BALI SURVIVAL GUIDE
Will you come to Bali? Or you just landed in Bali? Will you stay for short or long term? What ever you will do in Bali, check these out the most Bali survival guide for you when stay in Bali!
1. BODY LANGUAGE IN BALI
In Bali, aggressive gestures and postures such as crossing your arms or standing with your hands on hips while talking, particularly with older people, is regarded as insulting since this is the traditional posture of defiance and anger in Wayang theater. In an exchange with someone older or in a high office, extend your right arm (but not too far) and bring your left arm across the front of your body touching your fingers to your right elbow.
Also show respect by bowing from the waist when passing an older person, a Bali priest or reverend, or a person of equal age whom you do not know particularly it that person is sitting. Turn your body slightly sideways, extend your right hand, and walk by half bent over.
Next to sex organs, feet are considered the lowliest and most profane body parts. It is a serious offense to sit with the soles of your feet pointing at people (such as propping them up on table). It is also terribly impolite to use your toes for pointing as when indicating something splayed on the ground in the market. Also, to beckon anybody with the crooked index finger is rude.
If you need to call to someone, extend your right hand and make a motion using the cupped fingers turned downward. Neither should you point with your forefinger, but use instead your right thumb. The left hand is considered unclean, never use it to touch someone or to exchange things. If you should use your left hand, say Maaf (Excuse me).
In Bali, do not pat children on the head. In fact, never touch anybody's head as the Balinese see the head as sacred, the seat of the soul. Pillows should not be used for sitting because they are meant for the head. A barber will ask permission before he cuts your hair, and a hotel receptionist will apologize before placing a flower behind your ear.
2. Bargaining Techniques in Bali
Try to find the price range of the item first do not ever assume a price or take a (perhaps biased) by standard word for it. Before you go out shopping, spot-check prices in your hotel shop. If a smaller hotel, ask your hotel proprietor, houseboy, driver, or someone not involved with the shop what the correct price for the item in question is. The Balinese them self are always swapping price information as a way of keeping down coats.
Do not stop and buy at the very first stall along the Bali street, vendor, or shop you come across. Compare prices first, learn about the quality and the differences. Do all your heavy buying your last week in Bali when you are the most knowledgeable and experienced.
Start by asking the seller his price. He will be apt to start out too high. Laugh heartily and in a friendly way, as if he were sharing a wonderful joke with you. Keep things light, smile a lot, and keep on saying terlalu mahal (too expensive). Then bring him down to earth by counter-offering with a reasonable price so the remainder of the exchange is more realistic. When the seller smiles, (see Body Languages in Bali section above) it means he knows that you know the items value. Sometimes, in the hope that you will be over-generous, Indonesians are fond of replying 'It is up to you' when you ask How much?'
For luxury items like carvings, jewelry, textiles, or paintings, alert at 50-60% of the asking price, then inch up. For services like transportation, start out with 50% the asking price. Sundries like canned goods, soap, toilet paper, and cigarettes are usually bought at a set price from small convenience stores or hotel kiosks.
A rule of thumb is to cut their first offer end then go up begrudgingly in small increments. For example, the merchant might ask Indonesian Rupiah Rp 200,000 for an ikat blanket. You counter with Rp 130,000, knowing that the final price should be around Rp 160,000. The merchant will then come back with Rp 190,000. From here on you go back and forth two or three times until you 'meet' at around Rp 170,000 or so. Do not feel bed about offering less than what they ask. Remember: On Bali this is a sporting event.
When the merchant reaches his final price and will not budge, try for some 'extras.' Throw in an inexpensive item and say that you will accept his offer if he includes this small item. Try getting him to accept your credit card without charging you a commission. Or try to persuade him to absorb packing and delivery to your shipper in the final price, or perhaps to at least share some of the freight and insurance costs.
Your position is strongest when you appear not to care. As a last resort, try 'the walk away' because feigned disinterest will make for many a good deal. This is almost always necessary but is just as effective in shops. Just smile, shrug your shoulders, and walk slowly away with cocked ears. Often the driver or seller will call you back, agreeing to your last bid.
In the very least, 'the walk away' will give you a true assessment of what price the seller is willing to let the item in question go for. Sometimes you will find that your own judgement is wrong and, after asking in other shops, you will return to the original shop to buy the item!
Remain flexible. There is a vest difference between the opportunistic tourist-oriented stores, markets, end street sellers, end those businesses that offer goods and services mostly to Balinese. You tend not to get overcharged as much in the country as in the city.
If you buy more than one item, you should quality for a bulk-purchase discount of at least a portion of the price off each item. On a large bulk purchase or on a multiple luxury purchase, many thousands of rupiah should be taken out the retail total, or at least the bill rounded to an amount lower then the total.
Another strategy is not fo show interest in the item you went. Do not hover around or fondle it; try not to give a clue of your true interest. If you show enthusiasm for it, the seller knows you want it and will be less flexible. Instead, include the item with other articles you went to buy, almost as if it is an afterthrought. Throw it in at the last minute before clinching your negotiations. 'Oh, how much for this too?'
