La Plancha Bali

Seminyak, Bali Vegan Travel Guide

My experience in Seminyak, Bali was truly one for the books. It’s such a beautiful and vibrant place with something for everyone! As soon as we landed we were excited to get to our Airbnb. We had been traveling for hours with very little sleep and were excited to get to a bed! I’ll admit, leaving the airport was a little overwhelming. We were nearing the exit and we were immediately bombarded by countless taxi drivers wanting our business. I dodged them and ran into the restroom while my husband waited in the hall. Would you believe that one of the drivers followed us and waited for me to come out so he could convince us to let him take us to our destination? It was insane, y’all. After ditching him, we headed to the upstairs area. My husband read on the internet that sometimes you can hop in one of the cabs that are dropping people off for a departing flight (their rates are typically more reasonable). We rode the escalator to the top and guess who was waiting for us? Another taxi driver!! He seemed different, not as aggressive as the rest, so we heard him out. His rate was reasonable and he had a valid taxi license so we decided to move forward with his services. He walked us to the parking garage where his car (unmarked taxi) was located and we hopped in.

Seminyak, BaliTo tell you the truth, I was nervous the entire ride. We traveled through areas that appeared to be sketchy and even through random parking lots. I was so relieved when we reached an area that I recognized from my Seminyak research: Jl. Camplung Tanduk. It’s a street that has shopping for miles, complete with art galleries, warungs, and restaurants. Luckily we made it to our Airbnb! We hopped out of the car and gathered our things. The home had an interesting location… we went through a gate and were immediately met by chickens and small children playing on a dirt filled area. Beyond this were multiple entry-ways to different homes. As a result of a neighbor peeking out of her window, we were able to find the right home. We were greeted by a nice host who was able to show us around and welcomed us to her property. Deryle and I looked at each other and we knew we wouldn’t be staying long. The floor was cement, the roof was seemingly made of straw (or something that resembled it) and the bathroom was outside. Why would we book such a place you might ask? I promise it looked better in the pictures! Still had an “earthy” vibe to it, but clean and comfortable. What we saw in person was a different story. Because I was so exhausted, I decided to take a nap (in my clothes) and opted to figure out our next move when I woke up.

My husband didn’t sleep not one wink! Which is interesting because out of the two of us, I’m a little more bougee about where I lay my head. He had already started combing through Airbnb (click here to get $40 off your first stay!) to find a new place. We settled on the Singgah Hotel, which happened to be about a 5 minute walk from our current location. If you’re looking for a place that’s basic, clean, inexpensive, and well located, this place is for you. No frills, no iron, and no mini fridge, but the staff was kind and our room was kept clean. As soon as we booked the room, we gathered our things, wrote the host a note and walked over to our new hotel, tucked away behind family temples.


Things to Do:

Deryle and our driver/tour guide, Alit.

Our goal with Bali was to simply relax. No day-to-day plans… just go with the flow. For the first few days we did just that. Seminyak is one of those places where you don’t really need an agenda. Toward the end of our stay, I decided that it was time to venture outside of the city life and explore what other areas had to offer. I got online and researched Bali drivers and found Wayan. His website was super helpful and I loved that he included his number so you could contact him via Whatsapp (very popular app to communicate with people internationally). I immediately sent him a text and inquired about a driver to Uluwatu. He offered an itinerary with every necessary detail, great pricing, and a confirmation. Boom! We were all set for our adventure the following day! I was so surprised that he was able to accommodate us on such short notice. And yes, all of our interactions were via text! An introvert’s dream! 🙂

Geger Beach

The next day, our driver was at the check in desk of our hotel waiting for us. He was very kind and shared a lot about Bali with us throughout our drive. He was also helpful in answering any questions we had along the way. All around, he was great! Our first stop was to Geger Beach. When we were in Seminyak, I was completely underwhelmed by the beaches and wondered where in the world all of the nice ones were. Geger is one of those beaches you should definitely make time to visit. We arrived to what felt like a private beach. During our visit, we saw about 6-7 people. It was mind-boggling that such a beautiful place was so deserted! Our driver walked us down to the sand and left us to explore on our own. The water was calm, the sand was beautiful and the scenery was every bit picturesque. Definitely one of my favorite places of the whole 2-month trip. We stayed for about an hour or so, then decided to move on to the next destination.

Maelasti Hidden Beach

Our next stop was Maelasti Hidden Beach. Before getting to the actual beach, we stopped on the side of the road where you could overlook the beach area below. It was beautiful! If you’re not fond of heights, you may want to stay back, as their is no guard rail to keep you from falling over! Hazardous indeed. This is not a place you want to travel to with enemies (or children). It could be the end for you (or them)! I didn’t go right to the edge, but I went far enough to realize that this was NUTS! In the third photo below with me and Deryle, you’ll see that the cliff ends where the brown rocks are.

