Tourist Traps

Old Apr 21st, 2023, 07:51 AM
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Tourist Traps

Tourist Traps.
Places you've been that no one else should suffer.
Tengenan (the original Balinese) Bali. Just outside Candidasa and recommended by Lonely Planet!
When I went was met by 'guide' (after giving donation) who showed me a street of pretty good houses and a couple of shrines. Just him and me along with a couple of other tourists in whole village. Then persuaded to enter a 'home' that looked more like a shop. 18th century loom at enterance (for effect, no doubt) then a large room full of textiles at very silly prices that I could have bought using a credit card. Not so conservative then. No one making anything. In fact no one at all aside for guide, shopkeeper and me. I knew as much when I left as I did when I entered and that was nothing about these people or their farming or ways of life. A total waste of time and money. Also shown where they 'produce' teas, coffees and honey. Again no real insight as to how they did all this. Had taster of several teas, then on to shop expecting me to buy something. Again at silly prices.
Don't go and maybe they'll wake up.

Last edited by spitfire1948; Apr 21st, 2023 at 07:54 AM.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2023, 01:38 AM
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My experience of Tenganan was -- I'm glad to say -- quite wonderful: I found it utterly fascinating and am extraordinarily grateful for having had the opportunity to visit that unique village. My guide -- and yes, you are expected to pay him -- was extremely informative, and when I showed even a tiny bit of interest in something (whether verbally or nonverbally), he was happy to share more. I was the only visitor in the tiny four-quadrant village when I was there, and I considered that a bonus.

Anyone who wants to know more about Tenganan or it's special textiles ("geringsing") might consider consulting Wikipedia, which provides an overview of each, along with some citations to further information. Anyone who wants to know more about weaving and why looms were traditionally placed inside a home (not just in Tenganan, but throughout the world), might consult Elizabeth Wayland Barber's book, Women's Work. BTW, anyone who takes the time to learn about geringsing will know that of course no one will be weaving when you visit -- the weaving is governed by any number of restrictions that would preclude that.

I appreciated the approach I experienced toward purchases in Tenganan -- I felt absolutely no pressure. Nonetheless, I was delighted to have an opportunity to purchase geringsing. I had priced it in Ubud and Semarapura, and hadn't thought I could afford even a small piece. I was delighted to meet the woman who wove the pieces I purchased, at a price that was substantially lower than elsewhere.

As tourists, I think each of us must make our own decisions about how we approach traditional communities. I don't mind paying for the privilege of seeing relatively undisturbed and unique places when I have reason to believe that my contribution will benefit the residents and help preserve the community -- as I did with Tenganan. But that, I think, is a matter of personal choice; others might feel differently.

It saddened me to read spitfire's account. I'm not questioning it, but felt compelled to note that my experience of Tenganan was overwhelmingly positive. There was nothing about MY experience in Tenganan that would justify calling it a tourist trap.

If anyone wants a more complete description of my experience in Tenganan, look at post # 146 in my trip report that included Bali -- A Memorable Solo Month in Singapore, Java, and Bali
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Old May 18th, 2023, 05:10 AM
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A huge waste of money and travel time, Neuschwanstein. It was highly recommended to us and we were so disappointed.
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Old May 18th, 2023, 07:15 AM
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Thanks for your interesting explanation of Geringsing, kja.
Here's the wikipedia reference:

My experiences in Bali have echoed yours - generous, informative guides who will go the extra mile for anyone who shows genuine interest. And warm, hospitable hosts on any visits to homes I've had.

It's a shame the OP hadn't done some research before visiting the village- perhaps that may have afforded them a greater appreciation for the very intricate and special textiles that Geringsing are. And for their real value.

The Balinese people have had a terrible time economically through the Covid years and I'm delighted to see their tourist numbers are picking up well now.
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Old May 18th, 2023, 10:07 AM
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Originally Posted by HappyTrvlr
A huge waste of money and travel time, Neuschwanstein. It was highly recommended to us and we were so disappointed.
I LOVED Neuschwanstein, especially the interior! It really spoke to Ludwig’s personality and his situation. I went off season though (early April) so not that crowded and very enjoyable inside and out. It was one of those places that far exceeded my expectations.
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Old May 19th, 2023, 03:09 PM
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amyb, we had the opposite reaction to you! Each to their own. Also, not a fan of Germany. He was mentally ill and the castle reflected that.Disappointed was a mild word as we were angry we had wasted precious travel time. I think the only palace/ castle I have enjoyed touring was Buckingham Palace.

Last edited by HappyTrvlr; May 19th, 2023 at 03:12 PM.
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