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A deserted Kuta in November JAKARTA - I have to admit, it is somewhere far outside any holiday season in the middle of November, maybe that will help create the almost deserted Kuta around this time of year. It was a short trip of about one hour from the beating cultural and religious heart of Bali, Ubud. With a virtually blue sky I left the spiritual village on a rented Mio (scooter), heading for the hot lowlands and crowds of Southern Bali. That crowd was a relative thing here, but seen from Ubud almost everything in the outside world looks crowded.

Upon entering the always hot Kuta Beach area I could directly see that there wasn't a single Australian on the streets. The too fat, beer drinking people - generalized indeed - had hid themselves long before the executions of the three Bali Bombers, following the advise of their government. Those who were still on the island probably were still in their nuclear bomb chambers, radio still off, waiting for what is about to happen. Until now nothing has happened though and for Gods sake it will stay that way. Three Russian blokes wit their almost bald heads sat at a small bar, drinking their beers with a free view over the quiet beach and a few other tourists in the streets.

A number of not yet rented out beds on the beach - inclusive of sunscreens - at the beach of Legian, at just a stones' throw from the beaches of Kuta, where it is not allowed to have beds for rent.  indahnesia.com.
A number of not yet rented out beds on the beach - inclusive of sunscreens - at the beach of Legian, at just a stones' throw from the beaches of Kuta, where it is not allowed to have beds for rent. indahnesia.com.

After a short walk over the recently re-done beach of Kuta - several meters of sand were added to the beach now more looks like it was until some five years or so ago - it is soon time to find a nice cold drink somewhere and maybe even a snack. Back on the Mio, heading in the direction of the beaches of Legian and Seminyak, where - according to my humble opinion - there is a better atmosphere than in the Kuta area. Differences are subtle however, but that doesn't mean they are not there, obviously.

When arriving in Legian, you can use Jalan Arjuna to reach a somewhat enclosed area. The road is a dead end and there is a parking space for mainly motorbikes on the former main road. The direct connection with Kuta is closed by several gates, which was a very good idea. This causes the area to have a much more quiet and slower atmosphere than in Kuta, which is just two kilometers away from here. There, the main road directly along the beach is the main road around the area. No horning taxi's in Legian, no yelling people offering you transport as well, how nice!.

Here of course more places to eat, just like in Kuta, but only in a much more enjoyable environment. The still closed De Ja Vu is next door to restaurants and lounge bars like Zanzibar and Lanai. Furthermore a number of small booths where you can order tickets for daytrips, rent motorbikes, massage parlors and small alleys that bring people from many countries in the world to their hotels and bungalows directly behind these commercial enterprises. However it will not be quiet at night time very early, this might just be a much better place to stay than Kuta.

Also for rent are hundreds of surfboards which can be found under trees and against bamboo supports until it is rented out.  indahnesia.com.
Also for rent are hundreds of surfboards which can be found under trees and against bamboo supports until it is rented out. indahnesia.com.

It is just by accident that I am in Bali around this time of year. The second time I was able to enjoy a nice lunch at the top floor of Lanai, the second time I had some food there as well, but by then it had been reopened because a fire shortly after my first visit destroyed the upstairs kitchen. Now I was there again, but I decided to take a chair near the entrance. No air conditioning, but a nice breeze from big fans and no sun for now because I have had enough of that during the hours of walking and driving on the motorcycle into this direction.

The very nice and peaceful atmosphere that should be called remarkable. In all those times I have been to Bali, of course including a peek in the tourist southern part, it had never been this quiet, as far as I could remember. I have to admit that I skipped the first few years after the Bali bombings in 2002, so maybe I am just lucky that I am here in the rock-bottom low season. In just over a month, life should return to this area as before, since it will be Christmas and New Year soon.



Posted in Travel @ 25 November 2008 by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink






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