Bali Travel tips - the OzBargain way. Food tips without Bali Belly, cheap massages & Taxi etc.

Just come back from Bali and even though I have been before many times, its always good to compare BALI notes as some things that may be very obvious cost saving tips to some are not so obvious to others.

So I will start firstly…

  1. Taxi transport is very cheap but we only catch the metered Bluebird Taxi (not Bali Taxi which looks similar)… example outside our hotel in Kuta a minibus offered equivalent AU$25 to Seminyak to us as a group of six, we declined and got the six of us into a bluebird Taxi for $5 to Seminyak, yep its the OZbargain way a little squashed but more fun.

  2. Massages (foot or body), found a good clean location on poppies lane called Angelina's cost $6 for an hour and buy a Bintang at the mini-mart next door makes it just that more enjoyable having a foot rub while sucking down a beer. Did try another location but ended in ringworm so not happy, Angelina's was clean and good aircon.

  3. Food - generally no problem we ate in poppies lane Kuta a few times about AU$4-6 but mostly travelled to Ultimo restaurant in Seminyak, really good Italian style food at amazing prices for a classy place. Great ravioli pasta for $6 drinks are reasonably priced and we also had the 1kg of Lobster(two lobsters) for AU$45.

  4. Money changers - usual precautions a friend looked away when asked by the money changer if he had some small notes to make up the difference so he could give him whole notes then shortchanged him as he looked down.

Ok these are my Bali travel tips would love to hear yours.

***** EDIT: Thanks to the ones who have given helpful suggestions.*************
I also thought I would add that getting a Bali Sim card with data is very easy & cheap. Even though you get free Wifi at all the hotels its handy at time when you are away from the hotel. The Telekomsel 24hour shop on Poppies lane cost AU$8 with 1gb data and local phone calls and they help set it up for you. Also a offline GPS like Sygic is handy as sometime the Taxi either don't know where you want to go or they pretend they don't.

Some asked why eat Italian and why not explore the local food? very much for exploring the local food but to quote

Amar89 "In Bali the local food explores you"

so I am not recommending that you go Italian food in Bali its just if you have kid's and still want a reasonable priced meal without Bali Belly then my suggestion is Ultimo in Seminyak also Bali café next door is a worthy option. If any others have Kuta suggestions or other location places happy to add those in.

We also try and get a few Hotel stays and shift around while in Bali so s few days in Kuta, Jimbaran and Nusa Dua.

Comments

  • +2 votes

    With money changes, make sure you choose ones that have 'no commission' on their sign.
    Have eaten at most of the restaurants down poppies lane I and have all been fine for me.

  • +2 votes

    jit, thanks for the tips, OP.
    i'm leaving for bali tomorrow.

  • +1 vote

    what is the price for a long neck of bintang?

    • +1 vote

      Long neck Bintang is about - AU$2.50 at Mini-marts and about $4.50 at restaurants.

  • +26 votes

    If you want to have a bogan holiday in Bali you certainly can and Ozbargain it up, but if you want to live like a king (for say 50%-100% more) I'd suggest doing just that. We usually have an annual pilgrimage to Bali and I realised about 3 years ago, I can have a far nicer holiday for about $500-1000 more. So if you have a spare $500 spend it and live like the king or queen that you're possibly not back home.

    • Don't flag cabs, just find one (Bluebird as above) and ask him to wait while you are having dinner or shopping, some of the time they will happily wait for nothing, other times the driver may want $5 AUD or so more… big deal…nice to step into an AC cab waiting for you (and holding your bags etc from the day)

    • Organise your hotel to pick you up in a private car at the airport - I think we paid about $20 for this (expensive by bali standards) but a nice clean driver, picks you up and the airport, carrys your bags, hands you a chilled water and a chilled face washer - then drives you to the hotel (my pick is the Westin Nusa Dua). So there are 3 in our family, ie $7 each ..for all that, money well spent.

