MEIMELALI.COM: Exploring Sidemen Bali – Bali’s Best Kept Secret | Maimelali.com.
Things to See and Do In Sidemen, Bali
Explore Sidemen by bike
Just riding or driving through the villages in and around Sidemen gives you a great view of the rice farming around the area. Either adventure on your own bike (or car) or take a motorcycle tour with Samanvaya’s in-house local guides. We loved this option as not only did we get a heap of local knowledge along the way, but the bike used by the guide was super comfortable for a passenger and I could take photos and videos along the way.
Grab a bite at a local warung
There are many local warungs to stop and grab a bite at on your adventures. We ate at a cute little spot called Sweet Warung – it was delicious local fare, served by a very excited local family to have some tourists dining in. Our meals were authentically delicious and super affordable.
Explore Sidemen’s stunning waterfalls
If you are a waterfall lover, you are spoiled for choice in Sidemen. We explored two waterfalls during our stay and at each, we were the only visitors.
The first waterfall we visited was Jagasatru Waterfall. This waterfall is located in Salak Village which is about a 20 minute, very scenic ride from Samanvaya resort. This lessor-known waterfall has big plans, but if you are lucky enough to visit soon you may get it all to yourself like us!
There is a HUGE new golden statue that has been built here, with stairs leading up to it. At the top, you have a view right out to Padang Bai. The development plans for this area are on display, but at the moment just the statue and lookout have been completed. When we visited there wasn’t even someone there to pay the donation for entry.
There are around 100 steps leading down to the waterfall, some are quite deep (if you have bad knees, perhaps this is not the best waterfall to visit). At the bottom, you can swim in the small lagoon at the base of the waterfall. There is also a Holy Water area you can bathe in too. The vegetation is quite diverse leading down. You can see Salak (otherwise known as snake fruit) growing, along with Mangosteen trees and many other plants (and animals). At the moment there are no little stores open in this waterfall, so bring some water (and maybe snacks) with you!
The second waterfall we visited was in the actual village of Sidemen and only around a 10-minute ride from Samanvaya. Gembleng Waterfall has for sure become one of my favourite Bali waterfalls after this visit. You pay a donation to go in (they don’t specify any amount, we paid 20k each). The waterfall is not huge, but the highlight is the small rock pools you can plunge in at the top. These pools have the most epic view of jungle, rice fields, and even the ocean. This waterfall you actually walk UP to (unlike most Bali waterfalls which walk down to). The stairs are shallow & easy and there are only around 60 of them. At the top, there is a little Warung selling drinks, snacks, beers and in true Bali style, even Arak! To get to the rock pools you need to climb over some rocks, these can be quite slippery, but it is not a far way. We loved plunging in the fresh water and taking in the gorgeous views!
Click here if you want to read more about other waterfalls in Bali.
Sidemen’s own yellow bridge
Sidemen also has its own version of the Yellow Bridge. Unlike the new Lembongan/Cenigan yellow bridge, this one is not really made for riding over on motorbikes (even though you’ll see quite a few people doing this). It’s quite rickety but provides a gorgeous view of the river below (don’t be surprised to see local villagers bathing naked in this river though). This cute little spot is just five minutes from Samanvaya resort.
Go hiking through the Sidemen rice fields
Beside motorbike tours the resort also offers guided hikes through the rice fields and down to the river. We didn’t get to do this during our stay but plan to do it next visit. The guide will take you right through the rice terraces and down to the river, explaining the local area to you.