The journey there was an exhausting one, but we were back on Bali and right in the middle of the action. Kuta, Bali is the surfing and resort area directly north of the airport. When you look into staying in this area you have a choice of three very distinct spots: Kuta, Legian and Seminyak. Seminyak has most of the fancier resorts, boutiques and expensive restaurants; Legian has all the clubs and bars, and Kuta has the surfing, the hawkers and the cheap accommodation. Which is how we ended up at the Pavilion Hotel in Kuta (affordable AND it had a pool).
Kuta has a terrible reputation as a filthy, crowded, and horrible place. Admittedly, it can feel like that if you have a bad attitude about it. We were there for two nights in order to figure out our next stop, so we made the best of it and really just wanted to see what all the hype was about. The beach wasn’t much to look at (although thankfully it was not covered in garbage as we had expected), and there were hawkers everywhere. As soon as we got the beach, one guy was rather intent on selling Christian a bow and arrow. When Christian refused wasn’t interested in that, offered him a blowdart which was even more disconcerting amidst all the beach-related items. When would you ever need a cross bow at the beach….? But overall, it was a lot better than I had expected. We roamed the streets and joked around with the guys everywhere trying to sell you their wares, interspersed with breaks in the air-conditioned hotel room.
The next day, we decided to get out of the heat of the city and head to Waterbom water park! As the third best water park in the world (apparently) and Asia’s #1, we just couldn’t miss it. I hadn’t actually ever been to a water park before surprisingly and have, in the past, been excited when there’s a water slide at the community pool, but I was certainly not prepared for the size and scale of these slides! Some of these were positively freaky! With a total of 17 slides to try out, there was plenty to do. Some slides you rode with an inner tube, some with crazy carpet-style mats, but with the majority, it was just you and the slide. We were particularly excited by this water park because it had been featured on the Amazing Race a couple of seasons ago, and here we were, there as part of our own amazing adventure. The one slide they did as part of a “challenge” was the ride called “Smashdown 2.0” and we just had to check it out. We would’ve GoProed the experience but they didn’t allow cameras because it was just too crazy…
After climbing up a ton of stairs to get this high (it’s a 26 metre vertical drop), you have to enter a capsule with a trap door that opens on the count of three and drops you directly down the slide. Terrifying, but very fun. The thing that I had to keep in mind constantly that there is no way to get hurt on a water slide…right?? When the adrenaline-pumping got a bit too intense, we enjoyed ourselves on the “Lazy River”:
There were a number of rides we also got to go on together and our two favourites were the Super Bowl and the Boomerang:
After a day of fun and sun and water slides, it was time to head to our next stop: Canggu. We had brought all our bags and stuffed them into a “family locker” at the park so we could take a taxi right from the park, the one hour drive (depending on traffic) to Canggu, which was directly north of Seminyak with its own beaches and a quieter vibe than Kuta. We wanted to stay somewhere not too far from the airport and still relaxing for our last four nights, and we had heard Canggu was a good place for that…
Musician, teacher, traveller. Currently on a year-long journey around the world. Bronwyn is one of the founders of onlyamazingdays.com.