    • Call down to Hotel reception and ask them to call a cab for you when you want to go out (no sitting around the hotel lobby (generally in the heat).

    • Eat breakfast at the hotel (if you are staying at a nice one), generally its $10-15 per head, but provides about $50-60AUD value.

    • Most of they money changers have "no commission" on their sign - the important words to look for are "Authroized Money Changer" these guys have to provide a receipt and will never rip you off - don't fall for the signs on the road offering slightly better rates. Refer to for plenty of posts about money changing: http://www.balitravelforum.com/

    • Sure you can eat a meal for $5 but why not spend $20 - $40 and get a meal fit for a king which would costs $200 back home, that's my logic anyway - lobster, prawns, oysters - at a 5 Star resort every night… why not.

    • When you are leaving bali the hotel or cab will drop you at the airport, guys will rush you wanting to help - your immediate Ozbargain response will be NO NO NO NO NO - but for $3-4 they are willing to lug all your stuff right up to the check in counter (which is through 1 level of security from memory), then line up with you and physically load it at check in - nice.

    • If you don't want to be hassled don't let yourself be - avoid Kuta streets, or at least limit yourself to the jostling, friends of mine recently came back and "hated it" because of all the street hasslers - I can honestly say in our last trip in June, I didn't even see a street hassler, we just didn't position ourselves in a place where they exist - Nusa Dua http://bali-collection.com/ Sure its more expensive than most other locations in Bali and you can;t buy Bintang Singlets there - but do you really want that stuff anyway or would you rather grab a Nautica Egyptian Cotton Polo for $20 @ http://bali-collection.com/2011/sogo-2 ? - I know what I'd rather be buying…

    • There is an over water expressway that links the Nusa Dua to the main areas of Kuta etc, the toll (from memory is about $1) it can save up to 1 hours travel during peak (which is all the time at this time of year), most taxi drivers won't take the toll road - think about your holiday time and the $1 before deciding to sit in the cab for an extra 1 hour in traffic.

    • +4 votes

      Good tip on the street harassers. I seem to naturally emanate a vibe now that stops them from annoying me but if you just avoid eye contact and keep walking when you are not interested they aren't too bad. If you have a hard time doing this just buy a pair of ear/headphones (preferably noise-cancelling) and sunglasses and you won't even notice them. Also, Nusa Dua is a rort for hotels, shopping, dining, etc. but for some it would definitely be worth the money as it's a very different place to Kuta. Less bogans, street harassers, scams, etc.

    • +7 votes

      Good advice, but I'm curious: what kind of breakfast provides 60AUD value??

      • +12 votes

        I'd say an omelette with about 300 eggs.

      • +2 votes

        Multiple Chefs standing around ready to cook you any sort of anything you want for breakfast, if the spread of near on a hundred fresh buffet items isn't enough to choose from.

        Egg Station, with chef - Tick
        Omlet Station, with chef - Tick
        Waffle Station, with chef - Tick
        Bakery attendant - Tick
        Dedicated kids buffet with Kids foods - Tick

        Boost Juice quality juice bar with an attendant ready to freshly squeeze any kind of juice mix you want.

        Every sort of bread, fruit, egg style, meat, sweet bakery item, nut, yoghurt, cheese you could want.

        Unlimited anything and everything….

        My favourite breakfast starter was the hotel smoked marlin… it made the smoked salmon taste like Coles canned tuna in brine.

        Actually on reflection it was more than $60AUD value, I'm fairly scabby and I have to say if I paid $60 I'd still probably think the value was reasonable (and I'm pretty sure the actual cost at the Westin Nusa Dua is $15-16)

    • +1 vote

      you must be new to the concept of ozbargan ;)

    • +1 vote

      Eat breakfast at the hotel (if you are staying at a nice one), generally its $10-15 per head, but provides about $50-60AUD value.

      Please elaborate. That sounds like an awful amount of food for breakfast!

