advertisement

Bowling & Snooker

Paradiso Bowling & Billiard Center (tel. 0361/758882), on Jalan Kartika Plaza, has an 18-lane bowling alley and a spacious billiard center with 38 snooker tables.

Bungy Jumping & Slingshot

AJ Hackett, Jl. Arjuna, beside Club 66 (tel. 0361/731144; www.ajhackett.com/bali; daily noon-8pm, Fri-Sat 2pm-4am; US$79 for one jump, certificate, and T-shirt), jumped into the Guinness Book of World Records in 1987 by being the first and only person to bungy jump 110m (361 ft.) from the Eiffel Tower. Since then he has built a global business for all those thrill seekers out there. Try your hand at bungy jumping off the Kuta tower, on your own or with a bicycle or even a motorbike. The sky's the limit.

"Get in, sit down, shut up, and hang on" is the catchphrase of the Bali Slingshot. Situated beside Kuta Centre in Tuban (tel. 0361/736151; admission including T-shirt US$25; package for two persons including T-shirts and video US$59), the slingshot is a bit like a reverse bungy. A capsule that accommodates up to two people is lifted to two huge vertical towers by gigantic bungy cords. The cords are stretched to capacity before the capsule is released and catapulted 50m (164 ft.) skyward in less than 2 seconds, spinning on its own axis at its maximum height before decelerating into a series of bounces and being lowered back down to its launch pad.

Spas

Kuta has plenty of spas and massage outlets, most in the resorts. Spas are open daily. Cozy, Jl. Sunset, Block A3 (tel. 0361/766762; foot reflexology Rp76,000, body massage Rp86,000; MC, V; 11am-10pm), is popular for cheap massages and has a ground-floor bar for freshly made juice and tea. The few massage tables are partitioned by curtains only -- but with these prices who's complaining.

In Villa de daun, the DaLa Spa (single treatment US$32-US$65, package for single US$86-US$210, package for couple US$159-US$389; AE, MC, V; 9am-10pm) is a seductive boudoir-cum-spa parlor. Delicious treatments include a chai bath and Balinese coffee and chocolate scrub.

In Kupu Kupu Barong, the beachfront Gaya Spa (single treatment US$40-US$60, package US$105-US$158; AE, DC, MC, V; 9am-10pm) is unpretentious but seriously good. Expert therapists know exactly how to unhinge those niggling knots and knead your body with great precision. They do fantastic massages like the deeply therapeutic stone massage with Reiki.

The Jamu Traditional Spa (body treatments US$65-US$80, massage US$25-US$65, package US$80-US$160; AE, MC, V; 9am-9pm) in Alam Kul Kul draws inspiration from age-old healing practices found across the Indonesian archipelago. "Jamu" refers to the herbal elixirs that local women consume in their pursuit of natural health and beauty and which is still widely used to this day. Using only natural ingredients such as fresh fruit, flower blossoms, and indigenous herbs and spices, Jamu offers such exclusive treatments as the Papaya Kemiri Mint Body Wrap and the Fruit and Nut Facial. They also run Jamu Spa School with 1-week certificate courses so you can take home the artful massage and indulge your family and friends.

Treatments at Patra Bali Resort (single treatment US$15-US$45, package US$85-US$150; AE, DC, MC, V; 8am-10pm) include complimentary use of the spa's Jacuzzi. If you really want to unwind, be sure to try one of their treatment packages like the Refreshing Mind Package -- 2 hours and 15 minutes of pure bliss -- or the Sunset Package -- 4 hours of total pampering from head to toe.

The new beachfront Tea Tree Spa (single treatment Rp460,000-Rp730,000, signature Rp1,060,000; AE, MC, V; 9am-9pm) in the Holiday Inn Resort has a range of aptly titled therapies such as "Because You Deserve It," "Hold My Calls," and "Out for Lunch."

The Theta Spa, on the beach of Ramada Bintang Bali Resort, Jl. Kartika Plaza (tel. 0361/755-726; www.thetaspa.com; single treatment US$15-US$89, package US$101-US$138; AE, MC, V; 10am-10pm) is a tucked-away destination spa worth making a special effort to experience. All massages and treatments use natural products. If you're a couple, try Theta Honey Love, a chocolate and almond scrub. Afterwards you are wrapped in Borneo honey and left to soak in a bath of milk and flower petals.

Surfing

Surfers from all over the world are drawn to Kuta's breakers, which are at their best between May and September. Kuta beach can be an ideal place to learn with its soft sandy beaches, consistent rip, and its normally friendly breaks.

