When visiting Denpasar, it is hard to go pass visiting this special market, as we've been told that's where the local shop, could this mean cheaper price? Yes and NO. It is true that all the locals shop here, but they have some ladies which will come forward to talk to you, take you to shop here and there, make you think they are the owner of the shop, but they aren't! Tnher are there to take profit from the owner should they hit a sale. They usually want you to buy t-shirts, sarongs, etc. We find this extremely annoying and felt very uncomfortable. They like to follow you wherever you go as well. The result was that we ended up buying nothing.
Unique Suggestions: Because this is where the real local shop, it is still worth a look. This place is not very clean and can be a bit smelly in some places, but it offers wonderful opportunity to take exotic photos.
Fun Alternatives: We suggest you due directly to the shop owner whe you can, and just ignore these ladies who follow you, it is impossible to miss them. Always remember, because of the bad economy now, this will work in your advantage to haggle on the price, figure around 30 to 50% off, and always stick to your budget, bargain with a smile, so that it's fun and not appear rude.
Be careful when changing your money anywhere besides a bank or one of those bureau at the airports which give you a receipt. I went to the location pictured here, on the east side of Jalan
Legian in Kuta, close to Jalan Pantai Kuta. They operate out of Nomand Sandals Shop and they have a small counter in the back where they change money/rip you off.
I changed $200 and I was suppose to get back Rp 189,000 but I only received RP 140 000. Yes I did count the money but I only did it once and here is how the thief did it.
1) The bait - higher than average exchange rate. Most money changers were offering 9100 to the dollar that day, this guys were offering 9450 to the dollar.
2) He gives you the money in small denomination to help confuse you.
3) Next he placed the initial RP 189,000 in stacks across his counter. I counted it all but when I placed the money back in their stacks, he collected all the stacks and skimmed off the top of the stack before giving it back to me. Here is where I should have counted the money again but I didn't.
When we got back to out hotel we counted the money again and realized that there was RP 50,000 missing.
We went back to the shop with a policeman. The thief got really nervous and gave me back my money. So it all worked out for me in the end but you don't have to go through what I went through.
Unique Suggestions: Do not go to Norman Sandals Shop and if you change your money anywhere else besides a place that gives you a receipt, then count your money again and again.
Everything in Bali are priced before all government tax and, if in a restaurant, service charges. You must be aware of the price you pay for. Because everything may appear to be CHEAP on the menu, but once you approach the cashier, it should not have been so cheap any more. Generally speaking, things are very cheap in Bali, after the plus plus, things are cheap in Bali only. Ha ha.
Normally in a restaurant, we pay up to 22% of the bill for tax and service charge. I pay no lower than 14% of total bill.
Unique Suggestions: Just prepare more money when you go shopping or dining.
Fun Alternatives: You can also pay with credit cards, therefore all trouble with the payment can be settled immerdiately.
Ngurah Rai Airport's numerous money changers (after Customs) offer a single, disappointing exchange rate. My suggestion is that if you don't have any Rupiah, then only change enough to cover taxi fare and hotel check-in.
There are zillions of bureaux de change in every major tourist centres. Even non major tourist spots would surely have a couple of them. But the best exchange rates are to be found in major areas, like Kuta, Ubud and Sanur.
Banks' exchange rates are generally lower than the roadside bureaux de change and it is more complicated to change money with a bank, as it requires ID, form to be filled in and often a long queue too.
The practice of short changing is very widespread. My advice is look for those professional moneychangers and NOT businesses (souvenir shops and travel agent) which also change money
Unique Suggestions: A professional bureau de change only changes money (or maybe selling some postcards and drinks). Most money changers are simply businesses which happened to change foreign currencies too. It is certainly worth to shop around for rates before you change, as rates vary greatly from one place to another, even though they are on the same street.
Fun Alternatives: Be suspicious to exchange rate sounds too good to be true----It often is a gimmick to lure you in and refuted the "outdated rate" later.
Use your own instinct to judge between a genuine money changer or just a short changer.
Prices of petrol are a lot cheaper
than other parts of the world.
But it is still costly to the Indonesian
living off of the local wages.
At the gas pump,
it is a good spot to be cheated
a few thousand Rupiahs if you are a foreigner.
If you don’t fix your eyes on the hose and pump,
it’s very possible that they will over charge you.
In Bali, u will need to do a lot of bargaining for everything u buy. Many times, we were embarassed or intimidated into buying things we did not want, due to the pushiness of the ppl. Eventually we learned to stand our ground and say no firmly but politely. We also learnt to say "sing la pis" which means "i don't have money" in Balinese :) That always drew laughs from them and usually made them leave us alone.
Unique Suggestions: First of all, if in an area of shops, make sure to look around for the best prices before buying anything, no matter what they tell u. U will find most of the merchandise available in many places, so there is no need to rush or buy from a specific shop. Prices r not fixed or written usually and u will b glad u did ur homework first. We even got ripped off in a supermarket once. Ended up paying for 1 pc of fruit more than the real price for a whole kilo of the fruit from the market.
Fun Alternatives: It is useful to have an honest & trusthworthy Balinese guide to inform u of the fair range of prices in advance. Luckily, we had a wonderful driver called "Wayun" who served as that guide. A haggling tip we learned quickly is to make a dramatic counter-offer which is abt 75% less than the price they started with. They will initally give u a shocked "Nooooooooooooooo!!" like ur insane, but eventually will bargain with u untill u get 2 the best price. Be insisting and walk away if they r uncooperative, they will usually give in if ur price request is actually fair and reasonable.
Be warned as there is money changers all over the show and they are slick. Almost any shop changes money in Bali but anyway just watch out as a other guy I know was robbed twice in Bali when I was there in the space of 2 days. They would exchange 100US$ and give him a whole lot of IDR 20 000 bills. They put all the money together in one bundle and secretly drop money behind the counter so they give you less.
I descide to change money at the same money changer and I asked to count the money myself as they too wanted to give me IDR 20 000 bills all of the sudden they refuse to exchange the money for me.
I went to another photo shop for a less of a rate the guy gave me IDR 100 000 bills which was all good. Just be warned as well as they don`t want to changed bills thats torn , creased and old or they might just want to give you even a less rate if they agree to exchange the money.
Unique Suggestions: Count the money yourself if you they plan on giving you a whole bunch of small bills.
There are many people around Kuta trying to lure you to do a tourist survey and in return giving you a couple of hotel nights. They will invite you to their hotels for sales talk (of time-sharing their hotels). With free transport pickup and such...