Never could there be two more different beach towns than the two Kutas. The famous Kuta is, of course, the notorious party capital of Bali; the other Kuta resides quietly on Bali’s neighbouring island, Lombok, and couldn’t be more different.
Although you’ll most likely have heard of the former Kuta (probably for all the wrong reasons), this is why you should get to know the latter…
Both towns are positioned on the south coast of their respective Indonesian islands, benefitting from the same great surf breaks – but that is where the similarity ends.
A party capital and a draw for hundreds of international – mainly Australian – party-seekers every year, Bali’s Kuta has lost much of the charm and tranquillity that the rest of Bali offers by the bucket load (see what we mean by that here).
That’s where its non-identical town-twin comes in. That Bali’s Kuta is more widely recognised is both a crime and a blessing; it pains us that an island as beautiful as Bali often gets judged on its party beach, but the fact that Lombok’s Kuta is lesser known is a huge part of its appeal.
Brightly coloured fishing boats bob in the sea where local kids play just off a beach, all but deserted of tourists. At the eastern end of the main beach, lush mangrove trees grow out of the water, around which a troop of monkeys live. The main street that runs along the beachfront consists of several thatched-roof buildings selling delicious fresh seafood and zesty mango smoothies, served on a shaded terrace overlooking the long stretch of coconut-strewn sand.
This is Lombok’s Kuta, and it’s one of the reasons we adore Bali’s rustic next door neighbour.
The beaches around Lombok host incredible surfing, within easy reach of the tiny town, and this is often one of the main draws for people making the trip south to Kuta. One of the best ways to get around is by hiring a motorbike, which makes it easy to zip from beach to beach.
You can easily travel from the new Lombok International Airport, just twenty minutes away, or from the island’s main tourist hub Senggigi, and you can either stay the night or visit for a day-trip.
Either way, a jaunt to the island’s south coast will be enough to convince any cynic of the natural beauty of Lombok’s unspoiled beaches: we would just strongly advise going now, before everyone else does.