Getting Around


In my experience, getting around in Bali can be frustrating if you don’t know the ropes. Here’s the deal. There are many small towns and villages that are joined by windy, narrow roads. These are accessed by beemo’s or small Toyota vans. You will have no trouble locating the beemo’s as they have familiar stopping places. Locals and tourists alike will pile on but you should always bargain a price before boarding, otherwise you leave yourself open to being taken advantage of.

I usually ask how much (Barapa?) and then offer 10%. I’ll settle on 15% maybe 20%. Remember, the drivers will ask for 10 times the usual fare if they think they can get it. There’s no reason for you to pay this if you have some patience. If the driver wants too much I pretend to show no interest and offer to wait for the next one. They will pretend to move off, but will always jump out and renegotiate. Don’t worry, it’s all about bluffing!

To get around this constant problem there are a couple of things you can do. One of these is to learn Bahasa (Indonesian). Knowing the local lingo definitely helps to get across that you know how much things should cost.

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In my opinion there are four levels of charging in Asia . The lowest level is for locals, they know the prices, speak the lingo and get pissed if charged too much. Next level is the foreigner who speaks the language, he’s not going to get local prices, but he’s not going to be robbed either. Above him is the foreigner who doesn’t speak the local language. He might get taken depending on his attitude and where he’s from. Top of the heap are Japanese and Korean tourists