After the laid back island vibes of Gili Air, we made our way to Kuta, the seaside town in Bali, famous for its waves and night life. The atmosphere seemed manic compared to that of Gili Air, with loads of people and motorbikes everywhere.
The main streets of Kuta are often jam packed with tourists and locals, both during the day and night. The streets are lined with tons of tattoo, curio, surf, and clothing shops, and then lots of restaurants, bars and pubs. Almost every shop has locals standing on the street outside to catch people passing by, to get them inside so that they can spend money. It gets really tiring saying ‘no’ literally every 10 seconds as you walk down the main streets.
It took us a day or two to adjust to ‘normal life’, and we were lucky to score a great deal on some affordable accommodation near to everything, and included an amazing large swimming pool which we took full advantage of.
In the evenings the bars, nightclubs and pubs, kick into high gear and there are a large number of people walking the streets looking for places to party the night away. Just walking down the street at night can be an experience, with all the lights, noise from clubs and the interesting people along the way.
There were a really large amount of very friendly locals and it seemed like very 5 meters there was one who would offer to sell you everything from Viagra, to Magic mushrooms, and didn’t want to take ‘no’ for an answer. After venturing out a couple of times we decided it was better to explore during the day, and stay in at night, so that we could get away from the hectic nightlife. We preferred instead to chill at the pool where we were staying, which felt like a giant bath, while looking at the stars in the night sky, and watching the bats fly around.
The beach in Kuta was one of the busiest we had encountered so far on our travels in Bali. The beach is really long and goes all the way to Denpasar Airport. We enjoyed running along the beach and ‘people watching’. The beach is filled with locals playing football, even more locals selling beers, food, sarongs and renting deckchairs with umbrellas to tourists. We made our way down to the beach a few times in the evening to try and catch one of the famous sunsets, but we never managed to get the combination of good sunset and having a camera with us right.
While exploring during the day we discovered a place called ‘Cosmic Diner’ which served the best milkshakes we have ever tasted! No surprise, it is an American diner franchise, as every other ‘milkshake’ we had tried from everywhere else in Asia was undrinkable. Most restaurants version of a milkshake was a glass of milk with some ice, shaken up, with some flavouring. We were so impressed with Cosmic diner’s milkshakes that we went back more than once while we were in Kuta.
On Natacha’s birthday we decided to go and visit the Waterbom waterpark, which claims to be the best in Asia. It was our first time at a waterpark, and we were very impressed. We spent the entire day going on as many different slides / rides as possible, in order to get our moneys worth! The queues were really long on the big slides, but by the afternoon all the big rides were basically empty, due to the many flights of stairs you need to climb to get to start of the ride. We burned a LOT of kilo joules that day!
We especially liked the “scariest” and highest water slides, which had a ‘capsule’ at the top that you are eclosed in. Standing in an upright position, the operator presses a button, and the floor beneath you opens. You then free-fall for a second or two before the slide starts to curve downwards, then you pick up a lot of speed before ending at the bottom of the slide with a ‘wedgie’ and a big splash!
The sound the capsule makes is similar to a toilet flushing, and you cant help feeling like you are a giant turd getting flushed!
The water slides, rides and pools were a great relief from the extreme hot and humid weather in Kuta.
On one of the days while we were exploring Kuta on foot, we walked past a 3D museum and decided to go inside. Having never been to one before we were excited to see all the different 3D displays, which were really fun to pose with, be silly, and take pictures. We spent the whole afternoon exploring the museum and highly recommend it if you want some fun photos.
After spending 2 months in Indonesia, it was time for us to head off to Thailand….