We were anxious about the weather before we reached Bali, it was forecast for March as very stormy. In reality there was an occasional short heavy shower, and the temperature was always warm. The rain was never a problem, don't be deterred from going at that time of year.
The currents of the sea wash some awful rubbish onto Kota beach; it's okay on the beach itself, but in the water, what a horror, rubbish everywhere. If you want to swim, go to another side of the island; it's okay for surfing at Kuta.
On the beach the locals have impromptu bars, very nice to sit there for a while; you'll be prey to all the roving sellers, who are polite but persistent.
That same persistence is evident throughout all the roads and alleys of the town, both roving street peddlers and shop keepers too. Viagra, anything you can imagine, and a few things you wouldn't want to imagine. It does get tedious. It won't stop us going back, but it's a severe drawback.
Everything is cheaply priced, and most of it is poor quality. Fake branding is everywhere. Don't try to take anything back, this street trader (in my photo) was quite nasty when I went back within 24 hours with an item which had just fallen apart.
The locals are very charming, but not all those selling are locals, so be very discerning.
It's probably not a very nice place for women travelling on their own, or just with other women, unless you are very assertive.
The White Rose is a nice retreat, centrally placed, if your budget stretches that far.
Have I made it sound too awful? I hope not, because there's enough there to make it very enjoyable; maybe we were expecting too much, and arriving from Sydney with all its cleanliness & charm, we were initially disappointed. Unlike a visit to Thailand, where one can enjoy the local culture, in this part of Bali you just accept the merging of Indonesian charm with the more tasteless aspects of "Western" living.
Watch out for the entry & exit visa costs, they like to grab solid foreign currency whenever possible. You really do need that in cash.
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