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Tips on Avoiding Bali Tourist Traps

SmarterTravel

Bali Tourist Traps

Bali, a beautiful island of Indonesia, is a popular tourist destination due to its beaches, mountains, and people.  Like any vacation destination, however, there are tourist traps to watch out for.

Exchanging Your Money

There are many opportunities to exchange your currency for Balinese Rupiah – most small shops have money changers in addition to the airport, banks, and hotels.  Don’t be tempted to exchange your money at small shops or on the street, even if the exchange rate being offered is higher than at your hotel or bank.  Many tourists warn that these money changers entice tourists in with better exchange rates. They then skim money from the bottom when handing a wad of bills back to you (instead of counting it out one-by-one), return an incorrect amount of Rupiah in small denominations to confuse you, or decrease the exchange rate after the swap has been made.

Stick to exchanging money at hotels, banks, or established shops (like a 7-11 convenience store) and always count your money before and after.  It is handy to have a calculator ready to figure out the exchange in advance.

Taxis

Take a “blue bird” taxi when possible, as they are official taxis in Bali.  Other taxis may be less expensive, but you need to make sure you know how many miles you expect to travel and what the rate will be before you get in the cab. Confirm the fare with the driver multiple times, and even write it down to avoid paying a much higher fee at the end of your ride.

Illegitimate Guides

If you are booking a tour and will be picked up, try and meet your guide at a public place near your hotel, not directly at your hotel.  Also, be wary of people outside of temples who coerce you into paying a guide fee but are not official guides.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about avoiding tourist traps in Bali.

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