To visit our friends, who have been traveling in south-east asia for the last two and a half months, we started our next trip in Bali. But it is important to mention: We met them in Kuta and only spend two days there, and Kuta is not Bali! So, to be honest we can´t say anything about Bali in general, but we enjoyed our stay.
Meeting Mr. Turtle Kuta
Well, the most impressive experience, which we will always relate to Kuta is out meeting with a sea turtle – by chance !!!!! – at Kuta beach. We arrived in Kuta in the afternoon and were looking forward to a welcome-beer at the beach, which we had. Suddenly someone is saying: “Look, there is a sea turtle coming out of the water!” no one can believe that these words were actually not a joke. Directly in front of us (2 m) a sea turtle climbed out of the water and steers directly towards the four of us. Non of us says anything anymore and we freeze, so that she does not chase away. But she is not stupid and realizes that she can not pass through us. But instead of turning back she fights her way around us and continues her hard climb up the beach. We are absolutely baffled! As Ingo had seen a turtle laying eggs before in Malaysia, we knew that it´s important not to disturb the turtle while digging until she starts to lay the eggs. Non of us had ever seen a sea turtle that close. Shortly before the end of the beach she stops and starts digging. Will she put her eggs there? Yes! We tiptoe closer to her – of course we keep a befitting distance – and watch her painfully digging a whole for the eggs. Since we meet a few locals, we get them to call the turtle rangers, because we know that there will be many people at the beach the next morning and turtle eggs are still a local delicacy. After the turtle has already returned to the sea, Mr. turtle Kuta – he really introduces himself under this name(!) – and his assistant arrive. We tell them everything we saw and they find her whole to get the 103 eggs. Before bringing the eggs to the sanctuary to be incubated, he invites us to come to the sanctuary the next afternoon and release the newly hatched baby-turtles into the sea. Of course we decide to join them and go there the next day. We meet him at the huge turtle statue next close to the Hard Rock Café at Legian Beach. There and with around 100 other tourists we are part of a big attraction at Kuta beach. After getting a free voucher for a baby turtle, we donate something for the sanctuary, especially after Mr. Turle Kuta explains to us, that he had been out the last night 4 more times and they all work for free. At 4 p.m. Mr. Turtle Kuta explains the whole process of laying the eggs, hatching and releasing them to the sea via mega phone. Then everyone with a voucher gets a baby turtle in a box with water and brings it to the seafront without dropping the really very active baby-turtles. There everyone had to stand in line and release the babies after the signal. We watch them for a short while and see there tiny heads turning out of the water every 30 seconds and wish them good luck! Today we saved a baby-turtle that has a slightly better chance to live now…So to be honest the whole action was a bit too much of an event for us, but anyway it´s nice that there are people helping to protect these beautiful animals.
We spend half a day there and watched all the surf courses trying there best.
Legian beach in Kuta is really crowed and has everything a tourist could wish for: the sea ;-), toilets, showers, bars, surf huts, chairs and umbrellas and also free areas, fresh fruit sellers, and in general sellers for everything else, starting with massage and ending with Bintang beer shirts, trees to give shadow in the back, …
Prices, prices, prices
First of all: 15.000 IDR = ca. 1 Euro
We arrived at the airport Denpassar and took a Taxi to go to Kuta/Legian Beach. We went out of the airport zone – which is not that easy, because it has a fence – and found a Taxi that would drive us by Taxameter. The company is called Blue Bird and drives with the lights blue cars (nor the dark blue and not the purple-blue ones). We knew they would always go by meter, but asked before we went into the Taxi anyway. We paid 50.000 IDR (3,50€).
We spend two nights in Kuta and shared a private house with our friends which cost us 37€ for both nights. Our friends booked it on AirBnB and told us they tried different home stays over the hast few weeks and always had a good experience.
For food and drinks we needed around 225.000 IDR (15€) per day, including water, beer, fruits, lunch in a “Warung”, dinner in a really great food market, and some oats, peanuts, milk and fruits for a breakfast porridge.
We also had to plan our next step, which was Nusa Lembogan – one of Bali’s neighbor islands – and decided to take the Perama travel agency. It was by far the cheapest options, without taking the public ferry, which we didn´t wanted to take because of our jetlag and the many hours we would spend without being much cheaper (50.000 – 70.000 IDR (around 4€) Taxi to Sanur harbor, where the ferry leaves and 100.000 IDR (7€). So, we paid 175.000 IDR (12€) one way per person, which included a pick up from our house and the boat transfer in Nusa Lembongan (the transport to the new hotel was not included, which was alright for us, since we didn´t book anything in advance. But we were told that this would cost 30.000 – 40.000 IDR (2 – 2,70€) more).
To get an impression of Taxi pices: After dinner at the night market in Kuta we took a Taxi back to our house (a 20 – 25 minutes walk), that cost us 15.000 IDR (1€), going by meter taxi would actually still have been cheaper…
North of Kuta there is Seminyak, another part of a southern seaside town, next to Denpasar. It’s a fancy part of town with many expads, who live here long-term. That creates a certain vibe, which is really rich and has nothing to do with the rest of Bali or Indonesia, because it is mainly western. All shops and restaurants look nice and are prepared to suit the needs of western people. Od course, we also found that most of shops looked nice, but it’s actually not what we are looking for, when we come to a new and different culture.
It is custom in many food places in Seminyak to charge 10% tax and 5 % service on top of the prices. This comes from the tons of long-term-expads, who live here and ruins the prices!
Breakfast places in Kerobokan (northern part of Seminyak):
Pison: 65.000 IDR for Müsli with dragon fruit, 30.000 IDR for a cup of tea and 55.000 IDR for a breakfast plate with eggs, bread, salad and mushrooms
Watercress: between 55.000 – 70.000 IDR for either Musli combinations or breakfast plates. Really nice place, but a little expensive…
Don: 49.000 IDR for two eggs, toast, vegetables on the side and a fresh papaya juice
Warung Arik: In side street from Jalan Batu Belig, with Nasi Goreng for 15.000 IDR
Warung …: Great place for Working! Also: Nasi Goreng for 35.000 IDR, big portion and Soto Banjar (indonesian soup) also 35.000 IDR, really good! And they also have a great ginger tea!
Aguni Warungi: nice Nasi Campur and two really cute waitresses. Prices depend on what you eat, we had vegetarian sides and paid around 30.000 IDR/pax
A few Accommodations
Kuta: Da Housetel – 260.000 IDR/night in a private room, shared bath and including breakfast, a little outside of the center
Kuta: Bemo Corner Guesthouse: 150.000 IDR/night, private bath, in the center of Kuta
Seminyak: Villa Chandra – 270.000 IDR/ night with private bath and pool
Kuta Night Market
A place we can really recommend for eating is the Kuta night market. It is really small and only includes a few booths, but the food was amazing and also pretty cheap. We had Bakso (typical Indonesian meat-ball soup) for 15.000 IDR and Sate (grilled meat on a stick with peanut-sauce) with rice for 25.000 IDR and a small beer cost 25.000 IDR.
You can find it here: Jalan Raya Kuta, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361.
- Take Blue Bird Taxis, but ask for the meter anyway
- “Perama” travel Agency to travel to different places, cheap and reliable
- eat at local Warungs at the night market: Jalan Raya Kuta
- Visit Sea Turtle Sanctuary Kuta and donate for Mr. Turtle-Kutas work