So I had a marvelous vocation. Two beautiful weeks of sun, relaxation and a constant fear of being bitten by a mosquito.
When you travel to such a place,You HAVE to follow some tips.
The first and the most important tip “Use ONLY registered Money Exchangers” you will see the difference. It always will be a decent office and they never charge you the tax %. The ones near or in the markets WILL charge you extra tax and they more likely WILL fuck you over and you will realise you are missing like 10-50$ ish. depends on how much you going to exchange.
Registered ME’s:_________Unregistered ME’s:
1. Will always use 100,000 Rp__1. Will use 50,000 Rp
bank notes._________________bank notes
2. Will count the money out____2. Will count the money out,
ONCE and won’t touch it again!__then they will touch it A LOT
___________________________to confuse you.
3. Will NEVER talk____________3. Will talk A LOT, to distract you
to distract you_______________while touching your money
4. WON’T say anything if you___4. WILL ask you to exchange
want to exchange 50$ only._____more and more money at once.
5. Will never charge any tax____5. Will charge you extra fee’s
6. They have lower rate,_______6. Unreasonably high rates,
but then you can be sure_______and by the time you get home
you get all your money.________you will realise that you actually
EXTRA TIP: Always double check, even in registered ME’s.
Do’s and Don’t s in Bali, Indonesia:
-DO Use Registered Money Exchangers.
-DO Drink plenty of water. There are chances of getting dehydrated in Indonesia.
-DO Keep your original important documents back in your hotel and roam in Indonesia with the copies of the document.
-DO Put on sunscreen to avoid sun burns(At all times. Even if there is no sun)
-DO Look after your belongings(bag, valet etc), so it doesn’t gets snitched away.
-DO Report to a police if you caught a kid (6y.o or 10 y.o any age) trying to steal something from you. It will prevent kids from dropping down deeper into a criminal world in the future.
-DO Bargain. Everything is negotiable. Unless you are in the shop like “Rip curl”, “Billabong”, “Gucci” etc.
-DO Go and do “White water rafting” fresh and cool water of the Balaniese rivers will chill you on a hot day and you will get plenty of positive emotions. Bargain for that one too.
-DO Put on some anti mosquito cream on yourself. Getting a dengue fever is the last thing you want to happen to you when you will be back from a vocation.
-DO Look around when crossing the street. Cars may stop, motorbikes probably wont.
-DO Double check your bills after dining in the restaurant. Somehow a lot of Indonesian people are tend to do mistakes, like charging you for something you didn’t drink, or doubling your total…absolutely by an accident.
-DON’T Step on offerings in the street of Indonesia
-DON’T Touch heads of male, female and even children, as it is considered offensive in the country.
-DON’T Enter temple during menstruation, sorry ladies.
-DON’T Even try to swim in the sea/ocean if you are not a good swimmer. Currents can be very strong in some places. Use swimming pools…
-DON’T Get annoyed/angry in the process of bargain…it is all just a game.
-DON’T Get scared if you see a whole family on the motorbike, carrying a baby in one hand, driving with another plus transporting something big on their head. That’s totally normal.
-DON’T Forget to bring Travelan to prevent a Bali Belly, or just drink Yakult – can be found in any convenience store.
-DON’T Look and dont ask how much. If you do look or ask you will be followed for miles.
-DON’T Drink the tap water. Never.
-DON’T Tip at places where service tax is already added. Unless the service was awfully good, and i doubt it will be.
Ok, enough about serious stuff. NOW, Who the hell issues the driver licenses to all these people?
I mean, do they learn it in the Driving School to honk your horn absolutely randomly and everywhere?
“I’m overtaking *Honk*, I’m taking a turn *Honk!Honk!*“. Now I just *Honk!! ><” just to let you know I’m here. Oh! An Intersection!!! *Honk-Honk*!!!. Ah and another one *Honk Honk Honk!!!* oh, nah… that was just a pedestrian crossing =). *Honk Honk*!!! Gosh I’m going faster than you *Honk Honk*, Move your dolly-tab out of my way *Honk Honk Honk Honk!!!!!* =D.
And Who said “they drive like idiots in Sakhalin”?…Honestly…if you are riding a bike in Bali than you better sign an immortality pact with God.*Honk-Honk-Honk-Honky-Ho000000nk!*
Another thing that left me wondering is…Do Indonesians really think they are smarter than anyone else? Visited a restaurant (an empty one, later you will understand why).
The waitress came over and told us about their great deal “Buy 2 get 1 free”. Sounds like a good deal. Riiiiight.
First – Normal price of the cocktail is 50.000Rp, But on Happy Hour it is 75,000. One way or another you will pay 150,000Rp for three drinks. What’s the point then calling it a Happy Hour, you smart ass?
Second – The taste was awful. It was more like water with ice plus a splash of something…Uncool
Third – Gosh they tasted awful!!! I didn’t even finish it.
