I didn’t like Kuta. Don’t get me wrong, if you’re a six foot four Australian with tribal tattoos, you might love it. If you enjoy looking at and wearing really funny vests with really funny slogans on like, “I’m not gay but $20 is $20,” then Kuta is probably the place for you. Want to get run over by three ten year old school-children that are sharing a moped and driving on the footpath because the traffic on the road is so bad? Go to Kuta.
I don’t really meet any of those criteria, so understandably I was a little taken aback when I was thrown in at the deep end of arguably the main touristy hub of Bali. With pickpockets on every other corner and loud-mouthed twenty year olds on the others, this is not the place to visit if you’re looking for a quiet getaway with scenic views. As a relatively cautious person, I found myself reluctant to wander out into the town after dark, or honestly, at any point during the day. The air is thicker than Katie Hopkins, and I feel like the people wandering around wearing masks covering their faces were a lot more clued in than we were – no surprise really that Paige (whose immune system is, to put it nicely, non-existent) became ill within the first day. Perhaps that was because she had to sit next to me for a sixteen hour flight on the previous day, but I’d like to imagine it had more to do with the pollution and the dirtiness of Kuta.
Admittedly, I have neglected to mention that Kuta is also an incredibly exciting place to stay. If you’re looking for a good night-life, cheap drinks are readily available, and the Sky Garden is one of the most notorious (you can decide whether that’s a positive or not) clubs on the island. Food is also quite inexpensive, and sometimes you can get food poisoning thrown in for free if you ask nicely, which is an added bonus! It’s easy to get around once you’re in Kuta, as there are plenty of Blue Bird Taxis (the only really legitimate taxi company in Bali) honking at you as they drive past. If not, feel free to grab one of the many Blue Biro Taxis (exactly the same except triple the price and with no guarantee that you won’t end up in a random dark alleyway someplace near where you were hoping to end up).
In terms of a quick stopover en route to somewhere a little nicer, it’s admittedly perfect for a couple of nights. It’s a short distance from Seminyak, Ubud and Legian, all of which are worth visiting. Also, if you need anything that you may have neglected to bring with you, you can buy anything, and I mean anything in Kuta.
I won’t lie and say that I didn’t enjoy my stay there, but since moving on and experiencing some of the incredible culture, scenery and people that Bali has to offer, I’d have to think twice before agreeing to put myself through the pollution/noise/dirt/tourists etc.