Bali Guide Suggestions and Tips

May 10th, 2007, 05:03 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 13
Bali Guide Suggestions and Tips

I know that SidB posted a thread with this topic a little while back. After reading that, I gathered that Bali Dean & Putu Arnawa were the guys to book. Dean is 450,000 Rp and apparently Putu is 500,000. I emailed them both yesterday and got a reply back from Dean but am still waiting to here back from Putu.

Dean sounds great, but he is booked for the time that we are there in July. He suggested his co-driver Herry, who is slightly cheaper as well (400,000 Rp). Has anyone had experience with Herry?

Until I read this forum, we never really considered a guide / driver, but after reading the posts and suggestions, we both feel as though it is a great idea.

If anyone has hired a driver in Bali and they took you on an amazing adventure that was memorable and unforgettabel, we would also like to hear from you to share with us where you went, what you did, highlights, etc

Can anyone suggest other drivers who are great... know all the good spots to go... are honest and ethical... and don't charge the earth? If you do we would love to hear from you and also get the drivers contact details as well.

We would really appreciate any suggestions and recommendations...

Thanks,
Robb & Kat
robbkat is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 06:45 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 360
Robb -- we originally tried to book Putu on recommendations here but had a hard time getting in touch with him (no reflection on him btw, I think it has to be hard given internet issues in Indonesia at times and the fact that the good drivers are often out much of the time), so after reading through reports on tripadvisor we used Dean. When a colleague went to Bali after us, he used Herry on Dean's recommendation, as Dean wasn't available and liked Herry - they only used him one day.

You'll find a lot of other drivers on tripadvisor -- I must have emailed with 4 or 5 of them. Prices go as low as 350,000 but for the 5 or 10 dollars difference, I wouldn't make the choice on price (though I was tempted to when I was booking too).

As to memorable -- we had no set plan just ideas the first day with Dean. The first words out of his mouth after hello was to tell us he'd passed a temple blessing down the street and did we want to go? He didn't have set lengths of days for his price, and frankly seemed almost sad the two days he dropped us off before dark. He went out of his way to find things I asked about seeing, an obscure buddhist temple on the north shore, a mad dash back to Sukawati one day when I couldn't find the dance headresses I wanted to buy in the Klungkung market before delivering us back to Jimbaran (we started in Ubud that day, went out east to Tenganan to see the double ikat weaving). Dean, as I would expect any good driver would, spent a lot of time trying to figure out what we would like to see, what we'd be willing to give a miss to based on how we reacted to things he showed us.

Whoever you hire, ask about licenses and car age/condition/make -- air conditioning is essential.
jenskar is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 07:29 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,021
For Bali, I've always waited until I got to Bali to engage a driver. I've never had any diffiuclty finding one and I've always had good experiences. I can assess the state of the car, the driver's command of English and the "chemistry." So if you don't find a driver before you get there, don't worry.
Kathie is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 08:07 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 181
First, when hiring a driver in Indonesia I was told to check that they have passenger transport insurance to provide liability coverage for you. In the event of an accident the law apparently considers the customer as the owner of the vehicle for the period of the hire. If your driver is also a licensed tourist guide he can accompany you at no charge into the sites as your guide and his vehicle is regularly inspected for proper operation.

The best and most experienced guides can charge more simply because they are in greater demand such as the two you've contacted. This is one way to gauge the likely quality of the experience with them. Another is to learn about them to find someone who suits your style.

Choosing someone who you will spend many hours with is a very personal decision. I chose Putu Arnawa not just on great recommendations but because he is a great photographer, prefers to drive the backroads, hike the countryside, focuses on everyday life and is intelligent and well educated.

What we found unforgetable cannot be found in any guide book. PA put us in touch with the true vibe of the Balinese people and their unique and fasinating culture in just a few days. We did not visit many tourist destinations (our choice) but were introduced to average people during their normal routines. I learned so much about everyday life that way and through my varied conversations with PA. We really got to know each other well and our personal views on many subjects. I found an well spoken young man who is talented, caring, with a peaceful soul and nice personality who deeply loves Bali, its culture and his fellow countrymen.

PA maintains an extensive gallery of his Bali photo's on his website at www.BaliFriend.net which should not be missed and can be sent as e-cards to friends.

Being taken on a hike through the hills to small villages and greeting people along the way is a memorable experience that got me out the car and was relaxing.

Be less of a tourist and more of an adventurer and Bali will reward you.
Enjoy.