Lots of people took this opportunity to admire the area. We even saw people posing for wedding photos. It was beautiful. Finally, we went down to the beach. We didn’t stay for long because it didn’t compare to Geger Beach at all! It was really pretty, but the sand was a mixture of seashells and other natural materials that just didn’t make it ideal for walking on. Not to mention, the water was freezing cold.

Uluwatu Temple

Lastly, we made our way to Uluwatu. A beautiful temple with an amazing scenery. It’s a very popular temple that’s known for the nightly Kecak Fire Dance and monkeys! We spent a great deal of time simply walking around and chatting with our driver. He escorted us everywhere and made sure that before entering the area, we weren’t wearing anything that could be easily taken away by monkeys. Yes! The monkeys will get you if you let them! Because of this, I didn’t wear any shades, kept my belongings on my body, and gave my phone the death grip (because I gotta take pictures, right?!). We approached an area of the grounds where there were about 8-10 monkeys. Everyone was crowding around, posing for pictures and watching them in amazement. I watched, but made sure Uluwatuto keep my distance. Then that’s when it happened. I looked over and the monkey was trying to take a man’s shoe right off of his foot! When that didn’t work, the monkey turned to the daughter ( probably 5 or 6 years old) and snatched her shoe off! The little girl immediately burst into tears, while the monkey climbed atop one of the fixtures. Before all of this happened, I noticed a lady sitting on the ground, very quite, and off to herself. She was just staring off into space. As soon as the monkey took the shoe, the lady got up and gave the monkey some food in exchange for giving the shoe back as he scurried away to share the food with his friends. The father of the little girl then paid the woman for her services. I was completely blown away by the entire ordeal! I knew that monkeys were smart, but gee wiz!

Since we arrived at the temple so early, we decided to go sit and wait at the performance area for the Kecak Fire Dance to ensure good seating. We got there about an hour early and I’m so glad we did because it filled up VERY quickly! It was so crowded that the staff had to bring in additional chairs and create three rows of seating where people sat on the ground. I don’t know if it’s like this every night, but if you’re interested in attending, I’d get there early. The performance was definitely a memorable part of the trip. It lasted for about an hour as the sun set in the background. There were very few words spoken, but it was filled with dance, music, and fire!

La Plancha

If you’re looking for good drinks and an amazing view of the sunset, La Plancha is where you wanna be.

My husband and I went here for drinks, dinner and of course, to watch the sunset. We arrived here around 5 or 6pm on a Thursday. We were greeted La Plancha Baliimmediately with lively music (some 90’s classics) and a sea of brightly colored beach umbrellas with matching bean bags. If you’re not into sitting on bean bags in the sand (which were much more comfortable than I initially thought they might be), there’s a covered area of their restaurant that you can sit in as well. I was a little confused about navigating through the area to find available seats, but just as we started walking through, we were met with a member of their staff who was able to help us find seating.

If you’ll notice, in the first sentence of this section, I left out “food.” That’s because I’m not sure if they really have any vegan options (there weren’t any labeled on the menu). I ended up ordering one of their veggie burgers on a charcoal bun, after confirming with the waiter that it didn’t contain any animal products. He said they didn’t but on second thought, his answer didn’t seem definitive so I would do some digging around the internet to see if this information was accurate. If you go, either eat before you get there or just stick with the fries and cocktails.

Nonetheless, the vibes at La Plancha are unmatched. It’s definitely worth the visit and I love that you can stay for as long as you’d like. We were there for probably 2-3 hours and didn’t feel rushed to leave not one bit.


Food:

Kynd

I arrived at Kynd at about 11am on a beautiful Friday morning. As soon as my husband and I hopped out of the Taxi, we were met with a crowd of other Kynd-loving customers who also wanted in on their amazing food. Right away, I wished I had managed to get up earlier to beat the crowds! We walked in, and to my surprise we were seated right away at the bar seats facing the window. It felt a bit claustrophobic, because the cafe is pretty small, but nonetheless we were excited to sit down, so we stayed. Smoothie Bowl from Kynd

Before I came, I imagined a mini photo shoot at their iconic pink wall but unfortunately all of the seats were taken on the patio outside. After a few minutes of drooling over the menu, we went to the counter and ordered. A few moments after returning to our seats, I noticed that a couple was leaving from the outside area. This was my chance to not only get to sit in front of the pink wall, but escape the claustrophobic seats we were sitting in. Four people at a small bar, right behind the door… not the most comfortable situation! We were successful in landing our new seats at the wall. It was so refreshing to sit outside and eat all of our amazing food.

