Travel tips: How to survive Kuta
Bali's most visited beach town Kuta doesn't have the best reputation among travellers, but villa rental operator Stefan Russel has tips for surviving it.
Pushy hawkers doing everything to sell you Bintang (the local beer brand) tank tops, drunken noisy teens (wearing Bintang tank tops) and heavy traffic are among the top reasons Kuta usually doesn't get top reviews.
Kuta is definitely a far cry from the tranquil, spiritual Bali you find further north, but Kuta is one of the top places to be in Bali when it comes to nightlife and surfing. Plus, Kuta is right next to the airport, so there is a good chance you'll end up in Kuta one way or the other.
Here are four tips that should make your stay in Kuta a great one:
Renew yourself with a massage
Kuta is packed with massage places. They come in all forms from the very sleazy ones to the super elegant, so it is a good idea to ask for a look inside before ordering. The good places aren't necessarily expensive and once you are inside they are like a little oasis and you quickly forget the bustling streets outside. All you have to decide is whether a 60-minute massage is enough for you.
No matter what you choose, you are certain to feel renewed when you re-enter the streets of Kuta.
Take a tour down the side streets of Legian
Like everywhere else, getting off the beaten track is the key to discover things you didn't expect. If you are on the northern part of Legian Street, take a turn down one of the small streets leading away from the beach. You'll be surprised how quickly the environment changes from the hectic Legian to a more tranquil place where locals are going on with their daily business at their own pace.
Go exploring a bit and you'll quickly find yourself adapting to the slow pace.
Stay in a villa instead of a hotel
Kuta has several villas that can be a good alternative to a hotel. Most of them are well hidden away and come with private pool. If you are on your own this is probably not an option, but if you are with a group you can find a villa for the same price per person as a good hotel room.
Retreating back to your villa for a poolside cocktail or taking a quiet night at home cooking for yourself are perfect ways unwind.
Calm down with a yoga class
Several places in and around Kuta offer yoga classes and will help you find that inner peace and energy to survive Kuta. If your lotus position isn't perfect and you aren't capable of touching your toes, there is no need to worry. Most places have beginner classes where you learn breathing techniques and other basics.
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