    • +1 vote

      Yeah Nusa Dua is nice but in saying that you don't get HASSLED there is a load of BS !!! You still do its just seems to be insignificant (ie 80% less) when you compare to the Kuta and some of the other places. But it's still a lot if you are not used to it.

      Drinks and massages in the Marriot (Nusa Dua) where almost comparable to AU with beer $5 and 3hr massage $100 and that's before the GST and service charges were added to. But it's definitely a lot safer than kuta !

    •  

      I would say I have to agree with most of this with my travelling style for short to medium trips. You're there to relax. However, I wouldn't get the full breakfast. Even in Australia, my wife and I take cereal from home then ask for two bowls and a jug of mill (complimentary) for breakfast. We're not big on breakfast and saves money. However wouldn't do that every morning while on holiday.

  • +7 votes

    Some tips on transport:

    • Don't rent a scooter or car and attempt to drive it yourself anywhere near Kuta. You will most likely have an accident and get ripped of badly by the rental company for damages or be seriously hurt.

    • For short distance the metered Bluebird taxis are a great option. Just make sure they switch the meter on. Don't walk 20-30 minutes in the blistering sun when you can use a taxi for $2 or $3 instead.

    • You can hire a van/4wd with a driver for around $30-40 for 8 hours including petrol. Great way to see different parts of the island and include some activities too. If you don't like haggling with random drivers you can go to Tune Hotel in Kuta and get it for the same price from their tour desk with the added peace of mind of using a company van + driver rather than just a random guy with a van off the street.

    • Consider how valuable your short holiday time is when you add up the cost of airfares, travel insurance, hotels, etc. Don't waste precious time being stuck in traffic jams for hours after a long flight getting to your hotel. Pay a little extra and get a Police escort. Also handy for trips around town.

    • +3 votes

      Have to agree with giving the scooter's a miss. Firstly sitting in a Taxi while the taxi driver pretty much weaves in and out of near misses with scooters and if that is not scary enough. I also had a friend a week ago in Kuta got pulled over, had to pay on the spot fine AU$100 to the Policeman who was just pulling all westerners over pretty much knowing they will be driving without an international drivers lic.

      • +4 votes

        Fine….. Really? I'm guessing that goes into his pocket. Traffic polices are the most corrupt and tourist is their easy targets.

      • +4 votes

        The rule with is that you bargain with the on-the-spot fine. From hearing the experience and advise from the locals, the police are happy to agree to paying about AU $20 without needing to show any ID. If you don't agree, you ask for a ticket. They start to panic as it means they don't pocket anything and end up agreeing to your offer.
        Probably not something you want to experience overseas, but unfortunately, they are profiteering on your fears.

        • +2 votes

          It comes down to negotiation but $5-$10 (50-100,000 rupiah) was enough when I was there last Oct. Best not to show your licence as getting them to return it will usually involve more time and money.

        • +3 votes

          You wouldn't be having these issues if you had your own police escort…

    • +1 vote

      I was disappointed your link to escort wasn't to an escort service

  • +3 votes

    be careful what you carry in your boogie board bag.

  • +2 votes

    Ultimo restaurant in Seminyak, really good Italian style food at amazing prices for a classy place

    Travel to Bali to eat at some cheap Italian restaurant!!

    • +3 votes

      It's actually better than you might think. Seriously good food and you can eat food that is simply unaffordable/unjustifiable in Australia such as lobster, truffles, etc.

      Definitely recommend trying the local specialities such as satay, nasi goreng (fried rice), mi goreng (fried noodles), etc. Strongly recommend pigling cooked on the spit at Ibu Oka restaurant in Ubud.

  • +2 votes

    I only do money exchange in small amounts. Its annoying having to do it daily but its better than the feeling of being ripped off. Plus i wont have too much local currency when i leave.

    But generally Balinese are nice ppl and value tourism coming in to add to the economy.

