Everyone told me not to go, people said it was the Aussie Magaluf, they said I’d get mugged, or conned and I’d hate it… and I went anyway because that’s my MO, reverse psychology and me are great mates. Tell me not to, and I will, out of spite.
So I went to Kuta expecting to hate it but wanting to find out for myself, and I can honestly say EVERYONE WAS WRONG! Kuta is great, soooo much fun, and it’s cheap, and the shopping is great, and it’s pretty. And I’m going back.
Where to stay
I stayed at Funky Monkey hostel which had a one month old puppy there, need I say more? No! But I will… the hostel cosy around £5 a night and had a fab pool where you could play your own music (I am an eternal DJ) and chill, also free pancakes 24/7! However, this hostel had no wifi, and after researching a bit (asking a guest who’d been there 3 weeks previously) I discovered they never have wifi despite advertising it. They do however sell sim cards in the reception. Coincidence, I think not!
So I moved he their sister hostel Captain Goose which is basically exactly the same only bigger, newer, cleaner and cheaper. And it has wifi. The pool parties we had there were legendary (probably) and the location is great. Plus you still gt free pancakes and there’s a water filter (I hate buying bottles of water now, after 3 month traveling I must’ve spent… well, lots.
Captain Goose, Poppies 1, Kuta £4.50 per night
Where to eat
TJ’s Mexican is a beautiful restaurant with an indoor pond, coy carp and the most glorious mayan decor. They serve some delicious cocktails (I can vouch fo the caprinia, daiquiri and margarita) and some delish beef tacos. A really cool place to eat with friends or a date.
Sky Garden is a huge club that also has an all-you-can-eat offer from 5pm-9pm for 199,000 Rupiah which is about £10, oh and it’s also ALL YOU CAN DRINK. I was in heaven, the food is incredible and it’s so well organised it has to be seen to be believed. I’ve never almost vomited in a club from eating too many chicken wings.
Where to party
The main street in Kuta, Legian, is positively brimming with bars and clubs and the best thing is, by some joyous Indonesian quirk, they all play either hip hop, rap, trap, reggae or a combination of the four. No horrible euro-trash EDM music here (I’m looking at you all of Thailand). Kuta is a place you can really get down.
Engine Room is probably the best in terms of music and I also met he Balinese Tyga here (if he was like 2 foot taller I would have wifeyed him) he was Tyga’s twin, and the best dancer, and he had the 100 emoji tattooed under his eye like he’d murdered a frickin’ iPhone, ‘Bitches’ tattooed above his eyebrow and a wonderful tat that said ‘Niggaz’ on his neck. What a dude, I wasn’t offended as an emoji-lover, woman or person of colour (such was the power of his dancing).
Apache is the reggae bar here which is sooooooo ‘reggae’ it hurts, I have never seen so much red, gold and green merch or so many pictures of the late great Bob Marley in one place. The aforementioned Sky Garden of ‘all you can eat/drink’ fame gets pretty poppin’ as you can imagine.
What to do
Learn to surf! The beach at Kuta is ideal for beginners and you can just roll on down to the sand and pay a long-haired, tanned Balinese dude to teach you for about £2-3. Then you can enjoy a Bintang with him. The beach is seriously very cool. with tons of cute surfers, good cheap food and reggae.
A note: Although I personally loved Kuta and had the most incredible time I did meet several people who were mugged or pick-pocketed. They were all either drunk or walking alone when it happened so it is quite opportunistic, just be careful and don’t walk home alone, pissed at night. There are also a lot of people selling drugs who will then extort you or dob you in to the cops. Don’t risk it. Wait til you go to Gili T. which has no po po.