25 hours to see Seminyak, Legian & Kuta Beaches

Trip Start Jun 22, 2012
Trip End Jul 17, 2012

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Where I stayed
Amadea Resort and Villas

Flag of Indonesia  , Bali,
Sunday, July 15, 2012

Well that was the plan.

Being so close yet so far, I decided to spend an extra day in this part of Bali to see why Australians and us Kiwis like so much coming here. For those who spend all their time in this part of Bali, as they can so easily do, it is not Bali by any means.

For some unknown reason, I also wanted to see the memorial to the 2002 Bali bombing victims and the sight of the Sari Club.

Said goodbye to those who were leaving for Lombok and I waited for my 9 am shuttle to Kuta. It was the right decision for just 50,000 Rp instead of a 200,000 Rp taxi fare as I had a small tiki tour of it firstly Denpasar and the first stop was at Sanur on the east coast. There must have been a big kite day on one of the beaches here as we saw so many huge kites perched on tops of vehicles being taken down to the beach. Some had a small parade behind their vehicle. Sorry, no photos as I was on the wrong side of the shuttle van.

Then into Kuta and got dropped off at Bemo Corner. Future reference if I ever come back here - go to the 70 - 90% discount outlet stores opposite the Galleria Shopping Mall and just 100 metres away.

Metered Bluebird Bali taxis with their drivers were eagerly awaiting for us to offload and away I went to Seminyak checking out my first impressions of Kuta.

Soon through neighbouring Legian and yes, the stores have changed from those in Kuta, little bit more upmarket but still touristy, then a road block for a breast cancer event so a small detour was needed. Eventually back onto Jl Raya Seminyak and the start of the designer shops which this area is renowned for. Into Jl Oberoi (Jl Laksmana) and both the taxi driver and I were on the lookout for Amadea Resort and Villas at no 55 opposite Rumours and Ultimo restaurants.

Then the first security check. A mirror check under the taxi and open the boot / trunk before we could enter the grounds. This was common in this area as I saw this procedure repeated later at many other hotels and resorts. So that was a 32,000 Rp taxi fare plus my shuttle = 82,000 Rp to get here. Yes, better than 200,000 Rp even if it took a bit longer. 

My room wasn’t ready plus I was upgraded (complementary) so it was off back to Kuta by walking down the beach. How far will I get in the mid-day sun? My bag was even checked when I entered the Ku de Ta carpark which provides the beach walkway access at this point of Seminyak.

Thank goodness for the off shore breeze which really cooled things. A distance and location check with the life guards at Legian Beach meant that I was already of the way there.

Just the tourists out on their sun loungers sun worshiping / sun bathing and trying to swim or surf in the choppy sea plus being hassled by the beach hawkers. Not many locals were out.

Then Kuta Beach itself. Time check … just an hour from Ku de Ta, not bad. I knew about the broad walk from here to Tuban Beach just before the airport so I continued onwards.

Passing the resorts facing the sea, … and yes, I could handle this style of accommodation, stopping many times it took another 35 minutes to get to the end. Wow. That’s a long way as the planes arriving and taxiing looked so far away when I was back at Ku de Ta.

Back the same way passing the souvenir sellers and masseuses touting for business outside the hotel resorts property line.

Next to the seaside hotel resorts was the Discovery Shopping Mall and 30 minutes inside the air-condition - yes, back to reality with the usual shopping malls type shops plus the international food chains.

Back out into the afternoon heat and past Bemo corner with the next stop at what the Indonesians also call their Ground Zero - the memorial to the 202 victims, including 2 New Zealanders, from 21 countries who were killed by the bomb on 12 October 2002.

Many people were there, both locals and foreigners.

It was opposite where the Sari Club stood which is now an empty site and being used as a car park. A memorial park is planned for here once the ownership of the site is sorted out.

Back down the narrow Poppies Gang II and this is what Kuta must have looked all those years ago.
Passing the many cheaper and much older accommodation places and I can see why people stay here. Right by the many bars and night clubs.

It was 4 pm and time for a late lunch or was it an early dinner at the yet to be completed  Beachwalk. I noticed lots of “young” locals eating at Fish & Co so joined them for a feed of Grilled Chicken & Artic Fish - grilled chicken topped with peri peri sauce coupled with artic fish 99,000 Rp + lime juice + bottomless Coke = 176,193 Rp.

Now 5pm and time to head back as sunset is just after 6 pm and I still have an hour’s walk in front of me. Yes, I could have caught a taxi back but seeing my final sunset was very high on my list.

Back to the beach and to my surprise it was packed with locals. Yes, some of the tourists were still there. Many make shift soccer / football fields were set up below the high water mark with many games in progress.

Met a professional photographer who was taking sunset images and he said that I can still use the rule of 1/3’s even with sunsets and no foreground or other subject matter - clue is the horizon or the triangular effect being sun and 2 points in the foreground. I saw what he was trying to achieve with the flag and people walking by into his composition.

The beach bars bean bags were out, the music and bands had started to play and the beach hawkers were still out in force. With the constant sound of the waves on my left and the music from the bars on my right, it was an unusual stereo sound effect for most of the hour that it took me to get back to Ku de Ta in no time at all.

The sun obliged and at 6.10 pm sunk below the horizon oh so quickly.

By 6.30 pm I was back at the already overcrowded Ku de Ta, a well known beach side lounge bar, and darkness quickly descended upon Teluk Kuta or the Indian Ocean.

Thanks Eve for your commendation for me to spend my last evening in upscale Seminyak. Here are certainly Bali’s poshest and most creative shops, upscale boutiques, funky shops, slick galleries with plenty of swank restaurants to choose from.

Like the rest of Bali, I wish that they would do something about the foot paths as often whole sections are missing and a real hazard especially at nights. This in front of these up-markets shops and restaurants.

Even after my so very short time here, I can see how chaotic and really tacky Kuta with its narrow alleys or gangs, the many hawkers offering massage, taxi, T shirt, souvenir, surrounded by the many bars and cheap hotels and to a lesser degree Legian, is filled with at times teeming, mad, crazy, nutty, wild, loud and mainly younger ones. Yes, it also could easily be Australia’s extra state or territory!

And no, I did not buy one of the Bintang T Shirts or tank tops seen all over the place. Bintang is the cheap local beer.
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