Bali: Life of the party in Seminyak

Before Sophie Ryan hits the clubs of Bali’s Seminyak, she hits the road and lets rip.

I’m in a kombi van belting out Cher’s smash hit Believe while pedestrians on the streets of Seminyak stare at me and the giant bow covered in sequins on my head.

When I told the group I was with I was keen to experience Bali’s bustling night-life I never pictured this scenario.

Seminyak really starts to come alive as the sun sets. People pour on to the beach to watch the sky turn beautiful shades of orange, red and eventually a hazy purple tone before the darkness sets in. Then it’s time to hit the drinking and dining spots.

It’s my last night in Bali, so I’m keen to check out the nightclubs everyone has recommended to me.

As a warm-up to the big show four of us from New Zealand and Australia pile into Alila Seminyak’s Kombi Car-aoke — a VW Kombi van kitted out with a couch, booming sound system, TV and three microphones.

We don’t know each other well, but figure we’ll have a few drinks and a bit of a laugh.

The beer and wine is cold and served from a retractable chilly bin hidden away beneath the two front seats.

Our driver for the night will probably lose his hearing by the end of it.

With more than 3000 songs to choose from — but a limited number in English — we are thoroughly entertained, belting out hits from Cher, Robbie Williams, Fleetwood Mac, Pink and others while being driven around Seminyak and waving to the crowds on the streets at night.

The traffic is heavy in parts of the town so we don’t get very far from the hotel, but it’s well worth it for the hilarity.

Once the Kombi Car-aoke is over I head out to Mexicola and La Favela — the two nightclubs with the most recommendations.

Both venues have overwhelming crowds of tourists dancing and chatting away in the multi-levelled complexes. It’s easy to forget it’s Tuesday night and my promise to myself I’ll get up early in the morning to enjoy some ocean-side yoga while the sun comes up.

The next morning I remember spotting a Go-Pro tucked away in the Kombi van filming our karaoke session. I’m now living in hope that video doesn’t surface on any marketing videos for the Alila Seminyak resort.



Air New Zealand resumes direct flights to Denpasar in June to October.


For information on Alila Manggis in east Bali, go to

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