Money Exhange Shops at Ngurah Rai Airport
at the Arrival area after customs inpection, upon exiting the gate, there are 2 money exhange shops at the left and at the right of the arrival area, although these money exchange shops are legal and accredited, they offer lower exchange rates for your currency that you want to change into Indonesian Rupiah.That is why i have included this in my tourist trap tips.
the money exhange shops here at the arrival area of Ngurah Rai Airport exchange a wide variety of foreign currencies like the US Dollar, Australian Dollar, Euro and more into Indonesian Rupiah and since the rupiah depreciated against the US dollar, the current exchange rates of 1 US Dollar to Indosesian Rupiah is about 1: 11,600 rupiah as of december 2013. although they don't charge commisons, the exchange rate is higher at the authorized money exchange shops in Kuta and Seminyak and Tanjung Benoa area as they have an exchange rate of 1 us dollar: 11,850 to 12,100 rupiah at the authorized money exhange shops in these areas (just be sure to see if they have the "No Commission Sign" in front of their shops as some unscupulous shops have higher rates like 1 US dollar: 12,200 to 12,500 Rupiah but they charge a 5 to 10% commision rate! hence you will have a less favorable exhange rate.
Unique Suggestions: change money at the authorized money changers at Kuta or Tanjung Benoa or Saminyak or Sanur, see if the "no commission" sign is posted.Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Business Travel
- Road Trip
Oleh Oleh (souvenir shops)
if you see the sign Oleh Oleh in the front of the store, it means souvenir shop and although not all souvenir shops sell outrageous prices, some really do, so it is better to do some canvassing of the price of the souvenir items you would want to buy in a souvenir shop before you actually buy them as the souvenir shops have fixed prices, unlike the regular small souvenir stalls in kuta.
Unique Suggestions: The shops primarily sells local handicrafts and souvenirs like key chains, wallets, mini bags, paintngs, wooden crafts, sarongs, Assorted local indonesian and balinese desserts and sweets and local handwoven items to name a few and most don't accept haggling so have a comnparison of the price of the different items or just buy at the souvenir shops at the malls as they are more cheaper than in the regular oleh oleh souvenir shops.
Fun Alternatives: if the price is high, then dont buy and just go to the souvenir shops at the malls like the Discovey Center or Beachwalk in Kuta to buy these souvenir items and local crafts you want.Related to:
- Road Trip
- Budget Travel
- Arts and Culture
At the airport
As soon as you get off the plane and grab your luggage the moment you grab your bags porters come from everywhere and offer to take your bags to a taxi before you can say no they are 10 metres in front of you.
Unique Suggestions: As soon as you grab your luggage hold on tight and when they go to push past you say no I'm fine straight away I got caught out first visit and not knowing the currency ended up copping a $15 fee to carry bags
Fun Alternatives: At Kuta airport there's no way around it just pay attention
"Sari Wisata Budaya (Barong & Kris Dance)! BIG NO"
Here's my opinion about that ridiculous charade!
It was 2 hours of pure torture! The music was so loud and annoying, it was a freak show nothing cultural or educational about it, not even amusing! No wonder most of the people left after 15 min and I can't blame them, in fact I was envying them as I wished to leave but I was forced by my friends who for some reason was enjoying the show!!! by the end of that weird experience you'll cry for your money 80Rp
I don't know why everyone recommended? it's over rated...or maybe it's just me
Unique Suggestions: Just say No to your tour guide if you are traveling with one! 'cause he will probably suggest it and drag you there.
Fun Alternatives: By skipping that show you'll save your money and your time! go somewhere else
Free and easy is the best!!
We followed a tour package for day one of the trip. The activities and restuarant marked up their price so much to cover the guide. We went to the same place to again and the prices only a fraction!
Beware of those resturant by the beach, food are normal but prices are ridiculous.
Unique Suggestions: Ask for the price first! Tell them you come back later.
Fun Alternatives: Check with some local people there, generally they are very helpful.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Water Sports
haggling a way of life in bali
Hi there i am a beginner too. have travelled some of australia and bali.was cheap compared to australia spent half of what i took enjoyed haggling especially the taxi and buses the people we came across always said 150,000 rupiah for everything t shirts, taxi, buses, etc but always go a third as we were told by many books 50,000 which is about $5.50 aud very cheap for over an hour in a taxi ,hope that helps Terry
Much Ado About Nothing
I am talking about the tour to "Kintamani" to see the volcano "Mt Batur"
This is all too often touted by so called tour operators, as a visit to see the still active volcano "MT Batur", with promises of views of the crater, steam and some sort of volcanic activity. where as in reality, you arrive at the village of "Kintamani", where they park you in one of the rundown restaurants, with a very limited view, definatly not one worth the time, and expense.
