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Short guide to Bali

These pages contain a number of tips for travelers that are going to bring a visit to the Indonesian island of Bali soon. They are simple tips about the daily life on the island and what to expect when visiting the island. Many things will be just slightly different than at home, but it is important to locals that you at least somewhat adhere to their lifestyle.

Discouraging theft
Tips for first-time travelers to Bali

All imaginable precautions should quickly become second nature to you. Always lock your hotel room. If you're traveling in budget places it's even better to bring your own lock and key to prevent inside jobs by houseboys or maids. Quick and quiet, thieves will enter your room through a window while you sleep and steal the camera from the hook above your head or the backpack from underneath your bed. Some losmen owners practice extraordinary security, checking at night to see if your door is locked properly. It's an eerie sight to see your doorknob slowly turn, but it might just be your landlord.

Ask to keep your valuables with the proprietor at a homestay, or at the front desk at small hotels for safekeeping. Many hotels now have safe deposit boxes (tempat simpan uang), the more expensive ones even have them inside the rooms. When you go inside supermarkets or department stores you can usually check your bag and your valuables in a storage bin (tempat pinitipan barang). If you have the slightest doubt about security, spend the extra money on a more expensive, safer hotel with bars on the windows, a penjaga (guard), constant supervision by family members or the manager, and a high fence or stone wall with barbed wire or broken glass on top.

The general public must be prevented from entering the inner compound, and your window shouldn't face an alley or side street, but toward the interior of the hotel. Don't leave bags on floors where they can be hooked with a line or pole and pulled to the window, and don't set anything valuable near an open window or on a curbside table while dining al fresco.

Also don't leave valuables in a vehicle-leave the glove compartment open to show you don't have anything of value-and never leave a camera bag unattended in the back, even if you're in the vehicle with the back doors locked. Bags can be stolen when you stop and talk to boys crowding around your vehicle trying to distract you.

Last revised on January 30, 2010
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