Sunday, July 11, 2010

Nusa Dua, Bali?

We've never stayed in Nusa Dua before, the gated resort area on the Eastern Coast of the Bukit Peninsula south of Tanjung Benoa. Conceived in the eighties at the height of the Suharto era it was designed to give tourists a pre-packaged, sanitised, safe, (artificial) experience of Bali away from the chaos of Kuta, the glitz of Jimbaran Bay and the unpredictability of Sanur and Ubud.

For three days around the wedding, Nusa Dua proved to be a very convenient place for us to stay. Our garden villa at the Inna Putri Hotel was very roomy, decorated in traditional Bali style, and extremely well located directly opposite the clean white sandy beach (patrolled by lifeguards and free of the usual annoying hawkers).

We loved the outdoor Bali style shower and were very happy to have our own resident frog for the duration of our stay.

However, the hotel was just too big for our taste (typical of the bigger than Ben Hur eighties era in Suharto's Indonesia), and full of Chinese and Eastern European tourists. The Chinese tour groups seem to us to be the new Americans with their loud shorts, loud voices and cultural crassness (sorry to be so stereotyping-but that is what the Balinese think too!).

The beach is so nice, the drinks are so plentiful, the pool is so good and the Balinese cultural displays are all provided in such neat packages at the hotel; there really is no need to go anywhere else in Bali!

Luckily we had wedding business to attend to and a responsibility to take David and Vanessa with us to Bumbu Bali on Jalan Peratama in Tanjung Benoa when they had a few spare hours. Rick Stein recommended this restaurant as the best in Bali for traditional style food (especially the seafood) and we have decided since our visit that we would absolutely agree with him.

I feel sorry for all those tourists who miss out on experiencing the magic, the beauty, the mess and the mayhem of Bali by staying within the gates of Nusa Dua.

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