Bali, Bitches! I arrived in Bali late last night or early this morning. My flight landed around 0120, so by the time I cleared immigration and made it to my hotel, it was already 3am. While in line for immigration, I literally ran into a lady from Canada, Camille. We bonded over something funny on the the flight and got through the immigration process together despite it being late and running on zero sleep. It still amazes me how fast you can meet other travelers and instantly it’s as if you have been friends for much longer than five minutes.
I woke up at 9am to check-out of my hotel and set out to find an ATM and a sim card for my phone. Unfortunately, my debit card was not reading in the ATMs but I had some leftover Thai baht on hand that I quickly exchanged for Indonesian rupiah. As if baht to ringgit wasn’t confusing enough, my brain has to switch again. $1 = 30 THB = 4 MYR = 13,000 IDR.
I started looking for my next hotel, as this is the first time on my trip that I do not have anything pre-booked. The plan was going to be to get a taxi to Ubud and spend three nights there, but when I asked the hotel lobby how much a taxi would cost, their rates were 500,000. That was appalling. I remembered reading a post on TripAdvisor last night that said a taxi to Ubud from the airport should cost no more than 200,000 – 250,000 IDR. The thing about Bali is, the second you step off the plane and clear customs, you are immediately mauled by taxi drivers trying to get you to hire them. These guys are another breed of taxi drivers, as they do not give up easily. After literally fending off a pack of hungry taxi drivers last night at the airport, I was in no mood to get into a bartering bargain before lunch.
One particular driver at the hotel offered me 500,000 to Ubud as a “special price” and even tried to convince me that Uber drivers could not drive to Ubud due to the app’s inability to “read the currency.” I decided to change my plan and stay in Kuta for a few days then reassess Ubud for the weekend. The same driver told me he could take me to Kuta (1 mile up the street) for 150,000 IDR. Luckily, I looked up the price on Uber beforehand and knew the trip would only cost me 35,000 IDR. He laughed at me when I tried to bargain for 20,000 IDR so I politely told him I was calling another ride. He was almost in disbelief when my ride pulled up and I told him how much I would pay. He is obviously not a big fan of Uber. Sorry, buddy. Maybe next time.
After lunch, I explored the area a bit and took a dip in the hotel pool to cool off. I’ve spent most of the evening planning and researching my upcoming destinations, because it seems like I’m traveling at double-speed nowadays.