Interested in Bali?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Bali each week.
TAXIS: are cheap! petrol is subsidised in bali and is 50 cents a litre. You can take a ride in a metered taxi for ONE HOUR (from pettignet to nusa dua) for NZD12 (100K RPH). Taxi drivers do not tend to give change, so make sure you have small denomination notes i .e. 1000, 2000 and 5000. if you are unsure about haggling over a fare, make sure you get a taxi (TAKSI) with a metre and ask him to use it.
CARS: For large parties, drivers with 7 seater cars seem to magically appear and offer to take you. Haggle of course, and you could transporation for the same amount as 2 cabs, but you will be all together.
CAR SERVICES: Some villas came with a car service and driver for NZD60 for 8 hours. They drive you anywhere and stay with you the whole time, ie you can leave things in the car and they stay with the car. If you booked a driver through your VILLA, he will not get 100% of the $$$, but if you book him YOURSELF, he will.
UNAGI MARKET is a great place for super cheap gifts and nic-nacs. It is even cheaper than the markets! It is a very small version of where western gift store owners would shop to import back to their stores. there are no prices on anything, but staff follow you around with a basket and tell you the prices of everything. well worth a visit.
GARUDA EXECUTIVE AIRPORT LOUNGE: For 125RPH (NZD16) you can gain entry into this lounge where there's free food, drinks and wifi! not a bad way to spend your waiting time. it's by gate 7, although this is likely to change once the new airport opens. it's beyond the PRADA lounge. you feel like you're never going to find it, but keep going!
NUSA DUA: Now has a 'border-type patrol' at the entrance to the resort area, so it' is not like Seminyak or Pettingnet where you can walk along the street into stores and markets and eateries. It is almost like a gated community. this is where the BALI COLLECTION SHOPPING MALL is, although it's more like an outdoor mall with individual stores. Stop here on your way to the MULIA. there is apparently a SOGO (big asian department store) in the Discovery Shopping Mall.
There are lots of restaurants and upmarket boutiques and a supermarket which sells reasonably priced souvenirs. once you're 'inside' the nusa dua resort area, taxis are a little harder to come by and they'll try and charge you more. To go from bali collection to the mulia you could get charged 40000 (NZD5) for a $1 car ride. You may find a group of drivers and cars across the road who will haggle for about $3 or $4 which is still more than it was worth, but you are kind of 'captive' if you will.
BALI AIRPORT: It is busy. VERY BUSY. There are flights coming and going all the time. buses still take you from your plane to the terminal, depending on which airline you arrive with, although this will likely change once the new airport opens. You immediately have to line up and pay your ENTRY VISA. this is USD25 per person. you then line up for customs. it's hot and they are in no hurry, so HAVE A FAN READY! once through customs, you hit the outside and there are LITERALLY HUNDREDS of services waving little whiteboards with names on them. it's a mission to find your name then get through the throng. DO NOT LET ANYONE TAKE YOUR SUITCASE, because it will cost you. EVEN if they look official with accreditation. it will STILL COST YOU. not much, but it'll cost. if your suitcase has wheels - wheel it yourself! same again when you come to leave. the line to get through security is OUT THE DOOR (in low season). You may have to have your suitcase 'wrapped' because if it has unopened duty free booze in it. this was 90000RPH (NZD 11) and this could be a rip off because there appear to be no criteria for wrapping, since you walk your suitcase literally 50 metres further to check in, so what was the point of the wrapping? It is not like you are going to drink it.
You can find the number of your check in counter by looking at the boards above the xray machines at entry. Hopefully the ENTIRE PROCESS will be stream-lined as it now takes well over an hour to get fully checked in. after check in, pay your departure tax 150000RPH that you have to pay in rupiad (NZD18). arrival tax can be paid with a CREDIT CARD, but cash is better as the machines are out of order more than they work. after you've paid your departure tax, you then line up AGAIN to have the barcode on the sticker you just received SCANNED, then you line up again to clear customs. after that you're home free to sit around on cold metal chairs to await your departure, or head for the GARUDA EXECUTIVE LOUNGE (see notes above), or one of the other 3 or 4 Lounges available for entry.
When you get to the departure gate, you go through security (AGAIN) THEN there is a table set up with 2 staff wearing gloves and if you feel like it - it does not seem compulsory, you can get your bag checked AGAIN!!! This extra security process is only for certain destinations, though, so not everyone goes through this.
HAGGLING is compulsory (unless you want to pay twice the price for everything). As a general rule of thumb, you should not pay much more than half of their original offer, i .e. they will say 100,000 rupiah and you'll counter with 50,000 and you'll either get it for that or slightly more. if you walk away and they don't chase you, you know you went too low. their margins aren't that huge. the only frustrating thing about haggling is that you will ask for the price of something and they'll reply with 'how many you want' and you say 'how much' and so on and so forth. Ultimately if they want the sale, they'll tell you the price.
THE FLEA MARKET IN OBEROI (in Seminyak) is well worth a visit. mostly clothing, handbags, jewellery and sunglasses, it is open every day. It is not far from SEMINYAK SQUARE which also has a weekend market. when you are there, make sure you stop and have a something to eat and drink at THE BALI BAKERY.