The nightlife scene in Bali is a worked of its own. To fully have a handle on it you’d need a fulltime staff, that’s why I asked the Beat Magazine to let me post their bi-weekly Update.
Last night I wanted to see what was going on in 2 parts of town. Seminyak nightlife kicks off late, so pacing myself was important. Starting off with a lovely ayam taliwang (23,000rp) at Cabe Rawit on Jl. Kunti, I was the only customer at 8pm. Cabe Rawit is usually quiet, so nothing to report.
Riding around the Jl. Kartika Plaza area, there were groups of Asian and western family tourists. The really busy area is around Discovery Mall, although that is a shopping area, rather than a nightlife area. Stadium Cafe was quiet.
Back in Seminyak I rode around the Jl. Petitenget / Jl. Oberoi area, trying to gauge how busy some of the better restaurants were. There were tourists out, though not in huge numbers. Passing Zappaz bar on Jl. Oberoi, a rock band caught my ear, so I pulled over a drank a beer. The band was impressive, good guitar players, piano players and female singer! The owner got on the piano himself at the break. This place attracted a tourist crowd in their 40′s-50′s, with a scatterring of younger people. There were also a handful of Indonesian patrons. Total people, about 25. Zappaz is ideally placed to carch the people from the Oberoi hotel and Resor Seminyak.
Thursday night is Sexy Dancer night at Galaxy. That’s just around the corner from my house, so I can catch that anytime.
DeJaVu is a very popular lounge bar, facing the ocean, on Jl. Arjuna, at the end of Jl. Double Six. I got there at 11.45pm and stayed 45 minutes. The place had probably 25 customers, mostly westerners and a few Indonesians. Usually packed, this place seemd very quiet. One thing that annoyed me was how the waitstaff tend to hang onto your change. This is not the only place where this happens. They must figure that several thousand rupiah means nothing, to someone who can buy drinks with a 100,000rp note. I drank Coke as I didn’t want to be draging today.
Down in Kuta, the street was packed with motorbikes outside MBarGo. ‘There must be something happening tonight’, I thought. There was. About 150 Australians, male and female, drinking, with a handful dancing, no Indonesians in sight. Idul Fitri means most Muslim Indonesians take off for home and last night it was apparent. The Aussies appeared to be having a good time anyhow.
For people who want to check out the nightlife in Bali, you have to stay up late. Places like DeJaVu only get busy around midnight, Double Six opens at midnight. One strategy is to drink water or Coke. That’s what I did, a small water costing 13,000rp in DeJavu. If you are a nightlife hound, it really limits what else you can do in Bali, as you’ll be exhausted the next day, and sunset is around 6.30pm.
Jl. Dhyana Pura used to be more of a draw for nightlife, but 2 of the most popular places closed, Spy Bar and Liquid. Now there is a line of gay bars (Kwin, Q Bar, Kudos, and others). For gay travelers you’ll find an accepting scene in Seminyak.