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3 Alternatives to Staying in the Kuta Tourist Strip

prawWe all know that the tourist strip from Tuban to Kuta up to Seminyak is one of sheer hectic mayhem at times. But, there are great hotels, cheap accommodation, nightlife, bars and a plethora of warungs and restorans.

I don’t particularly like the ‘tourist scene’ but where I stay in Kuta at the Prawita Cottages it is so peaceful and run and owned by a Balinese family. Good places are hard to find.

What I enjoy the most though is getting out of the tourist mania and heading up country for a few days or a week. There are some fabulous areas of Bali with good accommodation and location affording you a superb alternative to the tourism craziness that has entrenched itself in Balinese society.

lov1Lovina: Located on the far north coast of Bali is one of those places you wither love or hate. Simple as that. And yet, it is a great place to base oneself to see all the attraction and sights in the northern part of the island.

The accommodation ranges from simple to upmarket. Lovina is actually a string of small villages spread along the coastline – Kalisasem and Temukus, Kalibukbuk, Anturan, Tukad Mungga and Pemaron. The predominant of these villages is Kalibukbuk. Here you will find wall to wall restaurants and bars and is the high density area.

If you are a lover of the sea (and who isn’t!) then you will enjoy the black sand beaches of Lovina, the warm water and obvious lack of waves. One fabulous attraction is the sunrise dolphin watching. It is a bit of a tourist trap and you are better off hiring one of the locals with a private boat to take you to see the dolphins. Snorkelling is also sublime in these waters. Last time I was up there I went fishing with the locals and the small fee I paid was well worth the adventure.

candi1Candi Dasa: Without a doubt, the most underrated part of Bali has to be Candi Dasa. It is a peaceful enclave that once was a tourist stronghold, but now, after the terrorist activity of recent years it has slipped as a tourist destination. It’s a shame because Candi Dasa has so much to offer the traveller.

Excellent accommodation in all the price ranges, some of the best restaurants on the island, and it is ideally located for visiting some of the greatest attractions Bali has to offer. It’s only a short ride to places like the Bali Aga village of Tenganan, the scenic beauty of Gunung Agung, the Tirtagangga Water Palace at Amlapura, and many more.

My favourite place in Candi Dasa has to be the lagoon. A peaceful and serene place, it affords some spectacular sunsets. Do try the traditional food at the warungs located nearby. Trust me, you will not be disappointed.

amed1Amed: Located on the south-east corner of Bali, Amed is a walk back to the Bali of old and so peaceful. It is a low-key Balinese village scene. As you travel there, there are a few villages along the way including, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah and Selang. The landscape is a series of headlands overlooking bays, lined with fishing boats. Excellent and cheap accommodation is available everywhere.

The local economy is supported by farming cattle and corn, fishing, diving and the hotel trade. The whole area is connected by one narrow road. Amed is ideal for people looking for a quiet place to relax. Amed is a place renowned for its snorkelling and diving and has some of the best dive spots on the island.

The Amed area is in the ‘corn belt’ a fact which becomes obvious when you’re there. The lack of rivers and streams, plus the mass of large volcanic boulders strewn across the landscape, means rice farming is not possible. One excellent drive from Amed is around to Ujung and will take around 3 hours. A car with driver or self drive car would be the best way to explore the Amed area.

Image Lovina Courtesy: tropicalisland.de