The city of Kuta is not much fun to visit. It lays in the southwest of Bali at the coast. It is swarming with tourists. It is modern and not any different then your average western city. The only thing that is great to do there is going to the Waterbombpark.
The waterbombpark has a river running through the park, surrounded by pretty flowers, trees and bushes. Take a rubberband and float along. Watch out for getting sunburnt! Also nice are the many slides the park has. You can also sunbade here, take a snack at the pool or go play volleybal in the water. More about this park you can find at my of the beaten path tips above. On the picture: a cute pony at Kuta.
When you buy an excursion, try to remember that museum tickets are really rarely included on the price you pay and, as in case of Borobodur they could be not so cheap.
The nice thing is that my indonesian friend paid about 50 cents and I paid 7 dollars.
I came here last time during the indonesian school holidays and it was a mess, a mess to find a train ticket, a mess to find a cheap hotel, a mess to visit a monument, for a funny story go to my Yoyakarta page and read the celebrity tip.
School holidays start at the end of june untill the half of july.
Unique Suggestions: If you have to go in that period, at least try to book train tickets and some hotels in the most turistic places, in advance.
Bali is popular for its exsquisite wooden carvings, tapestry, jewelery and artwork. Balinese masks make great presents ( they protect from evil ! ).
Don not admitt you're American, as they tend to charge Americans more money.
Always bargain with the vendours, they admitt to raising the price beforehand. When at a market, avoid venturing into the small dark alleyways. The vendours there won't let you leave !
You will get a bilion offers for a taxi ride everywhere in bigger towns like Medan. It's said it is better to take a guide or a bus or a taxi from a company you do know or an oficial shuttle to zhe hotel as some of the taxis are a fake and you can pay more as you would like for a ride. As we have not tried some unknown taxi we know nothing about if it is true or not, but we have heart this from all whom we have asked about Indonesia, including locals and people born there, so probably there is something on this warning.
Sanur Beach Market the prices some of the market people were trying to get were ridiculous. They were asking 4 times the going price and you had little hope of bargaining some of them down to something reasonable. Beware when they ask you how long you have been in Bali as I suspect that many of them are trying to ascertain how acclimatised you've become to their prices. If you are in Sanur I'd highly recommend Tootsies in the beach market, it's a fixed price shop and although it doesn't have a huge range it can be a pleasure not to have to bargain all the time and helps give you an idea of prices. If you're looking for something specific she may also be able to get it for you.
We hired cars with drivers for two days and both times were taken for lunch to restaurants that whilst ideally located for excellent views served buffet style lunches which were neither cheap nor tasty. Also given the lack of tourist numbers currently affecting Bali, as well as the rest of the world, we felt these offered excellent opportunities for food poisoning since the food was kept warm for such long periods. I don't know whether the drivers were incentivised to visit, but they certainly did not seem keen to take us to restaurants we had been recommended.
Than a Lot, Monkey Forest and booking a taxi to Jimburan Bay Seafood restaurants. It is a good place to go but if you book a taxi they get a 40% fee to take you. Guess who pays? BEWARE THE MONEY CHANGERS
When I was young I read about Balinese feast duck. I got an impression that would be as tasty as Pekingese duck. Well, we order it previous evening and we were told that it it very special deli and difficult to prepare. Next evening we were eagerly waiting the duck. When it came folded in palm tree leave, it was quite surprising. All the meat is removed and the duck was steamed. Wecould not appreciate steamed skin of duck and tried to some skin.
Still I do not know was it ripoff or not, but I can not recommend Balinese feast duck as a main dish for hungry people.
if you don't wanna spend your holidays in hospital you have to bring suntan lotion!! even people if warn you you don't always think to put some but it is REALLY necessary. Get some informations before swimming, in certain places it can be dangerous. At last it would be a good idea to develop your pictures there (price/quality)
Around the coast, sea breezes temper the heat and as you move inland you also move up so the altitude works to keep things cool. It can get very cool up in the highlands so take a warm sweater with you just in case especially in mountain villages like Kintamani or Bedugul.
Only go to authorized traveller cheques offices. The others are a big scam as everyone knows. I was taken for a sucker, BUT when I realised what had happened I went back and got all my money, if not I would have gone to the police. Please pursue it. They give Bali a bad name.
Beware of those sellers along the beach.., they usually force you to buy, they are not dangerous but they are rather annoying. Also if you buy something around the beaches area or in the market, make a lowest bargain possible. I onced saw this man sold a kite to an Australian for Rp.250.000 (in Indonesia that's a lot of money) and the normal price would only be Rp 50.000-100.000.
Nusa Lembonggan in the mangroves! Literally a tourist trap! We managed to get cheated out of what should have been a beautiful hour long cruise through a lovely mangrove swamp but..... somehow it didn't end up like that! Someone offered us a really cheap price and we said we'd be back with friends the next day but couldn't find that same guy, turned down an offer and accepted another cheaper one from a guy who then walked off and was replaced by another who said 'get in' so we did but then found out (as we tried to leave) that this boat was a shorter and more expensive trip and the first guy had just make his offer and then apparently walked off. All a bit of a scam me reckons and my friends would have paid it so as to not make a scene which I believe perpetuates the vicious cycle of ripping off so refuse and stand your ground. I personally think if you had got an hours trip for a good price it would have been a wonderful memory.
Mother Temple on Bali is THE worst tourist trap I have ever encountered in the whole world! The LPs over stated description of this wasnt even enough! There are no private moments to be had at this place. Oh, and dont fall for the Hindu ritualistic ceremony they drag you into in the heart of the temple. While it was interesting and informative, its only after you sit and participate do they ask for the $20 per person! It is a beautiful setting but it is destroyed by the way it is run.
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