitchen & Lounge are truly breathtaking. Overlooking the Karangasem hills, guests can feast on traditional Balinese and Indonesian culinary delights like udang jerungga (grilled grass with citrus fruits, salad, and sweet and sour dressing) or classic bebek goreng (crispy fried duck).
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Once suitably fueled up for an adventure, the first stop on a day trip to Sidemen has to be the iconic Gembleng Waterfall.
This jungle watering hole has gone viral on social media more times than you can count.
On busy days visitors do have to wait their turn to get their moment in the natural water pool, but it is so worth the wait for the view and for the photos.
@saradaviestravel Day in the life in Sidemen, Bali ✨ Visiting Gembleng Waterfall #bali #balitravel #sidemenbali #dayinthelifebali #lifeinbali #gemblengwaterfall #bali2022 ♬ Memories (feat. Kid Cudi) – David Guetta
Access to Gembleng Waterfall is really easy, the car park has plenty of space, and the waterfall can be found a gentle 5-minute stroll from the parking spot.
There is no official ticketing system in place at Gembleng Waterfall; most people make a donation between IDR 30,000-50,000 for the upkeep of the beautiful jungle sanctuary.
The waterfall itself is stunning, but it is the natural clear water pools that make a trip to Gembleng Waterfall extra special.
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Time for some shopping? There are plenty of local arts and crafts stalls and shops to discover around Sideman.
One of the most well-known stores is Pelangi Traditional Weaving, located at Jalan Sidemen. Visitors can browse (and buy) traditionally woven fabrics, including sarongs.
Much of the weaving is done on-site by local women, and a visit to the store is a wonderful way to observe this skill in action.
An afternoon in Sidemen is best spent having a lazy wander around the rice terraces. Much quieter than Bali’s most famous rice terraces, the paddies of Sidemen are just as beautiful (if not more so!). There are plenty of good lookout points, but for the best views, check out.
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A day trip to Sidemen can be as jam-packed or as laid back as you like. For an extra busy day, be sure to check out silver-making workshops at Agung Silver or book in for white water rafting or tubing along the Telaga Waja River.
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