Kuta Beach, Between the Waves and the Beautiful Dusk


Kuta Beach Bali has become one of the mandatory destinations for tourists visiting Bali. However, who would have thought that Kuta Beach was once a place of exile, runaways, and people with leprosy. Besides that, Kuta is also known as a busy trading port.

Let's forget the routine for a moment. There are lounge chairs and mats to lie on on the white sand. The waves also started to calm down. In the distance, a tinge of orange adorned the edge of the sky until it was finally swallowed by the sea. The beach and the rosy sunset are treats that are a pity to miss if you visit Kuta Beach, Bali.

Who doesn't know Kuta Beach? Bali as the “last paradise on earth” would not be complete without Kuta Beach. Along with Sanur, Kuta is one of the most iconic beaches in Bali.

Entering the beach area, visitors will be greeted by a magnificent gate in the form of a short temple. This gate is a marker of the southernmost side of the Kuta area. After that, visitors will be treated to views of the beach that extends for about 10 km, soft white sand, and friendly waves for surfing.

Kuta has become one of the mandatory destinations for tourists visiting Bali. However, who would have thought that Kuta Beach was once a place of exile, runaways, and people with leprosy. Besides that, Kuta is also known as a busy trading port.

According to AA Gde Putra Agung et al in the History of Denpasar City from 1945-1967, Kuta Beach is the port of the Kingdom of Badung. The port of Kuta became crowded because of the trade activities between Mataram and Batavia that passed through this port. The goods traded at Kuta Harbor include rice, coconut oil, copra, and slaves. “Those who are made slaves are people who cannot pay taxes or people who are punished. The slave trade was the monopoly of the king of Badung, but it was often carried out in the dark/smuggled by Bugis traders," wrote AA Gde Putra Agung et al in the History of Denpasar City 1945-1967.

After the slave trade was banned, the rulers began to trade in livestock and produce. That's when John Mads Lange, a Danish merchant, came to set up an inter- island trade system centered in Kuta. Thanks to the efforts of Lange, who opened a trading office, Kuta became both a port and a busy trading center.

"After the Dutch controlled the Buleleng Kingdom in 1849, Kuta's role as a port began to decline because the Dutch developed the Buleleng Customs Port," wrote AA Gde Putra Agung et al. Thanks to Lange, a number of officials and scientists visited Kuta. “Although Lange was hardly in the tourism business as we know it, his guests began a process of publicizing Bali which would in time reverse its reputation as a dangerous and barbaric place,” says Robert Pringle in A Short History of Bali: Indonesia's Hindu Realm.

In the early 20th century, the colonial government began to develop Bali as a tourist attraction. Tourist brochures promote Bali as a tourist destination. In 1923 Dutch passenger ships began serving Singaraja, and in 1928 the government guesthouse in Denpasar was upgraded and reopened as Hotel Bali.

However, Kuta still did not receive much attention until the arrival of a British-American woman named Vannine Walker alias K'tut Tantri, who would later participate in the Indonesian Revolution. He recounts his memories of Kuta in the 1930s in his book Revolution in Nusa Damai. “The beach there is very beautiful, without a house. Not even a hut! There are only a few temples, as well as a large number of fishing boats. If I build a house there, how comfortable it will be!” wrote K'tut Tantri.

In 1936, an artist couple from the United States Louise Garrett and Robert Koke escorted K'tut Tantri around on a bicycle and realized how beautiful Kuta Beach was. They then built several bungalows for tourists who are getting bored with Denpasar. This story is the beginning of the Kuta Beach Hotel, the first hotel on Kuta Beach. However, Ktut Tantri then left the hotel business together and built his own hotel called Suara Segara. These two early hotels on Kuta Beach competed until World War II erupted and both were destroyed during the war. According to K'tut Tantri, the Japanese had used the airfield near Kuta as a base for bombing operations.

Until the 1960s, Kuta Beach was still relatively deserted by tourists. Until then this beach became a destination for backpackers who thought Sanur and Denpasar were too expensive. Since then, Kuta Beach with its sunsets has started to rise. Locals began to rent out rooms and opened stalls with food to suit the tastes of tourists.

The local government began to organize Kuta. Naked bathing is prohibited. Some people were even arrested. The development of Kuta is also being encouraged.
Kuta has become one of the symbols of tourism in Bali, even Indonesia. No wonder if entertainment support facilities for tourists are not difficult to find along this beach. From homestays, inns, luxury hotels to resorts. From restaurants, fast food outlets, bars, to entertainment venues. The path parallel to the beach is also filled with souvenir shops and various tourist attractions that make Kuta Beach even more bustling.

Kuta Beach is located in Kuta District, Badung Regency. This beach is always crowded with tourists. Besides being beautiful, the location is also strategic because it is located not far from Ngurah Rai International Airport. From the airport, the trip only takes about 15 minutes to the beach.

Sitting on the soft sand of Kuta Beach, from a distance, you can see surfers racing to beat the waves. Kuta Beach is famous for having good waves but it is quite safe. It is not surprising that this beach is one of the recommended places for beginner surfers.

Around the beach there are places that provide surfing equipment rental services – complete with local instructors who are ready to guide tourists who want to learn to surf.
In addition to its challenging waves, Kuta is known for its stunning sunset views. That's why, after being tired of surfing, visitors can relax while enjoying this beautiful panorama. Many consider that a visit to Kuta Beach is incomplete if you haven't seen the sunset on this beach.*


John Smith

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