With the rapid (and slightly uncontrollable) growth of Seminyak and Canggu area from day to day, tourists and residents alike have forgotten how sexy the Bukit neighbourhood used to be. Hey, that doesn’t mean the hill side has lost its charm, right?
How did we start to forget this glorious tropical mountain anyway? Let’s refresh our memories now. South Bali’s higher ground area is an enormous hunk of limestone with all its ups and downs – literally and figuratively. It has tiny branches of roads that leads to hundreds of hidden beaches that hosts the island’s best sunset views – both from the top and below those rocks. It was practically a surfer’s mecca complete with all their beachside huts and light snacking shacks all over those beaches. In the old days, I would just hop on my motorbikes and drive to one of the beach, swim and hang around until it’s sunset. For a college kid, that was quite the simplest and cheapest date I can afford as well.
Back to my question at the beginning, I could blame it on a few things. Location is one, with only the one road leading up to Pecatu and Uluwatu, the traffic nearing the golden hour can be frustrating. Yes, I hear you saying that Seminyak and Canggu is no different, they both also only have a couple of paths going towards them. But the magnet of both area’s fun atmosphere, added with the fact that they’re closer, you can’t blame them that investors and future business owners prefer these South West coast.
But I never said that Bukit is that much abandoned. Like I said, Bukit still has its flairs. In the past decade, Bukit brings in as much tourists than just surfers – even maybe more. Big tourist buses comes and goes on a daily basis, a bunch of the beaches that were only used to be reachable with motorcycle, is now accessible with bigger vehicles – bringing in larger amounts of visitors along the way. Many restaurants (from fastfood joints, various home-style cookings of different countries, to fancy cocktail bars) sprouts open along the main road, and some even utilizes Bukit’s mazy dark roads. Five star resorts or beach clubs, many from established International brands also opened doors, taking advantage of the seclusion that the hills and forests has to offer, all the while capitalizing on that million dollar view of the boundless ocean on their backyard.
I have to be honest with you, I started this article with the intention to write about having a memorable date on a modern day Bukit area – a romantic situation to swoon your loved one or a crush. But I’ve come to realise that the hills are becoming quite foreign for me. In the end I blame myself for Bukit’s underratedness – for not visiting the area as much as I used to. Yet, this feeling of unfamiliarity is actually good. This means there will be new tables to dine in, new bars to drink in and new rooms to stay in. It’s like back in college again, I’m excited to explore these hills all over again – but not as cheap now, though.