The very busy Legian Street, Kuta.
The pool at Ketut's Guest House.
Ketut's Guest House.
Founders of the Lonely Planet guides, the Wheelers, take us along as they rediscover the mystery of Bali.
The Wheelers have been going to Ketut’s Guest House for close to 20 years. Ketut has a Balinese feast for tourists every week, and it’s a great introduction to life in a local village as well as some of the Balinese customs. Before Ketut opened his losmen, which is a small Balinese hotel, usually family run, he prepared traditional feasts at his home, helped by his entire family, and the food is so popular and delicious, he will soon be opening a cooking school.
Kuta is full of places to stay, both cheap and expensive, and it has more restaurants than visitors have time to experience. Two places that have stood the test of time are Poppies restaurant and Made’s Warung. Kuta is also the place people go to shop for bargains and test their bargaining skills.
If Kuta becomes a little noisy and busy, the beautiful and serene Ubud is just an hour's drive away. You will find some of the best and most luxurious hotels in Bali here, but there are still many small, cheap, local-style places to stay.
Ubud has strong development rules, and the culture and environment of the area are most important. Billboards, loud discos and neon signs are not allowed, and there are no high-rise hotels in the area.
About 10 minutes from Ubud you will find Sua Bali in the middle of the Kemenuh village. It is considered to be a place of learning, where the local village people and tourists merge to discover the meaning of Balinese culture, language, arts, crafts and cookery. If you are doing a cooking class you will enjoy the added pleasure of visiting the markets to buy ingredients.
The person responsible for this place is Mrs Mas, who tries to teach locals how best to live with tourism, and vice versa. The US$1 fee guests pay for each day they stay at Sua Bali is put back into the village to help maintain it, and to educate the children.
The Bali Agung Village is a losmen on the border of Legian and Seminyak, and it is a place where the traditional and new are successfully blended. The eight units have four rooms and a veranda, they are air-conditioned, have hot and cold water, private bathroom, television and refrigerator. The rooms are quite simple, and the village is small and private.