Another trick is to bid for goods early in the day just as the shop opens for business. Balinese believe that making a sale right off will give them luck the rest of the day, so they are usually willing to take a lower price just to get the day off to a good start. The expression 'morning price' means a special price given in the morning to stimulate sales (there is even a verb, Penglaris).
3. CHANGING MONEY IN BALI
United States dollars, accepted all over Indonesia and thus including in Bali, are still the most useful foreign currency to carry through these islands. It is very recommended that you always bring US Dollar in Bali. Though the dollar will probably have the most favorable exchange rate, it is possible to cash other well-known currencies like China Yuan, Australian dollars, German marks, Netherlands florins, French and Swiss francs. Canadian and New Zealand dollars are a bit more difficult.
Traveler's checks and cash in U.S. currency can be changed at almost any money changer or bank, although changing other currencies can sometimes pose a problem. The smaller towns of Bali may not have banks or, if they do, they may not accept your particular currency. They maybe their noses up at the good old British pound, but they will usually accept crisp US$100 bills. No passport is usually required to change cash.
Change money at the bank in Kuta or Denpasar, which offer the best rates. Large denomination U.S. notes or traveler's checks (100 dollar bills as opposed to twenties) fetch a higher rate of exchange. Obviously, this only really matters if you are going to be changing large amounts.
Indonesian banks, even on Bali, refuse to touch foreign banknotes which are soiled, worn, or physically damaged. If you do a good job taping them with transparent tape, you will probably get away with passing damaged notes off. Banks also will not exchange foreign coins.
Indonesian paper currency tends to stay in circulation longer, so Indonesian banknotes start to take on the appearance of filthy scraps of torn cloth. This worn money will not be accepted, so do not allow it to be passed on to you. If it is, the only place you can change it is at a bank.
Exchange rates depend on the bank and even on the branch of the bank. In some cases, the headquarters bank changes money but their city branches do not. You will need your passport and tourist entry card for each transaction.
In order to encourage tourism and because of he intense competition between money changers in Bali, the best rates on Bali are in the tourist areas. In the far reaches of the island, such as Amlapura and Gilimanuk, the exchange rates tend not to be as good or there could be no banks at all.
Avoid, if you can, exchanging money at hotel front desks, where you will get at least 10% below the rate offered by state banks. The more expensive the hotel, the worse the rate. The money changers at Bali's Ngurah Rai Airport offer very competitive rates. So good in fact that you might as well change several hundred dollars as soon as you land on Bali, to save you time and trouble changing money later.
Moneychangers generally do not charge a fee for their services, so you can change money as often as you want without it costing you. Anyplace tourists congregate will be choked with money changers. Though their rates vary, they offer quicker service and usually give a better exchange rate than banks. They also do not open as early but stay open much later than banks. Banks seldom post exchange rates, but moneychangers always do.
Rates fluctuate daily. Check out more than one moneychanger and compare the rates of the currency you have. You could try for a better rate, but you could wear out several cents worth of shoe soles finding it, Pay more attention to finding a place where they do not try to forget the last Rp 300 or give you Rp 500 instead of Rp 5000 and see if you notice.
4. TIPPING IN BALI
Tipping in Bali is a common thing. It can be done to the waiters in restaurants, bartenders, reception people in small hotels, hairdressers, medical personnel, or tailors. Or to the taxi drivers and porters for unusually good service or extra-heavy bags. And it is good to give them better, of course if they satisfied you.
In the places where you are supposed to tip for individual services, a 10% service charge (plus 21% government tax) is added to your bill. Expect these charges to be added in the big tourist hotels of Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Kuta.
As in Europe, only high-priced hotels and leading restaurants add the charge. Airport porters expect a payment (not a tip) of Rp 15.000 per bag; this is posted.
Hired a driver in Bali and guides may be tipped Rp 15,000 - Rp 25,000 per day but only if you are pleased with their performance.
Although bribery in the civil bureaucracy exists, it is unlikely that travelers or tourists will ever need to resort to it. In most cases you will not even know if you have just paid a bribe because its deftly institutionalized and masked behind some official fee or charge.
5. IMPORTANT TELEPHONE NUMBER IN BALI
Hold these number in your wallet. Holiday suppose to be a happy ever, but some time you just need to contact for someone, in order to get some help. When you are in Bali for a holiday or doing business, below numbers could be help just in case you need to contact.
Also check out for the number of the consulates and embassy in Bali, as below:
Last information, anytime you need a car rental service in Bali, please contact this website under Whatsapp / WeChat / Phone / SMS: +6281 933 017 722 (24 Hours)
Note: All phone number can be contacted when you are using a local Indonesia number. If you are using your country phone number (international number), please add +62361 and then dial the number.
So are you ready to survive in Bali on your next holiday? Our Bali survival guide is definitely guidance for you to survive in Bali island!