Although this is the mother temple in Bali, there are not many tourists here. The major tour groups have taken this off their agenda. It is very impressive looking but we were nearly put off by the price we were told a guide would cost. Luckily our driver had warned us this might happen. The first price they told us was rp300,000, but after threatening to leave, the price suddenly came down to rp30,000.
The entrance fee was a fixed price. But do make sure you hold on to your tickets, they try to trick you into handing them over while you are organising the guide.
Unique Suggestions: Take your own sarong. They can be hired, but it's a rip off. Better value to buy one if you've forgotten to bring one.
Lots of little shops selling all sorts of souvenirs. They are desperate for your business due to lack of tourists.
When we are travelling to Uluwatu on a private ( to see the beautiful CLIFF, temple and Kecak dance ) van chartered ( USD 11 each person ) , I think due to the weather and drizzle , the guide actually offered to take us to see other temples and insist that there is also Kecak dance here. HE even said that there might not be performance of Kecak dnac there. He made several attempt to pursuade me to change my mind but I am glad I DIDNT .
Uluwatu is very different from other temples and you should not simple succumb to his Idea ( well it easier for them to drive you to a other nearer temple than going up to Uluwatu. )
Dont worry even if its drizzling or cloudy , they have a indoor pavilion at the Uluwatu where you can watch Kecak Dance as well.
So be prepared to stand firm !
A con that caught us out (at least at first) was a street seller who was trying to sell a very good quality wooden carving of a fisherman with a very delicately carved net. The guy was persistent beyond belief, and kept dropping his price until he got us interested. I then haggled hard and got the thing at an unbelieveably low price. We were with a taxi driver who had driven us to the village we were at. The seller then handed the carving to our taxi driver and made a play of taking the money. A few minutes later I suddenly realised that the carving the taxi driver was holding was a very poor imitation of what we had been shown. Of course the street seller had disappeared (or so HE thought!).
I went up and down the street asking people where the seller had gone, only to be told he had gone down the hill. This I did not believe, and went up and down the street several more times until I saw the seller sitting on a bench with some friends grinning at me. He thought that by taking off his hat and changing his top I wouldn't recognise him, but he was wrong. I accosted the seller who looked surprised I had recognised him, but pulled out my money and handed it back without hesitation when the poor quality carving was thrust at him.
In Bali it seems that if a Balinese person is attempting a scam, most other Balinese people may let it go without warning you (our taxi driver knew what was going on, but played dumb). Later I realised the switch happened as the seller was wearing a very loose fitting sack/bag over his shoulder that could secrete another figure. The con was very well acted, and more often than not would probably work out in the sellers favour.
Fun Alternatives: Wait till the price has dropped incredibly low, then grab the good figure and don't let go!
Watch your items
Unique Suggestions: We had an unpleasant shopping incident from a watch dealer on the corner of Legian St and Padma St - we bought 5 watches and he put old discoloured watches into the bag instead of the ones we had picked, luckily we looked in the bag just around the corner and we took them back but it took quite a lot of arguing to get the correct ones back. So we always double checked what was in the bags before we left the shop as it is easy to be distracted.
Btw I found that those souvenier sold at the airport are very much more expensive than those sold inside Bali . For example a postcard cost around Rp 1500 inside Bali but at the airport its about Rp2500 or Rp3000. Well I know to many foreigners , its nothing or negligible ....but why throw money away when there are so many people in thsi world that needs that money you threw away !
So never buy anything at the airport , unless you really really have to !!!
Unique Suggestions: Try to check the prices in a few stall in an area...but never the airport !
Fun Alternatives: Try to check the prices in a few stall in an area...but never the airport !
when you reach tanah lot , there is a small area where the locals display some sea snakes which they claimed to be Holy Sea Snakes ...but my local tour guide told me that the Balinese people doesnt believe that these snakes are holy in anyway ..plus sea snakes are super venomous and dangerous ! And I doubt the sea snakes are defanged ...
Fun Alternatives: Just enjoy the beautiful scenery of Tanah Lot Temple and its surrounding ...
Well...its humane to feel pity for all the small kids in Bali ....so its only natural that we will put a few notes on their little palm and walk away ..hoping that things will get better for these little angels ....
But then again , have we ever thought of what we are actually preaching ???
We are telling the adults that its easier to use your kids to get money ...forget about education ..thats probably why so many kids have to be street peddler ...becoz of people like you and me ...we deny them a chance ..by giving them easy money !
So are we actually helping them or destroying their future , in the long run ?
Unique Suggestions: Just imagine what the parents will think when a kid can sell better in average compared to adults ? some parents might even ask all their children to sell goods at the street .....
Well i shouldnt have booked the trip to turtle island .if I have known the fact that these turtles are kept in a small murky pool ..if only i knew that everyone can actually step into the over crowded pool and snap pics with the turtle and disturbing them ....
I took a pic with the turtle ...because a local lady just passed it to me and ask me to take photo ....in a flicker of a moment ..I held it and camera clicked ....thats the only one photo I regret taking ...
Unique Suggestions: By going for such a ride it makes me feel I am doing cruelty to these poor animal ...plus the boat fare is so so expensive ! We got ripped off ....we have to pay Rp 100,000 for each person when I heard you can get a boat for Rp150,000 for 10 person.
Fun Alternatives: If you love animal and against cruelty to the animal , dont go becoz by going there we are encouraging their activity !
