22 May 2016

Your first trip to Bali?

Most people who come to Bali will experience a Bali Belly at some point, so better to be safe than sorry and stick with bottled water. Don't drink tap water. When haggling remember how little it really is to you but how much it is to the other. Haggling in the market can be really fun, but remember that Rp20,000 that you’re trying to cut off the price is less then 2 Euro. Rp20,000 is enough money for a local person to eat a good meal of rice, meat and veggies, so think about that when you are walking away from a deal because it’s too expensive. Always take Bluebird Taxis. They are reliable, honest, metered and in case of a lost wallet etc. they have driver ID on display. Grabbing a Bluebird Taxi to get around is easy and reliable. Cars are air-conditioned, comfortable and they have meters, which means you won’t have to bargain for the best price. Also, you can see the driver’s ID and note it down just in case you leave something in the car. For longer trips or day trips, a private driver is a great option. Try all street food especially the sate skewers. Street food in Bali is delicious and sate (or satay) is one of the tastiest and easiest snacks you’ll find. Street sellers skewer pork or chicken and cook them over glowing coals. Many people avoid street food because of the worry of getting sick, but you can also get ill from eating in fancy restaurants, so why not give street food a chance! Bahasa Indonesia is a pretty easy language, and the Balinese are very good teachers. They love for foreigners to make the effort with the language and rarely laugh at mistakes. Just a few words in Indonesian and they’ll be chatting away to you like you’re best friends even if you don’t understand a word. Learn a couple of Balinese words and you’ll be the star of the show!! Kuta and Legian are great fun, but they are far more touristy than other parts of the island. Thankfully, you don’t have to go far to see the countryside, so make a trip out to the rural areas to see Bali in all its gorgeous, colourful beauty. Admire the Balinese way of being honest and open, and expect questions like how old are you?, are you married? and how many children do you have? The Balinese are very open and there is no shame in asking lots of questions about people. It’s purely friendly curiosity, so don’t be offended by it. If you have a couple of extra kilos on you, they might also say “Oh you’re a bit fat”, but again they are just making a point. It’s not seen as a bad thing, just like saying “you have blonde hair”, it’s just a statement. The roads in Bali are getting busier and busier and there is no such thing as zebra crossings (or not ones that are used anyway). Almost every restaurant, hotel and shopping centre has security or parking attendants. They are happy to help you cross the road, so take advantage of the helping hand!

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