Popular tourist destination
Bali has become an extremely popular tourist destination for travelers of all budgets, over the last few years, which has had the effect of pushing up prices, both for accommodation and food.
Fortunately, if you know where to go, you can still find good bargains for travel and shopping. Kuta is usually the first stop for budget travelers. It is just a short taxi drive from the international airport. If you really want to save money, you can even walk to Kuta from the airport.
Cheap accommodation in Bali
The main place for cheap accommodation in Kuta is the area around Poppies lane, one and two. Two small lanes that run parallel to each other that are filled with small shops, hotels and restaurants.
Most travelers rent motorbikes to get around, which cost just a few dollars a day. Be sure though to wear a helmet and make sure you have an international license. The police stop foreigners for the smallest infringements.
Transportation in Bali
You can travel to other parts of Bali by public mini buses, which are called “bemos”. These are cheap, but can be a little uncomfortable for travel. The other problem is that they don’t usually stop in the main tourist centers, so you will usually need to take another bus to reach your final destination. Perama tours has a shuttle bus service which operates between the main tourist centers and is a very economical way to get around.
Getting outside of the main tourist center of the south of Bali, not only offers a richer experience, but is also much cheaper for accommodation and food. Padang Bai, the terminal for trips to the Gilli Islands is a great place to stay. Candidasa and Amed are also quiet places with a large range of accommodation choices.
In the north of Bali, is the tourist center of Lovina which is famous for its dolphins which you can see just off the shore at dawn. Except for the peak season in August, Lovina is mostly empty so you can usually find somewhere cheap to stay with a bit of bargaining.
Where there aren’t fixed prices posted, you need to be prepared to bargain for transport, accommodation and buying just about anything. It is good just to treat bargaining as a game and always keep a smile on your face. If a vendor doesn’t want to come down on their price, just move on.
While Bali is not the cheap backpacker destination it once was, there are still travel bargains to be found. Be warned though, Bali is the kind of place that draws you in and you may never want to leave!
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