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.