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Seminyak

Seminyak

Whilst it's seamlessly attached to Kuta-Legian, they all started off as separate villages, if you read most of the travel literature out there, you’d think it were a completely different world. Shops become boutiques, clubs become hide-outs, restaurants become supperclubs and so on. The reality is, Seminyak is better than its neighbour by degrees, not in kind. So, while the beach is spectacular, the smudgy sunsets look like they’ve been designed by drunken kids with crayons and the bars wouldn't dare serve you dodgy arak, the place still attracts glossy scenesters with more money than taste. The one thing everybody can agree on, however, is how great the food is. While other parts of Bali specialise, in Seminyak, whether you want European, Japanese, Indonesian or local, the grub served is five-star.
KUTA LEGIAN

KUTA LEGIAN

Evoking a bogan culture… where everything is cheap, nasty and congested, this slice of Bali’s west coast isn’t great. It’s where Western throwbacks such as Hard Rock Café mix with the tackiest of local shops; where short-changing money counters compete with small armies of taxi touts and hawkers for your attention. So Kuta, with its race-to-the-bottom attitude, probably deserves its rock-bottom reputation. A recent development, however, is that the area’s stopped appealing even to bogans, who’ve embarked on a mass exodus north to Seminyak, leaving Kuta shorn of the one thing it was meant to be good at, an eccentric nightlife. This, mixed with high rents for the area, mean it will either have to reinvent itself promptly or hit its twilight days prematurely.
KEROBOKAN CANGGU

KEROBOKAN CANGGU

A notch above Seminyak, the quality rises yet again. This is where the luxe crowd have started to congregate, mixing with the real surfers who prefer their barrels without a queue and expats with villas the size of airports. Lots of the area is still in development, however, so rice paddies, construction sites, shacks and glam pads all jostle a tad incoherently. At the moment it just about gets away with passing itself off as a characterful mish-mash but only time will tell. In the meantime, guide books will send you to dives like dirty, glass-littered Echo Beach, hiding its sullen nature under euphemisms like ‘popular’ but ignore them and head to Batu Bolong, where at the very least there’s some great bars like Old Man’s.
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