Pantai Kuta (Kuta Beach) is the most famous place in Bali as far as tourists are concerned. After landing at Ngurah Rai you have a 2 mile taxi ride to the the main part of the beach, making it a great location to wake up to on your first day in Bali. Back in 2003 the middle / top section of Kuta Beach was largely undeveloped, but here in 2007 we see new developments that hopefully will expand Pantai Kuta’s appeal to a broader area.
At the very top end of Jl. Pantai Kuta a huge construction project is underway. A crane and other equipment are in the beginning stages of the Legian Nirwana Bali, obviously a set of luxury condos, similar to the ones being constructed at the end of Jl. Double Six and Jl. Dhyana Pura. The small Balinese shrine located next door is thankfully still intact.
Looking over the beach wall today small waves provided something for the surfers who were about. Balinese locals operated a food stall, paying a fee off course to the local banjar, who control the beaches and streets.
One of the new additions is a massive food court (Kuta Food Court), similar to the one on the Sunset Rd (Sunset Food Court). This place should cash in on the Asian tourist market if it gets promoted properly. Asian tourists seem to love the bottom corner of Pantai Kuta, making the most of the Hard Rock Hotel, Starbucks, McDonalds and the shopping. Having an open air food court set up offering a dining experience similar to Singapore / Malaysia might just be the ticket for them. A friend of mine has just set up a new Chinese restaurant named Canton (0361)764925, on Jl. Raya Kuta hoping to serve the mainland Chinese market that is growing rapidly.
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Kuta Food Court is spacious and open daily from 4pm-3am, with many small slots for individual vendors and a front/ central drinks station, virtually the same set up as on the Sunset Rd. If I was running the place I’d have a small fleet of buses doing a loop around Jl. Legian / Jl. Pantai Kuta, offering a free ride and drop to the food court, perfect for families shopping on Jl. Legian. The Southern Cross Australian restaurant has a new bright and shiny sign, in keeping with its neighbors. Driving up Jl. Pantai Kuta one will notice the brightly colored oversized greeting cards, offered by businesses to celebrate the opening of the Legian Nirwana Suites. They had an opening party last Friday evening which I saw while riding past.
The huge business park that extends through to an off shoot of Jl. Benesari stood silent today, obviously a project waiting for its time to ripen. Pantai Kuta is a looking more like Batam every day.