Some people visit Bali and go back wondering what the fuss is all about. Others think it is one of the last magical destinations left in the World. I definitely belong to the latter group. There is just something about Bali that captivates me, and makes me want to go back again and again. However if you are looking for the Bali magic, Kuta is probably not the best place to start. This over-developed stretch of beachfront has become one of the must-avoid places for Bali veterans. For me though, this is still one of the interesting spots which is always worth a visit or two. I like the chaos, the crazy mix of old and new, and the hoards of tourists and visitors from all over the World.
Kuta Beach can be a mad-house during the day - lots of beach touts offering cheap souvenirs, massages, hair-braiding and even tattoos. If you visit in the early morning though, you will understand the original beauty which attracted people there in the first place.
Jalan Legian is the main shopping street which seems to go on forever. It stretches from Kuta all the way to Seminyak, and is filled with lots of small shops selling mostly souvenirs and t-shirts. Occasionally you will find the odd interesting shop - but it is like finding a needle in a haystack.
If you want to experience a bit of local life - head over to the Kuta Market in the early morning which is along Jalan Raya Kuta. Here you will find mostly locals doing their morning shopping, and not a single tout in sight.