Rentals & Schools -- Plenty of surf shops line the main drag that will help with board rental or tide information. Your hotel can arrange a private or group lesson, but we suggest the following schools and teachers:

The Rip Curl School of Surf, Jl. Arjuna (tel. 0361/735858; www.schoolofsurf.com; from US$49 for an hour lesson, board hire US$5 for 4 hr. or US$10 for 8 hr.) was established in 1998 and has an international reputation for offering great service. The professional, predominately Indonesian team provides courses for kids, novices, and day trips for the more advanced. They will even teach you paddle boarding if you can balance long enough and can stand the abuse from the surfing contingent.

Learn to surf with one of the top surf schools in Bali, voted "Best Surf School in Bali" for 3 consecutive years by Magic Wave Surf Community Magazine. Pro Surf School, Jl. Pantai Kuta (tel. 0361/7441466; www.prosurfschool.com; lessons start from €32), offers comprehensive surfing lessons for beginning, intermediate, and advanced surfers, as well as surf trips around Bali.

For those looking for their own surf guru, you can experience the thrill of surfing taught by professional surfers who know all the ins and outs of each break -- and they may even share some secret locations if you promise not to tell. Marcy's Surf Coaching, Jl. Arjuna (tel. 08/123859454; marcymeachin@hotmail.com; lessons start at Rp400,000 per hr.), is the name of the outfit run by a New Zealander who has been living and surfing in Bali for the last 20 years. Marcy (arguably also a life coach) will get you up on a surfboard on day one. For advanced surfers, he will work out a program, and for the proficient, he will take you to some of the best, uncrowded surfing areas in Bali. Marcy specializes in one-to-one coaching. You may recognize him in the water -- he's the one shouting "Paddle, paddle, paddle!"

Jack Chisholm (tel. 08/1916766607; jack@tropicsurf.net; prices upon inquiry) spends his time between the Maldives and Bali and manages Tropicsurf in Bali, specializing in a variety of surfing holidays. Jack is also an enthusiastic photographer and filmmaker who captures his idea of the very essence of beauty when a wave and a surfer are in natural unison. Jack runs all-girls surf retreats and attempts, very badly (sadly), to play the guitar.

The Waves -- Kuta Reef (best swell: west or southwest; best size: 3 to 5 ft.; best winds: southeast) is an easy short boat ride out from the beach at Tuban. This is a fantastic wave, best a couple of hours after low tide on the incoming. Many local and international surfers cut their teeth on this wave early in their trips before heading to more advanced reef break options. Still, Kuta Reef is a really fun wave when it's on; patience and good manners are the key to surfing happiness out here. This wave can be spotted from the beach and the short boat ride (easily negotiated with boatmen from shore) adds an element of Indo adventure to your daily surf.

If the swell is up, then head around to the north of the runway and you will find Airport Rights (best swell: west or southwest; best size: 3 to 6 ft.; best winds: southeast), a long right breaking for over 100m (328 ft.). It's really good at 3 to 5 feet and is a lonely right on a coast of infamous lefts. Take the same boat as you would for Airports and Kuta Reef, but buckle down for a longer ride to this take-off zone. This wave is best surfed on higher tides with a strong swell running.

Airport Left (best swell: south; best size:?4 to 5 ft.; best winds:?southeast) is a short wave running out in front of the airport runway at Tuban. It is often packed with Japanese surfers seeking a mellow, less threatening and competitive surfing experience for their annual holidays. Despite the short length of ride and the crowd factor, it can still be a fun place to surf.

Warning: Swimming Kuta Beach at 66

Unfortunately, the Kuta surf makes recreational swimming virtually impossible. Even past the breakers, the current can be too strong. Pay close attention to swimming warnings and restrictions, and be very careful if you do swim. Only swim in between the flags on Kuta beach. Sometimes lifeguards will be on duty but do not rely on them. Several people die every year in the water.

A Water Park

If the kids aren't getting enough of a kick out of the busy beach at Kuta, take them to Waterbom, Jl. Kartika Plaza (tel. 0361/755676; www.waterbom.com; adults US$23, children 2 -- 12 years old US$13, family US$66; daily 9am-6pm). Right in the heart of Kuta is a tropical adventure park that caters to children and adults. The 3.8-hectare (9 1/2-acre) site is designed around a tropical garden and includes exhilarating water rides, slides, and trails. For those who would prefer to keep themselves dry there are plenty of other options: a spa, a climbing wall, shops, and a poolside bar. The food court has good Italian, French, Indonesian, and American outlets. Tip: Once you have purchased your tickets, if you go into the souvenir shop you can purchase another ticket for around US$10. The ticket is valid for 7 days after purchase to get entry back into the park.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.