The Frugal Balinist

*Tech Heads-up.

“Juice jacking” is a new way to infect your phone or laptop with malware when you are charging at airport or other public USB ports or by using USB cables. Once you plug in, you get hacked. Thieves can then read and export your data, including your passwords, and can even lock up your device. So always use a power outlet rather than a USB charging station in airports or internet cafes. Also carry your own power cords, pack a portable battery bank and an inexpensive “USB condom” that disables the cable’s data pin, allowing charging but blocking any flow of data. *Be careful when using Google Maps on Bali as you may end up down an obscure road in the middle of rice paddies. *Redmi Note 8 is an excellent budget phone with 48MP camera that can be purchased at the official Xiaomi store in Denpasar. *Tokopedia scored highest for total monthly web visits of 140,414,500 in 2019. The second most visited e-commerce site was Shopee (90,705,300), followed by Bukalapak (89,765,800), Lazada (49,620,200) and Blibli (38,453,000). Shopee has become especially popular with K-pop listeners and men who like soccer. *Instead of sending bits of cardboard around the world at holiday time, allows users to send carbon-free Christmas e-cards. *World clocks:;


* Airport Blues.

Arriving at 8 pm or later at Ngurah Rai Airport and then renting a motorbike is not an option and car rentals cost up to Rp500,000/day. *Fares at the taxi counter have become extortionate, charging Rp150,000 for destinations even close to the airport and if you’re heading to Sanur, Canggu or Ubud, it’s serious money. If you haggle with taxi drivers, you’ll end up paying Rp250,000Rp300,000 to Ubud. Drivers will try for Rp450,000 but just stay firm. *Alternatively, exit baggage claim and head for the airport departure level above the ground-level arrivals parking area. If burdened down, take the elevator to your left. Once on the departure level, wait for a Bluebird taxi to drop someone off for their flight. Bluebird uses the meter. A Bluebird taxi will cost approximately half of what they ask at the airport taxi counter. Sometimes you have to wait awhile for a Bluebird, but it’s worth the while. *Yet another option is just to walk to the domestic terminal and get a taxi from there. *Download the GoJek app and get a motorbike ride to your destination for much cheaper, but you’ll have to go through some trouble to get to the place where they can safely pick you up beyond the glare of the airport’s taxi mafia. *GoJek and Grab (for cars) drivers are available if you exit the terminal and walk for 5 min. all the way through the parking garage and out the other side where the motorbike parking is. Just follow the droves of other people. *Don’t ever put anything valuable like jewelry, electronics or currency in your checked bag. It can get stolen or damaged. Too much of a risk and you won’t get any compensation since airlines advise you to keep valuable items with you.


* Delectably cheap fruits.

Because of the sudden evaporation of the Chinese export market on account of the coronavirus, there’s now an immense oversupply of Dragon Fruit and mangosteens causing the price of these fruits to plummet. However, Bali consumers should expect a steep increase in the cost of garlic. Before the cancellation of flights between China and Indonesia, China flooded the market with cheap, high quality garlic. Newly planted crops of garlic in Bali’s Kintamani region will not be available in markets until April or May.


* Bargains.  

Use Visa’s and Mastercard’s online calculators, or a currency app on your phone, to estimate what you’ll be charged on your credit card. *With many types of Amex cards, users pay no foreign transaction fee. *Ubud has a plethora of massage parlors that offer massages for Rp75,000 to Rp200,000. *A great number of Kuta massage parlors give 1.5 hour Balinese massages for around Rp100,000. *Scooter hire from a local shop costs around Rp600,000/month; fuel costs only Rp15,000 to fill the tank which lasts about a week if you’re just putting around.*From Ubud south to Kuta or Nusa Dua costs about Rp300,000 one-way in a private taxi. *Entry fees to some cultural and religious sites are nominal, currently only Rp15,000 (Lempuyang, Taman Ayun and Kehen). However, to get into Ubud’s Monkey Forest is now a whopping Rp80,000. *A 20 pack of yoga classes at the Yoga Barn runs just Rp1,400,000. *High tourist prices are the norm in tourist areas, but the further you get off the beaten path, the more inexpensive everything is. *A sarong at a big Kuta supermarket costs around Rp75,000, but you can bargain for much less in a traditional market or on the beach where you can pay as little as Rp100,000 for two. *Cheap sketchbooks, pencils and kid’s craft supplies are available from any supermarket. *Ordering drinks for dinner will often end up even pricier than the whole meal; choose water or soft drinks and avoid alcohol because of steep tax.


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Copyright © 2020 Bill Dalton

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