Top 10 Things to do in Sidemen, Bali (by The Solo Girl’s Travel Guide)

Today I’m sharing a place near and dear to my heart with you; Sidemen, Bali.

My top 10 things to do in Sideman, Bali. 

 


Now, if someone tells you that Bali is too crowded, that it’s too touristy, guaranteed… they’ve never been to Sidemen. (pronounced; See-deh-men)

This is the real Bali. Ok, I’m ready for an adventure now… these are the top 10 things must do while you’re in Sidemen.

#1 – stay in a luxury resort.

And number one is, of course, stay in a luxury resort. My favorite resort in Sidemen is called Samanvaya. It is a luxury, adult only, Eco Resort and Spa. 

I mean, check out this view: 

Hello, Eco stay goals…

#2 – Drive the Sidemen loop.

Last year, I was in Sidemen for my birthday and I went on GoogleMaps, and I saw this loop. So we hopped on some motorbikes and explored the mountains in Sidemen. I think you’ll love driving through this beautiful scenic route. There’s definitely something special about being on a motorbike in Asia… it just feels so freeing. If you’re not a seasoned motorbike driver, then don’t worry, you can hop on the back of some local guys bikes and they can give you a Sidemen tour.

PRO TRAVEL TIP:

Download maps.me app to get an offline map just to be on the safe side incase your service drops out in the mountains!

#3 – Go on a guided [bike] tour.

The Sidemen Tour we did with the lovely staff at Samanvaya was amazing! We drove through some of the lushest tropical landscapes, saw monkeys, temples, saw some gorgeous ocean views, and (hopefully for you, it was closed for us..) a waterfall. I highly recommend getting in touch with them if you’re in Sidemen and doing this, it was my hands-down favorite day.

#4 – visit white sand beach.

We went to a beautiful beach on the coast called White Sand Beach. This was included in our tour mentioned in #3. There’s a really nice view, we had lunch on the beach and then a swim in the sea, total bliss!

 white-sand-beach-Sidemen-Bali

#5 – get a massage.

Do I need to say more about this…? I think not.

#6 – eat ribs for dinner.

I highly recommend you eat ribs for dinner at Maha Neka Sidemen. So delicious and the prices are so cheap! 48,000 IDR ($3.30 US) for large pork ribs served with vegetables, sauce and fries or rice. 

#7 – go for happy hour.

A girl in my Facebook group recommended this place – they have buy one get two offers on selected drinks. All along the main road in Sidemen, you’ll find bars that have happy hour specials… but I want you to go to Wapa Di Ume it’s a really fancy eco-resort, and they have these amazing lemongrass mojitos on the 2 for 1 deal.. mmmm! You have my permission, this is your treat night.

#8 – Rice Field Walk.

*Disclaimer* I never actually made it on the rice field walk that Samanvaya resort offers but I really recommend you do it, they say it is really nice to do this first thing in the morning when it’s not too hot out. Check out this drone shot!

rice field walk Sidemen Bali

#9 – the sidemen swing.

This is one of those massive swings where you’re catapulted into the jungle. To find this, just look for “Sidemen Adventures” on google maps.

PRO TRAVEL TIP:

To get an awesome photo, tie a wrap skirt over the top of your seatbelt and harness, and make sure it flows over the back when you swing!

#10 – Amrita Cafe.

This is a cute little cafe that I love and visit every time I come to Sidemen. It’s hard to miss, it’s right on the main road, so you could even stop on your way out for a cup of coffee, or they have a lot of really really nice teas as well. By the way, this is also a guest house if you want a little bit of cheaper stay, this is also a really, really nice place. Here’s the link to book with them. I do like this adventure if you have any more Sidemen recommendations for me please leave a comment below.

I made a whole YouTube video that takes you through these tips as well, if you prefer watching, here it is: 

Now, real quick before you go… if you want to join me on an adventure like this, I will give you all the information in the link below. My Go Baby Glow Tours are coming soon, so get ready to apply below!

Go Baby Glow Tours 2020/2021

best Indonesian dishes

The Best Indonesian Dishes: Food You HAVE to Try in Bali

Indonesian dishes you must try in Bali!

