Kuta Indonesia is a famous beach, surfing, sunsets, parties, indulgence, shopping, food, tattoos, and plenty of gorgeous elegant and also cheap simple hotels and other kinds of accommodations. Is it the real Bali?
See a map Bali and Kuta.
"Kuta, 3km from the airport is a meeting point for Hippies and students. Among noisy motorbikes and aroma of countless eateries one meets more foreigners than locals. Sewing ateliers and stalls selling everything from ready to wear cloths to fresh fruit juices and English breakfasts are lined up in tight rows.
Life is still cheap, sunsets rightfully famous and the high waves a dream for Australian surfers. Innumerable are the losmen or cheap inns hiding in the shadow of tall coconut palm trees. The diet consists of Yoghurt, lobster and omelets filled with hallucinogenic mushrooms.
It is sprawling with night clubs, ambulant massage therapist and music tape vendors. And sometimes positioned amongst it all is a temple with offerings that seem to be prepared with less love than in other places.”
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Today it is still the same just 30 years bigger; it is still the party town of Bali. Here is where people come to let their hair down and do what they would not do at home. Partying is also synonymous with using drugs. Be careful Indonesia has death penalty for drug traffickers and many foreigners (and Indonesians) are incarcerated in Grobokan prison in Bali.
A place like this is a magnet for dodgy people from other parts of Indonesia and the world who do not have Your best interest in mind. Hawkers are everywhere; if you are not interested say "no thank you" tidak, terima kasih and move on.
When writing this page I went through my old photo and slide collection and I could not find one that depicts Kuta in the olden days. It was just ugly, unorganized, messy, cheap and dirty; except of course the epic sunsets.
The hospitality industry finally realized that Kuta had outgrown its laid back surfer image and was attracting lots of interest from all over the globe. That is when Kartika Plaza one of the first 4 star hotels opened its door there; then came Hard Rock Café and Hotel and today you can find many luxurious resorts and private bungalows; only a few of them having direct access to the sea.
This former fishing village has not changed much over the last 30 years except that today the boutiques and fashionable stores are air conditioned and in concrete and glass instead of bamboo walls. You can still have tailors create a unique look just for you from leather and find your colorful tattoo. Some of the keepsakes on offer have a typical Balinese vibe to it and some of it caters to the international traveler; though not with the big fashion labels of Milan, Paris or New York.
Every few hundred meters, along the streets you will find small convenient stores selling drinks and snacks and ATM machines to retrieve cash in local currency the Rupiah; or use official money changers who offer good rates; count your money.
This is the well known surfing, sunset, fun and party beach of Bali. It is a beautiful wide and sandy stretch along the Indian Ocean that runs along Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and beyond. There are public toilets and bathrooms available now. And of course as is the case everywhere in Indonesia, there are plenty of drink vendors offering young coconut water in the shell and ice cold beer.
Kathy and I had the pleasure to chat with some of these heroes from Pos 3, more or less the watch post in front of the Beach Walk Mall. Wayan and Ketut answered my questions. The Life Guard organization started in 1971 here in Kuta Indonesia and is now under the Ministry of Tourism.
They now operate more than 20 watch posts up along the beaches of Legian, Seminyak up to Tanah Lot and down to Jimbaran and Nusa Dua. The main office is here on Kuta Beach in front of Hard Rock. Every month of October all the life guards come together for extensive training and certification. Some of the Bonday Beach life Guards from Sydney did come here to exchange information and ideas and to shoot some movies.
For your safety: swim, snorkel and surf only between the red and yellow flags. Red flags signal danger; undercurrents in the sea invisible to the eye can pull you out to sea. Do not ignore them, do not swim or surf there.
Here surfing lessons a bit to the north at Seminyak Beach
Ever wondered what happens to the empty water bottle that you toss over the railing when you are in a boat? It all washes up on Kuta beach.
Toward the end of the year, heavy currents rush toward this beach. They take along an incredible amount of trash thrown overboard by passengers in the middle of the sea and now carry it along and dump it all onto Kuta beach. Luckily the government is already used to this and immediately sends big troops of cleaners and dump trucks to haul it away and dispose of it properly.
Kuta Indonesia is a perfect vacation spot for many people; is it the right one for you? If you are not sure go to other pages on this site, for example tour Bali, and start planning your perfect vacation. You can also read this not so favorable blog on Kuta.
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