PUTU--the bali driver

Old Jun 12th, 2004, 08:47 PM
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PUTU--the bali driver

we had the luck to use putu last week in bali for most of the week...he had been suggested by craig on this forum...

we were very pleased with him in every respect

his rates range from 250,000 rp to 400,000 rp per day...this depends on the length of time 6-12 hours...

i will write more upon our return to the usa next week

bob k
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Old Jun 12th, 2004, 10:14 PM
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I picked up Putu where Bob left off. Have seen pretty much all of central Bali in the last two days. Last night we went to a village temple festival. Apparently a once in thirty years kind of event. Putu, me, a few hundred Balinese and three or four other westerners were there. Traditional dancing and music and a beautiful temple complex in that village which is near Ubud.

In less than an hour he will pick me up and we are going to be in the parade today, the last day of the festival.

Am enjoying seeing Bali with Putu, he is a fine young man and his English is very good. He is also providing details of the snippets of Balinese life that we've seen in travels. I met Putu's mother yesterday. She works at Ananda Cottages (for 23 years) where I was staying.
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Old Jun 12th, 2004, 10:22 PM
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Can I ask you both something? I did the entire island of Bali back in the 80's without a car and driver. I did it on my own, on foot, on bicycle, and bemo, I believe. Why do you find it necessary, on an island as small as Bali, to have a car and driver? Just curious....
 
Old Jun 12th, 2004, 10:35 PM
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It is not necessary. Back in the 80s I probably would have done it the way you did. But today, it is more affordable to me. The price is low enough for me to see things this way, with a driver who goes where I want and where I want in an air conditioned car. No waiting for the bus or being crammed in a little bus with a bunch of strangers. It is a matter of comfort and convenience, but also a matter of saving time. Am willing to spend money to save time. Really, I could ask you the same question about taking the bemo: why take the bemo when you can walk for free?
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Old Jun 12th, 2004, 11:00 PM
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Because taking the bemo is far more interesting, and puts you in touch with Balinese culture.
 
Old Jun 12th, 2004, 11:03 PM
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And let us be clear, even in the 80's, it was never a question of money, (because nothing cost much then in Bali, and at any rate, I've never been a backpapcker type) but of experiencing the culture first-hand, without the insulation of an air-con car and driver.
 
Old Jun 12th, 2004, 11:09 PM
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In dase I didn't make my position perfectly clear- I think it's utterly ridiculous to have a car and drive in Bali.
 
Old Jun 13th, 2004, 02:52 AM
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Glad to hear that your your experiences with Putu have been good. One very good reason to have a driver is that the Balinese "style" of driving is not what we are used to and it is much safer to have someone else do the work. Even if you have the luxury of time (and most of us don't), I would not consider doing Bali on my own. I certainly would not ride a bicycle there. I should point out also that Bali has changed since the '80's - it may have been practical and safe to see it on your own back then - less traffic, less population.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 05:02 AM
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airlawgirl: To each his own. Tolerance of our differences and travel styles is a good thing. Diverstiy training is good too- maybe we should have a session for travelers. I would never "roll" myself across the world like that fella did (or is doing- is he finished yet?) but who cares, it's his body and his travels, if he wants to roll, I say "roll on!" Like mrwunrfl, I used to do it differently when I was in my 20s, stayed in hostels and took the bus w/the chickens in Mexico. Now I am almost 50 and I don't take the chicken buses anymore, but it doesn't make me a naughty, bad tourist. I spend more to be comfortable now, and so what. Now go run and catch that next bemo, and have a nice time in your travels, no matter how you choose to do it. (Ever think of trying the rolling thing? It might be a unique way to see a country from a different perspective.)
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 04:03 PM
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We are very excited about Putu, we will be with him the in the first half of August (thanks Craig and Bob!). He has been a wonderful help even planning our hotel stays, where he pointed out a festival he didn't think we'd want to miss in Ubud on a day we planned to be leaving. We would have never known if not for him via email.
When we were younger we did farm stays and home stays all over the world and didn't worry.
Now we like COMFORT....and most importantly have very limited time. In order to see as many things as possible, and to cherry pick the best sites, a guide is great to have. Wish we had the luxury of more time to drift but we don't. Also traveling with kids, not so easy to herd them on to busses and get them to shlep on foot all over the place. To each his own.
My cousin just got back from Papau New Guinea where she slept on straw mattresses and woke up with bugs crawling all over her body and welts the next day. And she had a great time. That's great for her but NO WAY for me! My husband and I work hard and during the few weeks/year we get away we want comfort!!! Personal opinion.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 07:26 PM
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It is my last two days of a three week trip: 2 weeks in Japan and 1 week in Bali. I am going to do something even more ridiculous today: stay at my western hotel (Hyatt in Sanur), eat western food, and get some sun and sand on the beach. I probably won't even leave the hotel grounds today.
I've got two reasons for this choice:
1) will relax today and tomorrow because I've got 30 hours of travelling to do starting tomorrow night.
2) got a cold from the air conditioning at the Ananda Cottages (NOT from Putu's car, I am convinced).

