On my previous posts 5 Tips to enjoy Bali not as a tourist and My 5 Favorite Beaches in Bali, I mentioned several times why I don’t like Dreamland Beach anymore that now has a new baptized name : New Kuta Beach. Located on the Bukit Peninsula, Bali – only 10 minutes motorbike drive from my Jimbaran house, Dreamland Beach was once spotted and found by some western surfers back in the 70’s. They’re the ones who love to discover the hidden beauty of the island, to find great surfing spots even locals didn’t know about. The beach provided basic accommodations (really basic in a hut shape, local style bath room, no aircon, just a hammock and magnificent ocean view) and cafes for surfers and day trippers. One of the most beautiful beaches on the island, it is also renowned for its dangerous shorebreak.
It is the site of the failed Pecatu Graha development, planned by the youngest son of the former President Suharto. As of 2008 this is an active building site with all the previous Warungs having been levelled for a hotel complex (source:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dreamland_Beach). Here are some photos that thankfully I had a chance to document them before the hotel and the new leisure spot contractor did their abracadabra to my magical Dreamland.
Dreamland Beach in 2004
Dreamland Beach in 2004
Yes, it used to be some good looking tanned skin italiano girls and surfers who came to this place. Sometimes, we’re the only locals wearing full cloths among the sun bathers. To get to the beach (no pain no gain, in finding beautiful hidden beaches in Bali!), you have to hike down a narrow stairs, and on the last couple of stairs, usually Ibu Wayan from Surya Cafe would greet me and she’s the only parasol hire and warung owner I love to chat with.
Ibu Wayan from Surya Cafe who used to greet me and let me use her bathroom, where is she now…
To get your way back, you need the strong legs and the right breathing technique (my husband, Benny is a marathon runner and a mountain climber, he didn’t seem to lose his breath walking back the crazy stairs!)
And today, the new investor has ‘darely’ changed Dreamland into NEW KUTA BEACH with a golf course, a condotel operated by Best Western, and this what made me upset the most! To get to the beach you have to access it through KLAPA, an event venue (more like a failed KU DE TA wannabe to me!) and pay Rp 15,000 for car parking and an entry fee to the club at Rp 75,000 per person!!!..Back then on the Dreamland era you only had to pay Rp 5,000 if you come by car, and free for motorbike riders, and the money went for the village community.
The New Kuta Beach aka lost dreamland..
Now those glowing topless skin of italian girls and gorgeous surfers have gone, they’ve probably moved to another deserted beach I know where :), Dreamland..I mean, New Kuta Beach is now a hang out place of Jakartans, big student tour buses from Java and other part of the country, and a commercial place to do a video clip shooting of Indonesia’s singers or movies.
It is no longer a dream. It is a game-changing reality, at least that’s what the KLAPA owner is proud of. The place is also designated for some tourists who are willing to pay overly priced food and beverage (Jemma & Chris, thank you for the drinks, the bitter lemon soda was a thirst quenching, and spending time with you is priceless!).