If want to send postcard or packet, or anything.... better go to the real post office than to the cyber cafe that mention also post office and can send anything to all of the world.... 'cos it happens to me, that I send 10 post cards to my friends on VT, and no one arrive!!
Nyepi, the day of silence, is a very interesting ceremony usualy in march or april.
It is strictly forbidden to be outside your house or hotel for about 30 hours !!
And you should make no noise and use no light.
And it is enforced with stiff fines !!
Late afternoon and evening there are processions with giant figures "Ogoh Ogohs" in Kuta also with laser illumiations, in the night they will be placed on the beach and you have to hide in your hotel / house. On the 3. day in the morning most of the Ogoh Ogohs will be destroyed and you can go out again.
Next on23. march 2012, 12. march 2013, 31. march 2014, 21. march 2015.
Unique Suggestions: If you want to see it or can´t avoid it stay in a hotel / resort with a pool and a fully working kitchen (some will have only fried rice).
Fun Alternatives: Take the last boat from Padangbai to Lombok or Gilimanuk to Java
Around Kuta you'll found many tailor shops...making leather attire but mostly doing men and women suits. Be very careful choosing tailors...some of them claimed they can sew your pants/shirts/suits/jacket in a short time...but in the end when it doesn't fit...they'll give 1001 excuses why they can't fix it...even worst dissapear from the shop telling their staff they're not around. Some of these people are willing to do anything to get your money!!!
To clear Bali's customs, I purchased a US$25 visa to enter then another US$15.00 to leave! I did not have any US$ and so was told to pay in UK sterling. Having done some calculations after the event, it soon became apparent why they were so happy to take sterling. The entry visa cost me £20.00 UK and £10.00 UK for the exit visa. Doing a conversion on xe.com, it seems I was, in fact charged the equivalent of $32.41US to enter and $16.20US to leave. Seems a little bit naughty to me. You have been warned!
Unique Suggestions: Take some US$ if you can or demand some change!
I am not too proud to admit that I was taken advantage of due to my ignorance regarding the Indonesian Rupiah. Being from the UK, I am not used to handing over millions to settle a three day hotel bill or thousands for a bottle of water. Therefore, on more than one occasion I paid substantially more than I should have done to certain street vendors. So just keep an eye on your noughts!
When you shop in Bali's street vendors, bargain your way to the floor! They will give a different price to tourists (org bule - white guys) than to locals. Sometimes locals are able to get the same item for half the price. So please, find out what the thing you'd like to buy is worth, and bargain your way down. A good rule of thumb is, try to walk away if they don't agree to your lowest price. Usually they will call you back and give you somewhere close to your lowest price. Especially after the bombing, tourism is slow, they will definitely try to sell things to tourist even at a low price. So learn how to bargain and bargain away!
Fun Alternatives: Walking away is a good way to tell if the price is low enough!
When buying necklaces or bracelets at Kuta Beach, do not be disappointed with the earlier prices you have paid for your purchases. The vendors are fond of lowering the prices further once you are done with your purchases to entice you to buy even more.
Unique Suggestions: Well, if you wish to buy more, why not - the price is cheaper anyway...
If you can bear with this kind of "trap", buy from a departmental store, like "Matahari" where prices are fixed.
Fun Alternatives: As above
When you arrive at Bali, you may meet touts at the customs or buggage claiming area who will try to negotiate with you to help you to clear customs faster if you give them some money. Some of these so-called touts are actually the customs officers themselves! Do be careful of such people and watch your luggage.
we wanted to go rafting so there were loads of tour counters along kuta. they will always ask where and which hotel u staying. the first one we started bargaining with showed us the brouchure and the price stated around 100 usd and then he waited for our response which was obviously too expensive. then he said 50% discount cos its low season. i said no thanks and started walking away cos it was still expensive. he started calling out lower and lower prices, i just kept on shaking my head. he finally offered 40usd for 2 persons which i thought was a good price.
i guess its finding the price u r comfortable with. some shopkeepers are very agressive but just maintain your cool and be firm. one even refused to let me leave but it helped that i was taller and bigger than him :p
There are many hawkers or what i call 'vendors' (Hawkers seems a bit too blunt for me) in Bali - its a well known fact. BUT what disappoints me the most when i goto Bali (I have been already 25-30 times) is that Tourists continuously get 'sucked in'.
The trouble here is that Tourists are TOO KIND. Now dont get me wrong this isnt a bad thing, but the vendors take advantage of this.
For example, as another writer on VT expereicend they tout and give you serivices you dont request:
1. Touts such as 'Good Price!' or 'Please im hungry' etc etc
2. Making you pay for serivices such as manicures when you are getting a massage on the beach - even though you EXPRESSLY decline the provision of such services. BUT because tourists are nice they will manicure your toes even with your rejection and ask for a payment otherwise - if you dont, they call the police.
So how do you survive the innumerable touts, taunts (yes, you do get taunted if you dont buy their goods) and canvassing without looking like an evil imperialist?
Simple! Just walk on by and when they canvass to you DO NOT engage in eye contact and just say a polite (not too polite) "No, Thnak you" and walk on by.
DO NOT HESITATE, INSPECT THE PRODUCT OR ANYTHING ELSE
As soon as they see a weakness in you they will swarm to you like vultures on a carcass (nice analogy :-)).
Unique Suggestions: So use the byronium113 three-step approach:
1. Walk normally
2. Decline politely - NO EYE CONTACT
3. Walk normally
If they taunt you - IGNORE it
i) You are outnumbered
ii) If you get in trouble by assaulting them or anything the police will bust your a** and ask money from you in order to get released andl
iii) You dont set a good image for other tourists if you assault anyone.
REMEMBER STAY Calm
Dont convey interest in their product or else you'll pay through the nose
You can enjoy Bali much more byignoring the hawkers than by satisfying them.
Touts everywhere seems to be saying the same thing over and over again. Everywhere you can hear "I give you good price!" or "Only one dollar", or "Please, my children have not eaten for days" or "Tolong, buat pelaris", etc..
Unique Suggestions: Smile and shake your head. If you buy one, more touts will come after you....
Along Kuta beach, there will be ladies trying to promote their services to u. I was interested in a Manicure with nailart. So i negotiated the price and sat down. ($70000 rp)
When I sat down, a bunch of her friends approached me! Some of them selling sarongs, some selling bracelets, some do temporary tatoos, some do hair locks, some do massage. Before i know it, while doing my nails, one woman was massaging my back. I said no, but she continued! And another woman started to put bracelets around my wrist! I said no but I could not move cos i was doing my manicure! And another woman started to plaid my hair! I ended up paying more than $100000rp for their services! BEWARE! SAY NO FIRMLY
Unique Suggestions: If u really want to do a sevice by these vendors, insist to the others that u are not keen. If need be, be very firm and shout NO. They will walk off showing u a pathetic face
The Horses looked exhausted and very skinny, looking at them made me feel like they did - sick, the owner to one of the poor creatures tried to feed him but his head was just hanging - no apetite at all - terrible!
Try to avoid a ride with this animals
Unique Suggestions: What can I say´ - some locals try to do anything to make a few bucks, but this is not the way, find another job (I know that it is almost impossible) because nobydy wants a ride with sick or halfdead animals.
Fun Alternatives: Take a cab instead or try to use your legs
You must always bargain when shopping at Kuta as the local shops will always raise the price of their items because Kuta mainly survives on tourism.