This week we chat to Emma from Wanderlust & Wet Wipes about her favourite holiday destination in Asia for family travel – Seminyak, Indonesia. Have you considered Seminyak with kids?
We love South East Asia for accessible family travel, yet somehow Indonesia has escaped us. We’ve already had 5 Lost Together chat about Ubud, Bali, with kids. So I was interested to hear what Emma made of Seminyak with kids, also in Bali. Seminyak is where Emma found her zen and balance with family travel and makes it sound like a fantastic introduction for young families looking for adventure travel in Asia.
1. Tell us a bit about yourselves. Where are you from and how often do you travel as a family? How old are your children?
I am Emma, a pushing 40, travel-mad mum to 2 young kids (aged 5 and 3) from the UK. I’m married to a long suffering (lucky!) travel mad husband and we also have a well travelled dog who we adopted when we lived in the States. We travel around every 6-8 weeks or so – sometimes it is long haul for a big holiday and other times a short hop for a long weekend.
2. How many times have you travelled to Asia and why do you love travelling there?
Asia is special to us for many reasons. For a start it was the first place we went to on a big “proper’ holiday together. That time we went to Jakarta, Bali, Yogyakarta and Karimunjawa. It was probably a defining holiday for us in that it set the scene for all holidays that we would have until we got married and moved to America. After Indonesia we went to India, Malaysia and Borneo. Borneo was special as that was where my husband proposed!
We just love everything about being there, The people are so kind, the food is amazing, the scenery is spectacular, the history is fascinating… there is so much to do so its not a “same-y sort of holiday: you can be visiting temples one day, scuba diving the next and on your way to climb a mountain the next!
3. Why is Seminyak your favourite destination?
We have been to Bali twice. Once, as I mentioned, was early on in our relationship and then we went back for Christmas 2016 with 2 kids in tow (aged 2 and 4). It is fair to say I was excited and nervous about going back in equal measures. The fact that it was up there as one of our best holidays with kids after it was one of our best without them just shows how versatile a destination it is! It was amazing to find a place that would let us have a holiday that we enjoyed as well as the kids.
4. What were your top 3 things to do in Seminyak with kids?
The kids absolutely LOVED Waterbom – a massive waterpark. We had to take them twice! We had a great family morning surfing, which was SOOOOO much fun!
Another day we went to the Trick Eye Museum which we thought was cool but I think the kids were a bit too young for and it took them ages to figure out what was going on. Their favourite would have been Bounce – a trampoline park in Canggu (just north of Seminyak).
Seminyak is a bit of a tourist trap but it was where I had my light bulb moment that we could do things that ticked boxes for all of us. To be honest, though, there was only one day that we did things where we felt we had wasted the day which isn’t bad for a packed 2 week trip.
5. Where did you stay in Seminyak with kids and do you recommend it?
We stayed in Seminyak for 4 nights in an AirBnB villa with a pool. Then we moved on to Ubud, also to an AirBnB. We finished up in Nusa Dua at the Westin which was where we spent Christmas Day.
Seminyak was amazing – a really lovely chilled out vibe with lots to do and see from beach activities, to shopping and cafes, to easy access to things in Canggu and Kuta. The villa we chose had looked good from the photos and description but by FAR surpassed our expectations. We loved strolling around the streets and the good availability of taxis for when we had wandered too far with kids who were too tired to walk back.
We went on to spend time in Ubud and Nusa Dua – both of these places just cemented our opinion that Bali is an amazing place to take kids! Our time in Seminyak really set the tone for the rest of the holiday.
6. What did the kids eat?
Food was a bit tricky as my kids are quite fussy. We tried to get them to try a bit of whatever we were having with varying degrees of success (mostly lack of). We had got them on to chicken satay before we left by calling them chicken lollipops but even my kids will draw the line at eating that every day! We do have a rule that they have to try something from one of our plates at each meal. But we ended up finding things like pizza and chicken nuggets, which is way less adventurous than I would have liked, but holidays aren’t the time for me to pick fights with my kids about food. I’m totally justifying myself here and I can feel myself doing it haha.
7. How did you get around?
Depending on where we were we got taxis / transfers or walked. It was all pretty easy with the exception of one trip from Seminyak to Canggu and it was a bit more tricky to get a taxi back when we had been used to getting one immediately. We only had to wait 10 minutes or so but I was starting to worry a little bit!
8. What is your top tip for travelling to Seminyak with kids?
Just try it – whatever it is you are thinking about! Bali is a really safe place to experiment with holidays.
So if you want to try being a bit more adventurous then you can, knowing you have the safety net of being able to run back to the resort or fully staffed villa that you booked (if that’s more your thing). On the other hand if you want to try a resort-y holiday but you’re worried about being bored then you can book in and know that you don’t have to spend 15 days lying by a pool that could be anywhere. There are loads of places to escape to on day trips. I know lots of people who weren’t sure if they would like it but there really is something for everyone.
9. What item could you not have done without in Bali?
Gosh nothing really – you can find pretty much everything you need there I think. I did take a load of snacks for the kids to have – notably Ella’s pouches which were some days the only fruit / veg intake they had so I was glad for them.
But even so, we could have managed without them…
10. Where are you off to next?
We are going skiing in the Alps for February half-term so I’m really excited to do that. The kids haven’t even seen snow before so it should be a lot of fun. After that we have a week planned in April but the destination is TBC. We are only just back from a road trip in Jordan so I think something a bit more chilled out will be in order!
You may also like to read:
The Asia Interviews: 5 Lost Together chat about UBUD with kids
Ko Lanta with kids – Klong Dao Beach
Ten day Thailand itinerary with young kids and no internal flights or overnight trains