Head towards the center of the island traveling through the magnificent terraced rice fields. At the top of the climb you will see the recently active Mount Batur and the peaceful Lake Batur below. The diverse scenery you will see here is another one of the treasures of a Bali visit.
If its a Bali Driver you are looking for then you have to meet this guy. He is one of the best.
At least that is what this video just posted on YouTube says.
So you are planning to visit Bali and trying to decide if you need a Tour Guide. The first question you need to ask yourself is “what do I want to see in Bali?”
If you plan to spend your time in a resort, and only venture out for an occasional meal, then perhaps you don’t need a tour guide. If you are staying in Kuta and plan to party all night and sleep all day, a tour guide might not be important to the success of your holiday either.
However, if you want to take in as much as you can of Bali’s many amazing sights, then you should be seriously considering which tour guide, or driver you intend to use.
There have been some unfortunate cases where visitors to Bali have had unpleasant experiences with their tour guide. This can happen. There are some Bali visitors who suggest hiring a car and doing your own thing.
“After the disaster with our driver, I would suggest hiring a car and seeing what you want to see at your own pace”, said one unhappy visitor. “You will save a little money and not have to worry if you are being cheated.”
Serious consideration should be made before you decide on this option. The roads are terrible. They are generally quite narrow, and mostly full of potholes. The other problem is the traffic. Bali’s roads are full of cars, motorbikes, buses and trucks, without any clear rules.
Although road accidents are not common, trying to understand the rules can be difficult. Years ago when I was in a car and puzzled by people continually pulling in front of us, I asked my driver to explain the rules. He turned to me with a smile on his face and replied “no rules”.
If you decide to drive yourself, you will have the added problem of trying to find the places that you intend to visit. Road signage is poor and if there is a sign, chances are you will not see it because you will be too busy trying to dodge traffic.
Using a good local tour guide or driver can save you a lot of time, and a lot of stress. More importantly, he will know the sights that are worth visiting, and the hidden back roads that will make you trip just that little bit more exciting.
If you are an experienced independent traveller, then hiring your own car is worth considering. If you are in Bali to relax and enjoy yourself, have an expert drive you, and sit back and take in the sights.
Last week was an important week for me. I had my first clients that came to me from my new website. Elizabeth and Jo from Singapore contacted me after visiting TheBaliDriver.net and spent 4 days in Bali during the week.
The first day I met them at the airport. The second day we did a half-day trip to Monkey Forest, Tanah Lot Temple and Bali Cultural Park. On the way to the Monkey Forrest we stopped to take some photographs of a rice field that is nearly close to harvest. We picked some rice and I explained how to tell when it is ready for harvest.
Thank you Elizabeth and Jo for trusting me to be your driver and tour guide in Bali. I enjoyed showing you my Island, and hope you enjoyed your visit. I hope you will come back again.
Bali is a great place to visit. There is so much to see and do, and the people are extremely friendly. Unfortunately visitors to Bali are the continual target for con men and scammers.
It is well known that there are some money changers that offer high rates and then by slide of hand, short change you a few notes. It is common in many situations where the locals will take advantage of the unsuspecting tourist.
It is no different with drivers and tour guides in Bali. There are some who appear great people on the surface, but are flat out dishonest.
“He was all friendly, nice and helpful initially but all this is nothing but a disguise to con us,” says one dissatisfied tourist. “He lied to us, and to think that we treated him like a friend is really disappointing.”
How do you avoid getting ripped off? One experienced Bali traveller suggests,” in Bali its ‘buyer beware, so the best idea when hiring a driver is to hire him for 1 day and pay him. Then if you like the guy get him for longer.”
If you are hiring a driver that works from the hotel you are staying at, chances are the hotel has done all the necessary background checks. You can usually trust these guys. The hotels reputation is on the line if they do not perform. The problem is that you usually pay a premium price if you use the hotel driver.
The best way to find a good driver is to use the Internet before you leave home, and check their testimonials. The people who are prepared to post their business on the net can ill afford to run a shady operation.
As in any foreign country, the best advice is to be careful. Do not place all your trust in someone you have only known for 2 hours. Make sure you are paying a fair market price, and that your driver does know his way around the Island.
For every dishonest Bali Driver there are many, many good ones. Just don’t let one of the bad ones ruin your holiday.
What should you look for when you are trying to find a good Bali Driver or Tour Guide?
There are many good drivers in Bali. But there are some duds. When you are planning your trip to Bali, you obviously want to get the best value for your money, and will want someone who can help you make the most of your visit.
Getting a good driver can make an amazing impression on your holiday. A bad driver could certainly leave you wondering what went wrong.
Some drivers will have bomb cars, while others have late model cars. The difference between sitting in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for 8 hours versus one without A/C and a broken seat is obvious. Pick someone with a good car.
It is important that your driver / tour guide knows his way around. That is fairly obvious. It is fair to assume that someone who is driving for a living would know Bali, but don’t take it for granted. It is the hidden treasures of Bali that are sometimes the best. Only experience will find those special places.
Your driver should have a good grasp on your spoken language. Communication is the key. I am assuming that you will want someone who speaks English if you are reading this. They don’t have to be fluent, but you need to easily understand each other. Trying to tell your driver you need a toilet stop by sign language could be embarrassing.
Avoid drivers who receive “kick backs”
You definitely don’t want someone who is receiving “kick backs” from manufacturers or retailers. Most Balinese are honest hard working people, but a rare few are unethical. You do not want to be going to the most expensive silver manufacturer in Teluk, and being told they are the cheapest. Meanwhile your guide is pocketing 20% of the sale. Or similarly being taken to a “great restaurant” where the food was very ordinary, but the driver received a commission.
The final quality of a good Bali Driver is his character. The last thing you will need on a long day trip is a driver who wants to talk all day, and thinks he is a comedian. Almost as bad is someone with no personality that only mumbles seven words for the whole day. A driver who can talk with you when you want, and then stay quiet while you take in the amazing sights of Bali is ideal.
Do some research and then sit back and enjoy the ride.
My name is Coman, and I have been working as a Driver and Tour Guide in Bali for 8 years. In that time I have learned what people want to see when they visit our magnificent island. I know how to make your day trips enjoyable and fun.
In the next few weeks this blog will grow, and will provide Bali visitors with a valuable resource. Our aim is to give you all the information you need, to make your Bali visit a memorable one.