Bali is part of Indonesia, on the other side of daylight saving time. Monday night in North America would be Tuesday morning in Bali. Kuta, Bali is a crazy, busy city with many, many restaurants, bars, nightclubs, shops, cars, etc. The motorbikes are in a league of their own. You must remember in Bali that pedestrians are at the bottom of the totem pole. Other than the police, the motorbikes are in charge. If they want to park on the narrow sidewalk, they will. If the street is a one way, they will drive on the sidewalk. Pedestrians move over. We had a short lane to walk to our hotel from the main street. The blind corner at the end of the lane was also dangerous. We dubbed them “Suicide Lane” and “Dead Man’s Curve”. Any other two lane street most certainly becomes at least a four lane street. You can’t blame the motorbikes, it is the crazy people driving them. Empty vodka bottles filled with gasoline, how convenient is that?
Kuta Beach: The India Ocean skirts Kuta beach’s soft sand that stretches for miles. The lengthy Kuta beach is a beach walkers paradise. There are yellow flags and red flags along the beach. Yellow means swim at your own risk. Red means only swim if you are a strong swimmer. The flags don’t seem to matter. Beach goers swim wherever they wanted. The only time we noticed two lifeguards on duty, they were playing chess. So don’t count on any lifeguard saving you from the undertow. Surfers sport Kuta beach and a surf lesson is always available. Not being strong swimmers we were able to safely swim in the Indian ocean.
Bali People: They are so accommodating, humble and kind. Get them on a motorbike and that is a whole different story! They have a strong faith in the Hindu religion and bless their gods daily. Small paper trays filled with flowers, crackers, unlit cigarettes and whatever they choose are left on the sidewalk, street, or wherever they choose to respect their Gods. The street vendors can be tough to barter with but will eventually give in if you start to walk away. The lady vendors on the beach were the worst for not taking “NO” for an answer. “You go girls”! They know when you are a ‘newbie’ so don’t get taken the first day.
Accommodations: I found a room at the Sun Hotel and Spa in Kuta through Booking.com. $40 CAD provided a comfortable, air conditioned room with a pool. It was 5 to 10 minute walk to Kuta beach. The fridge was not very cold, but they were punctual bringing us a new one. Unfortunately, the second one didn’t work too well either. The hotel had live music almost every night. The staff were very friendly and very helpful.