Monkey Mayhem at Uluwatu
Be careful of the monkeys at Uluwatu. They will wait at the cliff walls for people posing for their photos, then grab their spectacles, hair clips, necklaces, earrings, whatever they can get their hands on. You will need to throw them a bag of fruits, which they will then drop your stuff, but depending on where they drop it (might be down the cliff), you might not be able to get it back. When I was there, I witnessed a guy's specs grabbed by a monkey. after which was dropped on the edge of the cliff. Watching him climb over the wall to the cliff edge for his specs is not funny, he could have slipped. I also saw a woman's hairclip been grabbed. See my picture of the monkey holding the woman's hairclip.
Compare prices first if you have time
While in Bali, one thing you can be sure of is that you will be approached by people trying to offer your transport, tours, massages, etc. They will often tell you that they are offering the best price to you, but if you have time, do not accept the 1st offer that comes your way. Ask around for the prices and you will be surprised at the difference in prices and the savings you can get.
man on street offer White Water Rafting 35USD.
My driver told me it's only 20USD.
2 massage salons side by side, prices on price list is way too high. Use both salons against each other to push down the prices, you will be surprised that prices can drop to 60% of the listed price. Competition is fierce in Bali.
Beware the Bali Belly
Be careful of the infamous Bali Belly. Do not drink the water direct from the tap in Bali. Always drink bottled water. Try to avoid ice. Try not to swallow the water while swimming in the pool. I boiled the water that I use for brushing my teeth, maybe that's going too far, but then again it's no fun to be vomiting and going to the toilet every 5 minutes while on holidays either. Better safe than sorry.
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Monkeys business at the pura
Guess you must have heard it by now. Watch out for the monkeys! They will snatch your loose items when you're walking around the temples, especially in Pura Ulu Watu!
We were warned before going into the temple, so instead of wearing my glasses, I kept it in my bag. A lady held it in her hand. But the monkey knew exaclty where it was and snatched the glasses from her, right in front of me. The lady was screaming and jumping, the monkey was looking at her. For a brief moment, I was confused who is the bigger monkey.
The lady had to tip the guard at the pura (temple) to get her glasses back. (Must be one of their tricks) All the guard did is, to throw some nuts at the monkey and it tossed the lady's glasses to the ground.
Always, always keep all your loose items in the bag and hold on to it as closely as you can. A lotta monkey business in Pura Ulu Watu, though I don't see anything like this in Monkey Forest in Ubud.Related to:
- Budget Travel
Whats behind that smile and kind gestures
Well my Italian fren ( Gaspare ) was telling me that these people are so nice to him ! I was thinking ..of course coz you are like a walking gold nugget to them ! Sorry my fren I have got to warn other travellers ....
They can be so so nice to you and you will feel so so at home , but trust me at the end of the story you have got to fork out some money be it for him/her or for some so called disguise purpose !
And they are gonna tell you how little they earn or offering to take you for free around etc etc which you will soon realise that it still boils down to MONEY !
Especially caucasian VTs I hope you guys dont make it a habit to be over generous and just be reasonable ! Hmm...I guess people in Africa needs more than they do !
be more careful copz they know your language well ...feel so good ...so at home .
I know the price is nothing for most European or American or Aussie tourist , but have you guys ever thought of what IMPACT it would have on Asian tourist ?
1) Price is ridiculously high
2) You are making Bali for caucasians only , we Asians too wanna go there .Related to:
- Budget Travel
Eating local food and drinking the water there !
Be very careful whne selecting the restaurant or stall that you are going to dine ! This is because our ( coming from a places where we take the supply of clean , healthy water for granted ) stomach might not be able to get used to their water and some local food !
I have seen a few VT telling that they were admitted to hospital for diarrhea etc etc ..and there goes the holiday !Related to:
- Food and Dining
- Budget Travel
How terrorism affects the Balinese people
Ground Zero for the bali bombing of 12 Oct 2002, where a disco full of foreign tourists was targeted.
