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Pleasant with a good selection of accommodation
Full of retired fudy dudies
In a nutshell
The place I will probably stay at on my next trip
Some of the money changers in Bali have a terrible reputation for short changing tourists. They have many ways of doing this & if caught out by you they just smile & act like it is an honest mistake. The reason it is so easy to trick unsuspecting travellers is that the denominations are massive . They range from 1,000;5,000;10,000;20,000;50,000 and 100,000Rp notes & to the untrained eye the 10,000 & 100,000rp notes can be confused so the money changers slip in the odd 10 instead of 100 & you've lost 90 before you leave the shop. Also some offer a fantastic rate only to be told that they also charge a commission fee which means their rate on the front door is not all that good. Some even go to the extreme of altering their calculators to multiply out incorrect amounts.
Unique Suggestions: You of course have to change money at some stage. The hotels are reputable but do not offer the best rate. Sometimes it's worth changing a small amount at the hotel, just enough to get a taxi to one of the better money changers. Carry your own calculator or change money in $100 amounts that way you don't have to rely on their maths. ALWAYS recount the money yourself in front of them before you leave the shop. Don't let other people push you aside or hassle you to hurry before you re-check your money. Also ask around among other hotel guests see where they change their money & if they've had any problems.
Fun Alternatives: Look out for money changers that carry a licence it should be displayed in the window. In some places you can use the banks. But away from the main tourist areas you'll have to carry money with you or find someone who is reputale.
In Sanur I usually use the moneychanger opposite La Taverna it is also a Wartel ( Public Phone) & they have a security guard inside.
Usually the money changers inside the Kodak shops are also reliable.
There is also a money changing booth just at the entrance of the Hardy's supermarket in Sanur so it is very convenient for shopping. We have never ha a problem there.
In Denpasar we've used the money changer on the ground floor of the Ramayana Bali Mall, but it's been a long while since we've been there as the shopping is so good all over the island now.
Updated Aug 28, 2008