The definitive Bali tourist guide for Australia
Perth , Darwin to Bali Ahoy !!
I am just back from Bali and thought i would put together a bali guide from my point of view. My observations will definitely give you an idea of bali and what to expect. The following guide is more partial towards tourists visiting bali (indonesia) in the age group of 25 to 50 + . I will be coming out with a more concise , unpartisan bali guide a bit later which will also be useful for the Under 25s. Darwin locals and Perth locals seem to be the major tourist draw in bali.
Tourist guide to bali
Pande mas,Kuta - Denpasar80361
What’s good about bali?
Tropical climate (sweaty, .something different from the usual). Really good rate of exchange for the aussie dollar ($1 = Rupiah 9150 ) from the corner Kodak store. Excellent customer service that makes you feel like a king or queen. You can spend and tip without taking a breath due to the good exchange rate.
What’s bad about bali?
Scammers trying to make you believe donations are compulsory. I don’t mind donating but I do mind when it’s done trying to con you. It happened at Turtle Island and a supermarket toilet.
At Turtle Island the people at the entry try to make you believe that donations are compulsory by saying $10,000 rupiah donation to enter the place for the upkeep of the animal’s welfare. We just said no thank you and walked away after getting scammed already for donating $5.000 to use the toilet at the supermarket in Matahari Mall.
FOOD & DRINK in BALI INDONESIA
If you living in a good decent hotel, you will get ripped off with hotel prices when it comes to small things. Just walking outside you hotel and getting into a small local shop will get you massive savings on drinks and mineral water and smokes ( Hotel price Bintang Rupiah 75000, small shop price Rupiah 15,000)
Food is generally good. But we got stuck with a few doozies. Stick with the Nazi goreng and coconut milk based main dishes and you will be good. If you go to discovery mall in kuta check out this bread franchise that sells cakes pastries called “ breadtalk” , it has amazing pastries and cakes and it’s cheap too.
Touring Locally IN BALI , KUTA , NUSA DUA
Try and get a local driver that will drive you around for the day to the different spots you want and it will work out cheaper than taking one of the advertised tours. You can even bargain a bit for the tour tickets, like we did for the turtle island tour tickets. Bargained it down to $30 for two people for the turtle island tour by a small speedboat with a glass bottom.
Exchanging money in BALI
We luckily got advised to go to a place near our hotel (small Kodak deli) .which also gave quiet a good rate compared to others stores at that time and seemed completely safe. We got advised by fellow travellers to not exchange money at shady looking places where they give really high rate of exchange than normal, because they try and scam you with giving wrong amounts while counting and showing you the exchanged money( while actually they have given you less value notes).
How to avoid hassles and hasslers ?
Just say no thank you and act as if you don’t speak much, just ignore them and keep walking. say a good morning in return if you have too but no more than that otherwise they keep following you and hassling you to buy some stuff or open some prize coupon ( which is just another scam to get you to visit some place where they will sell you something).
The Misconception that the Balinese have
All Balinese think that asking where you from and sometimes even asking personal details like how long are you staying here etc are breaking the ice and good customer service , but it isn’t ( and many tourists get pissed off) and sometimes it’s even quite annoying.
I love Bali and its tropical climate and good exchange rate that helps me have a good time without any guilt, but at the same time I can’t help but think they are still bit of a rip off on the tourists. Because surely things don’t need to be charged as much as they do over there
Bali in comparison to Phuket as a tourist destination
Bali and Phuket both have their plus and minus points, but without doing the calculations and just going on the feel factor, I would definitely rate Phuket much higher on the value for money holiday. In Phuket the money you spend gives you much more value, there is much better food and the bargains are much more reasonable. The only reason I feel Bali is much more popular because it’s much cheaper to get a flight and accommodation package in comparison to Phuket prices.
The last time I went to Phuket, I knew I could pretty much walk into any decent looking restaurant and get good food and get a reasonably priced bill, unlike in Bali where prices in restaurants can vary very much, and the quality of the food still can’t be guaranteed to be good. It’s like a game of luck hunting for food in Bali.
The stuff you get in bali even though cheap according to Australia money exchange rate , you still get this feeling that they are trying to rip you off, because you know that they are still getting over 100% margin even after bargaining and bringing the price down. The locals now know how much it would cost in Australian dollars and try to price their goods accordingly to get the highest margin possible.