Kuta highlights and lowlights

I have more to post from Bali (and Australia), but maybe I’ll do an extra highlights reel at the end of this journey so I don’t get too far behind my current travels. I’ve met so many nice people of all nationalities already. I haven’t met many Americans, though- mostly British, German, Australian, Dutch, and French, so far. It’s nice to sit and chat with somebody with a shared language, and shared travel itineraries where you can exchange advice and experiences. Speaking of experiences, let me catch you up on Kuta.

I have really mixed feelings about Kuta. If you just want a beachy holiday, and you don’t mind spending a little extra, I’m sure it would be fine. But if you’re not quite into sharing a dorm with 5 other people, but you don’t want to spring for one of the plush rooms in a resort for 5 times as much, there seemed to be a dearth of decent stuff in the middle (unlike Ubud). 

Here’s the bathroom of the revolting place I stayed in for one night, the bathroom which didn’t have a sink or a mirror… just a constantly running leaky filthy shower. 







So, coming straight from somewhere in Australia, you’d probably think everything was (comparatively) a cheap dream. But coming from Ubud, I found the town dirtier, the hawkers pushier, and the rooms at similar prices to be of lower quality. That said, I did have a nice stroll along the beach, and the town streets were interesting, if a little more pre-packaged and manufactured than the more home-spun feeling you get in Ubud.

But I finally got to see the Doctor Fish!! I wanted to try this out in Tokyo with Kristi 2 years ago, but it was prohibitively expensive. I’ve been hearing they have this in malls all over Britain, but I haven’t really seen it in Chicago yet, so I tried it out here! It was hilarious.

(It turns out that it’s difficult to take a photo of your feet underwater without making yourself look like a Hobbit.)

There were so many fish delicately nibbling all at once that it felt a bit like I’d imagine that a small electric current might. The experience was made even better by having all the salon girls calling me “darling” repeatedly. I felt like I should be in feather-lined pink robe, with a skinny cigarette holder clutched in my hand.



I also had a decent time at the post office, though the road there should, by rights, never legally be called a road.





Classic. Close, but not quite.

All in all, Bali was good. But I think that, as with anywhere else in the world, the more you’re willing to pay, the cleaner and sweeter (but more sanitized) you can make your experience.

10 thoughts on “Kuta highlights and lowlights

  1. Haha. I can totally relate to that “just-came-from-Oz” feeling. Using bathrooms in Chinese airport after Oz–revolting. And then the Philippines. Although they weren’t like those–just third world-ly I guess you could say.

    And ya–I never thought I’d be excited about finding fellow Americans while traveling-but I only ran into 4 in 9 days in Oz.

    Happy Traveling 🙂

    • Yes, the old hole in the ground, right? I think I prefer that to the version I found in Kuta, but truthfully I’ve avoided using them so far. 🙂
      It’s just interesting that so few Americans take this route- but people from many other countries do so regularly. 🙂

  2. We’ve been out in SE Asia for 4 months now and flew into Kuta late at night so we booked over the internet. I sympathise with you, our room had newspaper instead of curtains. In Ubud now and for the same money we are in an awesome room. I don’t know if you are heading father into Indonesia or the continent, but Bali is quite expensive, and Kuta/Ubud prices will buy some really nice places elsewhere

    • Newspaper curtains? Hilarious. 🙂 Congrats on 4 months! I’m in Vietnam now, but definitely appreciated the costs in Ubud over Kuta. Such a difference in what you get. It’s nice to hear that other parts of Indonesia might be even better price-wise. I think that the popularity of a place really influences the prices there- and so far I’d say that beach communities seem the most expensive in comparison. Anyway, your blog is great, and thanks for reading mine! 🙂

  3. Ooh, am I the source of the “feet-nibbling-fishies in malls all over Britain” info? Exciting! Just dropped by to say hello. Hope your trip is going great as you move north. If there were any problems with the train I don’t want to know, as I’m on it on Wednesday… 🙂 Fay

    • Lol- yes, you and another Brit told me about the proliferation of fishes in the UK. 🙂 So, I didn’t spend long in Nha Trang, but am enjoying Hoi An. It’s really beautiful at night with all the lanterns in the trees. The train was good, and even the hard sleeper is just fine, but don’t believe Mr. Seat61 about all the modern conveniences of power sockets, etc. I haven’t seen one yet! 🙂

  4. Hmmm…where do I start? There’s just so much to comment on.
    First, my feet must be nasty because when I did the Dr. Fish in Tokyo, my feet were saturated with fish. All I saw was black. Then again, you do have very pretty skin Liz.
    Kuta. For the past 10 years, that’s where I’ve stayed and LOVED it. But alas, I’ve grown up and have converted to Ubud. It’s sad to see how much Kuta has changed in 10 years-the hawkers were never pushy up until the past year or so.
    And, the room is typical. Two words for you: shower shoes. 🙂 I have a pair you can borrow. Hmmm…maybe it’s full circle back to my nasty feet that the Dr. Fish love.
    Wish I was able to be there with you in Bali. Can’t wait to return in September/October.
    Selamat Malam.

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