The best budget accommodation is in a los-
men with rooms facing a central garden. Look
for a place that is far enough off the main
roads to be quiet, but close enough so that
getting to the beach, shops and restaurants
isn't a problem. Luxuries like air-con and
pools have become common even among the
cheapies, although the cheapest are fan- and
50,000/60,000Rp) Since 1971 this cheap, clean,
cramped, cheerful 23-room losmen just north
of Poppies Gang I has been renting rooms to
weary surfers. The showers in the two-storey
block are cold and the air is fan-driven.
Lili Garden Cottages (Map
A WALK ON THE BEACH
That fabulous stretch of sand that starts in Kuta and runs north right past Seminyak can be the
focus for a great day of exploring. Start where Jl Pantai Kuta meets the shore and head north. As
your mood demands, frolic in and out of the surf while taking breaks on the sand.
As you pass Jl Melasti, the beach road is gated, making it a wide, quiet and pedestrian-friendly
promenade. At various points, you'll find shady spots where you can relax and just soak up the
sound of the waves while watching people stroll past. Time yourself so that by about noon you'll
be at the patch of beach on the north edge of Legian where Jl Double Six meets the sand. Here
you'll find a strip of outdoor cafés that are shady and enjoy ocean views. After lunch you can join
locals and visitors in games like volleyball that give this popular beach relentless energy.
Continue north along the sand and ponder your massage options. Choose from one of the
ladies on the beach or something more elaborate at one of the spas in the beachside hotels. With
the afternoon starting to wind down, take a break on a rental lounger on the sand and enjoy a
beverage from a vendor. Finally, as the sun sinks into the ocean in the west, finish up at Ku De
Ta (p121), the popular beachside club that's a scene as well as a café.
Eventually, stop and have dinner at one of the many great places in Seminyak and then grab
a cab home and collapse into bed.
firstname.lastname@example.org; s/d 50,000/75,000Rp) There are
25 rooms (some with hot water) in substantial
brick bungalows hidden away by dense foli-
age. Guests can share cooking facilities and
there is a tiny café.
Mekar Jaya (Map pp96-7 ;
Many of the cheap places are along the tiny
alleys and lanes between Jl Legian and the
beach in central Kuta. This is a good place
to base yourself: it's quiet, but only a short
walk from the beach, shops and nightlife.
A few places on the eastern side of Jl Legian
are close to the bars and restaurants, but can
be noisy and a fair hike from the beach. Jl
Benesari is a great place to stay, close to the
beach and quieter than the Poppies Gangs.
Gang Sorga is another top pick, with scores
Puri Agung Homestay (Map pp96-7 ;
754487; off Poppies Lane II;
r 60,000-70,000Rp) Twenty-five rooms in bungalows
face huge, open and grassy grounds in the
midst of Kuta. Tournament Frisbee players
(or croquet buffs) will be thrilled. Rooms are
simple with cold water.
Berlian Inn (Map pp96-7 ;
751501; off Poppies Gang I;
s/d 60,000/80,000Rp, with hot water 90,000/120,000Rp) A
stylish cut above other budget places, the
24 rooms in two-storey buildings here are
quiet and have ikat (cloth with a pattern pro-
duced by dyeing the individual threads before
weaving) bedspreads and an unusual open-air
FESTIVALS & EVENTS
The first Kuta Karnival (www.kutakarnival.com) was
held in 2003 as way of celebrating life after the
tragedy of 2002. It's become an annual event
held in late September or early October, albeit
with fits and starts. Events include parades,
arts competitions, cultural shows, beach sports
tournaments, kite-flying contests and more.
There are also surfing contests throughout
Kuta, Legian and Tuban have hundreds of places
for you to stay. The top-end hotels are along the
beachfront, midrange places are mostly on the
bigger roads between Jl Legian and the beach,
and the cheapest losmen are generally along
the smaller lanes in between. Tuban and Legian
have mostly midrange and top-end hotels - the
best places to find budget accommodation are
Kuta and southern Legian.
With hotel names, be sceptical about words
such as 'beach', 'sea view', 'cottage' and 'bun-
galows'. Places with 'beach' in their name may
not be anywhere near the beach and a feature-
less, three-storey hotel block may rejoice in
the name 'cottages'. Note that hotels on Jl
Pantai Kuta are separated from the beach by
a busy main road south of Jl Melasti. North of
Jl Melasti, though, the beach road is protected
by gates that exclude almost all vehicle traf-
AJ Hackett Bungy (Map pp96-7 ;
731144; Jl Arjuna;
noon-8pm daily, 2-4am Fri & Sat) , beside the
beach at the Double Six Club (p113) in Legian,
has a great view of the coast (it means you
can't see the hideous tower you're standing
on - or bouncing from).
Poppies Lane I; s/d 30,000/50,000Rp) The budget win-
ner in Kuta. Vampires (and partying surfers)
will appreciate the dark, cold-water rooms at
this attractive little place that features a tiny
Komala Indah I (Map pp96-7 ;
(Map pp96-7 ;
763554; Gang Sorga; s/d
) One of the best budget
choices, the 16 cold-water rooms here have
hints of style and are set in some fine gardens
that feature a good-sized pool.
Bendesa (Map pp96-7 ;
Activities for Children
Except for the traffic, the Kuta region is a
pretty good place for kids. With supervision -
and sunscreen! - they can cavort on the
beach for hours. Almost all the hotels and
resorts above the surfer-dude category
have pools and the better ones offer kids'
Amazone (Map p103; Discovery Shopping Centre, Jl
Kartika Plaza, Tuban;
753185; Jl Benesari;
) The rooms here are
set around a pleasant garden. The cheapest
of the 33 rooms have squat toilets, fans and
twin beds only. Part of the Komala empire,
there are adjoining ding repair and laundry
751358; off Poppies Gang II;
) The 47 clean, simple
rooms are quiet as the Bendesa is fairly iso-
lated. There's an attractive new sinuous pool.
The cheapest rooms - all clean - have cold
water and fan.
10am-10pm) has hundreds
of screeching arcade games on the top floor
of the mall.
Just south of the very kid-friendly Water-
bom Park (p102) is Le Speed Karts
GETTING AWAY FROM IT ALL
Dodging cars, motorcycles, touts, dogs and dodgy sidewalks can make walking through Kuta
and Legian seem like anything but a vacation. It's intense and it can be stressful. You may soon
be longing for uncrowded places where you hear little more the rustling of palm fronds and
the call of a bird.
Think you need to book a trip out of town? Well, think again. You can escape to the country
without leaving Kuta and Legian. All those teeming streets surround huge swaths of land and
once you poke through the wall of commerce, you can be transported back to a Kuta and Legian
of 30 years ago. The secret is to get off the streets and onto the gang . In Kuta this is hard as
even these can be crowded, but take any alley or lane heading east of Jl Legian and you'll be
in the quieter neighbourhood where the locals live.
Better still is Legian. Take any of the narrow gang into the area bounded by Jl Legian, Jl
(Map p103 ;
757850; Jl Kartika Plaza, Tuban; five-min ride 60,000Rp;
10am-10pm) where you can zip around a
A vast range of tours all around Bali, from
half-day to three-day tours, can be booked
through travel agents or hotels in Kuta. These
tours are a quick and easy way to see a few