    • +1 vote

      I only change money in small amounts too but mostly just because $100 worth of Indonesian currency is a thick stack of notes that is difficult to fit in my wallet.

  • +7 votes

    For TRANSPORT. Here's what most people didn't know: it is cheaper and more comfortable to rent a private car and driver compared to getting a cab (eapecially if you are planning to make lots of travelling around in a group)

    There's a private car rental that offers packaged rental. I remembered I hired a mini van (luxury one) for about $150 for a week with DRIVER and FUEL included with 12 hours travel a day. Fits 7 people in the car.

    I use him to take me anywhere from eating at recommended places, visit tourists spot, or even sometime ask him to buy me some takeaway food and bring it back to me at the hotel. I just give him $2-$5 tip a day. Some days he even wait at carpark almost the whole day.

    I went all the way to Ubud, Uluwatu, even had him pick and drop me off at airport.

    End up spending $200 for the whole week travelling wherever, whenever (during the day), no flagging down cab no haggling with a driver.

    If you were to do this with taxi for 7 people especially, you'd be looking at spending $300+ on taxis.

  • +2 votes

    Another tip I found regarding seafood, the best and most awesome way to eat is at Djimbaran coast (tastewise/locationwise). Sitting on the sandy beach, watching sunset, while eating seafood cooked bali way!

    But there's two parts to Djimbaran. One will rip you off badly, the other is very cheap. Although the other isn't as quiet/clean (smokes billowing) but still is worth the saving.

    Look for place called Menega (spot of one of the bombing back in the day). Restaurants along that side is generally a lot cheaper compared to going to the otherside, which is usually filled with tour busses trying to rip tourists off because the restaurant tip the tour guide.

    For example, I ate 3 dishes (fish, prawn and crab) at the expensive place for $100. At Menega I ate 5 dishes (fish, prawn, crab, squid and clams) for $45. Huge huge difference!

  •  

    Do you have the name or contact info of the private rental company?

  • +4 votes

    Why do you go all the way to Bali to eat Italian Pasta? go to Leichhardt instead.

    In Bali try authentic balinese food like Bebek (duck) Betutu, Nasi Bali (rice), Ayam Bumbu Bali (spicy chicken), etc.

    • +4 votes

      So true! But if you are there for a while, sometimes your taste buds might crave for something different, or something you are familiar with.
      When I went to Italy, I thought the Italian food ROCKS!!! However, I had a day or two where I was craving something non-Italian, and my stomach wasn't going to register as satisfied until I had it.

      •  

        There's a nice Italian restaurant in near Denpasar, I have to look up the name, can't remember. But the view is amazing, perhaps its more for the view than the Italian food.

  •  

    I don't understand the concept of going to Indonesia and seeking to eat Italian food. What's wrong with exploring the local food?

    • +7 votes

      In Bali the local food explores you for nice, warm, nutritious cavities.

    •  

      most of the shops in the tourist strip dont really sell balinese type of food, i went with your intention by after 2 day of eating indo food, italian or club sandwhiches were just more appealing,

    • +2 votes

      …What's wrong with exploring the local food?

      Fully agree and we usually do… wife & I tasted all that Bali has to offer, enjoyed it twice. Got Bali Belly so chucking up at both ends was going to save you the gory details but you asked, so had to rest it out at Ultimo. I merely mentioned it as its is clean, great value and always packed so hard to get in. There are many other good restaurants only mentioned Ultimo because you expect it to be a lot dearer even by Bali prices and you get pleasantly surprised at how cheap it is so it is OZbargain worthy.

      Amar89

      In Bali the local food explores you for nice, warm, nutritious cavities

      spot on… and Yes I have experienced this first hand.

  •  

    I don't really get the fascination with Bali in general, especially Aussies that go there every year without exploring other parts of Thailand..nearby Malaysia (penang, terengganu, Langkawi) offers a much more diverse and interesting holiday than the tourist infested Bali. Each to their own I guess..

