Kuta is undoubtedly Bali’s worst kept secret. First discovered by adventurous surfers and then backpackers, the Kuta of today is a very different place. If you’re dreaming of a secluded oasis then unfortunately you’re a few years too late. If you want a no-fuss beach holiday with almost unlimited shopping, food and nightlife options then Kuta is just the place. Home to arguably Bali’s best beach, Kuta is the one place in Bali that really does have it all. The only question is, “how much do you want?”
Much like elsewhere in Bali, Kuta’s main and original attraction is its beach. Along Kuta’s 12-kilometre stretch of sand you can easily spend days sunbathing, surfing the world-famous break, having a relaxing massage and sampling food from the local vendors. With shopping and nightlife the town’s other two leading attractions, another great thing about Kuta is its proximity to a number of Bali’s leading sights. An easy day trip away is Uluwatu, a world-leading surf beach with a clifftop temple. North from Kuta is Ubud, a tranquil mountain town home to beautiful rice fields and the sacred monkey forest.
Eat And Drink
Restaurants in Kuta offer a smorgasbord of dining options, with everything on offer from local street food to international-standard cafes and restaurants. To sample some tasty Indonesian delicacies, follow the locals to one of the busy warungs (local diners) or food stalls lining the beach. Poppies lanes – yes there’s a Poppies Lane 1 and 2 – is where you’ll find lots of budget bites and booze. More sophisticated bars and lounges can be found along the waterfront on Jalan Pantai Kuta, while Legian Street is where you’ll find a large concentration of Kuta’s nightclubs.
Where To Stay
You’ll never have a problem finding a place to stay in Kuta, with literally hundreds of options to choose from. With accommodation suitable for almost every budget, if you want more Bintang for your buck just keep in mind that the closer to the beach you get, generally the more you’ll pay. One other thing to keep in mind when deciding where to stay is that Legian Street does get rowdy at nights. It’s great if you want to stumble home to your hotel from a nightclub, but not so desirable if you want to rise early and hit the surf.
Pack lightly. In fact, pack a spare bag. Shopping and Kuta go hand in hand, with a touristy t-shirt just as easy to find in Kuta as the beach. Kuta Square is one of the most popular shopping areas and spreading out in a maze back from the centre is all manner of boutique and gift shops. Home to malls including Discovery Shopping Mall and RiverWalk Mall, a place to find more unique souvenirs is the Kuta Art Market. A traditional market where you can buy directly from local people, the price you pay depends entirely on how good your haggling skills are!
Kuta Like A Local
Though some items such as food and drinks are usually fixed price, haggling is the standard purchasing technique for most things in Kuta. From hotels to electronics, souvenirs are something that can almost always be bargained for. A few tips for bargaining like a local is to first work out how much you are willing to pay for an item so you don’t go over your limit. Your next step should be to offer one third of the price first presented then raise your bid ever so slightly until you reach an agreement or your limit. If the seller still doesn’t agree, don’t despair – it’s time to take a walk. Walking away lets the seller know that you’ve given them your final offer and you will find that 90% of the time the vendor will call you back and offer you the item at a lower price.