The same place offers you a spaghetti bog…promising to sprinkle some very fine Parmesan on top. And you know what…they never put it in. I felt abused and humiliated at the same time for some reason. I honestly was looking forward for some of these fine Parmesan sprinkles…jackass…
Meat in salad tasted more like an old piece of rubber…Meet normally tastes pretty bad in Indonesia, but that one seemed like it died of an old age or something.
And here is the name of that place “Lobong Cafe” in Ubud. We spent about half an hour there and then we’ve walked past a few times later in the evening… Guess what. It was still empty. Not even wondering why.
About a place to stay…
Kuta, “The Best Western”. 3 days.
All is good unless you are afraid of spiders size of a small monkey. Room was nice, shower included a foot bath (as one my friend wrote about his hotel in Nigeria). Hot and Cold water tubs were mistakenly put vice verso. Emmm, I couldn’t find a laundry bag, the Mini bar is full, but they keep coming back to add something like chips, chocolate bars and water…every day. Even thought we didn’t eat them. Bath towels come with blood, poop and the hell know what else stains on them…The air conditioner sounds more like an airplane turbine BUT blows like if someone was standing there with a small fan in his hands waving it on you. The king size bed is actually made of two twins beds =).Off topic: Tim thank you for your post, so i had something to compare out hotel with.
The swimming pool was pretty awesome though. It included a huge 3 meter drop down, and as far as i’m not a good swimmer i consider it as a useless part…unless you do bomb jumps or dive in it. Oh, it is kinda awesome seeing divers practicing in this pool occasionally too. They looked like a cleaner fish hanging near big whale ,picking plankton off his belly. I love the Swimming pool bar thought.
Also they had a “cinema” kind of thing, at the lobby bar. For some reason the speakers were working the wrong way, they were very loud at the bar and you couldn’t hear shit when you was sitting in the actual “sitting and watching” area. Also it broke down in the middle of the movie. Good place to hang out. The STAFF is nice and friendly, but they don’t seem to be doing handovers when the shift changes.
Balian Beach, “Pondok Pisces” Bungalow. 5 days.
All is good as long as you put the anti mosquito cream. You have the whole house to yourself. Nice swimming pool, which was not overfilled with chlorine. Most pools in Bali are like acid. Stings your nose =). Shower has an eggy smell…but only for a while. Also while you are waiting for this while to pass, your hot water runs out as well, so you end up taking a cold shower afterwords. Mosquito Net is built in into your sleeping area. The only problem is – it is nailed to a wooden bar which is hanging down from the sealing, leaving a 20cm gap for mossies and whatever insects to creep in. Roof leaks…on the TV. Also the roof has big gaps, so occasionally wasps and bees are flying through…I think they built this bungalow on a flying creatures highway… Ants are cool…they don’t bite unless they are dark orange or red color. if you see those, you better walk away and fast…they pinch and bite and it f***king hurts. Water from the river is so dirty that it gives you an ear infection…so stay in your pool. There is a bar too right on the beach, they have a very good cocktails and meal and prices are very reasonable and even cheap. The STAFF in bungalow are very kind and smiley…also they are watching you from the bushes pretending to be cutting it.
Ubud, “Ubud Bungalows” , 3 days
No mosquitoes, a shower for a 3 ft midget, curtains that leave a half of your window opened, no matter how hard you try to place them. Hunting geckos (very entertaining). A pool, a big one, also they removed some tiles on the bottom, just to give some pattern to a pool, they probably forgot to think that removing an object out of it’s natural place leaves a hole. Also it leaves a pretty good scratches on your feet if you step into one of them. They had a swimming pool bar too, which was always closed. Air con was installed, but due to whatever reason it didn’t work. The STAFF is…not there…
Sanur, “Ellora Villas”, 3 days
Another place to stay. expensive but very comfortable. You get an apartment with your own kitchen, that you will never use and your own pool, overfilled with chlorine. Mosquitoes are breeding in a pond with shower outside that you never use and flying into your place through the drain in the toilet room. Mosquitoes are a size of a small dog. They just peacefully sit on the lamp and waiting for you to go sleep. They don’t even bother to fly around in the day time. Also there is a third shower, just outside behind the shower room…Not even sure what for. Place has bicycles for rent, breaks don’t work, tires are flat. But they have a very fancy blue color. The apartments are built into a maze, so don’t worry if you walk past the same object more than twice before you find your place…I should have suggested offering a map on the entrance. No night life in this town…like at all. The STAFF is nice and friendly, but rarely are helpful. Ordering a pick up to the airport 2 days prior your actual leave is USELESS. They will say “Yes, right away”, then they will forget it, then the shift will change, they will never do a handover even if you are the only person staying at their place and you will be leaving in a rush because “Oh, we are sorry, the taxi is late because of the rush our.” Of course it will be late, you called the taxi like 5 minutes ago.
And some more tips:
-When driving a bike, take a dark helmet, so the police won’t know if you are Indonesian or a tourist.
-Absolutely mandatory to take a “white water rafting” trip
-Don’t take any fancy clothes, there is no place to wear them anyway. Everything is pretty casual.
-Take a bottle of water with you wherever you go.
-Be safe and have a lot of fun.