Bali Beginnings: Kuta

I was fortunate enough to spend the past week on a lovely vacation to Indonesia, of which I knew just about nothing before going. Sure, I’ve read Eat, Pray, Love and wished myself its exotic locales (Italy, India and Bali), but all I knew about Bali was that it was a great place to fall in love with a wealthy Brazilian man. 

We landed in Denpasar, Bali late Friday night after a long day of traveling. Not wanting to go too far, we booked a hotel near the airport in Kuta. Kuta is known as the shopping/partying capital of Bali, and doesn’t have a whole lot of cultural high points (unlike, say, Ubud, which is definitely next on my Bali list and puts the Love in Eat, Pray Love). It was a great place to relax and hang out.

Kuta is beautiful, which is why it has become so touristy. The beaches, even when crowded with people, are expansive and offer plenty of space to dip your toes in the Indian Ocean (3 oceans down, 1 to go. Though I think I’ll not be dipping my toes in the Arctic). Although we didn’t spend very much time at the beach during the day, we took in gorgeous sunsets both nights that we were there.

Day One:

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And Day 2…

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While our evenings were spent sipping beer at the beach (tough life, I know), our days were spent wandering the streets of Kuta. There is some great shopping to be done here, although I mostly just browsed. As much as I like haggling for a bargain, the street hawkers were relentless. They would follow you, tug on you and sometimes outright intimidate you. My personality does not fare well with these types. There were times when I would have liked to have looked around a shop or street stand a little more, but became too frustrated with the aggression of the sellers. I did purchase an owl tank top, pictured above, for $4. But only because the lady was nice, and pushy in a somewhat friendly way.

The streets of Kuta:

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My favorite part of Kuta was our opening vacation activity, a three-hour spa treatment at Murano Spa. Normally a package like this would go for $200-300 at home, but not in Indonesia! For less than $25, we received massages, body scrub, a flower spa bath, and hair treatment. It was absolutely heavenly, and I could not get over how reasonably priced it was.

The spa:

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I enjoyed the couple of days that we spent in Kuta, but I probably don’t need to go back. I would, however, love to explore some other parts of Bali. After our time in Kuta, we took a boat over to Gili Islands, which are located on the east side of Bali. I cannot wait to tell you about them either, because they were some of the most beautiful sites I’ve ever seen. Pictures and post to come!

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