The restaurants are now run down, although some of them still serve reasonable good food, the majority have slipped in their standards.
Should you wish to cross the road, to try and get a better view, then you will more than likely be surrounded by many locals desperatly trying to sell you some cheap trinket or other item, making it most uncomfortable and an unenjoyable experience for many tourists.
Many bona fide tour operators are now boycotting this area and tour, until the local authorities clean up the area, make the attraction more enjoyable, and improve the faciliites.
Unique Suggestions: If you simply have to go anyway, then you would be better organising the trip through a "Car with Driver" available from many operators, that way you are free to stay as long as you like, and leave when you like, the driver is not obliged to stop at one particular restaurant (tour operators get large commissions from restaurants for groups etc) you can choose the restaurant one which looks ok.
Also that way if you decide not to stay for too long you can ask the driver to take you somewhere else on the way home, and get to see something.
Fun Alternatives: There isn't really an alternative the same, but a trip to the West of Bali, towards Bedugul Tabanan, also provides mountain and spectacular countryside panoramic views, which to be honest are better than the one from Kintamani.Related to:
- Whale Watching
I could not understand why some stores, the airport and hotels use USD currency other then to confuse you.
I bought a mosiac plate from the airport and it was in usd and when the girl converted it to indonesia rupiah the price was double. Unfortuantely my plane was boarding so i wasnt sharp enough. I was very 'peed' off when i realised.
Please be careful when you change your money in Bali.
I just came back from Bali two days ago and was staying at Kuta, Legian area.
Went to several money changer near my hotel and was nearly cheated twice.
The trick they used was, some of the money changer indicated a high exchange rate on their white board to lure people.
The changer will then pretend to be trustworthy by placing a calculator to calculate the actual amount of rupiahs you will get.
Then they will count the amount of rupiah and place it in front of you. But do note the trick here is they only have $20,000 rupiah and claimed that they do not have any notes bigger. Trust me, sometimes it is very difficult to count with so many stacks of $20,000.
After placing the money in front of you, they will then collect back the rupiahs and lower the money behind the counter, drop a few notes and then hand it back to you.
After you expose them, they will tell you that they do not want to change the money anymore.
Unique Suggestions: Best is, you may want to look out for authorized money changer or withdraw your money from an ATM, which you can find a lot in Kuta, which was what i did in the end.
But also, do note that when you withdraw money from the ATM there is a fee to pay for every withdrawal.
It would be excellent if not because of the...
Peddlers touting their wares or services to you everywhere.
Lake Batur, Kintamani, Tegallang Rice Terrace and many more places in Bali would be a great experience if not because of them.
They will watch you from just before you park your car, rush to your doors and just after you open your doors/windows they will have all their wares ready in plastic bags and put them in your hands, some of them will wipe your windshield or massage your shoulders...
At many occasion we only stopped for a very brief moment as we don't find it enjoyable to be in such situation.
I don´t know whether this applies as a tourist trap or a danger.
Basically be prepared to say NO! about a thousand times, even on the beach. You could ber stark naked and they would still try and sell you something. I am not kidding.
Unique Suggestions: You do not have to go to this tourist trap, it is everywhere you walk. Even the rice paddies where you stop to take pictures, they are there waiting for you.
Fun Alternatives: The only thing I can think of is some very dark glasses and a white stick.
Location: Kuta Beach
We have been warned by our tour guide NOT TO take any massage / mani-pedicure service from the traders along the beach.
My friends, C & S got tempted when one of the trader said she only charge RPH30000 per person for manicure then nail polish with simple flowers design.
Note : Manicure = Nail clipping + Buffing + nail polish.
After almost finishing the 2nd coat of polish, the trader asking for their pay and told them if they want the flower design it cost another RPH 5000 per finger! Both of my friend refuse.
They walk off end up paying RPH 20000 for nail buffing + half finish second coat nail polish.
I did do it cuz I got mine done before I leave for Bali...
Unique Suggestions: Demand for bargain at lower price... if too the situaton is too tense. you have no choice but to give up
Fun Alternatives: -> Listen to you tour guide
-> Be alertRelated to:
- Budget Travel
- Women's Travel
when we touched down in Bali, the hotel pickup driver asked if we had made plans for tours. he recommended his brother in law to bring us around for a fix amount including petrol.
the next morning, we waited at the hotel lobby and a guy who was waiting and observing us approached. We asked if he's the brother in law and he said yes.
