After talking about barganing and how travelers are perceived in Bali (Being a traveler in Bali Pt.1), we have a few more tips and experiences to share with you !
Today, we will share with you our experiences on sarongs, scooters and massages. Because what would be Pretty Bali without its beautiful sarongs that color the streets, scooters that are absolutely everywhere, and of course luxurious massages ?
⇝ Sarongs : A sarong or sarung is a length of fabric that is often worn in Indonesia and other South-East Asian countries. It is usually wrapped around the waist and it is worn by women, children and men as casual wear but also for ceremonies or in temples. You will see so many of them in Bali !
We would advise you to buy your own sarong at the beginning of your trip as it is mandatory to have one on to enter a temple. In popular temples though, you will always have somebody at the front of the temple that has sarongs for rent in case you don’t have one but it is so much cheaper on the long term to have your own.
You can find a sarong literally everywheeeere, in every market of every city. Prices vary from about 15 000 Rp (about 1€/1.5$AUS) to 200 000 Rp (12€/20$AUS) depending on the type of cloth you have, how you bargain and the patterns on the sarong. To be honest, if you buy one at 200 000 Rp it’s certainly already too much and it means you don’t know how to bargain very well yet. But that’s okay !
We found ours at the famous Ubud market. If you go there, you will quickly notice that most of the sellers all have the same exact sarongs so if you like one, try to speak to several sellers to find the lowest price.
A sarong, apart from being very beautiful and allowing you access to most of the temples, will also be a very good memory of your trip to Bali ! We also bought several of them as gifts for our families. As it is basically a piece of cloth, you can use it in so many different ways too : a scarf, a skirt, a napkin,..
Also.. If you want, you know, to brag a bit about your amazing trip to Bali and how your life is just the best, do like me and wear your sarong casually in any way you like and you can be sure that your friends will ask you questions like “Waouh ! This is so beautiful, where did you buy this original (not at all original when you are in Bali) scarf ?”. Then, you can just brag brag brag : “Oh you know.. It’s because this one time I went to Bali and it was like soooooo intense and like somebody gave it to me because like she said my smile was marvellous (even though you bought it at 200 000 Rp in a market) and waouh Bali is just.. It changed my whole life ! And blablablaah..”…
You’re welcome for this amazing tip 😉
This is an example of what a sarong can look like and how it is worn :
⇝ Scooters : As we said it on our previous articles, traveling through Bali on a scooter gives you so much freedom ! Thanks to our littles scooters, we were able to explore so many places in Bali, driving on main roads but also on tiny little gravel roads in the mountains.
We had never really drove scooters before coming here. It is quite easy to learn but to do so, try and go to a place with no one around. Because in cities, traffic can be crazy and you have to adapt to the Balinese way of driving which can be overwhelming at the beginning. However, after a few days, you should be able to feel confident while driving and you will probably already be driving like a local.
Renting a motorcycle in Bali is very simple. Most hotels in Bali offer you scooter rentals, but it is not always the cheapest. As for everything, you can try to bargain for the rental price. Most of the time, it costs around 50 000 – 80 000 Rp (3€-5€/5-8$AUS) for a day.
To rent a scooter, it is recommanded to have an international driver’s licence. You can rent a scooter for just a day or even for a whole month if you want to. Since we didn’t stay in the same place during our time in Bali, we usually rented a scooter for the day or for the week.
When you rent a scooter, always check the scooter for any problems before using it for the day. You can also take a picture of the scooter before using it because there are some people that will pretend that you added a scratch to the scooter when you give it back at the end of the day and will ask you to give them a bit of money for that. If you have the picture, you can prove that the scratch was already there beforehand.
I already wrote a whole paragraph about this on a previous article, but I repeat : It is important to alway wear your helmet when driving your scooter. A lot of tourists don’t wear helmets because it seems cool (I guess?) but that is putting yourself at risk for nothing. Scooter accidents happen a lot in Bali, we had one even though we were cautious, so it’s just common sense to think about your safety ! I repeat, this is not a drill : Wear your helmet.
Finally, gas. Gas in Bali is very cheap. The average price would be around 0,55€/0,90$AUS per liter, depending on the location and the period. Most cities have small gas stations for you to refill your scooter, however you will also come across a lot of small wooden stands in villages that will allow you to refill your tank. These stands either have old water bottles (or glass bottles) filled with gasoline or they will have a small pump like the photo down below.
In conclusion, go scooters !!!!
⇝Massages : Since you are in Bali, chillin’ and groovin’, you might as well have a little massage because life is so hard as a tourist over here…
In cities, there are plenty of different massage parlors. Like, a lot. There are small ones that don’t seem like much but where the massages are heavenly and other ones that don’t seem like much and indeed, they aren’t so good. There are also some massage parlors that look very luxurious and more European-like, where you will see a lot of tourists go in, but these ones are also often the most expensive ones.
Typically, massages cost from 80 000 to 150 000 Rp (5-9€/8-15$AUS ) an hour, but it can be way more if you decide to go to a more luxurious salon. So it’s a very good place to have a nice massage as it is way cheaper than in western countries.
We had two massages in Bali, both in Ubud. One was in a small massage parlor, very cheap, with no tourists inside; and the other one was not in one of the most luxurious places but was still in a more “occidental” massage parlor, a bit more expensive and with more tourists. We didn’t see any difference concerning the “quality” of the massage. Both massages were pleasant but not extraordinary for us. Our tip would be to experience and follow your gut, ask around for different opinions but don’t hesitate to try a massage in a smaller parlor. We met a lot of people that looooved their massages, whether it was one in a luxurious or small place.
So fly over there now and find the perfect massage for you !
These were a few more experiences we had in Bali. But the more we write articles about Bali, the more we realize that we have so much more to tell you ! We only spent a month on this small island but we discovered so many things over there, it’s crazy !
So, we’ll keep you updated but meanwhile have fun, be free, be safe during these uncertain times and dream big. ✈