    • +20 votes

      Bali
      other parts of Thailand

      0_o

    • +4 votes

      Allow me to answer your question with a 1 character answer

      $

      And I'll expand on that with

      $ + 3.5 hr flight.

      Allowing a trip there for a weekend - makes it easy if you want to get a group over there at the same time.

      Cheaper than a drive down south (from perth anyway)

  •  

    which is cheaper bali or thailand?

    •  

      I would say Bali on my experiences however Thailand overall is better IMHO. With that said, I think next holiday is Nusa Dua in Bali.

    • +1 vote

      Thailand is cheaper than Bali, but bangkok/Phuket/TouristTrapCity is more expensive than bali

  • +1 vote

    Nearly all the people that bitch to me about Bali, don't leave Kuta.

    Maybe its just me.

    •  

      Nearly all the people I speak to who think Bali is great have never been anywhere else and I actually never went near Kuta/Seminyak/Legian and still think Bali sucks compared to other parts of Asia.

      Crime,ripoffs and scams are out of control

      https://www.facebook.com/groups/balicrimereports/

      •  

        I think we should have a little survey maybe ask around the office, are you pro AIDS or Anti? I'll put you down for pro AIDS then, so that's one for pro and one against;)

        • -1 vote

          Your comment seems pretty stupid and pointless but I'll play along. Considering the amount of AIDS in Bali and the amount of bogans that visit and the fact that I think both Bali and Bogans suck, I would think it obvious that I am Anti AIDS and by your comment you would be Pro AIDS.
          Enjoy

          http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-05-01/bali-hiv-warning/46619...

        • +1 vote

          @Davros: My comment was intended to be pointless, sorry Davros wasn't saying you are pro AIDS its actually a little skit from flight of the concords. No one is Pro AIDS but its futile telling people who like Bali that they are wrong the idea of the post was not wether you like Bali or not or if it sucks its merely that if you do like Bali as some do including me this may be helpful:)

        • +2 votes

          @Davros:

          I hate to say it but a significant part of the problem in Bali is the TOURIST (read Aussies/foreigners) who think that they have a bit of $$$ and a F$%&ed attitude. And this gives them power/right to do whatever they want or treat people however they like (the Balinese people obviously respond to that in their own way…ie hassling, cheating, corruption).

          I can honestly say that I have NEVER been more ashamed to be an Australian then i was in Bali. I do hope that the people there realise that the majority or Aussies are friendly, caring, honest and hard working people with an good sense of humor who are have "fair go" written in their sole rather then tattooed all over their body.

        • +1 vote

          @gtech:
          Totally agree
          Tourism and bogans have completely ruined the place as they do everywhere and like I said, I never even got over to Kuta/Legian or Seminyak, just did Sanur.

  • +2 votes

    Thanks for the thread. Will be going to Bali with the Jetstar promotion ;)

  • +1 vote

    I hope they make more of that show What Really Happens In Bali. So many idiotic bogans.

  • +1 vote

    for Shopping !!

    bartering can get very tiring, and you can often overpay, as they are very good at squeezing every dollar !!

    I know a fixed price shop in legian, very worth the journey, all fixed prices and if ketut doesnt have what you want, she will give you a price guide of what it should be worth. every customer also gets a free bottle of water !! she sells lots of clotches and handbags carry on bags and souvenirs quite alot packed into the small shop

    http://exclusivelybali.net/tag/ketut-fixed-price-shop/

  •  

    Very interesting thread. I first went to Bali in 2012 and lived pretty well (had just finished my first year of graduate work as a lawyer) but ultimately didn't enjoy it that much - everything was just a bit too dirty/unkempt/dodgy for me (and I'm someone of Bangladeshi descent!). I much prefer going to Phuket. Then again, from Adelaide, Phuket isn't really that much more expensive or timely to get to than Bali (if the flight is already gonna be 4.5 hours to bali, may as well sit there for an extra hour or two to Phuket or Krabi - the rock climbing, among other things, is much better there).

