Before arriving here, I had heard many contrasting opinions of Kuta, but most weren’t too positive. It is known for being busy, touristy and filled to the brim with boisterous Australians.
Truth be told, it is a rather rough place. There are crude bumper stickers stuck everywhere, with things so vile written on them that I won’t type them out… but I will post a picture!
A personal peeve of mine is exploitation of animals, but where there are ignorant tourists, you will always find some sort of animal exploitation going on, so I guess it was inevitable. There was a monkey dressed up in quirky outfits that sat on the stairs near to where I stayed, chained to his owner. The irony is that when people pay for a photo with him, his owner hides the chain and forces him to pose for the photo.
Most of the roads in Kuta are narrow, and shouldn’t even allow traffic, yet they are usually 2 lane roads. And some places don’t have side walks so you are constantly dodging traffic. Not to mention the obvious noise pollution from all the hooting. It’s like every vehicle on the road just wants to make their presence known!
Though probably once beautiful, Kuta beach is very average now. It has lots of rubbish washed up onto the shore line and there is a guy selling overpriced drinks and renting surfboards every 5 meters. That is not an exaggeration. While learning to surf in the beach break (more on that in a following post), I found myself standing on creepy feeling things, and sometimes wading through rubbish. It’s not too bad if you rent a beach lounger near the top ends of the beach, I would just avoid the middle.
Anyway, its not the worst place on earth like some travel bloggers have crowned it. It has a lively atmosphere, which some tourists are attracted to, as well as a really nice mall by the beach. The nightlife is sought after, with many people coming for that reason.
So my conclusion is slightly indifferent. I don’t hate the place, in fact I enjoy some aspects of it. I suppose I must ask myself if I would go back, and the answer to that would be: if I were in search of some penises carved out of wood (which are found everywhere!) or some fun nightlife, then I might consider it for a couple of days.