Bali for Backpackers
Whether you actually have a limited budget or are doing it just for the fun of it or even for some kind of political and ideological statement, backpacking in Bali is easy and enjoyable as long as you have a few tricks up your sleeve. Here are some of travel tips.
Kuta’s small alleys are the best place to find cheap yet clean and comfortable rooms, some are as little as Rp 50,000 (USD 5.5) a night. Take your time walking these alleys and check out every place you’re interested in thoroughly, including the bathroom, the light switches, the tap water, the toilet flush,etc. Also remember the cheapest rooms usually are not air conditioned but do provide fans.
To save breakfast costs, make sure you choice of accommodation provides breakfast. The cheaper the room, the simpler breakfast, usually just toast, eggs, tea and coffee. For other meals of the day, get used the local food scene. There are lots of small stalls that sell delicious noodles, Baliness suckling pig with rice and other local delicacies. Just be sure to take some preventive medication just in case you can’t stomach it.
As much as possible, use public busses or minivans. The most reliable one is Perama (www.peramatour.com), located on Jalan Legian. You can also find several bemo corners on Jalan Legian. Bemo is a public minivan that reaches many destinations in Bali. Motorcycle are popular way to get around Bali. Most rental motorcycle are between 90cc and 125cc, with 100cc being the usual size. Rental charges vary with the bike, period of hire and demand.
The touristy ‘golden triangle’ of Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak are obviously not the best place to shop for cheap souvenirs. Head to the central market in Denpasar or Pasar Sukawati (Sukawati Market) in Ubud where prices of goods are at a fraction of what you would be offered in the seaside tourist traps.
Lastly but most importantly, whatever you’re trying to buy – goods or services- haggle your heart out!. If you pay more than half the price offered, you’re paying too much.