As my Bali adventure continued, I based myself in a tranquil Seminyak hotel, filled with incense, aromatic oils and the scent of frangipani flowers. This place was close enough to get around all the sights, shops and connections along Kuta beach, but far enough away to not be disturbed by the noise and chaos of Kuta. It was the perfect place to stay for a few nights as I started to get my head around Bali, its culture and lifestyle.
My first port of call was exploring the local area and reading up on Balinese traditions and customs. I walked around the neighbourhood, completely in awe of how ornate and decorative people’s gates, gardens and shrines were. I visited a few of the local temples around Seminyak, wrapped up in the mandatory sarong. These are worth a visit, because while every other cultural traveller is hitting the clubs, surf spots or the big tourist sites like Tanah Lot and Pura Luhur Uluwatu, the less famous local gems remain empty and totally tourist-free. Not only did I get to explore Pura Petitenget in total peace and solitude, and without being hassled by the local sellers (which happens a lot at the more famous sites), I got areal feel of the place and got to watch some of the ceremonies and rituals that went on as regular people came to worship there.
So, my top tip is to skip the top 10 temples on every Bali travel list and go for the lesser known ones. The architecture is still just as magnificent, but you will most likely get to enjoy it in private. If you are stuck for ideas, search for “pura” (Balinese word for temple) and your local area in Google maps. You will get a bunch of results popping up. Go, explore, and if it turns out to be your thing, try visiting some of the further-away sites. And to wrap up your time in Kuta, Seminyak and Legian, take a walk at sunset down Kuta beach. The sky, sea and sand light up in shades of red and pink.