We spent our final two days of our holiday in Jimbaran, Bali; just 15 minutes south of the airport. I had heard good reviews from coworkers about Jimbaran and wanted to try to see as much of Bali as possible during our short trip. Unfortunately, Jimbaran did not come close to our expectations and was the least enjoyable part of our trip. Allow me to explain..
First, let’s talk about our hotel: Dream @ Jimbaran. While this was probably one of the nicer places we stayed at in Bali, it was not worth it considering the price and location; we were in the middle of nowhere. Literally. On the website, it said the hotel was only a ten minute walk to Jimbaran Beach.. Um, no. More like a 30 minute walk on a narrow strip beside an extremely busy road where getting hit by a vehicle was a serious possibility. The hotel itself was quite nice – very clean and up-to-date. However, in order to get there, you had to go down a sketchy gravel road and there was literally nothing near by, save for a good ‘ol 7-11 (though sometimes that’s really all you need, isn’t it).
We also had a dispute with the management over a motorbike incident. Long story short, the hotel offered rentals on motorbikes and didn’t tell us we needed an international drivers license (we probably should have known, but I’ve never rented a motorbike in another country and now due to this experience, I never will again). They told us there was half a tank of gas in the bike, but after about 5 minutes of driving the bike came to a stop in the middle of the road. Though extremely annoyed, this matter was sorted out within 20 minutes after pushing the bike to a nearby shop for gas. After getting back on the road for literally 2 minutes, we were pulled over by the police who demanded to see our international drivers license. Clearly we didn’t have this, so they gave us two options: 1. Take this issue to court and possibly have to pay a hefty fine or 2. Pay a $25 USD fine upfront to them. We ended up paying the fine up front, but were obviously extremely upset about this as other tourists told us afterwards that they talked their way out of the fine or told them they knew someone in Bali and were going to phone them first. Needless to say, this completely ruined our day. Faith in those meant to protect a country completely lost. In the end we were upset with the hotel for their complete disregard in telling us this information (had this been a hole-in-the-wall hostel, we probably would have felt differently) even though they were well aware of police patrols around the area and how an international drivers license was required.
What can I say about the beach that the pictures below can’t?
We had heard that there were great restaurants all along the beach. Apparently people forgot to mention that they overtook the beach and would pester you to come and sit down. No sense in trying to figure out which restaurant to choose because their menus were all the same: pricey seafood.
We had heard that the beach was beautiful with soft sand and gentle water. Apparently people forgot to mention that during this time of year (no idea it was rainy season) all the crap from the ocean: parts of trees, the remains of sea creatures, seaweed, and a plethora of other less-than-attractive things get washed up onto shore. This pretty much meant that you could not swim in the water, unless you wanted to swim with dead blow-fish and the like. Oh and did I mention locals were burning piles of rubbish on the beach as well?
We had also heard that the sunset on Jimbaran Beach was a must see. Apparently people were actually right for once. The sunset made our less than stellar beach experience a little better. Enjoying a happy hour beer at one of the many restaurants on the beach while watching the sunset was the silver lining at the end of our day. Just be mindful of what time you choose to head back as the tide sweeps in and makes its way up the beach, crashing into the front tables of the restaurants. Also, you need to try the barbecued corn on the cob – deeeelicious!
Finally, the streets. Nothing spectacular to see here – just like Kuta and Ubud, there is tonnes of traffic and narrow walking paths. Though unlike Kuta and Ubud, there really isn’t much to see or do here unless you rent a motorbike, as everything is spread quite far apart. If I’m being honest (which I always am, as I’m sure most of you know who follow my blog) I would not recommend visiting Jimbaran. The two days we spent there were just a waste of time.
Also – discovering that if you bring a bag of chips on a plane, the pressure will cause the bag to balloon up was pretty darn cool!
My other adventures in Bali:
Two Nights In Kuta
What To Expect From Accommodations In Ubud
Wandering Ubud: The Streets, Markets, & Rice Fields
How To Survive The Monkey Forest In Ubud, Bali
5 Things No One Told You About The Gili Islands
The Many Sides Of Gili Trawangan: Bicycling Around
Sunsets And Night Markets: Gili Trawangan
Gili Trawangan: The Beach
Finding Accommodations In Gili Trawangan
Mount Batur Volcano Sunrise Trek: Ubud, Bali
Padang Padang Beach (Otherwise Known As “The Beach From Eat, Pray, Love”): Bali