Facilities at Bukit Beaches Get Bad Rap

ULUWATU

Urgent infrastructure improvements are required at beaches in Bali’s far south to ensure safety, income and investment, according to a local politician.

I Made Sumerta of the Badung Regional Assembly called on the government to make improvements at beaches on the Bukit Peninsula, pointing out that in many cases approach roads, car parks and facilities were in a sorry state.

Sumerta highlighted the example of Labuan Sait Beach, better known to visitors as the Uluwatu surfing beach. Despite major development of eateries and tourist accommodation around the beach — which is backed by steep cliffs — in recent years, no properly organised parking facilities had been created.

“Some time ago there was even a case that a car belonging to some tourists actually plunged [off the cliff] because the parking facilities there are so unsuitable,” Sumerta said, adding that the public toilets at the beach were currently unusable.

Sumerta said that the facilities at the nearby Padang-Padang Beach, which was used during filming of the forthcoming Julia Roberts film Eat Pray Love were also unsatisfactory, and warned that without improvements tourist businesses in the area would suffer.

“These beaches have massive potential. Many tourists visit them, hundreds every day,” he said, pointing out that approach roads were often unable to handle the volume of traffic.

For many years the beaches on the Bukit Peninsula were visited almost exclusively by surfers, and facilities were limited to locally owned cafes and homestays. But with the recent massive expansion of upmarket villa and hotel developments in the area they have become increasingly popular.

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