The food in Indonesia is to die for…but you’ll need this road map to navigate an Indonesian menu. While the staples are easy to pick out on a menu: Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and Nasi Mie (fried noodles), the other Indonesian dishes on the menu will confuse the hell out of you because you’ve likely never heard of them in your life! So to make sure you’re not eating JUST Nasi Goreng for breakfast, lunch and dinner – let me help show you the way. But okay, we’re totally starting with Nasi Goreng…

Nasi Goreng: The closest Indonesia has to a national dish

Let’s get the classic dish out of the way first. Nasi Goreng is a staple of the Indonesian diet which you will find on just about every menu in every Indonesian restaurant, hostel, hotel, and road-side food stan. Easy to make and very cheap, Nasi Goreng is made up of fried rice with a combination of vegetables and spices seasoned with soy sauce and often served with a fried egg on top. If you’re hungry (and/or on a backpacker’s budget) – then this is the way to go!

nasi goreng

Babi Guling, or Suckling Pig: A juicy, delicious Balinese classic 

Slow roasted pork spun on a spit over open fire rendering the juiciest meat you’ve ever had! Babi Guling is first soaked in coconut water and then coated in a delicious mix of herbs and spices. A few hours turning on the spit, this is melt-in-your-mouth fantastic. Babi Guling is traditionally served on a banana leaf with some steamed rice and crackling (chicharon or crispy pork skin). Not to be missed while you’re in Bali.

Siomay: Dumplings with a difference

Dumplings don’t have to be heavy, and the Indonesian Siomay dumplings certainly aren’t. The base protein is fish which is mixed with finely chopped vegetables, then boiled or deep-fried. These are a popular choice with street vendors so you’re never too far from your next Siomay hit! Keep an eye out. 

Satay: An Indonesian twist on an Asian classic

satay skewers bbq 

If you’re a fan of of Asian food, then you might have already tried satay before. But hold on, the Indonesian version is a bit different. Local food stalls and street cards like to use cumin to marinate the skewers of meat before throwing them on the grill, charing their edges. Satay is then served with a spicy peanut sauce loaded with chili and a hit of lime. Satay is commonly a chicken dish, but you’ll find lemongrass pork, or fish, and sometimes even beef, too. 

Beef Rendang: The dish you might not try unless I told you to

This is my favorite Indonesian dish when I need a bit of comfort food. Beef Rendang is chunks of beef that are slow-cooked until they fall apart, stewing in an incredible mix of spicy chili, rich curry sauce and a coconut base that helps to counter the fiery chili heat. Heap it onto a big pile of steamed rice for Indonesian food heaven.

Martabak: One for the sweet tooth

Fluffy and delicious, Martabak is the local version of a pancake. Often cooked fresh in front of you on stalls at the night markets, Martabak pancakes are thick and light and are folded into half once cooked to incorporate your favorite filling. Go for classic chocolate or banana, or mix it up by throwing a bit of cheese in there for an unusual twist!

You’re more than just a Nasi Goreng traveler, now.

The variety and range of food across Indonesia is astonishing, and many islands have their own local specialties for you to discover. The only problem is fitting in enough meals in the day to try them all! 

But don’t stop at just Indonesian food… Plan your whole trip around eating delicious Asian food: from Thai dishes to street food in Vietnam!

And hey, before you come to Bali, get your guide book!

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michelin star street food in bangkok

The 10 Michelin Star Street Food Stalls in Bangkok

As Good as it Gets: The 10 Michelin Star Street Food Stalls in Bangkok

As if the food scene in Thailand wasn’t good enough already, Michelin have been to town and have handed out Thailand’s first Michelin star for street food. They also acknowledged multiple other street food stalls that stand out from the rest for quality and taste, and that’s quite an accolade in a city where delicious food is on every corner!

If you’d like to sample the best that Bangkok has to offer then read on for the 10 street food stalls in Bangkok that have received the Michelin Guide seal of approval. Best of all, street food is home to many Thai dishes you can’t find back home!

thailand night market street food stall

Raan Ja Fai – One Michelin Star

The only street stall to receive a coveted star threatened to give it back after they became too popular, and couldn’t keep up with demand! ‘Sister Mole’ runs the place and is easy to spot by her trademark goggles that she wears to cook. She turns out delicious Thai classics like Tom Yum Goong, Drunken Noodles and Crab Omelettes night after night to critical acclaim. With dishes ranging from $12 up to $36 it’s not cheap, but Michelin sure thinks it’s worth the money!

Location: 327 Mahachai Road, intersection with Samranrat Road

Hours of Operation: 3pm – 2am Mon to Sat, closed Sunday

Phone: 02 223 9384

Jeh O Chula 

This down to earth place serves a banging Tom Yum, and the queues are always out the door. Expect to wait up to 2 hours if it’s really busy! The noodles are also recommended and the prices are reasonable, with dishes starting from $4 and not topping $10 anywhere on the menu. 

