Hotels

Kuta in a Nutshell

Kuta – A Surfing Mecca

Kuta is a major feature in Bali travel. Located in Southern Bali, Kuta has a long and broad Indian Ocean beachfront, which probably explains why it was first discovered by tourists who were surfing enthusiasts.

If you visit Kuta today, you will find that it can get crowded and chaotic at times. It is after all Bali’s best-known tourist resort area and one of Indonesia’s major tourist destinations. What you may not know is that Kuta was once a sleepy fishing village. Bali’s popularity means that Kuta is constantly developing. However, a few things remain constant in Kuta – its magnificent sunsets, long sandy beach and vibrant nightlife.

Kuta For One and All

There is something for everyone in Kuta, which explains why it gets a steady stream of visitors all year round.

The Party Animal

If your day begins at midnight, Kuta is the place for you! Nightlife in Bali generally starts at about midnight so don’t be surprised if the streets are quiet in the evening. The night scene is fairly varied with bars and pubs offering different atmospheres and types of entertainment. Some clubs showcase live bands and DJs while others are known for their sexy dancers and “fashion shows”. Many bars in Kuta have a house cocktail made with a local Arak (rice spirit) base. Arak is known to pack a huge punch!

The Surfer

Whether you’re an amateur or a pro, Kuta is a well-known destination amongst surfing enthusiasts. In fact, you may bump into an Australian pro surfer while you’re there! Many renowned Aussie surfers visit Kuta because the beach is famous for its breaking waves and waist-deep water. It is also long and sandy and lacks dangerous rocks or coral. There are also a number of well-known surfing schools in Kuta such as Odysseys, Rip Curl Surf School and Surfer Girl Surfing School.

The Sunbather

Most people love sunbathing and Kuta beach is a magnet for those keen to get a nice sun-kissed glow. How nice would it be to spend an entire afternoon lying on the beach, sipping a nice refreshing drink? Kuta is one of Bali’s best beaches. It is safe, clean and well maintained. I don’t know about you but I’m sold!

The Backpacker

Kuta has long been a popular stop on the classic backpacking route in Southeast Asia. It continues to attract many hardcore backpackers and it is especially popular amongst Australians.

The Tourist

If the beach is not a good enough attraction, fret not. There are a number of large shopping malls like the Discovery Shopping Mall Esplanade in Kuta. Activity centres such as bowling clubs and small shops, spas and cafes are aplenty in Kuta so there are many other activities that you can do in.

– Slingshot: A giant slingshot that catapults you some 52 metres in the air.

– Waterbom Waterslide Park: A 3.8-hectare adventure park with water rides.

Sleeping in Kuta

Because travellers from all walks of life visit Kuta, you will find a huge range of accommodation there. Kuta hotels fall mostly in the budget and mid-range markets. Private villas are far and few between because of a space constraint but you will be able to find many modern and luxurious hotels. If you intend to splurge on accommodation, try Hard Rock Hotel or Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel. Kuta is a popular tourist destination so it is a good idea to book ahead.

Getting around Kuta

There are a number of ways to get around Kuta.

By car: Traffic jams are a common sight in Kuta so if you intend to drive, it may be a good idea to park your car before you reach downtown Kuta and walk in.

By taxi: Taking a cab is a relatively cheap and reliable way of getting around, especially at night. Avoid taxi drivers who refuse to put the meter on.

By motorbike: Local riders are always looking for passengers. This type of informal transport is called an ojek and it is fast and cheap. It is also a good way to catch the sights and sounds of Kuta.

Bali Travel: What You Should Know Before Going to the Island

It’s time to take a holiday and Bali might be the first destination on your list. If you want to get closer to nature and cultural heritage, this island can be the right destination. Bali is mainly known for its beaches with friendly waves for surfing, stunning sunset and coral reefs. There are famous beaches to visit on the island such as Kuta, Sanur and Nusa Dua. When you take a trip to the villages, you can see the rice fields spread out like living green carpets. Dance performances are held every night and you can watch the Balinese devotion to their religion and culture through these performances. There are art museums to visit where you can see the wonderful artwork of Balinese and Western artists.

Your holiday in Bali should be a fun and unforgettable time. Before booking a flight to the island, you may need a little preparation to make your holiday run smoothly. A short guide about Bali will help you know the best time to go, things to do around the island, the best places to visit, the most comfortable hotels to say in and more. Below are some of the things you should know before traveling to Bali:

1. When to Go

To make you feel comfortable when visiting Bali, the first thing you should know is the best times to go. It is a good idea to check the national holidays of Indonesia since many domestic tourists usually travel to Bali at that time. The peak domestic tourist seasons occur at Christmas, mod-June to July and at the end of Ramadhan, which occurs about ten days earlier each year. Mid-July through September is a good time, as well as in November or January-March.

