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Published: August 26th 2014
I just want to share with everyone what I've learnt about Bali on my two sojourns and share some of that knowledge, as well as some tips and tricks with you 😊
First up Bali isn't the country! Bali is the main tourist island of the country Indonesia. Most of you are probably going duh! But it's surprising how many people don't know that. When you fly into Bali you'll arrive into Denpasar (DPS)which is around 20 mins from the main tourist hub Kuta. I flew Garuda Indonesia and Virgin and The service on Garuda far surpassed the latter. In preparing for you trip: Money :
I wouldn't bother with changing money in australia as there are plenty of money changing facilities in Bali and ATM'S everywhere (some are even private airconditioned boxes! ...shut up I was impressed). The Indonesian currency is IDR or indonesian Rupiah.
Generally it's about 10,000 rupiah to one Australian dollar which is pretty easy to navigate as long as you keep track of the zeros. (Also if possible try not to accept any damaged notes as try as you may no one will accept it.)
50,000 = $5
1,000,000 = $100
If at all possible try to get smaller notes as it's easier and less embarassing when youre buying things and bartering and arguing over 1 or 2 dollars . Pack:
This is important!
It's hot and humid
over there so always pack sunscreen and if you're a mozzie magnet like me a bug repellant definitely won't go astray! Clothes
: it is humid as heck so light flowing comfortable clothes are the way to go except if you're doing ANY
exercise then ensure you have denim shorts or a small pair of bicycle shortesque things to ward off chafe. Don't laugh. It can seriously ruin a good holiday haha especially if it becomes heat rash I cut up an old pair of leggings into short shorts I wore under dresses and they worked a treat. An Australian adaptor
: usually only the very best of places will have an Australian plug,singular, so an adaptor is always handy and if there are a few of you going a small power board will prevent ugly bickering over who gets to charge their iPhone first :p.
Ubud, Ayung River
If you're worried about voltage you can purchase adaptors etc that will cover the cost of any electronics if they get damaged. Shoes:
every Australian I've spoken to has had their feet swell monstrously overseas in South East Asia so I can only ever bare to wear my faithful flip flops/thongs. Make sure they're broken in and are comfortable because a thong rub blister can be uncomfortable and get infected in the water and heat . BOOK 5 STARS!
If you're like me and not rolling in dough this is too good of an opportunity to pass up as five star accommodation here (in Bali) is SOOO afforable! You will not regret it and it might be the only time you get to stay in luxury so don't pass it up.
I stayed at the beautiful Padma in a package from a travel agents for 10 nights including flights for a little over $2,000 ! Arrival
The first thing you'll notice upon stepping off the plane is the crashing wave of humidity! So hopefully you were smart enough to bring a spare change of clothes. Before exiting the customs area be sure to go to the visa
desk and purchase your visa which is 25 USD
If you haven't booked a transfer to your hotel or resort don't stress there will be literally hundreds of friendly faces waiting outside the gates of the airport. You can either go via a taxi or private vehicle either will negotiate a price and don't stress they generally speak good English or will have a guide with them who does. Taxis unless you're willing to negotiate a price are met red but alas sometime the drivers "forget" that fact so be sure to remind them :p.
Balinese are super friendly and super cheeky! So go with a sense of humour aand no expectations about personal space. Especially if you're blonde. Areas:
I have stayed in Legion both times I've been to Bali at the Padma (ridiculously amazing) and the legion beach resort. Both are beach frontage backing up onto a street with daily and nightly markets and a short stroll from the art market and a short walk to Kuta and my favourite shopping area Poppies lane. Mt Batur
is an active volcano and the downhill cycle I did from there is one of the best things I've ever done.
You ride through villages and rice fields and the scenery is spectacular. Jimbaran bay
is beautiful and quiet and the perfect spot for a romantic get away or if you want to eat yourself stupid on the beach and watch the sunset. Ubud
is a fantastic change of scenery being more jungle and forest and mountainous and is also a bit cooler. There's an abundance of local craft and access to the Ayung river
though central is more laid back than rambunctious Kuta
but still has the same benefits i.e. shopping,food, drink,nightlife etc. There are places to eat everywhere!
I ate seafood noodles and drank Bintang ( The locally produced beer) the entire time I was there and never paid more than 6 dollars for both.
Calcium deficient people may want to bring calcium pills as a developed a lactose intolerance when I came home . There is no fresh milk over there and most of the calcium I got was out of magnum ice creams :p Circle ks
are convenience stores and they're everywhere! Stock up on water and snacks.
Most people know this but DO NOT DRINK THE WATER!
Water born bacteria and bugs
Bali safari park
are everywhere so don't open your mouth in the shower and don't drink out of the tap unless it says it's safe! Hotels will usually offer 2 complimentary waters per day...which is not enough as you'll probably sweat 5 every day ;p so stock up at circle k. Rough Prices: Fake Ray bans
I bought a lot at a time but generally If you buy about 5 pairs they're happy to sell them at 20,000 rupiah ($2 ) each. DVDs
10,000 rupiah each discuss with free ones thrown in the more you buy I bought about 200 disc's for about $120 aussie dollars which means I got 80 disc's free... I got a lot of tv series. It's always good to take a list with you and sit back and let them find them. The quality I've found has been fantastic, the new movies may be iffy but they'll let you know if you ask. Watches
For good ones 5-15 dollars depending on how much of a hard ass you are and how may you're willing to buy. Perfume
- same as above Bintang merch-
I wouldn't pay more than 4 dollars for anything
Bali safari park
Like most places the general rule is about half but if they think your affluent they'll test you with a high price . Honestly though just pay what you're happy to pay but remember bartering is expected...and tiring so if you're not in a good mood don't go shopping it won't end well. Tactics-
Walk away: 80 percent of the time they'll chase you.
Bring a friend back.
Go early mornings they will endeavor to sell at any cost because it brings good luck and prosperity for the rest of the day.
Don't go mid day because it's too hot and people want to nap and will be in foul moods. DO NOT
Say you'll come back and get it later and not mean it because they WILL remember you and hassle you the duration of the trip.
Reiterating what I said before most Balinese that you'll come in contact with speak enough English to drive a hard bargain but
that doesn't mean that you should be ignorant and not learn at least a few words. In order of importance.
Terima kasih (trims for short)- Thank you
general response to which is -sama sama (roughly meaning same same or same to you) Mahal
(to be said with an outraged inflection)-too expensive Bagus
(bag oose)- good Bagus Sekali - very good Tidak- no Sampai Jumpa
(um is pronounced oom)- see you later.
Hello and hi are basically the same Selamat pagi - good morning Selamat siang- good midday Selamat sore
(sore ray)- good afternoon Selamat malam - good night Apa kabar?- how are you
General responses are Bagus
or baik baik sajah.
They will be very appreciative and may try to marry you off to their sons haha but seriously a little goes a long way it's only polite, you're in their country.
I love Bali it has the best shopping that I've experienced in the way of clothes and dvds,the cheapest quality food and offers everything in the versatility of locations and don't let ridiculous tv shows try to persuade you otherwise.
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