Holy Shit, University has taken over my life. I honestly started writing this post two weeks ago and am only after getting around to finishing it now! Anyways…..
Bali has become a very popular holiday destination in the past couple of years. For those who have not been there, you have probably seen it sprawled all over various social media accounts. It is understandable why. Bali is amazing. However, social media does wonders for it. Yes, you will see all those incredible views. But it doesn’t all look like this. I was so excited to be making a stop off at Bali during our travels and I guess it was way to hyped up because it didn’t live up to everything I was expecting. I sound pretty negative about it, don’t get me wrong I still loved Bali but I will say it’s not what you would expect. So here are five things you need to know about visiting Bali.
(I) The Airport– If you are getting off a long haul flight or really any flight be prepared to get harassed by taxi drivers. You can’t think straight with the amount of guys that swarms around you. They do this in most South East Asian countries but it is on another level in Bali. I actually got so frustrated I cursed them out of it, and I only got off a flight from Singapore! Getting off the plane I saw that they had Uber. Which I was delighted with ( I swear by Uber ). Anyways it turns out that my uber driver was at departures up a level rather than down in arrivals which I was unaware off. And every taxi driver was like yes I am uber. Which confused me so much. Not to mention my uber driver was whatsapping me telling me not to tell anyone that I was getting uber (dodgy). Turns out uber is actually banned in Bali and if you are caught driving for the app you can have your licence and the keys to your car taken off you. I still took the uber, which cost me 55,000 rupees compared to the going rate of 150,000 and that’s only if you are good at bartering. I heard people got charged up 1 million. Extortionate prices. Oh, by the way, I was going to Seminyak. Anyways if you are coming out to get a taxi, first go up to departures and see if you can grab a blue bird taxi (the only meter taxis) in good traffic it is normally around 100,000. If there isn’t one there go up to the desk before you come out onto the street and get a cab. Barter to get them to at least take you for 150,000, if you are really good you can get them for 100,000.
(II) Bali is very spread out– No matter where in Bali you go everything is very far apart. Nothing is really ever in walking distance. Which we were unaware of upon arriving. We ended up getting lost so many times from just wandering around. My advice would be to rent a scooter. Honestly, the drivers in Bali don’t seem as crazy as say Thailand or Vietnam (especially Vietnam). If you don’t opt for a scooter and decide on taking taxis, then be prepare because they are expensive. You need to be able to barter and agree on a price before getting in. If at all possible try and get a blue bird metered taxi. However, it is so hard to figure out which ones are blue birds because other taxi companies have coped on that everyone wants a meter taxi so they adopt the same features as the blue bird cab. Like they all look identical even locals have a hard time differentiating between them. Also if you are visiting different areas of Bali, there is no public transport so you do have to take taxis from say Kuta to Ubud etc. I actually took an uber again from Seminyak to Ubud. I couldn’t be dealing with taxis! Most of them were just out to scam you out of money, and pretty damn rude.
(III) Money Scams– Honestly, anywhere you go to change your money can be dodgy. We opted not to change our money out in different countries. We stuck to taking money out of the ATMs (the fees were crazy though). When we got our uber driver from the airport he told us all about Bali and warned us about changing money. That many of these places were set up to scam tourist out of money. Brilliant. Anyways we did meet a girl who was almost scammed out of a lot of money. She was changing a few hundred and as he was counting out the money in front of her he was actually able to pull money back. Kind of like a card trick really. Only for she counted it before he left and realised it wasn’t right she would have been conned out of at least hundred euros. He ended up doing it again to her the second time. The girls started to demand the guy give them the correct amount. The guys that owned the store actually handed them back their euros and hunted them out of the store. So yeah be very careful on changing your money. Ask the reception at where you are staying where the best places are to change money. And always count your money before leaving and be aware of the exchange rate.
(IV) Travel the Island– Seminyak and Kuta we have all heard off. However, there is so much more to Bali than just the most popular destinations. We stayed ages in Ubud. Which many describe as the heart of Balinese culture. Uluwatu was another place we stayed. Which I loved. Definitely, would recommend beach hopping there. Also, why not hop on a boat and explore the beautiful Gili Islands? Where the only way to get around is to walk, bike or horse and cart and the beaches are white and the water is turquoise.
(V) Stay in hotels or Air BnBs– Honestly, we had such bad luck with the places we stayed in Bali. The only place which was semi decent was the place where we stayed in Ubud. Everywhere else was either a barn(where we got bitten alive), had a massive cockroach problem or had some rats. So, yeah it stole a bit of the experience of Bali from us.
That is it from me on this topic. There will be more indetailed posts coming on each place I visited when in Bali. If I havent drownt in College work…
Until next time,