    That said, I just wanted to add, on the topic of transport: I have hired cars in both Bali and Phuket and driven around by myself (with my fellow mates in the car) - and I was surprised how easy driving in Bali actually was! The roads are shocking but drivers and motor-scooterists are very courteous and will move around you, definitely a change from the clueless Toorak-tractor drivers back home. Phuket in particular has a rather advanced network of highways these days so it is quite easy to get around. I would gladly drive again - last time I had a little Honda Brio which was an absolute hoot to drive!

    Brand new cars like the Brio can be hired for less than $20AUD per day with insurance and gives you ultimate freedom. Parking isn't an issue in either location, I've found.

  • +1 vote

    Why not check out other parts of Indonesia while on holiday in Bali? Keep your package deal but scoot over to Surabaya for fabulous shopping or Yogyakarta for fabulous sights. Both are only an hour's flight away at around $40. In true Ozbargain style, if you fly Garuda internationally, use the FF points for the domestic leg. Exchange points for a ticket at the airport.

    • +2 votes

      Sadly, most of the Aussies who visit Bali rarely ever venture onto the other wonderful cities and villages that are so close by. I treat Bali as a transit point, usually arriving and walking straight around to the domestic terminal to catch another flight. Perhaps a few days relaxing in Bali on the way back through, but it's usually not my 1 stop destination.

      • +1 vote

        The more I visit Surabaya, the more I love it :) The mayor is doing a fantastic job "geening" up the city.

        •  

          Yep, I first visited there in 2009 and have noticed over the years how much more public space there is and how much cleaner and greener the city is getting.

          I'm heading there again in March, and despite the new terrorism warnings I really don't care. I'm going to have a holiday and I feel safe there, always have done.

        •  

          Oh fab!! I love the hotel Majapahit - it's so quirky :) A bit of a splurge but totally worth it. (And not US owned so not a target?) it's also next door to the biggest shopping mall too, which always helps, and there's really interesting kampungs just off the main street that seem like a world away. Javanese / domestic tourists won't stay at the hotel because it's haunted, which keeps the rates down. The tour they do of the history etc. is worth doing even if you don't stay there. House of Sampoerna museum is also surprisingly good.

        •  

          @pennae:

          My other half is Javanese and from Surabaya and she has told me about how the place is haunted, so there'd be no chance of us staying there :)

          We are staying at the Sheraton which is connected with Tunjungan Plaza, very nice hotel and very convenient spot. I imagine the security would be high around there in light of recent events. You have to go through airport style security every time you enter the hotel anyway (metal detector, and empty your pockets/pat down if you beep), it's always been like that.

          Interesting about the tour. We aren't staying for long, it's just a quick trip to visit family but maybe next time we will check it out.

  •  

    Epic article, will have to read it thoroughly as I'm going soon.

  •  

    good post~~~!!!!

  •  

    Going Bali for 3 days in March. Does anyone have any must see/do recommendations ?

    •  

      If you enjoy a massage, then massage is a must do! plenty of good clean & cheap Bali massage places pretty much anywhere you will be staying. If its your first visit and you would like to do the sight seeing place then -

      1. Uluwatu - http://www.tripadvisor.com.au/Attraction_Review-g1380108-d59...

      2. Ubud

      3. Kintamani

      Hire transport for the day as many have suggested works out much cheaper to see those places.
      I am sure many others will have better suggestions also.