Tanah Lot is a well-organised tourist trap. You have to walk past a dozen or so souvenir stalls to get down to the beach. Then the little kids follow you around trying to sell you postcards.
Unique Suggestions: Just say no thank you and keep walking.
Ignoring the kids is a little harder to do.
Fun Alternatives: Don't go to Tanah Lot temple.
Not sure that this strictly qualifies as a Tourist Trap because to be fair, it was a nice zoo, with a good easy-to-walk-on path (a bit slippery in parts due to recent rainfall-so be careful, my mother slipped and twisted her ankle slightly), with healthy animals in natural settings and beautiful landscaping and colourful flowers everywhere. I do think that it as a place that you might like to bring the kids to, if you have two to three hours to spare.
It's just that I felt that it was a bit expensive.
US$10 per adult (9,000 rupiahs)
US$5 per kid (4,500 rupiahs)
under 3 years old-free.
Citibank Gold & Platinum Card Holders get 15% off, (but for any use of a card to pay, they will add on 3%)
Apparently locals pay only US$5 per adult and half that for kids (so I'm told).
Unique Suggestions: Not sure if you can persuade them to charge you less, or pass off as a local. Anyway, if you are already there with the kids, why not have your photo taken with the animals.
Fun Alternatives: You might try to visit Uluwatu Temple where there are lots of monkeys too!
In Bali, there is also an elephant sanctuary, a butterfly park and a Bali Bird Park (at Singpadu Village) and also a water theme park with the unfortunate name of Waterbom. I did not manage to visit any of them.
At street corners and at shopping malls, you might be stopped by someone asking you to participate in a survey, or trying to hand you a scratch & match coupon. You will probably win a t-shirt or a free tour, and you will then be asked to collect your gift from another place, with a free taxi ride and snacks included.
No obligations, simply hear them out for 45 mins, collect your free t-shirt and off you go!
Welcome to Bali folks-it's TIME SHARE HEAVEN.
Unique Suggestions: If you do have 2-3 hours to spare, you may want to have a look around at the resort that is on offer. Your tour will usually come with a free return taxi trip to and from your hotel or shopping mall or where ever it was that they first found you. Snacks or drinks may also be on offer.
Fun Alternatives: We DID have some time and had NOT visited Nusa Dua, so took this as a side-trip or sight-seeing tour. The resort we visited cannot be named here, because they may be upset that I've listed them as a "tourist trap".
To be fair, the time-share resort & apartments were lovely, with a very inviting pool, gardens and a fantastic beach-front. The staff were professional and friendly. They did ask us to join the time-share, but there was no real high-pressure sales pitch. Yes, we did collect our t-shirts and won some discount vouchers as well.
A very interesting experience, and a tempting offer, but sorry, we already belong to another time share scheme.
I was fleeced of 40,000 rupiah on the beach. Thanks to a lady who wanted to give me a free menicure! Then she asked for 100,000 rupiah for the menicure. (For your information, 100,000 is quite a lotta money in Bali, though not too much in KL. You can get a lotta stuff with 100,000 rupiah. Was told the average Balinese only make about 600,000 rupiah a month.) Finally, we settled at 60,000 rupiah, but my friend told me he usually paid 20,000, plus pedicure as well! I was fumming mad! Days later, found out you can actually get a lotta lotta stuff with 60,000! A cup of coffee in Four Seasons Ubud only cost you 35,000 rupiah, a decent room by the sea in Lovina cost me 60,000 a nite......
Another lady wanted to sell me some wooden braclets for 50,000 each, which I later found out, at the stores by the streets, at only 10,000 each. This is outrageous!
Unique Suggestions: Always be careful at the beach. They are going to come at you, surround you, touch you and you would just pay them anything to get rid of them! They are a nuisance! Keep walking, don't stop, just say to them nicely "Tidak, Terima Kasih".
Fun Alternatives: If you really want to buy something? Always bargain, bargain, bargain for at least 50% discount! Don't get it at the price you want? Just walk away! If they really want the business (as they often want to) they will come running back at you!
For bargaining tips, go to my Local Customs tips.
Lovina tries hard to market itself as an alternative beach to the noisy Kuta-Legian-Sanur scene. Brochures will romanticise the black sand here and waffle on about the serenity. Don't be fooled.
The beach is ok, but the water is polluted and murky. The Java Sea is a major shipping lane and also the waste sink for 100 million people on Java.
Fun Alternatives: Any of the main beaches in the south is far better than Lovina.
But better take care if you're new with the Rupiah. Depends on the exchange currency of course. At the time we were here we received 9.600 Rupiah for one euro.
Imagine we were millionairs ! And as newbe millionairs we had some difficulties with the local prices. Local vendors do exploite this weekness quite soon. So mind your step :-))
Bali's beaches is so beautiful. It is undeniable for sure. But it might be a trap for you. There is whole lot more to do other then just staying on the beach.
Unique Suggestions: If you have limited time and ya choose to stay on the beach, then just make sure you can enjoy it well!
Fun Alternatives: Just get the info, any activity or tourist spot you might want to visit. With that you can predict and have a plan on how you spent your days in Bali. And the rest, you can enjoy staying on the beach. That simple!
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: Couples
I have now stayed at Tegal Sari 6 times, my husbad and I discovered it about 8 years ago when...more