It is no surprise why Bali is a popular and favorite destination among tourists. With its lovely emerald water, happening beach clubs, and rich culture, Bali is nothing less than a tropical paradise.
Needless to say, with the beauty of Bali, there also come tourist traps. While some of these scams are obvious, the others not quite as much.
To keep you safe from such potential scams, we have drawn a list of 6 scams and how you can outsmart them.
1. Booking and Property Agent ScamsIt is common knowledge that booking directly with the property is preferred by the properties for obvious reasons such as no commissions. However, it is equally beneficial for you as well. Avoid doing any deal with a stranger that introduces themselves as an agent to help you find a property that you like at a very low price. Scammers usually will offer you impossibly low rates for a property you like to pull you in a trap. Make sure you meet in person as many scammers are avoiding meeting in person.
If you think that you really need help from an agent, then make sure you know where the office is or ask the person you meet in the property to make sure that you get a real price. One point here is, the agent will never ever offer you a lower price than the owner or management.
2. Cab ScamsIn Bali, cabs are almost the only source of public transport. Keep an eye out for the BlueBird cabs or you can download Gojek or Grab app to get an even cheaper transportation rate and the best service as they really care about review and service stars level. For Blue Bird Taxi, ensure the driver turns on the meter when you board the cab. If they do not agree, wait to hail another cab. If you do not go by the meter in cabs, the drivers may overcharge you for a short distance. But you might get a Blue Bird order on the Gojek app as well. If you get Blue Bird on Gojek, you will just pay the price on the app without having a price on the meter.
3. Exorbitant Tour Guide and Entrance Fees for TemplesLike with every popular tourist destination, Bali too has unreputable tour guides that attempt to make extra money by ripping tourists off. Do not fall for their tricks as they talk you into hiring a guide and paying a high entrance fee. Instead, bargain if you wish to purchase a ticket and enquire if the guide is licensed.
If you go alone without a tour guide, don’t be surprised if you need to pay some money at the entrance. You need to know that most tourist destinations including temples will ask you to put in some money just for a contribution and most temples don’t charge you a fixed amount. So if someone asks you for some money before you even reach the entrance, better ignore them.
4.Ticket ScamsAs unfortunate as it is, corruption is rife in Bali. Bali’s traffic police is known to target tourists riding scooters or driving cars and slapping them with fines and tickets for trivial offenses. Fines can however be settled through paying enormous bribes.
To avoid getting ripped off, ensure that you always wear a helmet while riding a scooter, do not break traffic rules, and always carry your international driving license with you.
Some souvenir markets in Bali are a go-to for trinkets and souvenirs. But every good thing comes with its own traps. If you want to get a great gift from Bali for your loved ones back home, do not buy from places that sell overpriced souvenirs. Make sure you can compare the price from one store to another store until you understand the common price of the stuff you want.
Instead, look out for authentic Balinese markets that are less popular among tourists to find the real good stuff! Not only will you get great prices, but you will also find rare art pieces.
Bali is everything phenomenal and beautiful and almost zen-like. Do not let these scams rob you of a magical experience.