When we are in the car driving away from the hotel, he told us he want to charge us more for the petrol . End up, it was a weird trip. The guide did not explain much, he was not bringing us to the places that we thought we are going and he made an excuse to quit the day early.
at night, the brother in law called us and angrily asked where we are. he was insistent to bring us out the next day until i told him we are boarding a flight home. it's a good thing that we took down the bogus driver's number and name and we told the brother in law to call him . this is the most weird situation that i was ever in, even a little scary now that i recall it.
my impression of Bali is it's no longer a paradise. It's filled with people who said they are religious and yet fleece tourists of their money at any smallest opportunity that they can find.
It's a city that has majority of its population surviving on tourism.
Fun Alternatives: to avoid such situation, i think the best might be to pay a little more and get more reputable tours and hopefully a good tour guide.Related to:
- Family Travel
~Don't go shopping for the 1st couple of days!!~
Bali is beautiful, but prepare yourselves for the mental stress of aggressive vendors. There will be plenty of walking, shopping and sight seeing. All in all a beautiful vacation.
Unique Suggestions: My experiences are:
1) PACK LIGHTLY. We spent most of our 3 weeks there in a bathing suit, sarong and flipflops. Plenty of shopping opportunities forced us to have to buy 3 extra suitcases. Humidity is high so it took forever for things to dry out. Don't forget tennis shoes w/extra socks.
2) DO NOT BUY ANYTHING FOR THE 1st COUPLE OF DAYS. This enabled us to get our bearings back from jet lag and got us used to handling the foreign currency. By us simply buying things at the hotel (ie: Bintang beer, dinners, etc) got us used to the strange money.
3) For the ladies....get your hair braided. The humidity is so high there that you can forget about trying to do hair and make up. It's a vacation....sun yourself and go free with the braided hair and no make up look. Just wake up and go.
4) Waterbom park. The stairs up to all of the water rides were borderline dangerous, as they were steep and abundant. Just watch yourself and keep yourself hydrated. Have fun, a definate must for a day of water park fun. Plan accordingly, make the next day after your trip to Waterbom park a down day. We just slept in (as our muscles were achy from all of the walking/stairs) and kicked back at the hotel pool for the next day. Very relaxing and the kids had a ball.
5) Wouldn't bother with the white water rafting. When we were there (July) the water level of the river was very low. I'm not sure if it's always like that. We kept getting hung up on the rocks going down the river. The walk down to the river...and especially the walk back up to the road was hurrendous!! Steep, concrete stairs w/no handles (in parts). Very strenuous. Not to mention all of the vendors (who apparently are not allowed in that area) who will get right in your face as you're sweating to get back up to the road. Not a pleasant experience. Good photo op, though...they'll snap your photo as you're white water rafting.
6) BALI DYNASTY hotel. You have everything you need right there at the hotel. VERY kid friendly and walking distance to tons of shopping.
Fun Alternatives: The best choice I made was staying at the BALI DYNASTY hotel. Honestly, there was no need in us leaving the hotel. My husband and I traveled with our two children (9 & 6) and there was so much for them to do at the hotel. A beautiful family pool with a swim up bar (in my opinion they closed down too early, 10pm, if I remember correctly). A kids club where they'll take your children and keep them entertained while the grown ups go do their own thing. A really cool waterslide leading to a seperate pool that kept my kids entertained for days. There were also only 2 ladies allowed to come onto the hotel property to braid hair; that was a good thing as it was a set price and I wasn't overwhelmed by the vendors. BEWARE of the alley way outside the back of the hotel....instantly bombarded by vendors!!Related to:
- Family Travel
- Spa and Resort
We joined a volcano Batur & Sunrise Trekking Tour through an agent. The guide who went with us wanted to charge us extra $800 000 Indonesian RP for descend down to other craters. I have already forgotten what my tour package include. The other Swiss couple who went with us bargained to $100 000 Indonesian RP. My hubby said we'll join but pay later. Some of the other tourists at the peak went down the same way.
After speaking to the driver from the tour agent when reaching the carpark, we found that it is included and we do not have to pay. In the end, we didn't pay him.
Unique Suggestions: Bargain and bargain. Just think that it's their way of getting tipped.
Fun Alternatives: Check your tour iternary and not be swayed by the tour guide's words.Related to:
- Mountain Climbing
Where can I begin? I will keep this brief though: 1. NO hot water in rooms 2128 or 2134 (I had both...more
Jl Abimanyu (Dhyana Pura), Seminyak, Indonesia
Good for: Solo
I've just returned from spending 5 days in Bali and stayed at Viceroy hotel. The service was great...more
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