Arrival back from the Gili Islands to the Kuta area in south Bali was like going from a relaxed Grateful Dead concert and landing straight into a supercharged Electric Daisy Music Festival. Barbie and I need to both readjust our brain and bodies.
We got off the ferry from Gili Air and we elected to stay in the Legian area. What a transition from the simple laid back, island beach life to party central of south Bali. However, the good thing is, shorts and flip flops still remain the dress code.
Seminyak, Legian and Kuta are the main tourist hubs of south Bali. I will stress that it’s so touristy in this small section of Bali and is best avoided unless you are looking for this type of party atmosphere and western type of vacation experience. Basically, there is nothing Balinese about it and they keep building massive resorts and heaps of cool restaurants to cater directly to tourists.
Seminyak and Legian are good alternatives to the craziness in Kuta as it’s more upmarket and laid-back. All 3 areas are real popular tourist destinations for Aussies because of its close proximity to Australia and they are here to party hard and surf. The huge sweeping beaches are a real sight to see with their massive waves which are a real trip to swim in. Actually, you cannot swim, but you can get your clock cleaned by the huge waves which I find so much fun. The local beach vendors are kind of annoying but like in many places in Asia, you learn the technique on how to shoo them away. We try to be as kind as possible, but they never seem to take ‘NO’ for an answer. Not only do they sell sarongs, hammocks and other miscellaneous crap…..they also offer massages, pedicures and any other spa type service offerings a human can think of. One lady who was also selling sarongs looked at my feet and in broken english told me, ” I get dead skin off heels and get Toejam out your big toe”. I passed. I wondered how a beach sarong sales lady can also be properly trained to handle toe-jam removal as well.
Barbie was eyeballing a selfie stick for a few days and pulled the trigger on a selfie stick after a long negotiation with the selfie stick beach guy. He wanted $5, but Barbie, not being a very good negotiator (but very frugal) passed the torch to me and I worked over the selfie stick guy into a sweat and subsequently, secured the selfie stick deal for $3 bucks. She was so happy but the smile quickly dissipated after it broke after taking one single selfie and the selfie stick beach guy long gone and never to show his face for the remainder of the day. I guess I can improvise and turn the broken selfie stick into a back scratcher. Lesson = Watch out for the selfie stick beach guy next time you visit Bali.
At sunset time, everybody heads to the beach and every restaurant sets up their own ‘chill zone’ on the sand with food, drinks and beanbags to cool out on and listen to live music playing. It’s like one big beach party running along the stretch of the beach from Kuta thru Legian and onto Seminyak. The nice thing about it, everyone is so relaxed, taking in the outdoor beach setting and it’s not the loud party scene you would expect at first glance.
The latest craze here are the beach clubs set up along the ocean competing for the tourist buck. These are the places the hipsters appear to go. Some of the more popular ones are Ku Da Ta, Mozaic, Cocoon and the most happening, Potato Head Beach Club. These places are also a far cry from what Bali is really all about so we avoided them. That is just the way we Flashpackers roll.
Just a reminder, if you want Big Doug blog posts automatically emailed to you hot off the presses, use the link on this blog site to register. How can you possibly miss out on a detailed post covering the details on how the latest Nasi Campur dish eaten (an Indonesian staple dish) in a remote village took me from a 7 to a 4 on my loose stools index?
Restaurants: Souvlaki Warung, La Plancha, La Lucciola, Warung Murah
BEACHES VISITED – 5 (Massive stretch of beach with killer waves but brownish water) Would get a 7 rating if there was blue water like other parts of Bali.
LOOSE STOOLS INDEX – 8 (Things looking up for BFD)
THRU THE BINOCS –
Bali is Beanbag Heaven. The Balinese love their beanbags. They are big on comfort and beanbags are all over the beaches to hang on here in the Kuta/Legian/Seminyak beaches. I am still deciding if I am really a Beanbag Guy or Hammock Guy. Both are pretty decent lifestyle options. If I can spend the rest of my life in either a Beanbag or Hammock, then I guess life is all good.