2. Shopping

One of the fascinating things to do while you are in Bali is shopping. In some areas in Bali, there are shopping spots like traditional craft markets where you can get souvenirs at extremely low price. However, it depends on your negotiating prowess. The Ubud market is a popular area to obtain items at reasonable price while Seminyak is the center of high-end shopping malls.

3. Surfing

Many people around the world come to Bali for one reason: surfing. Many beaches in Bali have excellent waves for surfing, and one of them is Kuta beach. Here, you can try your first experience of surfing by renting a surfboard and getting guidance from instructors.

4. Food

If you’re a budget traveler, there are many roadside eateries called “warung” to eat. They often display foods in a display case at the front and you can choose your favorite food on your own. This kind of eatery really offers a low price, and will show you the real flavor of Indonesian foods.

5. Getting Around

In Bali, there are many ways to get around. Public transportation such as taxis and buses are available but it would be more comfortable if you rent a motorcycle or car to get around.

Bali Travel Tips and Tricks For Tourists

Browse through any of the well known travel magazines and you’re sure to find Bali, Indonesia, listed among the top 10 travel destinations in the world.

With its exotic blend of ancient culture, majestic scenery, the world’s finest hotels and the warmth of the tropical oceans surrounding the island paradise, it’s hardly surprising.

Bali is located in the Indonesian archipelago only eight degrees south of the Equator. The island measures 90 kilometres (55 miles) from north to south and 140 kilometres (90 miles) from east to west, making it easy to go out for an excursion anywhere in Bali and return to your hotel by nightfall.

Towering volcanic peaks that rise mystically through the clouds, terraced rice paddies carved into the mountainous landscape, iridescent crater lakes, lush tropical rain forests and sandy white beaches lapped by warm ocean currents are only a few of the wonders that draw millions of visitors to this tiny island each year.

Bali Tricks for First Time Travellers

Let’s look at some valuable travel tips to help you experience the very best that Bali has to offer:

1. Bali’s tropical weather means that travel at any time of the year is suitable, however its best to check when the major Indonesian holiday periods and religious ceremonies occur to avoid the influx of domestic tourists.

2. Bali accommodation offers superb value, particularly if you are travelling on a budget. To ensure you get the best value for money, book ahead.

3. Getting around in Bali can be quite an experience, to say the least! Road rules are nonexistent and traffic can be downright dangerous. Don’t assume that traffic will stop for you at a pedestrian crossing if you are on foot. If you are driving, the best piece of advice is to paraphrase a famous saying, “When in Bali, drive like the Balinese.”

4. Many of the luxury Bali hotels and villas will organize a driver for you, or you may choose to hire a bicycle if you don’t have far to travel.

5. As a tourist, you are bound to be hassled by local drivers shouting “Transport?” wherever you go. If you wish to hire a local driver, make sure he is clear about where you want to go and arrange a fixed price before you get in the car. Drivers are keen to barter with you, so it is customary to bargain until you get a price you are comfortable with.

6. And while we’re on the subject of bartering, it’s perfectly acceptable to barter in the local markets and stalls, but don’t try it in the larger department stores – the sales assistant may be quite offended.

7. Hawkers will descend on you from the moment you step outside your hotel, particularly if you are located in one of the major tourist areas. Although it may seem rude to you, the best advice is to ignore them altogether. Don’t make eye contact or slow down to look at the merchandise they are selling unless you are interested in purchasing something, or being distracted for what may seem an eternity trying to get rid of them.

8. Beware of counterfeit goods unless that is what you’re looking for. Bali is well known for its knock-offs and you can buy anything from fake Rolex’s to fake Rayban’s at the local markets.

9. It’s likely you may be offered illicit drugs in the highly populated tourist spots. Ecstasy, pot, yabba (crystal meth) and shabu-shabu (methamphetamines) are the most popular drugs on offer in nightclubs and on the beaches, particularly in the Kuta area.

If you don’t want to become another high-profile drug case, simply ignore the offers.

10. Bali locals are among the most friendly and relaxed people you will find anywhere in the world, but that doesn’t mean you can drop your guard when it comes to scams and rip-offs.

Be wary of moneychangers who offer you amazingly good rates for exchanging foreign currency, touts who offer you the cheapest ride to your destination without confirming a fixed price and anyone who wants the money before handing over the goods.

11. And perhaps the best tip for new travelers to Bali is the one that is bound to be least successful — don’t look like a tourist!

This sage piece of advice is written almost tongue-in-cheek because the diminutive, friendly Balinese bear no resemblance whatsoever to their much larger framed Western neighbours. Not only that, our cultures are vastly different and so is our language. The most you could possibly hope for is to look like an ex-pat from your native country who has chosen to live an idyllic lifestyle on the island.

However, a couple of words of Bahasa will help with that “Oh, I’ve lived here for years” attitude. Selamat pagi (good morning), tolong (please) and terima kasih (thank you) will take you a long way in East-West relations.