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Kuta in the Know - Top Tips for Planning the Perfect Bali Getaway

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Bali's tropical climate, white sand beaches, and exotic culture attract visitors from around the world. Kuta is brimming with activity and is the largest resort on the island, close to the international airport. Central Kuta, and the surrounding neighbourhoods of Tuban, Legian, and Seminyak, all make great vacation destinations in their own right. They are also convenient jumping-off points for touring the coastline and delving deeper into Bali's lush interior.

Best time to travel

 

For warm weather and relatively low humidity, try to visit Bali during the dry season, which generally lasts from April or May to September or October. This time of year is considered high season, when the island attracts its biggest crowds. Kuta can get fairly busy during the Easter holidays and, during the austral summer which peaks in December and January, many Australian students and families take the flight to Bali in search of tropical adventure. If you prefer lower prices and quieter bars and beaches, why not consider travelling to Bali during the slower months of November and February?

Not to miss

 

Kuta has rolling waves and miles of soft, warm sands, which help make it one of Bali's busiest beaches. You can spend your time here swimming, surfing, people watching, and getting a massage or having your hair braided. Relaxing on the sand at sunset is a popular, laid-back activity or you could end the day with a twilight horseback ride along the shore. Waterbom Bali waterpark has water slides, rides, and a tropical setting to suit all ages, while party-loving adults will want to dance all night in Kuta's heaving bars and clubs.

 

Getting around

 

It's a quick ride from Bali Ngurah Rai international airport (DPS) to your resort accommodation. Some large hotels provide a pick-up service for their guests or it's easy to arrange a fixed-price transfer at the airport's taxi counter. Once you reach your destination - whether Tuban, Kuta, or Legian - you'll find most attractions within walking distance of your room. Seminyak's more remote location encourages visitors to wander to the beach and back, but metered taxis are easy to find if you're keen to explore further afield. Car rentals are available, but factor in congestion and limited parking before you set off.

 

Cuisine

 

Dining options run the full gamut from simple hamburgers to elaborate French dishes. You can eat New York-style bagels for breakfast, Chicago deep-dish pizza for lunch, and English fish 'n' chips for dinner. Don't forget to sample some Balinese cuisine, which showcases seafood, chicken, rice, and tropical fruit, and is packed with flavor and spice. Order the famed duck dish, bebek betutu, a day ahead; the slow-cooking process yields meat so tender it falls right off the bones. Little neighbourhood warung and beachfront food stalls generally serve the most authentic local preparations.

 

Customs and etiquette

 

In cosmopolitan Kuta, locals have grown accustomed to visitors from around the world behaving differently. But Bali is a conservative society, and whenever you leave the main tourist streets you should dress modestly and conduct yourself with decorum. The majority of Balinese adhere to the Hindu faith, and visitors should remain respectful, particularly when touring temples and other religious sites. In Kuta, hospitality industry workers appreciate tips, although they're not an expected part of service. Most hotels and some restaurants include a service charge. Otherwise, 10 to 15 percent will suffice.

 

Fast facts

 

  • Population: 86,000 (2010)
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  • Spoken languages: Indonesian, Balinese, English
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  • Electrical: 230 volts, 50 Hz, plug type C, F
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  • Phone calling code: +62 361
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  • Emergency number: Ambulance: 118; Fire: 113; Police: 110