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I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Puerto Vallarta...
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I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Hi, so I wanted to review the 3 sites I have stayed and hopefully this can be of help for those thinking about visiting Bali.

Kuta - I actually stayed in the Legian area 15 min walking to the beach. This turned out to be very strategic because it was in a very protected neighborhood with local food for locals, very cheap, away from all the Kuta craziness but a 25 min walk to the center of Kuta.

The Kuta-Legian beach is not full of plastic as you see in the videos although I'm sure this happens a few times per year. There were few plastics on the first day, the next day I went surfing and I touched/stepped on many plastic bottles and bags. It was not as gross as you might imagine, I mean, it was plastic but the water quality didn't seem so bad. After that, I didn't see that much plastic.

Kuta beach is better for surfing than I imagined and that's why I enjoyed part of my stay.

It is true however, that it is super commercial, the only sign of Balinese culture is the food and the architecture on the wall on the beach as well as the altars outside of homes, the rest is just full of signs for tourist, lots of visual noise.

Kuta is good if: You are a teenager or college student looking to get wasted and nothing else. But I repeat, the surf is not bad. Also good to spend one night in Legian after a long flight.

------------

Canggu: This was a big letdown. First of all, neither Kuta nor Canggu have great looking beaches. I thought surfing was going to be better in Canggu and it wasn't, the surf is super crowded, much more than Kuta.

But the biggest disappointment in Canggu is the ambience: it used to be a village but now it is a "trendy" place, it is more expensive than Kuta. It is full of hipster/vegan restaurants which are pricey. Also very commercial, less visual noise but still very touristy. Superficial vibe.

Only thing worth checking: Tanah Lot Temple

Canggu is good if you: Are looking for a "Laguna Beach" ambience. If you're a rich hipster/vegan recently graduated from college.

----------

Ubud: This is a true gem. After being disapointed with the surf at Canggu, I sold my board, cancelled part of my stay in our airbnb in Canggu and came to Ubud.

Ubud feels like real Balinese, here, I finally get to see old structures/buildings. It is full of temples and jungle, the people are nicer, it has a more laid back ambiance, it has less party people. People who come here are 30+ year olds and seniors.

Prices in Ubud are the cheapest, restaurants in the main roads are not expensive but can be if compared to the little warungs in small roads such as the road that leads to Monkey Forest, there we found a Warung were I ate delicious chicken skewers with rice for 25k!, etc.

Also accomodation is the cheapest and nicest, we're staying in a place that looks like a 5 star hotel with pool and breakfast included for like $20 USD/night! Great value for money in Ubud.

Honestly, the fact that there isn't a beach here is no problem because like I mentioned, the beaches in Canggu and Kuta aren't great anyways.

Ubud is for: people who appreciate nature, quality, relax, beauty and don't care about partying or surf.

If any of my friends is coming to Bali I would recommend to stay in Ubud and go Island hopping, we are going to Komodo next and I have the feeling it will be great.

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12 replies to this topic
UK, London Chelsea
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1. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

See my post you are spot on here;

is true however, that it is super commercial, the only sign of Balinese culture is the food and the architecture on the wall on the beach as well as the altars outside of homes, the rest is just full of signs for tourist, lots of visual noise.

Kuta is good if: You are a teenager or college student looking to get wasted and nothing else. But I repeat, the surf is not bad. Also good to spend one night in Legian after a long flight.

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Kuta
Kuta
Kuta District, Indonesia
Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Good honest report of your experience. We love the non touristy and not so trendy side of Bali too. Hope you have a great holiday and safe travels.

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Perth, WA
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for Seminyak
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3. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

There is something in Bali for everyone. I'm surprised on your views of Canggu as i considered it to be an area with lots of villa rentals occupied by tourists who aren't necessarily vegan.

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Puerto Vallarta...
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4. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Then they're probably rich hipsters or Instagram socialites :)

Lol! It is true I can say Bali has something for everyone, at some point in my life I was into lots of partying, Kuta and Canggu would have served me well.

Edited: 09 June 2018, 09:22
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Cape Town, South...
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5. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Hi Arturo,

Thank you for your feedback, l really enjoyed reading about your opinions and experience. I visit Bali regularly and have totally given up on the beach areas and head straight to Ubud each time.

Hope you enjoy the rest of your trip.

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Milpitas
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6. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Thank you for your review. Ubud is on our list, glad to know we will enjoy it. Please review Komodo too after your visit. Have a great time!

Puerto Vallarta...
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7. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Another thing about Ubud; You have to go to a restaurant called Warung Wayan, there are many Warung Wayan but the one I'm talking about is on the road to Monkey Forest

Nyuh Gading No.22

The prices and the taste will blow you away, they also have vegan food. To be honest, it is the best restaurant I've visited in a long long time, and the prices were dirt cheap to the point we just started ordering everything and everything tasted great!