Location: Banthat Thong Road, 113 Charat Muang Road, Pathumwan, 10330

Hours of Operation: 5:30pm – 2am

Phone: 064 118 5888

Chakki 

This is the place to come for a huge plate of well-cooked noodles. The specialities are Beef Horfun and Wanton Noodles, and the customer has the choice of the type of noodle that goes into the dish. Pick flat noodles when you’re hungry and rice noodles for a lighter snack. Prices start from a reasonable $4, although some dishes are a bit pricey compared to similar places. 

Location: 1/35 Ratchawithi Road, Khwaeng Thanon Phaya Thai, Khet Ratchathewi, Maha Nakhon 10400

Hours of Operation: 11am – 3pm except closed first Monday of the month

Phone: 02 245 0849

Yentafo Convent 

Specialising in pink noodle soup, or Yen Tao Fo, this is a straight-forward place serving good food at very low prices. Pick from a traditional Yen Tao Fo or a slightly plainer minced pork version, and add crunchy vegetables for a fresh twist.  

Location: 36/3 Convent Road, Silom, Bang Rak, 10500

Hours of Operation: 7am – 5pm Mon – Fri; 7am – 3pm Sat & Sun

Sanguan Sri

Locals and visitors love this hole-in-the-wall place. Pretentious it isn’t, but delicious it is. Modern cafes pay a lot of money to look this ‘vintage’ but Sanguan Sri has managed it just by not moderning since the 1970’s! Prices start at around $7 and the menu rotates around Thai favorites like green curry and chicken massaman. 

Location: 59/1 Witthayu Road, Pathum Wan, 10330

Hours of Operation: 10am – 3pm Mon – Sat, closed Sun

Phone: 02 251 9378

Ann Guay Tiew Kua Gai

Anyone who’s been to Malaysia will find the fried chicken noodles served at Ann Guay Tiew Kua familiar. The difference here is that they add in bonus extras like cuttlefish and squid, and there’s air con! Hallelujah. The runny egg sat on top of all their dishes adds a little bonus flavor. 

Location: 419 Luang Road, Pom Prap Sattru Phai, 10100

Hours of Operation: 4pm – 1am daily

Phone: 02 621 5199

Thip Samai Pad Thai

Thailand’s favorite dish, pad thai, is done to perfection here. Expect to wait a little at busy times but don’t worry, the fresh and spicy flavors of the cooking will erase those memories as soon as you sit down! Located just outside Chinatown, the kitchen is out front so you can get excited in advance seeing your dish being prepared.  

Location: 313 Maha Chai Road, Samran Rat, Phra Nakhon, 10200

Hours of Operation: 5:30pm – 1:30am daily

Phone: 02 221 6280

Polo Fried Chicken

Forget KFC and the rest, this is fried chicken as it’s meant to be eaten. Hot, crunchy, peppery and fresh, the chicken served up at Polo is a delight sat on top of a mound of sticky rice with a bowl of som tam alongside. It’s popular for good reason, with half a chicken starting from $4. 

Location: 137/1-3 Soi polo, Thanon Withayu, Wireless Road, Lumphini

Hours of Operation: 7am – 8:30pm daily

Phone: 02 655 8489

Sanyod

For a bit of Chinese flair, check out Sanyod with its top-rated roast duck specials. This place is run by a Cantonese immigrant family who spotted an opportunity to bring a little bit of Peking to the tropics, and the result is a wonderful fusion of Thai-Chinese flavors. The signature dish is chargrilled roast duck with a sticky, sweet sauce which is well worth the few dollars it costs.  

Location: 89 Khet Bang Rak, Krung Thep Maha Nakhon 10500

Hours of Operation: 10am – 9pm daily

Phone: 02 234 7968

Go Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice

Our last Michelin-mentioned eatery is Go Ang Pratunam Chicken Rice, which serves exactly what it sounds like! Unctuous pieces of roasted chicken are dished up on big steaming piles of fluffy white rice. This Hainanese dish has become popular across South-east Asia and this is a great rendition, with cucumber slices, chicken soup and a sticky glaze served alongside. 

Location: Poonam Market, 960-962 Phetchaburi Road, Soi 30, Pratunam

Hours of Operation: 5:30am – 3pm and 5pm – 3am daily

Phone: 081 779 7255

street food in Bangkok

Michelin star street food stalls in Bangkok are worth it.

