Traveling isn’t just about satisfying that “wanderlust” cravings of yours, but also to meet people, learn and appreciate things. I always come home with a greater sense of appreciation of this little island, Singapore, and also filled with inspirations to meet more people and learn about their life and culture.
This trip, I didn’t get a lot of chance to meet other people, be it tourists, teavellers or locals. The only local I made friends with is our driver. We spent 2 days with him as he drove us around Bali and introduced Bali to us, as well as talked about Bali and Singapore. Here are the few things I picked up from talking to him!
20 Lessons Learnt
- Balinese snacks – Bakso. It’s an indonesian meat ball dish and it’s very popular in Bali. They are cheap and easily available along the street-side stalls.
- There is a village near Mt Batuk (the one I hiked) and they do not bury people there. Instead, people are wrapped with cloth and herbs and lay on the ground. Yes, you can see animals and insects feeding on the people.
- There used to be many dogs in Bali, making it dangerous. Now, dogs can be killed if they do not have collars to reduce overpopulation of dogs. However, not many people kill them, especially in Kuta and Ubud because it’s rather saddening and cruel.
- Celebrations: As a very religious city, (hindi) celebrations are huge. There’s also a day (usually in March) where the airport is shut for 24h, and people are not allowed to leave their homes. Police will patrol the area.
- Bali is famous for their balinese coffee, but the luwak coffee is also very popular. It is the world’s most expensive coffee.
- Kuta is where you can find most Australians and Americans
- Sanur is where most Europeans gather
- Ubud is the city centre
- The students study for 6 days a week in Bali! And they have 1.5 months of holidays starting from 2nd week of June, so you might want to avoid travelling then
- There is no public transport like trains or buses, as there is always traffic congestion. So they abolished them
- There are many homestay areas which makes Bali VERY backpack friendly.
- Bali is a very tourist-oriented country. Even the positions are held by many foreigners. So, you may want to consider your next internship in Bali!
- People sell petrol in bottles along the streets, however they are more expensive than going to the petrol shop so remember to fill up your vehicle when you see a petrol shop.
- Bali is made up of 80% hindus, and they can eat beef
- The traffic and bars are crazy during the weekends. Travelling during the weekdays deem a better option
- It is a very religious country, but it is very multi-racial. Religions respect each other and appreciate the celebrations and festivals.
- Each family owns a house and the son of the family usually purchase the land beside the parent’s homes to start their families there. Each family also owns a temple in their homes.
- Dolphin watching is available in Bali, and they can jump as high as above your head! You have to be there before 6am though. So traveling in the night and losing sleep would be the cost to watch those beautiful creatures.
- Beaches you should go: Padang Padang, Dreamland, Tanjong Benoa, Legain, Kuta, Tanah Lot, Uluwatu
- There are also other sports activities available: white water rafting (takes the whole afternoon and we ran out of time), ATV, canoeing in Lake Batur, Waterfall in Munduk Village, bungee jumping
Tips Before Heading To Bali
- Change money at legal shops, esp those with digital rates. There are scams out there.
- Tell them you’re a student when negotiating. They’ll give you a good price!
- Negotiate/bargain REALLY HARD
- Don’t pay whenever people ask you to pay. For instance, those club bouncers invite Australians to party for free but wanted us to pay. I refused and threatened to walk away and they pulled us back. You don’t always have to pay for everything. Really.
- *** People carry real snakes around the streets and some even put them on your shoulders! Be careful.
- People on the streets will attempt to sell you drugs. Avoid them if you are not interested.
Lastly, if you’re going to Bali and need a chauffeur/driver, you can consider this bali driver. He’s super nice, friendly and engaging!
Name: Nyoman Adi (call him Adi)
Tell him you’re friends with Lisa from Singapore. He should be able to give you a good price!
Trevellers is my way to change the world. Through my stories, tips and lessons learnt, I truly hope to inspire you to get out of your comfort zone, see the world and see who you truly are. Travel is more than just taking a selfie. Travel is an adventure, where you can truly become who you are, give you the time to reflect and grow to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.