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Insights from Bali

Kuta, Indonesia


Tourism is definitely a buyers market in Bali. The economy is still suffering from some bombings that occurred several years before but the experience in Bali is very safe- you have more to fear from traditional risks such as crazy drivers and aggressive vendors than from terrorism. Upshot is that hotels and food are inexpensive and plentiful. People are friendly. Scenery is beautiful. It’s simply a great place to explore!

Withdrawing Cash. ATMs can be a challenge if you need large amounts- which for Indonesia can be anything over $60. I was in a tough situation because I needed extra cash to pay for an upcoming scuba trip. Solution: Head to the international airport where the Citibank ATM allowed individual withdrawals of $160 at a time. I was able to talk my way through the airport security and 4 transactions later I was on my way.

The Singapore Factor. Singaporeans come to party at the swanky clubs in Semanyak. I learned from them that Singapore’s society faces some interesting gender challenges. As women have become empowered and entered the work force, they have less interest in the traditional wife role. Marriage and birth rates declined. The Singapore government became concerned and has made efforts to encourage socializing (cocktail parties, etc.) in the hopes of reversing the trend. I don’t know how successful they’ve been but anecdotally I have heard that many Singaporean men have taken on wives with traditional values from China while Singaporean women have increasingly married progressive westerners.

permalink written by  benjgolf on May 30, 2007 from Kuta, Indonesia
from the travel blog: Tour de Asia
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