It may be a cliché to recommend celebrating New Year’s Eve on Kuta beach, but if you’re looking for a party, no other place does it better than the well-known party den of the island.
During the evening of Dec. 31, the streets of Kuta will be very crowded with local residents and foreign tourists – much more than they are on Saturday night.
The area will be the center of New Year’s Eve celebrations on the island, but things can quickly go from good to bad if you let your guard down. To minimize any undesirable incidents that might ruin your evening, here’s some pointers.
The authorities will close some roads leading to the Legian and Kuta beach area in the late afternoon of Dec. 31. Posters and banners can now be seen around those areas with a public service announcement about these arrangements.
The streets to be closed include Jl. Nakula, Jl. Dewi Kunti, Jl. Patih Jelantik, the Merta Nadi intersection and the intersection at Jl. Raya Kuta. It will be effective from 4 p.m. until 2 a.m. the next day.
If you want to park your vehicle in that area, you will have to get to the area before the designated time.
Be wary that the closures work both ways – nobody can get out either – and it usually causes major traffic jams when closures are finally lifted.
It will be more convenient to park bikes at Kuta Central Park and other places set as alternative spots to park for the night.
Beware of hiked transportation prices
Some of you may get to Kuta by taxi or other means, instead of using your own transport.
While this method can get rid of the parking problem, it comes with another downside when you head home. Unless you are planning on walking home, you will have to find another taxi to take you.
You will most likely go home at almost the same time as everyone else, which can lead to competition in getting taxis.
Don’t even think of taking taxis parked in the Kuta area. The chances are the prices will be ten-fold the usual rate (they might charge at least US$30 for a short trip from Kuta to Seminyak).
Make sure you agree a price before you enter the car – finding a taxi that is willing to use a meter will be difficult during this time.
Ojek (motorbike taxis) will also be available late in the night, but as with most taxis, they will offer you inflated prices albeit being a bit cheaper than cars.
Another option is arranging transport with your hotel.
Be cautious near fireworks
Celebrating New Year’s Eve on Kuta beach means you’ll get a good view of the firework displays – even hours before midnight. There’s usually plenty of people who buy sacks of fireworks.
This free entertainment on the beach might seem fun but be careful not to get too close to those lighting the fireworks.
Unlike the firework displays put on by hotel and beachside establishments, groups on the beach are no professionals when it comes to lighting fireworks, so there may not be any safety measures in place as they go crazy with their fireworks.
As you stroll along Kuta beach, you’ll see examples of the mayhem caused by malfunctioning fireworks. That’s why it’s best to observe festivities from a distance.
For this New Year’s Eve, the authorities in Bali won’t be banning fireworks, unlike in past years.
Bring food and drink
It’s not a matter of price, but bringing your own provisions means you will avoid the crowds in mini-markets, convenience stores and corner shops around Kuta, wanting to buy refreshments.
It might take you 30 minutes just to buy a bottle of mineral water, for example. Restaurants and other food-serving shops will also attract plenty of customers.
The best move is to have a proper meal before leaving the house to party. And a bottle of water, as well as snacks, can be a lifesaver after getting exhausted by the celebrations.