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I was just in Bali for four nights (Nov 2016). So I thought I'd give a concise report. The content here will be based on the interests of the readership - which are not necessarily my own. I arrived in Bali after two weeks in more far flung corners of Indonesia, which of course coloured my views. There won’t be much here that your average Aussie doesn’t know - but the info might be useful to Americans.
The good thing is that you can get a nice hotel for 18-28 USD from which to base your operations. Swimming pool, a decent bathroom, good breakfast, cable TV, a fridge and kettle (electric jug). Expect to pay the same price and have none of that shit most places in Indonesia.
At the airport there is a taxi mafia who will try to extort ridiculous sums out of you. If you can walk out of the airport and flag down a bluebird taxi, they will use the metre. On the drive to the hotel you’ll notice that roads are traffic clogged and footpaths (sidewalks) are in disrepair or sometimes non existent. Shopping opportunities are everywhere as are bars and restaurants. The beach is actually nice and the only place around not too crowded.
I stayed in Seminyak this time, which is supposed to have more long-term expats and Indonesians on holiday than the infamous Kuta area, which is more for drunken Australian bogans. Seminyak turned out to have many crass Aussies too.
For meeting girls I was recommended La Favella, Mint and Jenja nightclubs. La Favella was full of the above mentioned, muscle-headed Aussie boys and girls, Mint was dead and I didn’t have the energy to try Jenja.
On Tinder I got around 50 matches in four days. I was slightly fussy on who I swiped right on. I was looking for girls working a credible job. Model, fashion industry worker, surf instructor and spa therapist - all seemed to be code words for prostitute. There were a few genuine girls on there and they tended to be from Java, not Bali itself. But then again a lot of the prostitutes were from Java too. There seemed to be an inordinate number of white girls of 32, looking good in a bikini and claiming to have relocated to Bali to follow their dream of being a yoga instructor. There were some Russian girls too. I imagine there are many better online sites to use than Tinder too. I would advise you try Skout for instance - I didn’t have the time.
Unfortunately, I had a badly infected thumb from a splinter I picked on a jungle hike in another province. I had to go to an emergency clinic in the end. The doctor gave me a local and sliced my thumb open with a scalpel. He dug the infected tissue out and send me back the hotel with strong antibiotics. I didn’t feel well for the rest of my time in Bali and this basically confined me to the hotel. Murphy’s Law Winston would call it as the places I’d been previous to Bali were still in the pre-tinder age (yes such places still exist). For instance, in the Muslim Sultanate of Ternate, where I was for almost a week, out of a population of 200,000 there were two girls on Tinder - neither of whom were attractive!
I was lounging in the lobby of my Bali hotel when an attractive girl turned up on a motorbike - no helmet as it would have ruined her hair. She floated in and sat by a tall, skinny and quite ugly young Croat...He was texting, she was texting...she smiled at him...he looked at her. She looked at me and smiled too. (no harm in trying to line up a few more customers) I thought perhaps the Croat was the one who had ordered her services. But no, she went over the the concierge/taxi guy and told him what room she was going to, and he lead her to the lift. She was all spark in a little black dress, showing brown cleavage. She passed with a strong wave of perfume. Her face was attractive, striking. Wow I thought, sit up in your hotel room with the TV on and find a girl like that online to drive over and spend an hour and a half with you. I wondered at the cost, I cursed being poor, sick and short on time. I’d also be somewhat bashful about everybody in the hotel knowing my business!
An hour and a half later (to the minute) the chick reappeared. Her shoulders were now a bit stooped, her hair was wet. She got on her bike and I felt sorry for her that she had to stop and pay parking to the three security guards - they obviously knew what she was about and had a joke at her expense. The idea of contracting the services of such a girl no longer seemed so good.
Later I got a hotel taxi and the driver had noticed that girl too. Did you order that he asked me? No, I said. He told me a girl like that probably has five customers in an afternoon, so needs strong perfume. I’d figured that one out already. He said if you knew where you could get a girl like that for sixty bucks. He gave me his card, advised me to come back to Bali to set up a business etc etc.
On Tinder some girls texted me first (it’d never happen in Taiwan) one said lets meet up. She was from Java, 172 cm - had some fashion job. She said she wanted taxi money if we were going to meet. I said no. Later she texted me ‘you want to f**k me? I need money to pay my rent’...again I declined. Another girl, from Bali, made a coffee date with me. When I was on the way to the cafe she flaked, saying we should meet the next day. I had wisely picked a cafe near the emergency clinic. I needed to go there to get my bandage changed. In the reception of the clinic were two drunk, shirtless Aussies - who’d just been stitched up after a fight.
On the street local guys try to sell you xanax, viagra and valium. It used to be Marijuana and mushrooms but due to mushrooms being made illegal in the past few years, and widely publicized cases of aussies being locked up for marijuana possession you don't get offered those anymore
So you lazy guys who ask ‘where do they speak English in Asia’ might like Bali for banging hot girls without ever having to leave the hotel. Also, if you like backpacker white girls it could be your thing. You’ll need to be in good shape for that though. I’m 6’2 and 185 pounds and I felt short on height and biceps compared with many of the other guys around. Surfing, diving, drinking, shopping...it’s all good for that. But, Bali corrupts people, there is too much tourism there. I felt much more like a walking ATM than in the rest of Indonesia. If you want a nice Indonesian girlfriend go to Java. However, then you will have to put up with worse service and tourist infrastructure and well as cultural and language difficulties. So you might be better off in the Philippines? I had better luck with girls in Bali on a trip in 2013. I was in better health and not using any online dating apps. I was also drunk half the time, whereas now I barely drink. I’m not trying to sound holier than thou, but maybe I’ve grown up a bit and a place like Bali no longer appeals.