Terrorism exists in many parts of the world today, but the chances of being killed due to acts of terrorism is slim. Stay alert, take precautions, but life has to go on.
Bali tourism has taken a nose dive after this event, and has never fully recovered, even till today. The travel warnings issued by many foreign governments have scared off many tourists. Tourism is the main income of many of Bali's population, and life has been hard for them after the bombing, so please visit this beautiful island and it's wonderful people.
So you think you have a good bargain ?
1) Think again . Well we were dropped off at a Batik/wood carving shops in one of those tour and my fren bought several packet of Java Beans ...after so called discount he got it for Rp 25,000 . Happily we finished our shopping spree and when we met up at night at a small mall called Matahari (Sun) in Kuta Area ,we were shocked to see the same Java Beans are being sold at Rp 8500 per packet only , and it comes with a wooden box with wood carvings !
2) Second experience is when some street peddler is trying to sell a pair wood carving, bidding starts at Rp100,000 , when I ignore him it dropped to Rp 80,000 , and when i still ignore him it fell to Rp60,000 ...I showed some interest and then turn back then he offered Rp40,000 (USD 5.00) for both and I snapped it up ..so what do you think ?
3) Key chains ( some pf them a t-shirt shape , sandals and surfboard shape ) starts from Rp 6000 per piece can drop to Rp1000 ...thats the way to go man !Related to:
- Study Abroad
- Budget Travel
Street hassle !
Believe me , they are everywhere ...and there is no way you can runaway from them ! Despite being warned by other VTs to think and think before I open my wallet , I still ended up buying one ( thank god just one ) unnecessary thing !
Well best way is to say no to them ..its difficult to make good decision when your emotions are involved ! feel pity for them ? then think about children in Africa and you wont feel so bad !
Just say no firmly and walk straight , many times i have to pull my sis and mum away from them !
Trust me ..as an Asian tourist I know roughly how much most of the items cost and whether or not its reasonable ...!
See my other tips on how ridiculous the pricing can be !Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Family Travel
Dont sign up for tours before you shop around !
Well please dont be so naive as to sign up a tour package once you landed in bali ! there are plenty of them to choose from ...and you will be suprised how much difference the price can be ..
Just walk around the hotel that you are staying and look for some other travel agents or grab a few brohures in the airport ..and please even its stated there the price is fixed ..bargain ! bargain and bargain ! Everything should be bargain in Bali !
try these nos. Bali Exiting Daily tour tel 480812 or Yan's tour 710769 and othersRelated to:
- Budget Travel
Tutle island rip off !
well as tourist we are generally excited whenever the tour coach drop us off a new places ..whats more when the tourguide said you only have 1 and 1/2 hours to spend here !
Thats what happens when we were dropped off Sanur beach for some water sports ...we were quoted Rp 100,000 for each person for a ride to Turtle island in a boat with transparent bottom ( you supposedly can see the fishes and corals )
1) First , you can hardly see the marine life and corals , coz the glass is coloured and the water is not crystal clear
2) I heard from a guy from Jakarta ( Mr Budi ) that you can actually charter a boat for 10 person for only Rp 150,000 ( that idiot asked us to gather 10 person for him in a boat which amounts to Rp 1 million ) see how ridiculous that can be ?
3) I feel bad after going there coz the turtles are keep in a small area , murky water and hundreds of tourist just step into their pool and take pictures with them ....Related to:
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Rupiah, the Indonesian currency is a challenge to handle as it has too many zeroes! US$1 is equivalent to 9,200 Rupiah so if you plan to exchange a hundred dollar bill, you will be getting 920,000 in local money. A few more bucks and you'll be an instant millionaire in Bali. =)
If you're bringing in US dollars, make sure that the bills are clean and in good condition. They won't accept torn bills and bills with any markings. Also, please check if you still have those "Series 1996" bills. There are only a few shops who would accept them. They say that there are lots of fake bills from this year. If they do accept them, expect them to be exchanged at a lower rate.
