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Bali to me is the small village of Tegehe in the foothills south of Lovina. Denpasar and Kuta have become such congested, noisy hellholes that it is hard to image anybody staying there of their own free will.
Kuta comes as a culture shock - or more like a lack-of-culture shock: it's a jungle of pumping bars, nightclubs, restaurants, tattoo and piercing parlours, surfwear and novelty T-short and junky art shops. And it is full of seriously inebriated Aussies in Bintang singlets, staggering from the Aussie Koala Bar to the Aussie Kangaroo Bar.
On a much earlier visit I thought it would be nice to see the famous sunset, and so I headed down to the famous, or infamous depending on which way you look at it, Kuta Beach. In all my travels, I'd never seen such a jam-packed beach. Walls and walls of bodies walked, sat, laid and squished together on the sand, with smiling locals handing out small envelopes containing letters that read, "CONGRATULATIONS you have won a video camera. And one week's accommodation." Ah yes, timeshares are alive and well in Bali.
As I said, for me Bali is a small village in the foothills south of Lovina but there won't be any jalan jalan (literally 'walk, walk') this year. Maybe the next.