We heard from several people that the best place to see “Old Bali”, with its endless rice fields and natural beauty, was to travel East and visit the town of Sideman. Unlike other parts of Bali, Sideman hasn’t been overrun with tourists or luxury villas. It has remained largely unchanged over the past several decades, besides a few small hotels to accommodate those looking to get away from the tourist path for a couple days.

So we borrowed Marty Mcfly’s Delorean (AKA our little blue motorbike) and travelled back in time to get of glimpse of what Bali used to look like.

Sideman, Bali

Sideman is about an hour from Ubud and is a fairly easy ride by motorbike. The majority of the ride is on a main road through larger towns with a few twist and turns. Even though we were trying to travel back in time, we’re very thankful to have modern day luxuries like Google Maps. Seriously, how did people survive before the internet? Clap it up for you Louis and Clark… but we are very happy to be living in the 21st century!

When we got about 15 minutes away from Sideman we knew instantly we were getting close. The buildings starting disappearing and we were surrounded by green rice fields for days.

Rice, Rice Baby!

Sideman, Bali

For those looking for a real work out, Sideman is a popular place to stay if you’re looking to climb Mount Agung. However, we recently climbed to the top of Mount Batur and thought we’d spend our weekend taking in the views of the volcano rather than climbing it!

That brings us to our three R’s of Sideman: Rest, Relaxation and Rice fields.

For our weekend retreat we booked two nights at Teras Bali Rice Terrace Bungalows and Spa, which we’d highly recommend for anyone visiting this area. It’s a secluded hotel with a great infinity pool and amazing views of both Mount Agung and the surrounding rice fields. For being off the tourist track, it also has a pretty good restaurant for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and also has a on-premise spa if you’re looking to do a little extra relaxing.

Sideman, Bali

Sideman, Bali

Although we spent most of our time chillin’ poolside at the hotel and enjoying the occasional trip to the spa, we decided to be a little adventurous on our second day and took a guided tour through the rice terraces.

We woke up bright and early to avoid the mid-day heat and enjoyed a two hour, six mile stroll through rice fields and rivers. Along our walk, not only did we take in amazing views but we also got a feel for how the locals live.
Sideman, BaliSideman, Bali

Our guide, Kadek, was an expert in all things Sideman, and took us off the main roads to explore the rice fields using the same paths the famers use to tend the land. Although, rice wasn’t the only thing being grown… We could’ve had a mini-picnic with chili peppers, cassava, peanuts (who knew peanuts were grown in Bali?!), chives, and much more!

Sideman, Bali

Sideman, Bali

Sideman, Bali

After our mid-morning walk we returned to our hotel to do what we do best… lay out by the pool, take in some more views and enjoy the natural beauty of Sideman. After relaxing for a few hours we jumped on our motorbike to explore more of the area, which did not disappoint! From bamboo tunnels to yellow bridged roads, it was an unforgettable ride!

Sideman, Bali

Sideman, Bali

Overall, Sideman is a great place to get away from the hustle and bustle of other tourist areas in Bali, and the perfect place to get some “me time” and just unwind.

One comment on “Traveling Back in Time: Sideman, Bali

  • Are you really feel the old of Bali at there ? natural view with terace rice field is so nice right, i really like with that. You know that Sidemen area have traditional chloth. That so recomended there are when someone need to relax. Are you ever visit in canggu area ? many interesting activities that you can do in here. Here i show you about the acomodation in canggu area. You can visit here I have an information about acomodation when you in Bali, You can rent villa here. I have an information about the villa, you can visit en.balijetaime.com to get more information about that.

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