Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Reflections on Bali

Unfortunately I did not have much time to look around Bali. Took a walk to the markets just outside the resort complex (Nusa Dua) and did a bit of a lightning trip to Kuta before catching my plane back. People are generally very friendly and courteous.

The shopping is great, and in the markets a bit of determined bargaining will work wonders to the price. Balinese craftsmanship is exlempary and I only wish I could have taken some of the artefacts and furniture home. Maybe a purchasing trip to Bali to outfit a house/apartment could be really worth it. I like linen clothing and there was some nice stuff I picked up - shirts and the like. A visit to the shopping centres is recommended as well, more expensive than the markets but gives you and idea of pricing. Matahari around Kuta Square is good as is the quite large Centro Discovery Mall facing the beach. There is DVD's galore at ridiculous prices (try around USD 1.50) but they are not exactly the most legit version, much the same goes for software.

Taxis are cheap, but only catch one which uses a meter if you don't want to get ripped off. Ask as soon as you get in to the taxi, and get off if the driver does not agree. There are no shortage of taxis. Stick to ones which are part of large fleets. These are easily identifiable with newer vehicles in good condition, well dressed drivers and lettering on the side doors with phone numbers and company name. I stuck with the Blue Bird Taxis group which worked fine for me.

As you move around Bali, you will likely get approached by many locals giving you a scratch-it ticket. Scratch this and you win a prize they will tell you. Well not exactly, its a bit of a scam to sell you stuff, so avoid them. They can be insistent and say they are not selling you anything and its all free, etc. I took one from one gentleman and gave it to another down the road and said Here, you win this time. You may also come across some asking you to fill in a survey form about your visit to Bali. It's pretty much a different spin on the same scam.

All in all, Bali was not too bad. I did not care much for the beaches, coming from the Pacific Islands that's a given. I do intend to go back one day perhaps and spend a bit more time looking around.

And most importantly, my primary benchmark for a country I visit: Bintang is the local beer, and it ain't too bad either. Best served extra chilled with a skewer of satay or two!


toms said...

nice post, thanks

toms said...

nice post