If you’re in Bali, this is one of those places that you HAVE to visit! Before visiting, their bowls were popping up everywhere on social media and I knew I had to try them! I’ll admit, they are every bit as cute in person as they are on the internet! You can have them customized to say what you want! I thought this would come at an extra charge, but it didn’t! As part of my meal I ordered the Berry Tropical smoothie bowl, which is dragon fruit blended Kyndwith banana, mixed berries, and coconut water. It’s topped with their house-made granola, strawberries and banana. I couldn’t just order one thing, so in addition I ordered the Paradise Pancakes which were vanilla infused with coconut ice-cream. They’re topped with a delicious berry compote, candied hazelnuts, strawberry cream, banana and of course, maple syrup! My husband ordered the Aspey, which is a gourmet toast with smashed avocado, coconut feta, popped capers, tomato, basil, and lemon. I wouldn’t be the wonderful wife I am without trying his out, right? So of course I did!

Everything was amazing. The smoothie bowl was so pretty, I didn’t even want to eat it! The fruit was so fresh and the pancakes, though unique in appearance they didn’t lack in flavor one bit. Needless to say, I left incredibly full! Plan on stopping by on your next visit to Bali? Here are a few things to note:

  • Get there early! The current cafe is small and seating is a bit limited.
  • They’re moving in August! Not too far though, just next door. This means more space!
  • Be kynd. I would imagine that even with more space, they’ll be just as busy. Be kynd to your fellow kynd eaters and be mindful of how long you linger, especially when people are waiting. 🙂

Earth Cafe

Before actually going into eat at Earth Cafe, I had walked past it a few times on my way to neighboring places and made a mental note about visiting before leaving town. The night before we left I made it my business to try this spot out and I’m glad I did! Their menu is very extensive and filled with a variety of options. There are so many choices it was really hard for me to choose! After much deliberation, I decided to order their hot dog and fries. Upon their arrival, Earth Cafe Vegan Hot Dogmy first reaction was that it smelled great! Though the texture of the hot dog was very soft, the taste made up for what was lacking in texture. It was extremely well seasoned and was full of flavor. My favorite part of any meal is typically the fries. I’m a sucker for a good order of fried potatoes! Unfortunately the fries left much to be desired. I was surprised because they appeared to fit the bill. The fries were bland, which was surprising because they appeared to be heavily seasoned. Additional salt may have done the trick.

Whenever I’m traveling, it’s hard for me to leave a restaurant without ordering dessert and Earth Cafe was no exception. I decided to try something new and order their tofu lemon cheesecake. I was nervous about this decision because I’ve never tried a dessert that was tofu based, but I was hoping to be pleasantly surprised. I’m always amazed at the creativity of vegan chefs and bakers, so I wondered if it was possible to make tofu taste like cheesecake. I’ve got good news and bad news… the good news is, the taste was great. It had a slight lemony taste and was topped with an Agar-Agar + Strawberry sauce. The bad news is, the texture was underwhelming. I was disappointed that the texture wasn’t more firm. Unfortunately it reminded me of a custard, instead of a cheesecake. In the future, I’ll stick to cashew-based cheesecakes but I’m glad I tried it.

The Shelter

I completely lucked out with this gem! One day I was searching for vegan food nearby and I was pleasantly surprised to find out that The Shelter was within The Shelter Waffleswalking distance! When you arrive there’s a bar downstairs where you can get smoothie bowls and such. Upstairs is where you’ll find “the shelter.” As soon as you walk in, you’re surrounded by greenery and earthy vibes galore. During my first visit, my husband and I went and were seated right away. I ordered the “Mr. Waffles” with a side of hash browns. Let’s start with the waffle… IT WAS AMAZING! This deliciously soft waffle was topped with whipped blueberry coconut cream, mixed berries, coconut palm syrup almond dust, and mini oreos. I ate every bit of this waffle, it was so good y’all! The hash browns don’t look like much, but they’re actually pretty good! I was worried that they might be more similar to chips (they looked super crunchy), but they weren’t! my husband ordered a coconut yogurt topped with granola which was pretty good as well (of course I tasted it).

A few days later, I decided to visit again, this time I was on a solo mission. It was breakfast time and I was starvin’! I arrived and was seated soon after- when you walk upstairs there’s not really a host. When the restaurant is super busy, it might take a minute or two for someone to notice you. Once I was seated (at a community table), it took a few minutes to order. Then once I figured out what I wanted, it took a few minutes for someone to actually take my order. Once I ordered, I was asked to move to another table to make room for other guests. It was crowded and open The Sheltertables were few. I took one for the team and moved to another table. Another community table along with a guy working on his laptop. At first everything was fine, then a mother and baby took his place. She then proceeded to ask me to swap places with them because she didn’t want the baby in the aisle. Look, I’m all for being amenable and helping folks out, but truth be told there was an aisle on both sides of the table and I just wasn’t going to move again. I declined and proceeded to wait for my food. I was on a little bit of a tight schedule (this was they day we hired a driver to take us to Uluwatu), and began to wonder where my food was. The waiter assured me it was on its way. A few minutes later I was being asked what my order was. REALLY?! I placed my order (again) and continued to wait. I’m pretty sure they made it a priority at this point because my food arrived 5 minutes later. This time I went with a tofu scramble breakfast burrito filled with carrots, tomato, spinach and a side of guac/salsa. It was good, but not nearly as good as the waffle I had a few days prior.

