What to do in Kuta

What to do in Kuta and surrounding areas

As with Thailand, Bali, as splendid as it is, has its lapses in style.

In this case the place I talk about in this post is Kuta which can be described as the anti-Bali although I must admit that it can be a comfortable and economical place to base yourself if you want to discover the penisola at Boutique to the south of Bali where the only way to get there is with your own transport, such as a scooter and where accommodation facilities are rarer and decidedly more expensive.

Kuta is a convenient base for when you arrive in Bali or when you leave thanks to its proximity to the airport and it is also one of the towns where the guest houses cost less than other places on the island but not all that is gold glitters.
I admit that at first sight Kuta didn’t seem as bad as they described it to me. I thought that having heard bad things about it, my expectations were so low that what I found could only be something better.
I stayed at a guest house (110,000 rupiah per night for a room which was obviously a double room and therefore I paid for two) in Poppies II a very quiet and characteristic area compared to what could then become hell or heaven depending on what you want.
Certainly not at the level of Patong, even if I haven’t been around much at night so perhaps there are strip clubs here too and I haven’t seen them, but here too they don’t joke with very loud music, bars, clubs and groups of Australians who in addition to the surfers have alcohol in their heads.
But I only discovered this the next day when I got lost on my scooter on my way back from a relaxing day of sea, temples and local dances.

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In this labyrinthine town with traffic that makes Catania smile in comparison, I saw enormous resorts on the beach, devastated landscapes, Hard Rock cafes, Hard Rock hotels, a new hotel that looks more like a stadium than an elegant residence.
In short I understood why everyone advised me against it.

Yet I’m sure that 10 years ago it was truly splendid, after all the sea where there are waves small enough to start surfing isn’t bad, and the idea of ​​being able to wake up and throw yourself into the water without being afraid of being sucked in from the imposing ocean, as happened to me in Costa Rica, I really liked it, so getting lost in the internal streets completely away from the chaos of the bars and restaurants of the main streets made me imagine its ancient splendors.
But here too tourism has done its duty by destroying what was perhaps a surfers’ paradise and has now become a drunkard’s paradise.

What to do in Kuta

Despite this, however, I recommend at least one night, and I say night and not day be careful.
In fact, during the day instead of walking through the streets of Kuta, which now has very little of beauty, I recommend heading towards Ulu People and make 3 stops to end the day at the suggestive temple Pura Luhur Ulu Watu.
It is better to have Kuta as a base for practical reasons, not only does it cost less but in these areas you are really isolated and even if you want a bottle of water you should take a scooter.
The first passing beach is Padang Padang a delightful bay with blue water tending towards green and quiet.

in reality it seems that there are those who surf but it wasn’t clear to me where since the sea was a board and I saw tiny waves where it wasn’t even possible to catch the foam (i.e. not enough to even get up), here we can relax and take a swim before arriving at Ulu Watu surfing beach.
This is a sort of micro village perched on a mountain with a breathtaking view overlooking the sea where the only people in the water are the surfers.
To access the beach you have to go down some stairs to literally find yourself inside a quarry, from there you set off on your board.

After perhaps drinking a coke in one of the many bars, here things cost around 3000 rupiah more than in Kuta, we head to the temple Pura Luhur Ulu Watu.
The entrance fee is 20,000 (or 2 euros), it is small and easy to get around, in itself it is perhaps not the most evocative temple in the world but the mere fact that it is located overlooking the sea and that the view is exaggeratedly suggestive makes it pass of mint the imposing temples appreciating this oasis of peace and mysticism.
I recommend arriving around 5 or 5.30 pm so you can watch the dance show, Kecak dance which costs 70,000 rupees which is made specifically for tourists but is really worth seeing.
Here men in traditional clothes sing and stage one of the Hindu stories where dancers in typical Balinese clothes and make-up entertain the audience sitting in a sort of amphitheater for an hour as the sun goes down.
It doesn’t matter if it’s touristy, on the other hand if you wanted to see a tarantella in Sicily you certainly won’t find it in the streets or districts of Catania or Palermo but you literally have to look for a special show.
Same goes for Balinese dances.

A day has passed and at this point it’s time to move.
Maybe head to Ubud which is easily reachable with a shuttle organized by the many travel agencies in the town.
Prices vary between 50,000 and 60,000 rupiah, so research carefully before making your purchase, as I did.
If you want to spend less you can organize with the Bemo or local buses but unfortunately there are no direct ones and so you would have to change twice.
Too hot and too much weight on my shoulders to give up the comfort of a minibus that took me to my destination for $7.

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