  • +1 vote

    has been a while since i posted, went and came back and loved it. thanks to MMM for some tips.

    we got a driver (missus found him on FB), $50 a day, pretty much take us around from uluwartu to tanah lot. visited temples, temples, temples :P

    did the elephant rides (operated by Aussie, charged by US$), free pick up / drop-off and lunch.

    massages at the hotel was A$20 (what a bargain) for 1 hour and of koz, did couple of them, lol. did/dare not try those around ground zero. looks too dodgy :P

    lots of mozzie, my kids and missus were the target, thank god for mozzie repellant. :P

  • +2 votes

    OK I don't know about all the Horror Stories, my experience in Bali was an awesome one,

    We normally hired a car for the day with the driver in the morning down at Kuta Market, Just talk to the Travel agents and find out which area you want to do, We were based in Kuta and would simply walk down in the market and get a driver + car for teh day.

    One of the days My S3 battery died and didn't remember where I kept it. it had been missing for three days and I'd lost all hope of finding it. Finally on the off chance we went back to one of the places we visited on that day, Krishna Market Bali- This is a fixed price Gifts and Souvenier shop that we did a lot of our knick knack shopping.

    I went to the reception and asked if they found a White big Samsung Phone and every one was so eager to direct me to security where indeed they had my Samsung S3, just the way I'd lost it Battery dead.

    Very impressed at the store employees as I think i'd forgotten it on one of the shelves and they were honest enough to hand it in to lost and found, there were atleast 5 other phones there at the time.

    I can strongly recommend this store : Krishna Market on Sunset road for shopping and for their honesty.

  • +1 vote

    Get some packets of Travelan from the chemist here before you go to Bali. Have one each morning before breakfast…. much less likely to get Bali Belly.

    Sushi Tae is an amazing Japanese restaurant on Sunset Rd. Seriously cheap for amazing food e.g. a few bucks for soft-shell crab which would cost over $100 in Aus. We paid $120 for 4 adults, 3 kids, inc mocktails/desserts/multiple dishes.

  •  

    We just got back from Bali this week and here are my tips:

    • Every 2nd shop will have a currency exchange board claiming 'no commission' or offering a slightly higher exchange rate…not worth it. We got ripped off (or close to it) a number of times because we wanted a 10,500rp rather than settle for a 9,990rp rate at one of the official places. If you do choose to exchange at one of the street shops, make sure once they hand you the money, count it again in front of them and don't walk away to count it. They're like magicians and money miraculously disappears between the time they count and hand it to you.
    • We knew only to take blubirds but there's another taxi cab that is also blue (darker blue) and also has the picture of a bird on top of the cab so we mistakingly thought it was part of the bluebird fleet…we were wrong, min charge was 40,000 no matter how short of a distance you wanted to travel. They say yes meter meter but min is 40,000 rp charge. Only jump into a light blue bluebird and i believe it says bluebird group on the vehicle.
      -lots of massage places around so it was hard to know which ones were good but i did a bit of research before leaving and the Santai spa in Legian was one of the highly recommended ones…sure enough, we went there and couldn't get an appointment. It never looks busy but unlike other massage places where all the staff hang out the front trying to entice customers to come in, Santai didn't have any staff doing such things because they seem to have a reputation that is good enough to simply rely on word of mouth. They're open from 10am-9pm. Aromatherapy massage (back, arms, neck, shoulder) costs 90,000rp for 60mins (approx $9AUD) or 135,000rp for 90 mins (approx. $13AUD). Bargain and its clean.
    • I don't have a very strong gut and tend to get diarrhoea very easily so we opted to eat at reputable restaurants rather than going real local…the local food didn't really appear appetising to me anyway. La Lucciola…fabulous. Need to book but its fine dining italian quality but very reasonable prices. Chandi in Seminyak was the chosen restaurant on our final night and again, spectacular food and great pricing.
  •  

    Regarding the Bluebird taxis. If you have a local SIM and a smart phone you can get the Bluebird app and just order taxis through that. I did it all the time last October and they only take 5-10 mins to arrive as the nearest empty one is allocated to you. They had a minimum charge of 30,000Rp (~$3AUD) but that wasn't a problem as most of my trips would have been 20,000-40,000Rp between Legian and Seminyak.

    It beats walking down the street sweating waiting for one to drive past.

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