I’d like to think they were just having an off day, so would I visit again? Yes, but only because my first experience went so well. I also have to consider the cultural norms that may have played a part in my experience. Maybe it’s common to be moved around? Maybe service is generally slow?

Cafe Organic

If you’re currently making a list of every foodie place to visit in Seminyak, definitely add Cafe Organic to your list! Although they’re not toally vegan, they’ve gotThe Shelter a great selection of vegan options to choose from (free from the typical boring stuff). Being that it seemed so popular, I was nervous that we may not be seated right away, which could have been problematic because my stomach was yelling at me (yet again). To my surprise, there was no wait, although the restaurant was pretty full.

For my meal, I decided to go with the Scrambled Tofu on sourdough that came with a side of tomato chili sambal (basically salsa). In addition, I ordered the Lovers Pancake (gluten free!) that was topped with a forest berry compote, caramelized banana, coconut nectar and a house made coco whip. For my drink I went with the Island Vibes- a juice blend of pineapple, coconut water, orange, and lime. YUM!

My husband (non vegan) went with the truffle Parmesan fries and an order of their Smashed Avo toast, sprinkled with feta cheese on sourdough. Everything was delicious! Our only complaint was the pesky flies. The restaurant has a very open and inviting feel to it and I noticed that the door was occasionally accidentally left open.  So just be prepared to swat a few of them away! I loved visiting here and actually wish I had more time for a second visit. The staff was inviting, the prices were great. Where else can you get a table full of veg-friendly food for $17?! Certainly not in the US!

Taco Beach

Taco Beach was the very first place we visited after landing in Seminyak, Bali (after my nap and switching hotels). My husband and I hadn’t eaten in what felt like two days Taco Beachso needless to say, we were pretty hungry. Taco Beach was about an 8-10 minute walk from our hotel, which was perfect for us. Before deciding to go, I reviewed their menu just to make sure there would be something vegan-friendly for me to order. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there were quite a few different vegan options and they were clearly labeled! I’m always happy when I can find restaurants that we’ll both love.

When we arrived, there were only a handful of people in the restaurant and it was happy hour! Now I’m not a big drinker, but if the price is right and I’m in the mood, I’m down for whatever. I ordered the deep fried avocado taco along with the veggie chorizo and a few margaritas (two to be exact. I’m such a light-weight!). We were in heaven! I’ll admit, they weren’t the best tacos I’d ever had, but considering we were in Indonesia, they were pretty good. In fact, we thought it was worth a second visit, as we found ourselves dining there for dinner a few days later.

The staff was friendly and the service was prompt. Would I visit again next time I’m in town? Definitely!


Know Before You Go:

There’s a thing people sometimes get when visiting Bali called the “Bali Bug.” It’s not necessarily food poisoning, but it’s your body’s reaction to the new bacteria. After 2-3 days of being in Seminyak, I noticed that I was a little more “frequent” than I usually am, so I did some research and got introduced to Bali Bug. Bali has different bacteria in their water that sometimes has negative effects on people. It can trigger everything from diarrhea to vomiting, so be careful! Although I ate at popular restaurants (I avoided the local warungs), I wasn’t exempt. I didn’t have the worst of cases, but it certainly made for uncomfortable situations at times (I’ll spare you the deets).

So prepare yourself! I’ve read that there are some shots/precautions you can take by visiting with your doctor beforehand if you want to go that route. If not, just pack some Tums or something to fight back! While we were there I picked up some activated charcoal tablets and I’d certainly advise a quick google search of how to avoid getting sick. The good news is, as soon as we left, all of our problems stayed in Bali! 🙂

Taxi’s will try to scam you into paying higher rates (flat rates) for rides. To avoid this, be sure to come to an understanding before you get too far. We tried our best to stay with Blue Bird Taxi, but there are a lot of perpetrators out there with similar paint jobs and signs! It can be a little tricky, but as long as you request a meter and they oblige, you’ll be okay.

If you’re confident in your motor scooter abilities, this is a great alternative to walking and catching taxis. We decided not to go this route only because the Seminyak traffic patterns/driving was crazy and we didn’t feel like it was the right move for us.

Stay tuned for Part 2 where I’ll be covering Ubud, Bali!

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