Published: July 5th 2012July 3rd 2012
Umm Kuta, not much to say really…..this is a short blog. We expected the worst, we had been there before, read recent blogs, and talked to tourists on the road, so we made the most of it and it was actually OK. Not sure if I was on my annual 2 week holiday I would appreciate wasting my days in Kuta. Overall its pretty grotti really.
We stayed at the Quest which was fantastic value in Kuta. Big clean room with swimming pool and we could easily walk to town and the malls. The beach was surprisingly nicer than we remembered, behind a long high wall hidden from the street, and crowded with loungers and umbrellas – reminded me of Goa in India. Nice big waves, lots of surfers. Nice shopping mall that opens out to restaurants and a view of the beach.
I loved catching sight of a Kuta cowboy, easily identified as young attractive Balinese man with western cougar…what these boys will do in the hope of being taken home by a randy old women!
Street stalls and markets and shops and stalls and markets and shops selling sundresses, shorts, t-shirts, wooden stuff, DVD,
sunglasses, sarong, bags, lighters, shop after shop selling all the same stuff. They try to rip you off, they ask 300,000 for something you can get for 30,000! They ask the customer how much they want to pay, like what? What about cost plus expense plus profit margin? So, I tell them now what I think its worth and eventually find one that accepts. We are used to street retailer call boys, hawkers, touts trying to get you to buy from their shop, but for some reason in Bali they are not pleasant with it and I found them rather annoying.
They try and sell Viagra to Carl on the street many times......"look at me, look at me - you think he needs viagra - really!"
We walked to Carrefours Supermarket (French) and found some crepes filled with banana, chocolate and cheese! Yuk you would think, but actually yummy (oops delicious). Also walked Brasco's which is a factory outlet for label clothes and bought some pressies for the kiddies.
We haggled with stall owners for clothes, walked Kuta & Legian, sipped beers; I now have to drink beer (burp!), we ate average food and visited the Bali
Bombing Memorial. We visited the same bars 10 weeks prior to the bombing, the Sari bar we had been in from 7pm – 3am. We can remember the customers changing from children’s tea party to diners to drinkers to dancers. How horrific it must have been, if my memory serves me right, I am sure some of the bar was made from bamboo or woven flax. So we wanted to visit and pay our respects. The Sari Bar is now a car park for motorbikes, the memorial stands across the road where Paddy’s Pub was and lists by country all those that perished.
There are wooden penis’s everywhere in the shops throughout Bali, they make them into bottle openers. None with batteries in though! Imagine NZ airports, not only are you bringing in wood
but erotic sexual devices
- shot at the border no doubt.
The ozzies would pull on the Bintang singlet and with beer in hand walk the stalls and shops. We walked Legian Road each night, a long road full of grotti pubs selling overpriced booze & food, and repeated "no thank you" 17 million times. Taxi drivers loved me though, they kept tooting at
In summing up our view of Bali being Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, and Nusa Lembongan – we would not go back for the food, or beaches or fellow tourists, but we would go back as the gateway to the Gilis.
Alcohol is the same price as at home in most nice bars and restaurants and your bottle of wine was well over NZ$50. You could hunt out the cheap deals and get a weak cocktail or local white wine NZ$6.00, and a glass of Arak for NZ$5. It was the most expensive place in our trip so far for food, you could get meal for under NZ$10 but most places were more like NZ$15+ for a main course and nice restaurants same price as at home. It appeared to us they were catering though for the ozzie short holiday maker and not the back or flash packers.
If you go to Bali we recommend the Jegeg cycling tour. Accommodation -
The Quest Hotel, this is in Kuta Central park which was a shopping area built prior to the Bali bomings, and has since been deserted except for a few spas,The Quest and Gloria Jeans.
The hotel room, breakfast and pool is fantastic for the money in Kuta at NZ$60 but you must be prepared to walk the roads 10 minutes to Legian Street, 15 to Legian Beach and 35 to Kuta Beach.
There are more photos below