I am sitting perched on a bright green hillside, overlooking the most stunning vista of terraces and farmland. The house owner, Wira just bought me a fresh glass of steaming Jasmine tea and our kids are playing with the owner’s young daughters just behind me.
Where are we?
Sidemen? We are only a few
We came from Amed, up through a beautiful green valley growing crops of everything from snake fruit and dragon fruit to rice and chillies, interspersed with bananas and coconuts. It was such a peaceful and pretty drive and cost us 300,000IDR.
We spent an incredible 4 nights in Amed, on Bali’s
We had arranged our transport through Airbnb with the villa host and I was so glad we did, as I don’t think any old taxi driver could have found the place easily! We passed through the village of Sidemen, which has a small supermarket and an ATM, and then continued on once the wide narrowed, and got very bumpy. The anticipation grew as our driver described the track at one point as ‘extreme’! And all of a sudden, we had arrived at our beautiful Natural View House Sidemen Bali.
After a couple of recent Airbnb fails, we were so happy that this one turned out so well!
The Gorgeous ‘View House’
The entry-way was the first thing to impress with a spotlessly clean and decoratively tiled pathway leading through the family compound. The friendly and timid family dog was there to meet us, along with the whole family! Wira and his wife Lisenna, and their 2 daughters, as well as a group of various family members and staff. They quickly provided us with a delicious welcome drink and showed us into our amazing private 2 story apartment.
What a Dazzling Room!
There are 4 different rooms here, of varying sizes, but they all have one thing in common, that incredible view! We are about 200m up in the air on the side of the hill, and down below is a rich verdant farmed valley. The crops are grown in picturesque rows of corn,
The entire front of our room is huge glass windows which face this stunning view. The door opens into the master bedroom with a four-poster bed and mosquito netting, then it’s down the stairs to the kid’s room with a netted queen bed and a sitting area. The air-conditioning and the hot showers are
The downstairs contains a water filter, TV, gas cooktop, kettle and fridge and though we couldn’t actually get the TV to work, we would rather watch the view anyway.
Doors then open up to the terrace with a daybed and another eastern facing sitting area, and then onto the beautiful infinity pool from which you can gaze out over that vista for ages.
The common area upstairs is the family living area, as well as shared by all the guests. There is a beautiful roofed area leading onto a large terrace with comfy couches, daybeds and chairs and tables. Bookshelves full of books and toys will entertain and educate the kids and adults alike!
Every Saturday, Wira, the owner hosts a BBQ for his friends, family
Breakfast is included with the room rate and consists of either omelettes or the best ever pancakes with fruit salad. There is free tea and coffee all day, and free rice.
“I give you free rice – you have a lot of children, I have a lot of rice!”Wira, View House, Sidemen
There is a simple menu, and they are very accommodating when it comes to providing plain food for the kids. But we love the Cap Cay! It is so chock full of veggies and flavour! You can also order a whole roast chicken, but you need to give them a few hours notice for that one so they can go and kill a chook first! They boiled up the chicken, and then served you the soup while the bird was crisped up on the grill and then served with Balinese sauces, and rice. After the all-vegetarian menu we had been having for the last few days, it was an amazing meal!
There are a few very simple general stores in walking distance of View House from which you can buy snacks, chocolates and ice creams but Wira’s View House is the only place in the immediate area serving meals.
Where else can you stay?
Nature View House was a good
Closer to town, there are a collection of villas which line the one street overlooking the river.
What is there to do in Sidemen Bali?
A shuttle service is provided into Sidemen if you need it,
Have a Massage
There is a massage guy at View House who does the most intense remedial massage I have ever had. It is only 100,000IDR per hour. That’s $10AUD. Now, I am not into relaxation massage. I believe that
Try a Cooking Class
A cooking class here is an absolute must do! For only 150,000IDR per
Make sure you have small notes with
The next part of this astonishing morning of food involved a walking tour up and over hills. Navigating narrow pathways and skipping atop the banks which hold the water in the rice terraces!
There is a concrete viaduct running through the entire place which provided a slightly dangerous way around too. The kids loved weaving through jungles, and farmland. Our guide pointed out the incredible array of tropical fruits, and vegetables everywhere you looked. We saw coffee and cacao, sweet potatoes, mangosteens, papaya and so much more. Such a beautiful natural fruit bowl in this valley!
We came back to the house with all our food and set about preparing an incredible feast! The kids chopped and stirred and enjoyed tasting the different foods. The final banquet was delicious with a snakebean salad, fried tofu and
Why go to Sidemen?
There is not
Well, the wi-fi is pretty bad, or mostly non-existent actually and the power keeps going out. But that’s pretty normal for rural Bali. The beers were warm on our arrival which is a big no-no for us! The road here was terrible, but it was only for 5 minutes or so of ‘extreme’. And the hot water was hot for the first 2 nights, but cold for the 3rd.
There are some enormous bugs at this time of the year! Thankfully though, there only seems to be one or 2 mosquitoes. And we did see the biggest gecko we have ever seen!
There is a super steep set of stairs leading from the upper terrace, down past the rooms to the swimming pool. This definitely gave us some anxiety with our little ones. You are a long way from a hospital here, so we sincerely didn’t want any serious injuries. Inside our room, the upper level is framed with a flimsy and wobbling handrail which did not warrant trusting in the slightest. There is also another set of treacherous internal stairs. So, depending on the ages of your kids, this is something you might want to consider. Mabel is kept under a very close watch at almost 2. The older kids need constant reminders to be careful. (Haiti Haiti in Bahasa) The stairs might give you a little bit of grief if you have troublesome knees too.
It’s cool to see another side of Bali again! Away from the hustle and bustle of places like Canggu and Seminyak, rural Bali is so quiet and tranquil. Natural View House is the best place to stay in Sidemen Bali for sure. You are staying with a lovely Balinese family who will do anything they can to help you, and we just feel so relaxed and at one with the