Becalm is offline  
May 10th, 2007, 07:14 PM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,025
One of my alll time favorite guides was in Bali. He books up well in advance and has competitive prices (always negotiate). He speaks fluent English and listens to what you want. HE is wonderfully kind and knowledgeable. He took us to a remote temple festival where we were the only Westerners. He brought along the proper garments for us to wear.
His name is Wayan (this means first born so there are many Wayans in Bali) Sueta. The email I have for him is [email protected]. We keep in contact so if I get a newer address, I'll post it.
Robbietravels is offline  
Jun 7th, 2007, 01:30 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 5
Hello robbkat,maybe it's late to inform cause I've just known this forum(fodor).I've visited Bali many times,and every time I come I used same driver as I knew him for almost 8 years.He's honest and has excellent English(same as a guide in travel agentwhich guided me in my my 1st visit to Bali).Try to email him:[email protected] Or try to type message to his mobile:081337776006.Hope you have nice vacation in Bali
lovebali is offline  
Jun 15th, 2007, 10:30 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 97
Having visited Bali many many times we can certainly recommend a great driver in Bali if you need one.

We highly recommend KETUT SUDIARTA as a driver. Ketut is very safe and experienced driver, has a good command of English, and a very good sense of humour which kept us thoroughly entertained during the trip.

His rate is very reasonable and you can do either a 1/2 day or a full day. His phone number is 081 239 32604, and email [email protected].

We have recommended Ketut to many friends who have visited Bali, and they all raved about his service! A good guy!
Tell him 'Mr. Mark' says hello.

Check the positive comments on the Bali Forum. Also you can ask to see his "client book" with recommends from people all over the world.

Hope you have a great visit
megamiles is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 03:16 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 66
We have been to Bali twice in the last 3 years. The driver/guide you want is Merta. There is a criteria to be used: honest, knows his stuff not just drive and drop you off and reasonable. Merta fits all of these and more. He and his family who we met lives in Denpasar and works for a tour agency and also does driving/guide as well. You definitely cannot go wrong, I am 70 and my wife is 68 and this guy took us everywhere, we even got to see a Cremation. Temples, shops (not ones he gets commission from but good shops) His email address is: [email protected]. Tell him John froim Florida said Hi.
jonbarb709 is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 06:46 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,005
i heard from putu yesterday....he has been very busy with a local festival...it takes him several days to respond usually as his schedule is quite busy...

we loved our time with him a few years ago and will use him again next year on our return....money very well spent..
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 11:40 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 1,025
I have another email address for the guide I mentioned last month, Wayan Sueta. My husband and I found him delightful, flexible, open to discussing anything, willing to go to great lengths to fulfill your requests and fun to be with. Several years ago his prices were in the middle range and negotiation is always possible. I never felt "stuck" with him as I have with guides in some places. Wayan's email:
[email protected]denbali.com. BTW, the first name Wayan is very common because it means "first born".
Robbietravels is offline  
Jun 17th, 2007, 07:06 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 29,005
as the name putu means 2nd born...
rhkkmk is offline  
Jun 27th, 2007, 08:43 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 130
Hi Robbkat,

We used Dean last year. My husband & I (in our late 20s) considered having a driver/guide only after reading so many trip reports. All I can say is that it was the best decision. Dean made our stay in Bali so much more special. He understood our needs and showed us the authentic Bali and sights we would never see without a guide.
Whoever you choose I am sure you are going to have a great time! We loved Bali and are hoping to come back soon.

Kind regards,
Katerina
Kacenka is offline  
Jun 28th, 2007, 11:03 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 552
I'M SURE THERE ARE A GAZILLION GOOD DRIVER/GUIDES IN BALI, OTHER THAN THE ONES MENTIONED OVER AND OVER IN THESE POSTS, BUT I'LL PUT MY YWO CENTS IN FOR PUTU. WE'VE USED HIM TWICE IN THE PAST YEAR, AND IN ADDITION TO MANY TEMPLES AND CEREMONIES, HE TOOK US TO HIS NEPHEW'S WEDDING AT THEIR FAMILY COMPOUND. SO HE IS CERTAINLY WILLING TO BRING YOU TO AUTHENTIC BALI. HE HAS BEEN DIFFICULT TO REACH LATELY, BUT HE DID REPLY TO MY LAST EMAIL (IT TOOK A WHILE), AND HE WAS ALWAYS PROMPT AND RELIABLE ON HIS PICKUPS FOR TOURS.
susncrg is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 08:28 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 8
As you surf around all travel websites I'm sure you'll find recommendations on many of the same Bali drivers. Well my husband & I just returned from a recent trip to Bali (our first time) and luckily met up with, whom we would consider, a highly recommended Bali driver & guide. His name is Putu Sudiana - his website is http://www.yourbalidriver.com. After years of experience serving as a driver/guide for a reptable tourist company he has started his own business & I cannot recommend him highly enough. Not only does he speak great English, have extensive knowledge of the entire island, extremely reasonable in price, but he truly has a way to make you feel so comfortable and at home- honestly his primary purpose is to make sure you are having the best time you can. Happy to share our itineray photos, and any other questions if you'd like.
steph_bert is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Joey_Chia
Asia
5
May 23rd, 2010 05:24 AM
bbraude
Asia
6
Aug 30th, 2005 03:13 PM
rjaybrenn
Asia
4
Jun 15th, 2005 01:39 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 05:03 PM.