Apart from a good view of the setting sun, they also promised fresh seafood. Well, this was what My Bibe and I had:
As fresh as they can get!
The restaurant and the food
A strip of about 24 different restaurants line up the beach, all of which have a small area for unloading passengers, a wet market-like section where you choose your fresh catch for cooking, an adjacent grilling section, an indoor restaurant, and of course, an outdoor area by the beach where everyone basically is. I mean, who stays indoors when there's a gorgeous sunset outside?
The space for unloading passengers. The restaurant proper is right up ahead.
The grilling area.
This setup reminds me of Dampa in Metro Manila, except that there's no separate market where you get your raw ingredients. At Jimbaran, the restaurant has it all and their menu features seafood by the kilogram. But as with Dampa, you get to decide how you want your seafood cooked.
A sampling of the menu of one of the restaurants on Jimbaran. And yes, they have special "life" seafood.
Most of the seafood, especially the crabs and some of the fish, were still alive. How much fresher can you get with that? I was warned of cheating with the weight of your food, that they turn up much fewer than your actual purchase, but such was not the case with us, though. It was pretty much the same big crab and the same fish My Bibe picked. The food wasn't exactly cheap, however, although we really didn't scrimp either. All in all we shelled out IDR 860,000 (approx. $75 / Php 3,300) for everything you see in the very first photo in this post plus a little more.
And because the food was fresh, they tasted really good. With the Balinese people so used to having tourists around, they're very open to dialing down the spiciness factor according to your preference.
The beach and overall vibe
Apart from being a seriously long stretch of sand, Jimbaran also has a very wide beach, and I'm glad the structures are built quite far from the shoreline. So even if there's a lot--and I mean a lot--of people around, it doesn't feel crowded at all.
The sand here has a cream color. Even if it's not really fine, it's not overly porous like Laiya in Batangas and as such, is very foot-friendly. While a lot of people were strolling gleefully or posing nonstop for photos, I didn't see anyone in the water. I think more than a place for sunbathing and swimming, Jimbaran is simply a chill-out place for sunset revelers and foodies. Besides, the waves were a bit huge.
The long and wide beach of Jimbaran.
Everyone just seems to be taking photos here.
Look at that huge wall of water as it hits the shore. I reckon this could be a good practice spot for beginner-surfers.
Lots of people but it's a chill-out vibe here. There's a small pier in the distance and further ahead is the airport.
Rows upon rows of tables and chairs dot the beach. And the place packs on the crowd, especially towards sundown.
While some people regard Bali as a tourist trap, I noticed that most areas and activities here are regulated. In Jimbaran, for instance, drivers pay a parking fee before proceeding to the main strip. You also don't see a lot of vendors that pester you with all the stuff that they're hawking. I saw a couple of wheeled stalls, though, that sell grilled corn on the cob. But the ones manning them are in uniforms and are positioned at a distance from the main dining crowd and are spaced far from each other.
This corn on a cob rolling stall was quite a hit actually.
This is not how you do Eskimo kisses. Doggies frolicking on the beach.
Brother and sister bonding time.
Anyone of any age can have a good time here.
Before you know it, you'll realize that more and more people start lining up close to the water and whipping out their cameras and phones. It's time to capture that perfect sunset pic.
Everyone just wants a piece of the Jimbaran sunset.
With a DSLR in tow, this man seemed so intense in trying to capture the sun's retreat.
My turn at the obligatory Jimbaran Beach sunset photo.
Jimbaran Beach is still pulsating with life even after the sun has set and even if there isn't really any loud thumping club music blaring nearby. There was even a small cultural presentation next door, much to the delight of some tourists. The beach is very well-lit and you'd still feel safe walking around.
The beach aglow at night.
Still a chill-out vibe pervading the beach here.
A group of singers regaling each table for a tip. You can politely decline if you don't want to shell out any cash, though.
Oh, even the corn on a cob stall was still around!
My Bibe and I definitely enjoyed Jimbaran Beach. If you're looking for a chill-out vibe and a chance at a spectacular sunset while in Bali, then this is a place worth checking out even once, where people-watching can be fun, too. Needless to say, it's best enjoyed in the afternoon till evening.
Despite the lack of sleep, My Bibe and I enjoyed Jimbaran Beach.
Also check out my reviews of the hotels where we stayed in Bali:
>Review of Alindra Villa
>Review of Mantra Nusa Dua