Welcome to Bali

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Where accidents often happen: Jalan Patih Jelantik meets Jalan Dewi Sri, Kuta, Denpassar, Bali.

Brede Kåsa


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Bali is different

Bali is like coming to London. Or Singapore. It's clean, it's neat, and traffic flows mostly by expectations. Not like Java.

Manicured flowers and trees along the main roads gives a feeling of Bali as a place only about the good life and freedom from struggles. Which is not the truth: Bali has a poverty side as well.

More or less everything is beautiful at Bali. One simply cannot take ugly phothographs at Bali, and it contributes to a continous marketing of the island as one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Getting around at Bali

Simply said; you either rent a vehicle or you get a taxi. If you dont have anyone to share the taxi bill with, the Kura Kura Bus might get you where you want for the lowest fare.

«The blue taxis with taximeter» happened, by the way, to be cheaper than using drivers with fixed prices.

When arriving at Bali

Bali has virtually no public transport, but plenty of taxis. It can be a battle for taxis at the airport, and it pays to be among the first out when the plane has landed. Alternatively book driver before departure.

Traffic and safety

The driving style of Bali is not aggressive like Java, making it more attractive to rent a car or motorbike here to look around.

Bali has apparently more cars compared to motor­cycles than Java, and a larger proportion of motor­cyclists wear helmets. Even though it occurs also at Bali, it is not as common with three or four or more people on a motorbike.

Tourist factory

One thing I personally didn't like about Bali was the pricing policies. I found it irritating, but thats maybe because I did spent time at Java before visiting Bali. Java is more of a real thing; and I liked that, while Bali is more of a tourist factory.

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Eating out. A small restaurant by Jalan Dewi Sri, Kuta, Bali .

Brede Kåsa

Prepare for tourist price

With a few honest exceptions, most shops and parks in Bali operates with two sets of prices; tourist price and local price, where the tourist price is about three times or more higher than local price. If you travel as a touorist, you probably won't care, but if you travel as a visitor or explorer, you'll feel you have come to the wrong place.

Apply VAT to all prices

Unlike Java, there is an extensive use of VAT at Bali. VAT is usually about twenty percent, but seen as fifteen percent some places. Unless otherwise stated the VAT is superimposed. Which is always frustrating when you get the bill and the VAT is in addition to tourist price. That means everything will cost you more than it seems.

About the main picture

The picture on top; where Jalan Patih Jelantik meets Jalan Dewi Sri, Kuta, is a road cross where accidents often happens.

The two mortor­cycles are police bikes, and it was police men who tought me about this dangerous cross and why they were on guard here. Their job at this location is to keep traffic flowing, and act if either accidents occurs or some driver makes a mistake and stalls the traffic.

Like other Balineese, and Indonesians in general, these policemen were nice and polite. They were also kind enough to let me climb a billboard to picture the photograph above.

Bali is, just for the record, the only Indonesian island where the majority police­men are Hindus, compared to Muslims

in the rest of the country.