Another reason: there is no scooter exhaust here.
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Old Jun 13th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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mrwunrfl: Can't believe your vacation is almost over. No reason to explain your down time. It has sounded like a great trip. And we have been getting the reports "on the road", which has been helpful for those who are getting on their planes to go to both Japan and Bali, even as you will be getting on your plane to come home. How does one say, "Have a good rest before your trip" in Japanese?
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 04:35 AM
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Thanks, emd. I am actually looking forward to the trip home. It will be two redeye flights back to back. Leaving Bali at 11:55 AM EDT on Tuesday arriving JFK at 11:30 AM EDT and DCA at 4:40 PM EDT on Wednesday.

Putu took me to another Balinese cultural experience yesterday when we watched the preparations for and beginning of the parade. The parade started in a neighboring village and when to the village temple that we visited the night before. There were nine floats that the boys carried. The men played instruments in bands of a dozen or so. Some of the young men were dressed like women. The women and girls walked in groups wearing marvelously colorful clothing. For this, as the night before, I wore a sarong of two parts and a white headband with a crest and gold trim that Putu brought for me.
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 04:59 AM
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How do I contact Puto? If I want to stay on Nua Dusa:
1) What is the best 5 start hotel?
2) Where is Puto based? If I want to use Puto to drive us to Ubud how much time would that take?
3) Can I schedule Puto for 3-4 hours at a time?
4) What type of vehicle does he drive?
5) What is his hourly rate? Are there extras for going to other locations?
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 06:01 AM
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Whoa, the outfit sounds great- how nice that he provided it. Will he let you bring it back so you can wear it the office on casual day?
Too bad Putu doesn't do Japan- I'd call him too!
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Old Jun 14th, 2004, 09:59 AM
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To BillT - email [email protected]. He lives in Ubud but can drive you anywhere. I think Nusa Dua is 45 minutes away at the most. You can schedule Putu for a half-day (250,000 Rupiah). He drives a Toyota Kijang SUV which can seat 5 comfortably without luggage. There are no extra charges and he does not charge to drive to where you are to be picked up. For 8 to 12 hours, he charges 300,000 - 400,000 Rupiah.
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Old Jun 15th, 2004, 12:00 AM
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Additional details on his website:
http://www.balifriend.net/
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Old May 25th, 2012, 12:26 PM
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just a reminder--prices are slightly higher in 2012
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Old May 26th, 2012, 12:56 PM
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I must admit Putu took me for a fool. I paid 650,000Rp./day for 10 hours last year for up to 10 hours and most days it was only 8-9 hours but that was our decision. I was going to use him this Dec. for 1 day though after 3 visits to Bali (11 days of touring over a 16 year period)but I sure doubt it it now if the above is correct. We are spending 4 days in Bali at The Chedi Club prior to 12 days on a liveabaord in the Raja Ampat Islands.
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Old May 26th, 2012, 01:07 PM
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Stan, the above prices were for 2004. I expect you simply paid current prices.
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