Trip Start Jan 2003
Trip End Dec 2003

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Saturday, May 31, 2003

Day 119 - 120 - Sanur

The original plan was to spend a couple of days here in Sanur, head to Lombok and then return in time for our flight to Australia. After landing ourselves a gorgeous hotel for next to nothing, moving anywhere seems less likely. To top it off we're the only guests so it's akin to having a private villa with pool as well as cleaners and personal chefs. Unfortunately the reason why we're the only guests, the Bali bomb last October, makes for a less desirable atmosphere outside the hotel. We haven't eaten in a restaurant with any other diners and a five minute walk to the shop yields around twenty offers of transport.

Sanur, being in the second bracket of tourism in Bali, is suffering horrendously and depressingly from the lack of visitors. While the stretch of beach this end of town is unimpressive, it seems to be aimed at a more upmarket niche to that to which we're accustomed. It's impossible not to feel sorry for the Balinese (70% work in tourism) and terrorism has just about bankrupted the place.

I'm proud to say we've done nothing so far, except topping up the tan, but that changes tomorrow with the obligatory visit to the famous (or should I say infamous) Kuta. I'm expecting to hate it but I'll try not to let any preconceptions affect my judgment of a place 'true travellers' are supposed to despise as a shining example of the destructive effects of tourism.

Day 121 - Sanur/Kuta

So, we went to the Costa del Oz (or Kuta as it's sometimes referred to). Within seconds of getting out the taxi we started receiving hassle from the hawkers and this continued throughout our brief time there. The beach was more by the standard set elsewhere in SE Asia and apart from the weather I really can't see its attraction. It tries to appeal to backpackers, surfers, package holidaymakers and the upmarket crowd simultaneously (streets containing a Versace shop, a department store, a Quiksilver shop and a second hand bookshop) and consequently as far as I can tell ends up not really appealing to anyone. While there were more 'whities' than in Sanur it was still much quieter than it would usually be. Without being able to empathise I have a great deal of sympathy for the Balinese in terms of suffering the bomb and its aftermath. However, after frequently seeing half-completed hotels for sale, you can't help feeling that the bubble was going to burst at some point.
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