Once a lonely village on the road from Denpasar toward the Bukit Peninsula, Kuta is now a thriving tourist resort, popular mainly among the young. It is a beach for surfing although currents make it less suitable for swimming. Coast guards, however, are on constant duty during the day. Kuta faces toward the west offering beautiful sunsets. The beach sweeps in a golden arc from the airport in the south all the way along the coast to the north for tens of kilometres.
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The village abounds with restaurants, shops, discotheques and other tourist facilities. It is easier to find regular performances of Balinese music and dance in Kuta, staged specially for tourists, than anywhere else in Bali. Some performances are staged nightly.
The village is ideal for meeting and mixing with other people, locals as well as visitors from abroad.
The five km long sandy stretch of Kuta is arguably the best beach front in Bali. The beach is safe, partially clean, well-maintained, although the beach vendors remain annoying pushing massages, hair braiding, cigarettes and surf boards. The long wide stretch of sand is often full of sunbathers and although most of the serious surfers have moved on to newer pastures, there are still plenty of surf dudes around at most times of the year, and especially so during peak season.
As you move north along the beach to first Legian and then Seminyak and Petitenget it becomes progressively quieter and less frenetic.
Two of the most popular laneways are called Poppies I and Poppies II where bars and restaurants are packed in among shops and guesthouses / losmen (cheap hotels). It is easy to get lost in this area and just as easy to pop back into civilisation again as most roads lead either to Jalan Legian, Jalan Pantai Kuta or one of the Poppies lanes. The main backpacker area is on a lane that runs in a northerly direction off Poppies II and is confusingly referred to as Jalan Benesari even though this is also the name of the road further north that travels east to west and connects the beach to Jalan Legian.
The area of south Kuta closest to the airport is more correctly known as Tuban, but this name is rarely used.
Due to the ever increasing popularity of Bali, Kuta is continually developing, and is not short of unsightly, poorly planned buildings. It can come across at times to be chaotic, overcrowded and congested. However, amongst all the mayhem this place somehow works, and hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy their time in Kuta every year.
Everybody looking for some action and fun in the evening goes to “Kuta” which nowadays means the area extending about 4 miles or 7 kilometers North from the original village of Kuta and includes now Legian, Seminyak and even Basangkasa. Here are most of the better entertainment places offering everything single male or female visitors as well as couples might be looking for.
There are several places such as Sky Garden Discotheque on Jalan Raya Legian. There are 5 different dancefloors on 4 floors and one rooftop floor “Sky Garden”. The huge (air-conditioned) main dance floor is often crowded, guests are a mix of locals and younger foreign visitors.
Close to the center of Kuta you find the BOUNTY SHIP with a noisy, air-conditioned disco in a big rebuild sail ship. PADDY’S not far from the original PADDY’S is a popular Disco where you can get cheap drinks and . Much more “IN” nowadays is the newer M-BAR-GO which features really good music and a better crowd than most other places. When most places close around 2.00 or 3.00 in the morning, night owls of all kinds continue drinking at nearby MAMA’S until sunrise.
For a somewhat more civilized evening out, you can have dinner and a couple of drinks at the bar at either TJ’s or KORI in Kuta, at the open street side bar at NERO Bali right opposite AROMAS Restaurant in Kuta, at the re-built N-R-G in Kuta, at MADE’S WARUNG in Basangkasa.
You’ll find a large and quite popular HARD ROCK CAFE right at the beginning of Kuta’s beach road with live music from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. Expect to find many singles of all kinds here looking for company. If you think this is too noisy, too crowded, or the air-conditioning too cold for you, try the CENTER STAGE at the HARD ROCK RESORT located in the back of the CAFE. As the name implies, the band performs on a raised stage in the middle of the huge round lobby bar until 11:00 p.m. Both HARD ROCK outlets are expensive by Bali standards.
One of the most “in” and upper class venues in Bali is KU DE TA right on the beach adjacent to the Oberoi hotel. This is the place to see and be seen, and from late afternoon there is a DJ providing rather noisy entertainment for Bali’s beautiful people. This is a great place to watch Bali’s famous sunsets, but expect to pay for a cocktail around US$10 and more.
Cool hang outs are also the trendy HU’U Bar & Lounge near the Petitenget temple, LA LUCIOLA and THE LIVING ROOM. Find here the Seminyak travel information
Kuta stretches along the beach front all the way from the airport to Legian, and small lanes lead from the beaches into the densely populated accommodation zone. To avoid traffic-related frustrations, the best option is a combination of walking in small lanes and using metered taxis or a rented motorbike for longer excursions. Traffic jams are a constant hassle here and especially so when it is raining. It is often best to park your car before you reach downtown Kuta, and walk in. Metered taxis (taksi berargo) are ubiquitous on the streets of Kuta and are a relatively cheap and reliable way to get around, especially at night. Avoid any taxi where the driver refuses to put the meter on.
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