Where to Party in Bali
Night life in Bali starts late, which usually means around midnight. Many visitors wonder where the crowds of expats suddenly come from after midnight. The pub and club areas may be very quiet for most of the evening and suddenly the 'in' places become crowded after 10pm.
There's a simple explanation. During the early part of the evening many of Bali's 'party people' are either still working, visiting friends for dinner or simply sleeping. Most of them arrive at the pubs, bars or discos in the early morning hours and party to the wee hours of the morning. So if you plan a party night out don't start your dinner too early. Between 9:00pm & midnight there are not many pubs and clubs that can be recommended.
Visitors looking for company don't have to worry as wherever you go, day or night, in Bali there are always many other single travelers looking for company. In Bali's discos you'll meet many "kupu kupu malams" ("night butterflies" or working girls) as well as young boys who compete with the females. All taxi drivers know the more popular clubs, pubs, karaoke bars and massage parlours as well as the various "Houses of ill Repute" in Sanur's narrow back lanes. But be warned AIDS and HIV are very much on the increase throughout Indonesia and especially Bali.
There are several places like Casablanca, which are down market open-air pubs and very noisy discos full of Aussies courting Javanese "Kupu Kupu Malams". Peanuts Discotheque on Jalan Raya Legian at the Jalan Melasti corner has a huge (air-conditioned) dance floor which is often crowded with guests that are usually a mix of locals and younger foreign visitors. Closer to the center of Kuta you find the Bounty Ship with a noisy, air-conditioned disco in the basement and the re-built Paddy's Reloaded not far from the original Paddy's. Of course there is still the very well known Double Six in the Legian Area. When most places close around 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning, night owls of all kinds continue drinking at nearby Mama's until sunrise.
For a somewhat more civilized evening out, you can have dinner and a couple of drinks at a bar such as TJ's or Kori in Kuta, at Poco Loco in Legian, at the open street side bar at Nero Bali right opposite Aromas Restaurant in Kuta, or at the re-built Maccaroni Club in Kuta, at Made's Warung in Basangkasa, or at the trendy Hu'u Bar & Lounge near the Petitenget temple as well as La Luciola and The Living Room in the Seminyak area. If you feel like something more outrageous (and only for open-minded people) try the Hulu Cafe between Jalan Padma and Jalan Melasti in Kuta/Legian, a place which calls itself the "only real gay bar in all of Bali". They have drag shows starting at 11:00pm. three times a week and performances are actually quite a lot of fun.
You'll find a large and quite popular Hard Rock Cafe right at the beginning of Kuta's beach road with live music from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Expect to find many singles of all kinds here looking for company. If you think this is too noisy and too crowded, or the air-conditioning too cold for you, try the Center Stage at the Hard Rock Resort located in the back of the CAFE. As the name implies, the band performs on a raised stage in the middle of the huge round lobby bar until 11:00 p.m. Both Hard Rock outlets are expensive by Bali standards. The Jaya Pub on the main road in Seminyak also features live music and attracts many Indonesian customers who don't mind the chilly air-conditioning and the sometimes not-so-good bands and singers. Seminyak's best place to have a drink and some fun at night nowadays is probably the Santa Fe Bar & Grill, Jalan Abimanyu No. 11 (also known as Gado Gado Road or Jalan Dhyana Pura). Live music, reasonably priced cocktails, a surprisingly good wine list (you have to ask for it, but the prices are very low for Bali standards), and a menu offering local, Mexican, and Japanese dishes as well as a choice of pizzas around the clock. The friendly service attracts many visitors until the early hours. If you feel too hot downstairs, you can move upstairs to the small air-conditioned "Wine Lounge". Other popular night spots nearby in the same street are Spy Bar, Liquid, Q Bar ("for the alternative lifestyle"), Antique Bar, Space, The Globe and "A" Bar. New bars and 'Chill-Out Lounges' are opening all the time, and most of them feature DJ's and/or live music on certain nights. Just take a walk down the road and check them out!
Later, from 2:00 a.m., it's party time at the Paparazzi Lounge and Double Six, a large open-air disco with several bars, big dance floor, and many tables. Both are located next to each other on the beach in Seminyak and charge an entrance fee of 30,000 to 100,000 Rupiah (depending on the day) for which you get a voucher for a free drink. Here you'll find most of Bali's night owls drinking and dancing the night away until 4:30am or so. (The legendary Gado Gado Disco has now been converted into a restaurant.)
Also, watch out for notices and small posters in Kuta and Seminyak announcing special events such as Full Moon Parties, House Warming Parties, Body Painting Parties, etc, etc. If these "parties" are announced to the public (even if only by word-of-mouth), they are open for everybody. You'll have to pay for your drinks, therefore, don't be shy.
Sanur & Nusa Dua
The Jazz Grille, located at the Komplek Pertokoan Sanur Raya No. 15/16 on the By-Pass opposite the Radisson hotel, was opened in February 1999 and attracts tourists and locals alike with live bands (from 9:30 to 12:00 p.m.), a smallish menu, and a billiard table upstairs. Kafe Wayang in the same building has live music with a good local band and jam sessions with foreign guests every Friday which is one of the reasons it's very popular with many residents. Olaf, who began the famous Koki Restaurant in Sanur, has now moved to his new Sports Arena Restaurant on the By Pass just near McDonalds. Try it out for a hearty while you enjoy a variety of sports being played continually on the big screen - lots of local atmosphere. Janger is currently the only disco in Sanur. Most tourists and even the expats living in Sanur prefer to go to "Kuta" if they are looking for some fun and a long night of partying.
The discos and pubs in Nusa Dua's 5-star hotels are often rather empty. They are mostly frequented by those visitors who stay in-house and are too tired to make the 30 minutes drive to Kuta. There are no late night pubs, clubs or discos outside the hotel complexes and most restaurants are closed by 11pm.
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