Bali is not like Bali three years ago. I’m not sure of the cause but there really is mass desperation for sales by stall holders and other vendors. Crime has gone nuts in Bali. Where before Poppy’s lane was safe full of Australians and you had a comfort factor it’s not the case now. Yes, Poppy’s lane still has Australians but crime is every present. Those who love Bali and believe you cant talk about the faults are miss guided. It is better to be prepared rather than have your holiday destroyed by an incident. Even the local Balinese have told me Kuta and Legian are dangerous and you have to watch out and that is a quote from a person I won’t name.
Scooters with two riders will come up beside you and size you up this is fact. You have the issue of just riding past and grabbing what they can through to violent muggings. Police you may say will deal with it. Try to file a report with the police in Bali and what you will be asked for is an “Administrative fee” Lovely isn’t it. If you don’t pay no report and they know you need it to claim on your travel insurance.
Galleria Bali on their website says their taxies are 100% safe and always use the meter. Today I got in he said 70,000 I said no use the meter! He was severely irritated. We travelled 10 minutes toward Kuta and he told me to get out leaving me stranded desperate for a taxi as I had no idea where I was. Galleria allows the taxi mafia to flourish without consequence. Had I not found a Bluebird taxi I would have been in real trouble. Yes, I complained but wasted my time nothing done the driver did not have a photo or any ID in the taxi but I was ushered to this cab by the manager at Galeria. He intentionally drove me out and dropped me in a place near on impossible to get a cab. The taxi mafia stops Grab and Bluebird from accessing the airport. Whilst no law prohibits this the drivers are bashed by the taxi mafia so they will not go in at all. Where are the police? Never before has the taxi industry behaved so badly. at least at Carrefore, they have Bluebird. Unless you have your own transport DO NOT GO TO GALERIA.
Shopping is hit and miss. Markets are still selling the exact same copy t-shirt designs they were selling years ago, no fresh designs at all. Mimco copy handbag and purses are prevalent but I would look online and get them to bring the selection to your hotel room as its much safer and yes it’s that ridiculous that you have to do this. Shoes are on sale also mainly Nike and Yeezy but they want far too much and the quality is really poor. Some look the part but your feet will hate you they range around $25 – $30 a pair. Nearly all the DVD store has shut and that’s a good thing. You can still get movies on a flash drive but you would have to be desperate, now, you can get movies on demand and Netflix and Stan.
Food is great value and coffee shops are everywhere. I cant recall a time when Gloria Jean’s coffee was so cheap. It’s my belief the price has dropped due to massive competition from Starbucks. You can virtually get a meal now at Gloria jeans such as Nasi Goreng etc.
I went to Lippo mall and it was great. They had a variety of mid-range to high-end shops. No cheapies here but it was all quality and quality staff if you understand what I mean. The stores really had professional sales staff and they spoke English very well. It was truly refreshing to see such class at play.
Discovery shopping mall was different with the absence of the DVD stores and a few other store changes. No grocery store that I could see which was a bit of a bust for me as I wanted to top up the refrigerator with drinks. The air conditioning struggled also it was a balance of warm to the start of being uncomfortable. You will still sweat is what I am saying. Still worth a visit. Not my cup of tea though changes are made some good some not. Before males could get a haircut at Johnny Andrean though when I went it appeared to be a female salon only now but I may be wrong but that was the feel.
Carrefour was great! Its about half merchandise such as cloths Tv’s Rice cookers and Bedding etc. and the rest is the grocery. Bluebird taxies down in the carpark and you don’t have to wait. Prices were great for some items not so great on others though this is my go to shopping mall. Air conditioning is on point! You can eat as it has an A&W also a KFC it does have a lot of local food sellers in a food court area that is small. Overall happy days.
Galleria is awesome if you can make it home. Getting there you can use any taxi but your stuck with the taxi mafia when you need to leave its a disgrace. They have a Starbucks and a great Matahari and the hypermart is to die for. You may just do that if you catch a Galeria taxi and I’m not exaggerating do not do it. You may get away with it once-twice a few times but you will get a very bad experience that’s for sure. Don’t believe me? Google it! You will be shocked what has happened to people.
Kuta Square Matahari. Great Great Great. Best for shoes and clothes though they do have souvenirs. It can be on the higher side of price but you are buying Quality. You cant really make a fair comparison to what you may buy at markets or other shops. Whoever sources the products for the store does an outstanding job with quality and variety. Frankenspouse my dear other half will confirm Matahari has the best air conditioning on the planet. No joke a polar bear would ask for a coat it is that good. They have refitted the grocery store and it looks good and an okay range. It does the job anyway.
The Famous miss Debbie and Ketut market gurus. Well, I tell you they have had their day. Very overrated and prices are significantly higher. The range is nowhere near as good at miss Debbie as it used to be. Ketut I have no idea why is famous at all though I did see a no questions asked return by a woman which you would understand is like Moses parting the waters simply unbelievable for a market stall.
Anyway, I have had a testing day you would say at best. Hopefully, I can relax tomorrow and have a good holiday.