Sunday, August 28, 2005

Puri Tantra Bungalows, Legian, Bali

Puri Tantra is managed by Yudhyana and his German born wife, Anita, who live in a big house at the road end of the incredibly long, thin property.

It has the great advantage of being only US$40 (A$50 or so) a night, and of having a little red door at the end of the path that leads straight onto Kuta beach where big breakers roll in tirelesslly, where you can rent a sunlounge and umbrella for a dollar or two, and where beer and soft drinks are sold at little stands.

Behind the beach is a great snaking line of restaurants. It is a quiet little place which affords its guests more privacy than its neighbours. It is simple, having no pool, no restaurant, no spa, no gift shop, and wants you to purchase nothing more than your stay. It has a homeliness about it. A simple but not really very good breakfast of chopped pineapple and banana, or papaya and black tea and black coffee is included in the tarriff we discovered after a few days, but there is a coffee shop right next door which sells croissants and espresso.

At the beach end, the restaurant (and pool, if you were sly enough) of the Niksoma are right next door, along with a line of other hotels' restaurants where you can eat for a few dollars overlooking the Indian Ocean. (At almost all of the resorts, you can go and have breakfast, or any other meal, at their restaurants, and it strikes me that staying in one of the simple and inexpensive places that abound, and eating in and enjoying the gardens of the resorts represents a very sensible approach.) Puri Tantra's gardens are pleasant enough but not candidates for inclusion in a coffee table book.

This place could be so good, but it has inexcusable failings. Everything is a bit dated now. The furniture is remarkably uncomfortable, and the dim lighting makes reading impossible. The bungalows are very dark all day long in fact, though the terraces are beautiful. Yudhyana and Anita are building a house and bungalows out in the rice fields of Canggu, the latest development zone, and that is their new project. I suspect they are just biding their time until the lease runs out, though that is not for a couple of years. The bungalows have kitchenettes which are a complete waste of space, furnished with a miscellany of only the most basic items. To do anything in them is unthinkable. The fridge keeps things cold, but most of the power points in our bungalow did not work, or not with an adaptor.

Things I like about Bali

Hens, roosters, rooster baskets, piglets, geckos, gecko noises, frog noises, sunsets, dusk, coconut palms, the silhouette of coconut palms at dusk, things made from coconut palms, coconut, coconut juice, freshly grated coconut, dogs with teats, mangosteens, kretek, shrimp paste, the tar that accumulates after years of burning mosquito coils, the smell of mosquito coils, mosquito nets, incense, pigs, different cows, fences made of trees, bougainvillea, hibiscus, ginger, cloves, dragonflies, frangipani, rice paddies, rice, bamboo, alang-alang thatch, palm sugar, brem (rice wine), kecap manis, things steamed in banana leaves, ducks, the prevalence of motorbikes, tamarind and lotus.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Terror threat not halting tourism |

Terror threat not halting tourism |

This is an interesting article about the decreasing effect of terrorist incidents on tourist industries.