In a country of such great food, these places really stand out as authentic examples of great Thai cuisine. The guys at Michelin know what they’re talking about, so hit a few of these restaurants and fall in love with the food of this amazing country all over again!

When you’re not stuffing your faces with delicious Thai food, consider some of the many Bangkok tours that are female friendly and safe!

Girl Eating Vietnamese Food

DIY Hanoi Street Food Tour – 10 Best Hanoi Markets & Food Spots

Vietnamese Markets, Food Streets & Hidden Restaurants

Get ready for a Hanoi Street Food Tour that you can do all on your own.

Anthony Bourdain and I agree…the best Vietnamese food is in Hanoi. The world-famous foodie shot an entire episode of “Parts Unknown” in Hanoi, highlighting Hanoi food culture over bowls of Bun Cha with Barack Obama and grilled squid from street carts…and grilled squid on boats…and grilled squid in restaurants. There was a lot of squid.

With the cooler northern climate, the proximity to the Chinese border & Chinese influence, and the quick access to freshwater fish, prawns, crab, shrimp, crab, and shellfish – Hanoi food culture is totally unique. You’ll find dishes in Hanoi that can’t be done as fresh and won’t be done as delicious in the other regions of Vietnam.

I’d go as far as saying that these three dishes should only be consumed in Hanoi to get the full experience:

  • Bún Chả – Barbecued Pork with Rice Vermicelli
  • Nem Cua Be – Crab Spring Rolls
  • Bún Bò Nam Bộ – Beef Noodle Salad

Hungry, yet? Let’s start eating.

The Best Food Markets and Street Stalls in Hanoi

 

#1 – Cho Hom Market

https://www.instagram.com/p/Brzh_7_F60l/

Rise and shine. Cho Hom Market (aka Hom Market) is prepared to kick-start your day with the widest selection of fresh juice made with exotic Southeast Asian fruit! Come early and watch the locals haggle while collecting the day’s produce. This is how true Vietnamese families shop.

Cho Hom Market also features a “Wet Market” where fresh meat is butchered and live seafood swims in tiny pools waiting to be bought. After your blood is surging with Vitamin C, head upstairs to the fabric market!

Must Try: Dracontomelon

Open: 6 am – 6 pm

Where: 79 Hue Street

GoogleMaps Link

#2 – Dong Xuan Market

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bv6_Ku0BCXd/

How did Dong Xuan Market become the largest street food market in Hanoi? Well, first and foremost, Dong Xuan Market is a fabric and souvenir market with literally hundreds of vendors hawking their goods every day. And these hundreds of vendors need somewhere to eat, right?

To cater to the hungry vendors during the breakfast and lunch rush, street food vendors started setting up shop with soups, grilled meat on a stick, and beverages in bags (the fast-food versions of Vietnamese food). As tourists started to roll in, the cuisine diversified to include both traditional Vietnamese dishes and exotic treats like Korean fish-shaped pancakes and tokbokki.

Must Try: Snail Vermicelli Soup

Open: 7am – 6pm

Where: Dong Xuan Street

GoogleMaps Link

#3 – Quán Gốc Đa

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmQhfq9H-NB/

This street food stall serves ordinary nem cua be (deep fried pork and crab spring roll) with a sauce that you’ll be tempted to drink through a straw. A magical mixture of fish sauce, fresh greens, and cucumber slices – this sauce is famous citywide. Dunk your crab rolls and devour.

Must Try: Nem Cua Be

Open: 10 am- 10 pm daily

Where: 52 Lý Quốc Sư

GoogleMaps Link

#4 – Bun Rieu Cua

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bx__GIzFKQI/

In Vietnam, breakfast is served in a bowl. Bún Riêu Cua, a crab-cake soup with vermicelli noodles and fresh greens. It’s the perfect dish for those chilly Hanoi winters and will only cost you 30k ($1.30). With tables and chairs out on the sidewalk, you can enjoy your meals with a view of the city waking up – perfect for solo travel foodies in Vietnam.

Must Try: Bún Riêu

Open: 7 am-10:30 pm, daily

Where: 11 Hàng Bạc

GoogleMaps Link

 #5 – Hang Buom Street

https://www.instagram.com/p/BwCfGozBZkL/

Not the biggest, but one of the most fascinating! Hang Buom Street packs 40 street food stalls into 300 meters of street stall real estate. You can try a little bit of everything here when it comes to traditional Vietnamese food. Dishes like Vietnamese pho, sticky rice, sweet soups, and porridges with dough to sweet boiled corn and sticky candy represent Hanoi food culture to a T.