Some shops would offer very high exchange rates but they would also charge commission so you'll be losing some money in the end. Before you even hand over your dollars, ask the person at the counter if they charge commission. If they do, get out and go to the next shop. Also, count your money at least twice before you leave the counter to make sure that you got the right amount. Some of the unscrupulous ones can make a few of the bills disappear before your very eyes.
Porterage at the Airport-they don't ask first
The sign at the Ngurah Rai Airport (near the baggage reclaim area) says 2,000 rupiahs for porterage. I am not sure if this means per bag, or per person.
The thing that bugs me is this - they don't ask first ! After we had collected our bags from baggage reclaim, and went to queue to buy a coupon for the taxi, a couple of guys came over to help us with our bags, without us asking for their help. Assuming one of them was our taxi driver, we let them handle some of the bags. It was only when we were crossing the road from the airport towards the car park when the real taxi driver materialised and then we realised that the first guys were porters, and were not in fact "helping us"! Of course, it was too late by then. Once they loaded the bags onto the cab, they asked for payment.
I didn't have any small change and pulled out RM2.00 (about 4,500 rupiahs) and they wouldn't leave until we gave them another 5,000 rupiahs.
While crossing the road, I noticed an older Caucasian guy whose bags had been grabbed and when he told them that he could manage, they muttered f*** you, to which he replied F*** You too.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel
Unscrupulous newspaper sellers @ Traffic Junctions
Once we were in a Kijang taxi that had come to a stop at a traffic junction (at Jl Raya Ngurah Rai ByPass, in Sanur area), and boys holding newspapers offered us newspapers. My husband wanted to get a international paper, and they had the Weekend Australian, The Age and several Chinese and local Indonesian papers. We choose the Australian and bargained the price down from 35,000 to 25,000 rupiahs and handed him the money as the lights turned and he handed us the newspapers.
As we drove on, we pulled out the papers from the plastic wrapper and found that we had been given a stack of old newspapers, some dated 22 Oct, others dated 1st Nov, and others dated 5 Oct. A thick stack of old newspapers for 25,000 rupiahs (over US2.00)...what a clever trick for the unsuspective and naive tourist.
I would say this -better to buy your papers from a shop and check the dates before handing your money over.Related to:
- Family Travel
- Budget Travel
Mischievious Monkey Business @ Uluwatu
Having paid 3,000 Rupiah to enter the temple grounds, I stopped for a minute to read the notice board's warnings on mischievious monkeys. I guess I was confident that no monkey would get the better of me, & that the warnings was just there to inform tourist to be careful. How wrong I was!
Hang on tight. Upon the wall at the periphery of the cliff, there were a few monkeys, & the small ones were cute & had rather innocent faces. I stood next to the wall for my photo to be taken with the charming monkeys, & suddenly my daughter shouted out because the monkey had reached out to grab my pearl necklace. Instinctively, I moved away, but then there was a tug on my hair. A monkey again! Fortunately it was only a small monkey & it didn't pull hard enough to break my necklace.
I quickly walked away and put my earrings, necklace & hairband safely into my handbag, and clutched on tightly to my belongings. Nevertheless, I wasn't safe yet. A monkey came behind me & pinched a tourist leaflet that was on the outside pocket of my bag. I was certainly caught by surprise by the little critter.
Learn from your mistakes...or maybe not
My mum who was seated far off from the monkeys was surprised when a large monkey came from behind & grabbed her spectacles off her face! She was helped by a local lady who gave the monkey a piece of cucumber, and the monkey then dropped the spectacles to pick up the cucumber.
While we were there for 45 minutes waiting for the famous Uluwatu Temple sunset, we saw no fewer than 5 monkey snatchings-two cameras from the hands of their owners, 2 spectacles, and 1 hat.
The monkeys here are cute, but certainly mischievious. Be careful!
Each time the local lady was there to help the owners get their stuff back, and each time she would be rewarded by the owners, or she would ask for a tip. This makes me wonder whether someone actually trained the monkeys!?
Footnote: Tourists may want to bring their own supply of cucumber pieces...Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
- Family Travel
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