Edited: 09 June 2018, 21:40
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Singapore, Singapore
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8. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Haha spot on review and I love the "XXX area is for..." summary. You are gonna love Raja Ampat, there you can definitely see beautiful beaches and clear waters. It seems like you were hoping for something less superficial and more local. Go to Arborek in Raja Ampat. It's a small village with friendly locals and also great diving (if you dive). More pics here: https:/…

Puerto Vallarta...
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9. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

Yeah actually I was reading about it but it is too late now, however, I'm sure that Komodo will be close or as good. Tomorrow we go to Nusa Penida for 3 days, then Padang Padang in Uluwatu for 1 week, I will review those places as well.

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Nusa Penida
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Bali, Indonesia
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Uluwatu
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Puerto Vallarta...
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10. Re: I have stayed in Kuta, Canggu and Ubud so far - My review

OK, so now we've done Nusa Penida and Nusa Lembongan, here's the review:

Nusa Penida is amazing, this is exactly the kind of trip we were looking for: It's not too touristy, has amazing views to take the best selfies and some of the best beaches in the world. Anyone can be unimpressed with the beaches in Bali but once you arrive to Nusa Penida this is serious stuff.

We thought Klinging beach or the famous (Dinosaur-shaped mountain/beach) was going to be an overrated tourist attraction but we were wrong, it is quite impressive. For us it was a rainy day and still we managed to take amazing iconic pictures. If the weather were better we would of descended to the beach which has turquoise water and white sand, gorgeous.

The other thing we were really impressed with is Atuh beach which is lesser known but totally deserves a day trip. Atuh beach, while not having the iconic dinosaur shape, it is perhaps more beautiful and bigger. We took amazing drone shots and then went to the beach which has a natural arch that looks great to take selfies and you can also snorkel here. World class.

Some things you should know: after Bali, we were so afraid of renting an scooter. In Nusa Penida, at times it seems easier to be on scooter since there's less traffic, however, the roads are completely destroyed and the tourist cars drive fast which could make driving a scooter here more treacherous, also painful because of the destroyed roads. We highly recommend hiring a van. For the first day tour straight from the port they charged us 800k total to see Klinging, Angel's Billabong and Broken Beach, it was a van just for us. The next day our home stay charged us 500k to spend almost the whole day atop Atuh Beach and down to the beach and then took us to the highest point in the island.

I also highly suggest to snorkel in Crystal Bay for free! Or take the snorkeling boat tour, but honestly, almost all the snorkeling spots look the same and to see mantas you need very flat conditions. if you are sure that the sea is going to be flat then perhaps the tour would be a good thing to do, otherwise, just head to Crystal Bay and snorkel on your own (If you have the snorkel and visor)

WARNING about Nusa Penida: It is not a place for people over 55. The roads will simply destroy you. Also, notice that the fast boast to get here is also quite a challenge: there's no peer so you have to get on the fast boat from the beach, your shorts will get wet, the fast boat is overcrowded, super uncomfortable. That's why taking a day trip from Sanur seems something crazy to me. You will feel like dying.

We don't recommend spending the night in Nusa Penida because accommodations are very limited and uncomfortable, we had A/C and slow wi fi, but the room was just uncomfortable. Also the food is bad, just looks bad quality and the local dishes are just not good, in fact, I got food poisoned, probably from the nuggets at Klinging.

Nusa Penida is for: People under 55 who want to visit the best beaches Indonesia has to offer, go hiking, taking amazing pictures, snorkeling.

And now Nusa Lembongan:

We didn't have high expectations about Lembongan and it turned out we were so wrong. Lembongan also has amazing beaches with turquoise water, and even more and better places to snorkel.

Accommodation in Nusa Lembongan is so much better. There are high end hotels here and the home stays are also quite comfortable and cheap. We stayed in a new hut, with A/C, good wifi, and everything new like a 5 star hotel for $18 per night, unbelievable.

Also, Nusa Lembongan has good restaurants/quality food, almost as good as Canggu. Not yet so commercial, however, in a future I'm afraid Lembongan will become a new Canggu. But for the moment, it is still fine, I even think the night life is here and even driving a scooter is easy here, the roads are good, not so crowded and it is super small.

And most importantly, if you're under 55 you need to visit Nusa Penida but like I mentioned, it is better to spend the night in Lembongan because of the food and accommodation and it's only 10 mins from Nusa Penida, I also think boat transportation is better. We just managed our home stay to take us directly to Padang Padang in Uluwatu for 200k per person. No need to go to Sanur.

In fact, I think Lembongan is super balanced in every way: Good accommodation, good restaurants, amazing beaches, amazing snorkeling, good surf, 10 mins from Nusa Penida, prices still good. Heck, I don't understand why people still go to Kuta and Canggu.

Lembongan is for: people who have explored Bali and realize "If I would have known, I would have made Lembongan my base"

If I were to visit Bali for the first time I would: spend 1 night in Legian to rest after the long flight, next day head to Ubud and spend 3 nights there, and then head to Lembongan and stay here all the time you want to rest and explore beautiful beaches and Nusa Penida.

Our next stop is Padang Padang in Uluwatu. Review coming soon.

Edited: 13 June 2018, 20:51
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