GERARD HINDMARSH : “Bali ‘s bohemian rhapsody”

OPINION: Let’s face it! Tourism is what people turn to when everything else fails. And the worst thing about Kuta (Bali) is still the young yobbo Australians who come here in droves on super cheap fares.

Thankfully most don’t make it much past the bars of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. These once separate and impoverished villages along 27km-long Kuta Beach are now all fused into one seething carnival where night and day there’s something going down. Absolutely engaging too!

Tourism here goes back to 1936 when ex-Hollywood workers turned globetrotting Americans Bob Koke and Louise Garrett set up a guesthouse of Balinese thatched bungalows on the near-deserted beach.

Their concept of ‘fun in the sun followed by a few drinks’ tourism concept knocked the socks off Dutch packaged holidays which existed up to that time. Bob taught all Kuta locals to surf too, something they truly excel at today…


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How to live like a king in Bali for a little over $100 a day: Travel guide laps up seafood dishes, massages and stunning views during dirt-cheap 24-hour stopover

A globe-trotting travel aficionado took a stop-over in Bali and completed the whirlwind trip for less than $US100 – $AU130 – a day.

Drew Binsky uploaded the video which he titled ‘How much fun can you have in Bali with $100 in 24hours?’ to his 124,000 YouTube subscribers on Tuesday.

‘Bali is a lot cheaper than you think!’ he explained before clocking the time at 9.54pm on his watch.

How much fun can you have in Bali with $100 in 24hours?

Essential Bali travel tips: what to know before you go

From navigating the crowds to being monkey-savvy, there are a few tricks to getting the best out of a trip to Bali. We’ve rounded up 15 top tips to bank for your next visit to the Island of the Gods.

Expect crowds

One of the most touristed islands on earth, Bali isn’t exactly an untouched paradise. But while it can be difficult to escape the throngs of south Bali and Ubud, determined solitude seekers will be pleased to find loads of secluded corners beyond these primary tourist centres. Tip: head to the central mountains, or Bali’s more chilled-out north and west coasts.

Choose your base carefully

It pays to put some thought into your Bali base, as chaotic traffic and hot weather are likely to make you stick close to your hotel or guesthouse rather than wander far on foot or sit in stuffy taxis. If you’re looking for real R&R, Kuta probably isn’t your thing. If you want to shop up a storm and eat more than your body weight in fine food, a week on Nusa Lembongan isn’t likely to leave you fully satiated. Find your perfect spot with the help of Lonely Planet’s ‘first time Bali’ guide.

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