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ANIMALS IN BALI 

 

In 2010 there was a serious increase in rabies. The government has instigated a massive vaccination programme and the village dogs that have been vaccinated will normally a piece of ribbon, cloth or more recently a blue collar with a tag around their necks. Be safe and don't touch stray animals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When you are in an area with a monkey population, watch your lose items, glasses, bags etc, they will be off with them in an instant, even through an open car window. In the monkey forest, Ubud, vendors will sell bananas before you go into the forest walk, the monkeys can get quite vicious in order to get their hands on them, even if you have stored them in your bag. They have no patience and no table manners!

                                   

 

                                    THE BIGGEST SCAM OF ALL!

 

The biggest complaint in Bali is the money changers and for this, they are awarded a whole section to themselves! It was a while before we actually cottoned on to these people! They often operate in shops, normally with a desk or high counters. These guys, usually a couple of them, one to distract you by chatting to you and the other to do the 'slight of hand trick'. They will show you on the calculator how much you will get for your currency, count it out once or twice in front of you so that you are happy and then the hand comes up from the bottom and pulls off a bundle. They will never count it as they put it in front of you for you to pick it up. You happily leave the shop thinking you have got a great rate you have seen him count it twice already and they were really friendly! If it happens to you, demand your money back, on this one occasion, shout if you want to as they do not like confrontation and will more than likely they buckle and give you back the money they took.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Last year, we went to a tour counter on the street, just up from the Kentucky Fried Chicken in Kuta. It was a great rate and we thought, they will not catch us as we know the scam! He knew, we knew! He then used his calculator in front of us but we still came away feeling we had been stung. So, I pulled out my own calculator after we left because it was eating me up and guess what; whilst I should have received so many million and 67,000, I got the millions but 6,700 instead! When he recalculated in front of us, he missed off one zero! It wasn't a huge amount of money, but just remember, the more these parasites get away with it, the more they will do it, and the greedier they will become!

 

The answer? Use a reputable money changer, most of them have security guards and you will normally receive an exchange slip with the amounts written down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dos and Dont's in Bali

Like anyone, we have made some real faux pas during our travels around the world, usually through a lack of understanding of the culture in the country we are in.

There are the basic Dos and Dont's in Bali. for example don't drink the water, don't carry anything for anyone, don't leave your bag unattended etc etc. but here's a few specifically Dos and Dont's for Bali so you don't put your foot in it!

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Bali is not a dangerous place, in fact, quite the opposite, but there will always be the odd person (and probably not even Balinese), that will trap the unwary which can leave a bad taste in your mouth! So, just be sensible, don't leave your common sense at the airport and you will be fine!

SCAMS 

 

We haven't come across many scams in Bali, obviously you must negotiate on hotels, taxis and anything you buy, and (if you have no intention of buying, then don't negotiate in the first place)!

 

On one trip earlier this year, a couple of times in both Sanur and Kuta, we found a couple of shops trying to catch us out. We all make innocent mistakes, but they both knew what they were doing! One shop, took the tag off an item we had given them to buy while we continued to look and when we went to pay for it, they had produced a more expensive tag, as the only one of this particular item in the shop and we knew what they had done, we left without buying. The other was with our credit card. They said there was a percentage for a credit card of a couple of percent which we agreed to but once I had signed the card, realized that what she charged us was completely incorrect and had added 20 or 30,000 extra for herself! So, lesson, always check the figures yourself!

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THE BODY

 

As with the 3 cosmic worlds of the Balinese Hindu, the head is sacred, so don't touch anyone's. I have a tendency to touch a child's head when they come and see you (it's a mum thing!) and as soon as I've done it, I realise and then almost want to tap them on the head again to say sorry! Also remember that the lower world, in this case the feet, are bad; don't point your feet at anyone when sitting.

 

With the hands, use your right hand to eat if using your fingers and to hand something to someone, or you can give something to someone with both hands together.

 

It is considered impolite to point at someone with your index finger.

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Always remove your shoes before you enter a temple or someone's home.

 

Would you consider walking to your high street in your bikini or swimwear? If not, then don't do it on holiday! Whilst in holiday resorts, it is less formal, wearing skimpy clothing in less tourist orientated places may be frowned upon and be seen as disrespectful.

 

Lombok is a Muslim island and your dress code should therefore be appropriate.

TEMPLE VISIT 

 

Balinese people always wear their best clothes when they go to a temple, in order to please the Gods. When you go, always wear a sarong and sash. Nyoman our driver, always carries some fresh ones for us in his car and will always ensure that we do not break dress code etc.

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Never walk in front of someone praying or stand higher that the priest or the offerings in a temple.

 

A more formal occasion may require that you cover your shoulders.

DRUGS 

 

Don't even consider it; take to, from or in Bali!

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LAUNDRY 

 

Don't bother bring tons of clothes with you. Laundry services in the resorts are incredibly cheap and reliable. When you arrive into your resort, walk down the street and check out the nearest laundry. Laundries usually stitch a coloured thread through the label to identify that days individual bundles. To date, we have never had the pleasure or displeasure of someone elses items!  

LAUNDRY 

 

Don't bother bring tons of clothes with you. Laundry services in the resorts are incredibly cheap and reliable. When you arrive into your resort, walk down the street and check out the nearest laundry. Laundries usually stitch a coloured thread through the label to identify that days individual bundles. To date, we have never had the pleasure or displeasure of someone elses items!  

AND FINALLY! 

 

My father always said, never argue about politics or religion and he was right! Steer clear of these subjects with Balinese people. Don't get into arguments with them as they are very proud people.

 

It is absolutely futile to stand there ranting and raving because something is not to your liking. Not only will you bring attention to yourself but it will be deemed to be pretty poor behaviour by the Balinese! There is nothing more frustrating than a one side argument!

 

 

                                                 MUST DO!

 

Always keep a copy of your passport, visa and drivers license separately in case you are unfortunate enough to lose them. Your passport is extremely valuable. Losing it is a nightmare and will quite probably ruin your trip, especially if you are not returning directly back to your country!

 

 

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