Our first day in Ubud
Our first drive into Ubud had one purpose, to locate places of importance. These included the petrol station, a reliable looking money changer with decent exchange rates and a supermarket. I’m going to give you a few tips now regarding each of these places that no one really tells you before your trip.
Petrol Station Tips
1) Get to know your scooter tank size so you can ask for a specific amount of money to be put in rather than asking them to fill it up. For example, Luke will usually ask for 7,000 Rupiah to be put in which will almost fill it up. We do this because they like to rip you off and not give you the correct change back and when you question it they’ll muck around with the money for a bit and try to confuse you.
2) Keep your bag and items close to you and under careful watch. My iPhone was stolen from our bag on one of Luke’s trips to the petrol station, about 4 men were crowding around the scooter while it was being filled up and just took it from the pocket of the backpack. It’s a shame my phone was stolen but at least it wasn’t our passports or our money. It’s best to keep bags in front of you or on the floor of the scooter where your feet go.
Money Changer Tips
One of the biggest queries we had before our trip was whether we should change our money in Australia or while we were Bali. We just couldn’t figure out which way would give us the best exchange rate without losing too much money. After reading about what other people had done previously we decided to withdraw a large chunk of our money from our respective banks in Australia and exchange it over in Bali in $50 lots as we needed it. As we are going to Thailand after Bali doing this helps to ensure we won’t have too much Indonesian rupiah left over that we can’t use it also helps with keeping track of what you’re spending. Also when going to a money changer make sure you go to one with the best rates and also go to one that’s an actual changer with the rates displayed on a screen, never go to a booth because you will definitely get ripped off. Always calculate your money before they give it to you so you know what you will be receiving and count it when they give it to you. Be safe and smart with your money.
Use the supermarkets for general goods like Shampoo and conditioner, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, tea, coffee, sugar etc. You can also buy fresh produce to cook with, but if you do wish to cook I would go with a local to the markets and get them to buy it for you as they will get it cheaper. Overall though it actually works out cheaper to go out for food every day. The supermarket prices target tourists so they’re a lot higher than what local prices would be, everything is a lot cheaper than Australia but once you start getting used to Bali prices even things that started out really cheap to you start to look expensive. Find a cheap local place you love and eat there all the time, because it will always work out cheaper than one shopping trip.
This was just our first day and we had already learnt and seen so much. We’ve only continued to learn and experience more from the locals and our surroundings. Experience is the theme behind this adventure. We wish to experience the people and their lives, the culture, the religion, the history, and the art. We’ve left behind our lives in Australia to embark on this adventure, and I mean this quite literally. We both quit/discontinued jobs that could have taken us far in our chosen careers and said goodbye to our comfortable and familiar lives because we felt a calling to places unknown.
– Welcome to our adventure