East Bali’s Countryside Charm at Sidemen Village
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East Bali’s Countryside Charm at Sidemen Village

Before the COVID-19 situation happens, Bali is overcrowded due to rapid developments in recent years. If that’s also what you are thinking about, then Sidemen is the destination you are looking for when the situation is back to normal. Situated at the foothills of the majestic Mount Agung, Sidemen Village invites visitors to experience the rural side of Bali, agricultural life, and refreshing green views. The village is surrounded by rice farms, making the village got a title as “Ubud of 20 years ago.” Well, that title was popular a while ago, yet seems still relevant as per today.

As expected from a laid-back Bali, you will meet friendly local peoples, lush rice fields, and flowing with time daily routines of Balinese. There are no wild parties here, so the best reason to come here is to escape and retreat from the hustle and bustle. Minimal a two-night stay here would be ideal to make sure the best experience at Sidemen.

The highlight of the area is its expansive green rice fields. At one quick look, it may seem not so interesting, but when you book a trekking tour and have a local guide, the whole experience will change. Listening to them explaining each plant or telling a joke as you walk through the rice paddies, it seems that every simple detail is trying to cheer up your mood. Other options for more energy-consumed activities are cycling tour, hike trekking, or rafting at nearby Telaga Waja River.

There are also people’s daily activities which you can take part in. At the jewellery studio, for example, you can see and interact with the maker, even some of them offering a service to teach you to make your own ring at a price. See the local women weave the traditional fabric. Or, do a quest to find and take a look at tuak (local alcohol) distilleries. The last one is a bit tricky because you need to have a local contact that will show you the place.

Accommodations are located in one area; most of them overlook the rice fields. The price range is also 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, such as a restaurant, spa, swimming pool, should be your preferred choice, just in case you want to do nothing and 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, yay! You may rent a scooter or hire a small car service with the driver. 

Once you are there, it is important to ‘blend’ with the local by wearing proper clothes. They might look at you with a strange gaze when you are wearing ‘too open’ outfit.

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