Kuta, the bazaar of Bali

Beaches of Bali = Paradise picture was in mind all the while. So my holiday plans for Bali primarily started with ample time to chill on the beaches of Kuta, Legion and Seminyak which are all in the same belt. But I was so naive to plan this. Despite thousands of travel website and blogs talking incessantly about Bali as a "must" visit, I didn't really pay heed to any of the pros-and-cons, or maybe just the cons.

The day I arrived in Bali airport, I thought it might have been the high tourist season seeing all the crowd. The tragedy of hawkers and bullshiters started right there in the airport. Looks like most of Bali tourism industry is busy hatching plans to loot white guys loaded with dollars. Literally everything is for sale, just like any other tourist destination. While it might be a good thing for foreigner visitors to support the poor Indonesian town and revive and support it rich culture, you hardly see any locals in the towns or cities who need help. Just seems like a majority of the Balinese people have already gotten over their native cultural professions and have taken to the tourism industry as a common profession.

Walking into a Bazaar
My stay in Ubud was very pleasant and away from tourist traps. Ubud and the resort I stayed at really gave a glimpse of the rich culture, oozing artistic talents of locals and most of all the natural scenery of Balinese rice fields. But the moment I arrived at Kuta, the hectic feeling of an over crowded tourist destination set in. Again, no complaints on the resort I stayed at. But when I step out to the road, I feel it is a bazaar and I felt I might have to shell out money to even walk on their streets. What was more disgusting was the hawkers calling every passer-by to gain attention and hence business in their spa. Did I mention racist calls? A brown girl like me gets called Amitabh Bachchan because I come from India. That, in Bali of all the places! Well, if you call me Amitabh Bachchan there is no way I will walk into your spa.

Restaurants are mostly run by Australian immigrants. I was quite surprised at first but the number of Australian holidayers was just as many to justify expats catering to them. Rarely can you find an authentic Balinese / Indonesian restaurant. All I found was burger and fries places streaming Bintang beer. The cocktails are cheap and good nevertheless. 


The beach itself got a clean up after Time magazine thrashed it in an article titled 'Holiday in Hell'. The stretch of beach is now walkable but beware of hawkers. i would say early morning or after dusk would be good times to hang out at Kuta or Legion beach.

Comments

  1. loved your pictures- I'll just enjoy them rather than visiting Bali :)

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  2. Nice pics, lovely write up and am sure its an awesome place to be in.

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