If there is one destination that you absolutely must put on your agenda, it is certainly Bali: the landscapes are breathtaking, the locals are courteous and charming, there is an array of activities to do and there is plenty to do. It costs practically nothing to live there like royalty (I’m hardly exaggerating).
There are endless articles and blogs on what you should accomplish on this Indonesian island. So here are five things that no one has suggested you do in Bali yet.
Negotiate your price in the streets of Kuta
“ BOSS! CHEAP PRICE BOSS! “
You will hear this sentence over and over again when you walk around Kuta, the streets of which are dotted with all kinds of shops and traders who are ready to do anything to close a transaction.
What you should know is that for the Balinese, it is a real pleasure to take the time to negotiate well. If someone sells you something for $5, then there is a way for you to get it for $1.
Stay calm, be patient, and keep a smile while being persistent. Also, don’t hesitate to say no and leave the store, which in some cases can be a good negotiating tactic.
If you play your cards right, the seller might even invite you to sit down and chat to get to know each other.
Nomadic Tip: Wear whatever you bought locally, such as a sweater or tank top, while you do the rest of your shopping. Virtually all traders sell the same commodity. At the sight of your sweater, they’ll call you back by asking you how much you paid or offering you a ridiculous price to get your attention. Take this opportunity to make good business!
Participate in a cremation ceremony in Ubud
While at home we bury our dead with discretion and sobriety. In Bali, it becomes an opportunity to celebrate and show off.
I had the immense privilege of attending the cremation of people who passed away in the days leading up to my arrival in Ubud. The ceremony involved several hundred people who carried the bodies deposited in giant coffins in the shape of a cow (you read that right!). It was simply out of this world!
The people there were happy to welcome us and include us in this celebration of the afterlife.
Do not be embarrassed to inquire with the local population to find out if a cremation will take place soon. The Balinese see these ceremonies as an opportunity to proudly share their customs and culture with tourists.
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Buy direct from a craftsman in Ubud
If you go to the city of Ubud, you will most likely fall for the sculptures sold by traders at the Traditional Art Market.
However, don’t go shopping right away. Rent a scooter first, then go to Raya Andong Street. On your way, you will find a multitude of artisans who sell their works at cost, which is four to six times cheaper than in tourist markets.
If your backpack fills up too quickly, take advantage of the low-cost postal service to mail your goodies home.
Rent a scooter and ride Denpasar
Life in the tourist areas of Kuta is much different from that in the residential areas of Denpasar. You just have to head a few minutes northeast of Kuta to realize this.
If you’re like me and love to see how people actually live, then rent a scooter (which will set you back around $3-4 a day), then explore the busy streets of Denpasar.
Take the opportunity to visit the public markets and to have a snack in a restaurant crowded with locals. Watch out for the traffic that literally comes from everywhere. People on scooters don’t hesitate for a second to get on the sidewalks in order to cut off traffic, which you will end up doing too!
Eat the best burger of your life in Seminiak
You may ask, “The best hamburger of my life… really? And I can answer without hesitation, “Yes!”
You will have to go to BO$$ Man (Boss Man), a restaurant located in Seminyak, a district of Kuta. You’ll pay around $12 to $15 for a combo, which is a bit expensive for Bali. Believe me though when I tell you‘ll fall madly in love with this little American-style fast food joint. All the people to whom I have recommended this restaurant thank me for making them discover it.