If you’ve been following this series, then you are most likely aware that during our last day in Ubud we realized that our pocket money is dwindling. To add insult to injury, we were not able to inform our banks that we will be out of the country, making access to our savings out of the picture.
Although I badly wanted to see the cliffs of Uluwatu and the sunset at Tanah Lot, limited cash meant foregoing the tours. We wanted to make sure we have enough for pasalubong shopping and airport/travel tax.
There is, of course, no shortage of activities and things to see in Kuta. What do they say about the best things in life? They are free. That is until you see a beautifully made, hand-crafted decor that you are sure will look perfect on top of one of the cabinets back home…
Consumerism is big in Kuta, restaurants, hotels and malls are at every turn. Think of Boracay, but on crack! Lots and lots of it. Come night time, restaurants and bars near the beach offer free shows. Bands, fire dancers, performers generating as much noise and fanfare, competing for attention to lure in customers. Almost a sensory overload.
The beach is an escape for a little peace and quiet. I like how they did not build structures too close to the sea. On certain areas, there is a road that separates the beach from the too many bars and establishments, filtering some of the blaring sounds and flashing lights.
Kuta-Seminyak-Legian beach in Bali is a long five-kilometer stretch. Travel guides suggest to head northward toward Seminyak and Legian where it is much quieter and with fewer crowds. We followed this tip and walked a good distance north. I’m not sure if we reached Seminyak or Legian, it’s not like there are markers, or none that I noticed, but the beach was definitely quieter and with less people. There we decided to lounge for a bit.
Surfing seems to be the favored water sport in Kuta beach. Waves are comparable to that of La Union. Sunset draws the most crowd to Kuta beach. During the few days we stayed there, not once did we witness a truly incredible sunset, hence the absence of any sunset themed photos. As recompense, we already had the best sunrises at Borobudur and Bromo.
Although we didn’t see that many temples in Kuta as we did in Ubud, culture is still very much palpable. Every now and then, you’d chance upon a lady carrying and laying offerings at just about every place imaginable.
This practice is most evident at the beach, where hundreds of small baskets filled with rice, flowers, candies and biscuits (among other things) are laid on the sand, some of which are eventually carried off to sea by the changing tides.
From Bali, we flew back to Jakarta where we await a 10-hour overlay back to Manila. We spent most of this time inside the fairly new Soekarno-Hatta terminal 3.
Having limited cash on this leg of our vacation was both burden and blessing. We no longer had the luxury of joining tours and seeing the sites, an expected activity when visiting new places. However, this disadvantage also proved beneficial.
The main reason why we placed Bali at the end of our itinerary is so that we can have time to relax and recuperate from the hectic, rigorous tour we subjected our selves to. Not having sufficient funds to join tours saved us from being on a rush trying to keep to a schedule and most likely ending up too tired at the end of the day to enjoy the slow, relaxed beach life. It also gave us an excuse to go back. :)
As we enter Philippine territory, we were greeted by yet another perfect sunrise. A sunrise more beautiful than any. A sunrise welcoming us back home.