We’ve been updating our website recently (June 2018) and it become really obvious that a lot has changed for Kuta, Lombok in the last few years as the tourism industry as exploded. Rather than just deleting the old information we thought it would be nice to create a bit of a time capsule so people could come back in the future and see the progression and how things have changed over time.
There’s already some good articles covering broader history of Lombok (scroll down for a list) so this article is focused on the very recent history, particularly the last 10 years as the tourism industry has exploded.
Visual Changes Over Time
We’ve documented how the city and local sights have changed (or not) over time by putting the photos from travellers (with permission) together on these pages;
These businesses were once part of the community and the experience for travellers. For whatever reasons, they’ve all now closed but we’re remembering them here.
Here’s our first tourist map from 2014 showing some of our top sights and restaurants in the area at the time (see the full map page, here).
Since we created the map, five of the thirteen restaurants/cafes have closed as well as all three of the night spots / bars have gone. Here’s a brief summary of those that have closed;
Jawa 1 & 2: Great local food at local prices. These two small warungs were right next to each other and had the same owners. If one was too busy then you could just head over to the other. They had a large menu to choose from with many tasty dishes. (#6 Restaurant on the Map above)
The Blue Café: Blue means “tourist,” therefore when you first arrived this was the spot to visit to ask all the questions you would be too embarrassed to ask elsewhere. When you wanted to know about a custom or learn what is in a traditional dish, this was your spot to start. (#8 Restaurant on the Map above)
Lombok Discovery Coffee House: Great drinks and food for lunch, dinner or a snack. They also had consistent and decent WIFI which was a bonus. Lombok Discovery also had a business organising boating and diving tours. (#2 Cafe on the Map above)
The Corner French Bakery & Bar: With a surfing theme and great atmosphere, The Corner French Bakery & Bar was a good place to grab a drink and a delicious peace of cake. They had tables both inside and outside as well as free WIFI. (#3 Cafe on the Map above)
Kuta Steak House: A sister restaurant to the Bali Steak House. They imported high quality beef from Australia which made a nice change from the local food. (#1 Restaurant on the Map above)
Breeze Café: For dinner under the stars there is was no better spot than Breeze. The folks here were always up for a party with live music and bonfires happening many nights of the week. If you had come to Kuta for surfing, you could chat up the folks here and they would direct you to some secret locations with great waves.
Solah Beach Bar and Restaurant: When on holiday it is time to take in a few extra calories. This venue was a good place to indulge with a pancake with chocolate sauce or the homemade ice cream. Of course, they offered a full menu so you could wait for dessert until after dinner, if you wanted to. (#3 Nightspot on the Map above)
Reggae Bar: One of the first bars you would come to on the beach road. The bar itself was nothing special but they had a campfire most nights next to the beach which attracted a number of locals and travellers to enjoy some brews together. (#2 Nightspot on the Map above)
Magic Bar: A nice bar (cafe during the day) which had live music most nights. (#1 Nightspot on the Map above)
Tourism Interest Over Time
Here are some graphs from our ‘Blog posts and trends’ page showing the popularity of ‘Kuta, Lombok’ over time.
Number of Blog Posts about Kuta, Lombok Over Time
Google Search Trends
For those interested in the broader history of the area, check out these history articles;