The southwest of Bali
(Kuta in the south, Legian in the centre, Seminyak in the north) is easy to reach thanks to a nearby airport, and thus a popular vacation destination among Australians, New Zealanders and Chinese. From the south, where the airport’s landing strip marks a boundary, to Seminyak beach in the north it covers a distance of 8 km. Along this entire length and across an average width, which I would estimate to be about 700 metres, one comes across one hotel, restaurant, shopping temple, clothes and art boutiques, bar and nightclub after the other. The really big hotel complexes and shopping malls are in the south in Kuta. In the north, in Seminyak, it is all of a smaller scale, but still densely overbuilt.
To get to the beach, one turns off the large main street, the Jalan Legian, onto one of the side streets. After a few hundred metres of buildings there is often a luxury hotel near the beach before one eventually reaches the beach. At least the beach is passable and open to the public throughout. The beaches in general are beautiful and really wide and so one does feel pretty good, after all, when sunbathing, walking along the beach and swimming.
I had never been in a beach resort before, where I felt like I was in the middle of a typical Asian city up until the moment I actually came across the beach. This part of Bali is never going to be my thing!
Pictures of Kuta beach in the south
I couldn’t stop myself from taking this snapshot. Bali, of course, is famed as a surfer paradise and a true surfer naturally needs an appropriate custom motorcycle!
Less hilarious in Kuta is the Bali Bombing Memorial, located on the main street, Jalan Legian, which memorialises the 2002 bombings.
Pictures of Seminyak beach in the north
Seminyak beach features, other than Kuta, a few restaurants and bars towards the back, where one can sit comfortably and have some food and a drink. At the beginning of September, towards the end of the main season, getting a space to enjoy the sounds of the ocean and the whole atmosphere was no problem at all.
The southwest of Bali is perfect for sunbathing, surfing, shopping or to just drift around. A typical day could look like this:
After breakfast, make the most of the morning sun and head down to the beach, then a two-hour yoga lesson. After lunch, the daily massage, followed perhaps by another trip to the beach. Afterwards a shopping spree, dinner, a visit to a bar and then clubbing until you drop.
Those who want to escape all the hustle and bustle, but don’t want to stray too far from the airport, should go to the Bukit peninsula, which offers a few calmer beaches that are very popular with surfers.
For your travel planning
From the airport, take a taxi to your hotel. Try and get a taxi that utilizes a meter, if possible. The taxi drivers without one shamelessly demand double or triple the normal rate.
If you want to see the whole area, you should definitely rent a scooter for a day. Every hotel can help you with that.
A calmer alternative in the north of Bali is Lovina beach.
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