Bali is fantastic. Ancient temples, imposing volcanoes, black sand beaches, green rice terraces, lush vegetation. The list goes on.
But with so much to see come the crowds. They descend en mass on Bali’s most popular city, Ubud.
It’s certainly worth spending several days in Ubud. It’s the perfect base to use for visiting nearby attractions.
But after a few days I was ready to go where few tourists go. The small town of Sidemen (pronounced sid-a-men, not SIDE-men).
Only a couple hours from Ubud by motorbike, the main town of Sidemen is on a busy road. But a side road leads into nice rice terraces.
Down this road are quite a few homestays, and several swanky places. If you want to swim in an infinity pool in a rice field, this is the place!
I should clarify exactly what a Balinese homestay is. Balinese live in beautiful little compounds full of gardens, shrines, and statues. A homestay is a compound that has been converted into rooms guests can stay in. They are inexpensive, and can be quite nice.
Despite all the guesthouses, the locals still busily farm their fields here. While driving around I saw a couple teenaged girls hanging out by a field shouting and making noise. I thought they were being annoying kids, until I realized they were scaring crows away from their family’s wheat fields.
After I checked into a homestay, I got right back on my scooter to drive around the rice terraces. I wasn’t sure where to go, and there was no map, but the terraces were everywhere. Just by driving around randomly I saw plenty of them.
Sidemen can also be used as a base to climb Mt. Agung and for seeing Besakih, the Balinese mother temple.
Sidemen was a great place to spend a couple days in Bali away from he crowds.