Must Try: Fresh Beer (homemade, less than $1 per pint)

Open: Friday to Sunday, 6 pm-Midnight

Where: Hang Dao Street to Hang Giay Street.

GoogleMaps Link

#6 – Beer Street

https://www.instagram.com/p/BhmUK1QgFoH/

You’ve never seen anything like Beer Street, aka Ta Hien Street. This narrow alleyway is the bustling, mingling, eating, and drinking spot where locals gather to sit on plastic stools eating stir-fried noodle dishes and drinking cheap beer. Like…20¢ per beer cheap! After you’ve had your fill, head out on foot to explore the famous Old Quarter.

Ps. This little street is an easy place for solo travelers to make friends and meet other travelers in Hanoi!

Must Try: Bia Co

Open: 8 am to 10:30 pm daily

Where: Ta Hien Street

GoogleMaps Link

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#7 – Nghia Tan Market

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BmC7DllHLpb/

Get off the beaten path, away from the tourists, and into local territory at this Hanoi night market. The Tan Market is the best place to find cheap, tasty snacks in Hanoi. Be adventurous with the Wormwood Balut or get an easily-identifiable dish like deep-fried spring rolls or meat on a stick.

Must Try: Anything on a Stick!

Open: 6 am-8 pm, daily

Where: 24 Nghĩa Tân

GoogleMaps Link

#8 – The Old Lady

https://www.instagram.com/p/Bi_w1pWln86/

This little gem is easily missed on a cursory glance. In a city bursting with color, this stall’s small hand-drawn sign is inconspicuous. The surest way to identify this stall is the old woman/ man who is operating the stove while calling out: “Nem chua không em ơi?!!” Which roughly translates to: “Friend, would you like some fermented pork rolls?” The dark alley and the dim light behind the stall lend it an air of mystery and adventure.

Must Try: Fermented pork rolls

Open: 7 am-10:30 pm, daily

Where:  38 Hàng Bông Street

GoogleMaps Link

 

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#9 – Thanh Cong Market

https://www.instagram.com/p/BekCM18l5Tj/

With the widest variety of dishes in one small market, Thanh Cong Market is an easy one to explore. My favorite dish here is the Congee (mashed rice porridge) that many locals eat for breakfast. You’ll find deep-fried bread that are a mix between donuts and breadsticks, that are dipped into the porridge to soak up all the yummy ricey goodness. In more of a lunch mood? Some of the best Pho in Hanoi can be found in Thanh Cong Market!

Must Try: Mashed Porridge

Open: 7am-8 pm, daily

Where:  Nguyen Chi Thanh Street

GoogleMaps Link

#10 – Bún Bò Nam Bộ

https://www.instagram.com/p/BxLtN-pH5Tf/

Easily my favorite dish in all of Hanoi (especially after a few beers), Bún Bò Nam Bộ is a beautiful harmony of texture and flavors that represent Hanoi food culture beautifully. Aka “Beef Noodle Salad,” this dish combines a beef broth with tender strips of beef, vermicelli noodles, crunchy greens and crispy shallots that is refreshing and filling. You’ve never had anything like it.

Must Try: Bún Bò Nam Bộ (duh)

Open: 7:30 am- 10:30pm, daily

Where: 67 Hàng Điếu

GoogleMaps Link

#11 – Bonus: Motorbike Street Food Tour in Hanoi

Need to stuff your face in a hurry? Food tour by motorbike is the best way to eat a lot in a little amount of time. Hanoi Food Tasting Tours offers a thrilling 5-hour Hanoi food tour that zips you around the city to the best Vietnamese street food destinations. You can either drive a motorbike yourself or hop on the back of a staff motorbike (with a beer in hand, of course).

Starting at: $50 per person

Contact: HanoiFoodTastingTours.com

DIY Hanoi Street Food Tour Tips

The best food tour isn’t just about the food; it’s also about the culture, the adventure, and the little old lady who sits next to you while you fumble with your chopsticks. Spend at least 3 days in Hanoi. That’s enough time for 9 meals (12 if you’re ambitious). Plan restaurants in the morning, then street food and street beer in the afternoons and evenings. Download GrabTaxi. Take bikes to markets you can’t reach on foot. Show up. Point to things that look good. Order dishes that I recommend in this list. And always always eat with a cold beer.

 

Before You Travel to Vietnam!!

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