Loud and frenetic, Kuta and Legian are the epicentre of mass tourism in Bali. The grit and wall-to-wall cacophony have become notorious through often overhyped media reports of tourists behaving badly.
Although this is often the first place many visitors hit in Bali, the region is not for everyone. Kuta has ugly narrow lanes jammed with cheap cafes, surf shops, incessant motorbikes and an uncountable number of T-shirt vendors and bleating offers of 'massage'. Flash new shopping malls and chain hotels show that Kuta's allure may continue to grow.
Legian appeals to a slightly older crowd (some say it's where Kuta people go after they get married). It's equally commercial and has a long row of family-friendly hotels close to the beach.