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Published: August 18th 2014
Front seat of the minibus in Ubud. We travel like rock stars.
Well here we are in Kuta Bali (not to be confused with Kuta Lombok from earlier in the trip). This place is the exact polar opposite from Ubud. This is a party town that basically seems like Aussie North. Even the touts put on a fake accent to lure you into their store with their phoney "hey mates". Nothing but tourists, bars, clubs and junk souvenir stores. Why did we come here again? The best description we could come up with was a mix between Las Vegas and Surfers Paradise, Aus.
We knew right away it would be a battle to enjoy our stay here so we dove in right away. I decided I wanted to buy an AFL (Aussie rules football) jersey because they were super cheap. I did some online research before going in the store, I literally googled "which AFL team should I root for" because I couldn't remember the teams that we went to see in Melbourne a few years back. I settled on Collingwood and bought the jersey. Luckily they played that afternoon so I donned he jersey and we went straight to the sports bar and spent the afternoon amongst bogan Aussies drinking beer
The beach is awesome although pretty busy.
and yelling at the TV. I was getting heckled a little bit in the street but luckily nothing got out of hand. Our team was destroyed and we went back to the hostel where I had a 5 hour nap. Being an AFL fan is tough work!
The first full day for us was a beach day. The beach is truly the only saving grace in Kuta. We rented loungers for $5 USD and spent the day reading and drinking ice cold Bintang. There are tons of beginner surfers on this beach. This is the only beach break we actually came across in our travels here but we did not partake. The crashing waves were literally 6-7 feet and the lifeguards were keeping people out of it so people just fumbled around in the whitewash. At the two points of the bay we could see some unreal breaks with perfect barrels. If only we knew what we were doing we could have had some fun but there's no competing with the Aussies in the surf department.
We ate at a handful of half decent restaurants here but overall the quality was generally poor. It was hard to find
Jay's Baywatch moment.
the good little warungs down back alleys with which we've had so much luck so far. One night we went down to the beach and watched the gorgeous sunset drop down over the horizon with our feet in the sand and cold beer in our hands. I have come to love the free market society in Asia where it seems like anything is for sale by anyone anywhere at any time with little regulation. This allows nice enterprising people to set up a couple chairs and bring a cooler full of beer down to the beach to make some cash. This would never be allowed back home but it works here. That night we wandered down towards the resort end of the beach. These are massive hotels full of drunk tourists (think Puerto Vallarta, Mexico). We stopped in at a Romeo's Bar and Grill for supper where they had an old Indonesian guy playing singer songwriter guitar tunes by request. Nice atmosphere but it could have been the same back at English Bay in Vancouver and it literally felt like the place where travel went to die so we had to get out of there. Back in the rambling streets
Sneaker wave while my feet were buried up to my ankles. Just about lost my knees on that one!
with hawkers and touts and honking horns and traffic I actually felt more comfortable in a weird way.
In summary we did not particularly enjoy Kuta in case you hadn't already figured it out! It wasn't all bad. We had fun watching the AFL game, the hostel room was pretty cool and the beach and beach sunsets are the highlight of any trip here. If you are Aussie, single and/or < 23 years old you will have fun here. If you are all three of those things then you are the perfect storm for Kuta and let me know when you will be here because I want out before then! If you are a couple or old like us then honestly I would skip it. There are tons of beach towns on Bali that are less developed. We would have preferred to go back to Kuta Lombok which really was the ideal beach town for us.
We have now booked a minibus/boat trip off Bali that will take us all the way to Yogyakarta on Java with a stop off and tour of Mt Bromo along the way. It feels good to be moving along!
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