Travel Design: a journey to Sideman, Bali

We decided to get away from the retail madness of Ubud in search of something a bit more remote.  After 3 days of denying the taxi industry by walking, we hired a guy to drive us around the countryside, up over the mountain pass over looking the Agung Volcano, and weaving through the hills and terraced rice fields to a place called Sideman. Our first stop in the morning, appropriately, was to visit a coffee plantation.  Bali has this famous coffee called Kopi Luwak.  This coffee is special because it has a long and strange journey before it’s brewed and enjoyed.  Coffee is actually berries, which are a tasty snack for a little  ferret looking mammal called the Asian Palm Civet.  The the berry is consumed by this furry little thing and the coffee bean travels through the animal like Dennis Quaid in Innerspace.  During this time the digestive acids chemically react resulting in a bean with less acidity.  The bean finally makes it through the animal and ahem, well, makes it back to the jungle floor.  They must break out the Petsmart “pooper scooper” to gather the beans.  The beans are then washed, sun dried and then finally roasted.  This coffee is crazy expensive, but why wouldn’t it be?  I have to say, it is a tasty cup of joe. Now hopped up on caffeine from byproducts, we continued our drive through the narrow roads and up towards the Agung Volcano.  As soon as we started to crest over the pass, the skies opened up with pounding rain.  Despite the rain, it was still possible to see views of the towering volcano and green valley below it.  A couple hours from the mountain pass, we arrived Sideman, exactly the kind of place we were looking for.  Sideman is  a tiny town tucked into the mountains, surrounded by terraced rice fields.  We found a little guest house to stay at with a spectacular view of Agung, called Lihat Sawah.  There is nothing to do in Sideman and it is in one of the most beautiful setting we’ve seen.  So, nothing to do and pretty, sounds like a good opportunity to sit on our porch and watch the sun go down.  We spent the next few days reading, walking along the windy country roads through little villages and eating local Balinese food.  Hands down, this is our favorite place in Bali, it takes relaxation to a whole new level.  There’s handful of guesthouses in the area, but when you’re here you really feel that you have it all to yourself.  Sideman is a gem, one of those places where you want to tell everyone about or maybe no one at all, tough call!

Posted at 9:53 am in

10 Responses to Travel Design: a journey to Sideman, Bali

  1. Melvin says:

    We’ll be in Bali end of May if all works out. That place looks great! I couldn’t find it online. Do you still have contact details or their website maybe?
    Could you send them me via e-mail or DM (Twitter)?

  2. Thanks Melvin- we just emailed you the details we had, I don’t believe they have a website.

  3. Pop's says:

    wow cruzin aroun texas in a bus “on the road again” man-o-man am i jelous,,,pops.

  4. The first photo gives so much depth in scenery. Great photos – your blog is excellent.

  5. Gillian says:

    We are headed to Bali next week and were looking for a place just like this…if you could email us the details of the guesthouse in Sideman I would really appreciate it. Looking at your photos makes me soooo excited to be finishing our long journey in such a beautiful place!

  6. No problem, I’ll send you an email right now.

  7. Keval says:

    I found this place in another travel blog(your pictures blows theirs away) and did end up finding their website, however it doesn’t work as far as making a reservation. I’m also hoping that I could get some contact details from you.

  8. Hello! Thanks for your comments. This is based on the photo we took of their sign out front:
    Pondok Wisata
    Home Stay
    Teloba Sidemen karangasem
    Telp/Fax 0366,5300516,53005
    We’re not sure how to dial this phone number, but that’s what is says. I hope this helps you find it, a lovely place for sure! Thanks for visiting our blog.

  9. Pingback: House of Simple Pleasures | Seminyak, Bali | World Effect Blog

  10. Thank you for share this wonderful photos and story about Sidemen, my
village. Yes it was a tough call, we’d love to keep it hide the last
sanctuary after Ubud and Kuta filled with Starbucks, McDonalds, KFCs and
everything that modern world offers, but ofcourse any gem will attract those
who seek for it. It was also a sanctuary for Walter Spies, a German painter
who moved from Ubud to live in Iseh toseek peace and inspiration, about 2 km
from Sidemen back in 1895-1942… It’s my place to be after my long working
days in Kuta… I believe, time stoped as I reach my village and lay my head
to rest at the hut where my brothers and I raised. Hope your experience
inspire many who wanted to come and blend with the nature. love and respect
    mother earth and she’ll love you back.