Tips and tricks for enjoying Seminyak, Bali

Seminyak is lively, vibrant and based north of Dempasar airport. It is a go-to destination for Australians to party, be loud, and scream “wo-wo” when a song they like is played.

Before arrival I would recommend downloading this offline map:

It will allow you to find locations, suggest routes, and direct you to locations without the need for international roaming, or access to mobile data.

When booking your accommodation, check that there are no building works or renovations planned for your residence or the adjoining properties. If so, ensure that they price the accommodation accordingly, or compensate you in other ways.

Spirits are taxed very heavily in Bali up to 300%, and so finding affordable cocktails or spirits in Bali or Indonesia can be difficult.

Duty Free Alcohol when entering Bali or Indonesia is limited to the 1 Litre of Spirits & Liqueurs, Champagne, Sparkling, wine or other alcoholic beverages per person. If you have a 1.25L bottle you can normally get away with this as well. Good Wine in Bali can be really hard to find especially at decent prices, where as most popular spirits can be found in most stores.

If your more of a wine person consider bringing your own Duty Free Wine. It is cheaper to buy your Alcohol (except beer) before entering Bali/Indonesia, and if your heading to Australia from Bali it can be cheaper to buy Duty free in Bali DPS Airport before you leave.

You should never go anywhere without local currency, however I would suggest that you only get a small amount before you arrive. There are a number of reputable money changers in Seminyak and the exchange rates are considerably better locally and without commission.

However, check the rate that is advertised is the rate that you are getting; ensure that the teller counts the money out and then steps away from the money, allowing you to pick it up yourself to count it; watch for the slight of hand as they count out your money; watch for slight of hand as they replace your money with damaged or torn money; and watch out for different rates for different denominations of currency.

When you exit the airport, you will be confronted with taxi drivers wanting to take you to your destination. If you choose to use one of these drivers it is important to arrange the price before beginning your journey with them.

The journey from the airport should cost no more than 175,000 rupees as an upper limit normally charged by hotels. Return journeys should be considerably less, and should be negotiated in the hours before your departure for the airport.

The journey to and from the airport under normal circumstances should take about 20 minutes, however the government is building an underpass at a critical junction near the airport, and it now takes from forty-five minutes, up to an hour and a half. These roadworks are likely to take up to one year to complete, at the time of this article.

Blue-bird taxis are the official metered taxis, and if you wish to avoid bartering, you should take one of these, however be aware of other taxis that also paint their cars blue that do not have a meter. If you use an unmetered taxi, be sure to negotiate a price prior to setting out.

There is a public bus service that runs every half an hour from Seminyak Square that will take you to a number of locations. Prices for each one way ticket on various lines that go to and from a main hub, vary from 20,000 to 50,000 rupees.

None of the prices advertised in shops, bars, massage parlours and restaurants include the 15% government tax and 5% service charge. You should always consider these additional amounts when gauging the price of your purchase.

Seminyak is not cheap. Cocktails are around 100,000 rupees and Bingtang beer is between 25,000 and 45,000, Fanta is 10,000, Crisps are between 17,000 and 35,000, Breakfast menus are around 90,000, 450 grams of pork ribs is 175,000, and a whole roasted pig is 2.7million. Massages are very reasonably priced and can cost 100,000 rupees for one hour.

Always check that the amount that you are being charged for drinks, meals and goods, are the same amount that are being advertised on the menu.

You should budget for about $50 per day between food, drinks, activities and taxis.

If you wish to hire a van to take you to Jimbaran, wait for 5 hours while you enjoy the beach and get some seafood and bring you back, this will cost between 250,000 and 300,000 rupees.

Work under the assumption that all prices are suggestions and that negotiations are a part of everyday business.

A lot of plastic rubbish washes up on the beaches of Seminyak, so you will see groups of volunteers clearing the beaches as you go for your morning walk.

The beach has no shade and the sun and humidity become oppressive after 09.00am, so get your morning exercise in early, or wait until the sun goes down in the evening.

There are a lot of stray dogs on the beach and roads. Generally they are harmless, however they can turn aggressive very quickly, so either walk with a stick on the beach or back away very slowly maintaining eye contact if you are confronted.

If you are unfortunate enough to get sick and require medical or hospital attention, there are a few things of which you should be aware.

Always have the details of your travel medical insurance provider about your person, either in your phone, purse or wallet.

No hospital or medical facility will admit you without knowing how the bill will be paid. Often you will be required to provide a credit card until you can identify your travel medical insurance provider and the coverage it provides.

Know your excess liability on your policy and ensure that is the only amount that you pay when you are being discharged.

Hospitals have been known to say that your medical insurance only covers so much of the treatment, and that you have to pay as much as an additional $2500. This is where having your medical insurance provider on speed dial is useful, to clarify any misunderstandings.

Even once the correct excess has been identified, look out for the further slight of hand, as your excess may be increased by $100 or more, due to exchange rate differences or administration costs. Stand your ground. The only out of pocket expense that you should pay is the exact amount of the excess on your policy.

When you are returning back at the airport, you must have access to your boarding pass in order to get into the check-in area. This can be electronic or paper, but the guards to the check-in area will require sight of the flight number, date and time of the flights, along with your name. This seems to be an increasing protocol across a lot of Asian countries.

It is best to download these before you get to the airport as wifi access at the airport dose not appear to cater for downloading boarding passes or emails.

These are 100ml liquid checks at the gates before boarding the plane throughout Asian airports so drink your water or throw it away, and ask about your duty free allocation coming in and leaving.

If you watch out for these pitfalls you will have a great time in Seminyak. The people are friendly and everyone is looking out for an opportunity.


~ by jeditopcat on 18 February, 2018.

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