How we came to Sidemen in Bali

Magic mornings over Sidemen valley with Mt Agung as the ever present backdrop.

A few years ago, on our first weekend out of town together we came to visit Sidemen and it was love at first sight. With its beautiful and calm scenery and authentic Balinese life and culture we instantly knew that here we wanted to live and get old one day.

We had been invited to spend the weekend by a good friend of ours who, back then, had a cute little house just next to the river. We remember arriving there after dark a Friday evening. We got lost several times on our way as no one seemed to know where Sidemen actually is.

Rice field views from the back yard. Rice field views from the back yard.

Also we did arrive at night we where instantly mesmerized by the place. It did look so romantic with the dim outdoor lighting in a tropical garden surrounded by ponds and an orchestra of chanting frogs and cicadas. The fireflies dancing in the bushes and trees did put the cream on this already magical scenery. Would you believe me I’d tell you that even the moon came out to complete the perfect painting?

Under the moonlight… Our first night in Sidemen. Under the moonlight… Our first night in Sidemen.

After that we came back almost every weekend and of course we choose to have our wedding here and with that the foundation of our desire to live in this beautiful place was laid. All our efforts from this moment on went into building our nest in Sidemen. The idea of Umah Dewi Sri was born.

Umah is the Balinese word for house and Dewi Sri is the goddess of rice and fertility that blessed our home set among Sidemen’s beautiful rice fields and with the ever-present and mighty Mount Agung in the distance.

The Lumbung barn house next to the infinity pool. The Lumbung barn house next to the infinity pool.

“Umah Dewi Sri” is a traditional style built Lumbung house. While often associated with Lombok, the Lumbung is also part of the typical Balinese compound where its function is the one of a rice barn. Despite its utilitarian function it has the most elaborate structure in a Balinese house compound and is also associated with Dewi Sri, the goddess of rice. 

The lower platform of the Lumbung is to be used as a resting platform at night or a workplace by day. On top of this platform is the storage itself. Converted into a spacious bedroom the top is built in a manner of an attic. Umah Dewi Sri’s roof is thatched with locally sourced rice grass that is called Alang-Alang. Not only blends this material naturally into the environment it also regulates the temperature inside the house and lets the room below it breath..

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#rural, #ricefields, #airbnb, #uniquehotels