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Off the tourist trail

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London
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2,537 posts
65 reviews
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Off the tourist trail

Having spent three full days exploring hidden trails and temples, mainly devoid of other tourists, I'm starting to realise that my driver is a total gem. His English is great and his car is new with top notch air conditioning but best of all, he knows what time the tourist buses hit the various sites, and he's very good at avoiding them. He's also great with tips on making quick exits from temples etc that mean avoiding the hawkers and souvenir stalls and telling me how much I should pay for things or whether or not I need a guide. On the way to places like Gunung Kawi or Tampaksiring, he filled me in on the stories and history behind them, it certainly makes for a much richer experience. In the space of three days we've driven through the scenic, traffic-free back roads to Bedugal, GitGit, Munduk, Jatuliweh, shopped in Candikuning (I got Kadek to bargain for my fruit), done some urban exploring in a deserted hotel in the mountains, viewed Kintamani, Batur and Agung from a seriously high temple where it was just me, an old priest and some sacred stones, eaten in mountain view restaurants where the food was incredible and we had an entire floor to ourselves.... it goes on. It's been really useful having all of his inside knowledge and he's also been great company. The other useful thing is that he carries his Blackberry so you can email questions as you're planning your trips and he'll tell you what works or not (sometimes what looks possible on the map, isn't necessarily feasible in reality). He always responds very quickly.

The guy is a total gem. If anyone wants his details, just message me. Or you can try and find him near the Champuan Bridge, his name is Kadek Suastika.

London
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2,537 posts
65 reviews
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111. Re: Off the tourist trail

I received an email from Kadek this morning. Apparently his yahoo address is down.

Anyone trying to reach him should use: alungsuastika@gmail.com

Singapore, Singapore
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6 posts
27 reviews
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112. Re: Off the tourist trail

Hi guys,

With regards to my earlier post, Kadek certainly did use a substitute, but I was totally okay with it and he also gave me advanced notice that he could not make it.

I initially booked him for only 2 days but I decided to add in another 2 days with him (I was lucky that he was free on both days as it was a last minute thing). It was only on the last day that he could not make it and the substitute he sent was his good friend who was super friendly and trustworthy.

All this boils down to trust. Kadek does not even charge a booking or deposit fee in advance, and if tourists decide a no-show on the day they book him, he also loses business. I am sure Kadek is already trying his best to accomodate many people into his schedule and I hope that those who get to experience Bali with him will enjoy their time as much as I did.

And yes, Kadek's old email is down, got an email from him too. Please use the gmail address above my post which Miss Karen has posted if you want to contact him

Cheers

Edited: 6:53 pm, September 01, 2013
Singapore, Singapore
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91 posts
11 reviews
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113. Re: Off the tourist trail

Hi forummers,

I'd contacted Kadek after reading Karen C's trip report back in July, and became a bit worried when I did not get a reply from him after updating him my hotel details via his Yahoo email (we're leaving in 2 weeks). Called him and its all OK now.

number no change at +62 81 2391 6724

Thank you Karen C for your hugeful informative and descriptive trip report. Brought back nice memories of Bali (my 1st trip was in 96'). I jotted down a few places i planned to go (especially food-wise!) and its making me very eager to return this time round. Can't thank you enough for the valuable information!

London
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2,537 posts
65 reviews
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114. Re: Off the tourist trail

Hi Silsangria,

As far as I know, Kadek's phone number has always been: +62 81 747 93556 (081 7479 3556, from within Bali)

Did you actually phone that other number you posted? Who did you get through to?

His yahoo email address wasn't working recently.

The best way to contact him is via the new email address:

alungsuastika@gmail.com

Muntinlupa...
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1 post
9 reviews
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115. Re: Off the tourist trail

I had my first solo flight abroad last August 21-26 and I chose Indonesia as my destination. I found this thread here and it convinced me to book Kadek as my driver in Bali. I was really happy with my decision because Kadek was a really cool guy. He really made an effort to make me seem at ease and he really took care of me while I was in Bali. I noticed that the other drivers just stayed at the parking lot while their clients roamed around the tourist spots. But Kadek always asked if I wanted him to accompany me and I always asked him to. He even shelled out some money so he could buy some swimming attire so as not to look out of place when he went with me to the beach. His English was very good so he was able to answer all my questions about Bali. And not once did he lose patience with my curiosity and occasional indecisiveness. He's definitely one of the reasons why my first solo trip abroad had been a success. ^___^

Brynmawr, United...
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601 posts
30 reviews
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116. Re: Off the tourist trail

Wow I am so half I found your thread. I emailed kadek last night after reading your thread to discuss our trip and have already had a full conversation over email with him.

We are booking him for all our transport needs next November and also 2 days of touring that he is going to plan for us.

Thanks you for the info. One other question is do you happen to have any suggestions on hotels in ubud that are not right in the centre but close enough to get to things. We have a budget of around £50 per night.

Thanks

Kerrie

Singapore, Singapore
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91 posts
11 reviews
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117. Re: Off the tourist trail

Karen,

I've pm you, again thank you for pointing this out to me!

I really thought it was Kadek's number, but this belonged to a mr Komang I believe (who didn't really clarified that he is not Kadek though I keep addressing him as Kadek!)

I've contacted Kadek at the number you gave and will email him using the gmail email.

London
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2,537 posts
65 reviews
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118. Re: Off the tourist trail

Glad you're sorted Silsangria.

And happy to have been of help Kerrie. I stayed at Pondok Pundi on my last trip, it's on Monkey Forest Rd (towards the Monkey Forest end). I really enjoyed it.

Mumbai...
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31 posts
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119. Re: Off the tourist trail

Hi Karen C

, It looks like you have found a true gem.

I am visiting Bali with my mum who is 75 in November and would love to have the contact details of this person. Kadek Suastika.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Anupama.

Singapore, Singapore
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6 posts
27 reviews
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120. Re: Off the tourist trail

Hi Anupana,

On behalf of miss karen and one of Kadek's satisfied customer,

Kadek's number is +62 81 747 93556, and his email address is alungsuastika@gmail.com.

He checks his email regularly and will responds quickly!

Hope you enjoy your holiday in Bali!