Is Bali the World’s Bogan Capital?
There is an unfortunate joke around the world, that when you arrive in Bali it is okay to lower your normal standards, act inappropriately, in fact, just join ‘everyone’ else and become a bogan! What is a bogan, I hear you ask… Well acting like a bogan is being ‘unsophisticated, acting as having low social status, or being offensive’ in public or to those around you.
It is a stereotype that Australians seem to be labelled with, but is it justified?
I have travelled to many countries and different places seem to attract ‘labels’ for nationalities. I am not sure why! However, although in some places of Bali, like Kuta, there is a ‘party’ atmostphere; in other areas a ‘surf and beach’ culture, overall I find Bali and the typical tourist similar to any island beach resort. Yes, of course, there are those who drink to much and leave their manners at home! Then there are those who are still living in the 70’s and look like they have lost touch with reality.. but they are fun to talk and listen to. There are tourists who are rude and dis-respectful. But we all have these people in the towns and cities where we live.
Here are some hints and tips on how to create a new and positive stereotype for Tourists in Bali!
Your Vibe attracts like minded people. One of the best ways to really enjoy Balinese Culture and your trip is to avoid the tourist traps of Kuta, Legian, Seminyak and Canggu and get out and see the real Bali. North and West Bali have sensational sights to see, its almost a different culture. Climb the Volcano at dawn; visit a temple; eat some street food, and of course, sample the local beer. Remember to try the boutique beers flavored with local fruits, herbs, spices and vegetables. There’s lots to do, eat and taste!
Be conscious of what you are “leaving behind”. Take a reusable water bottle with you. Don’t drop your litter or plastic bottles ‘anywhere’ but a rubbish bin. Volunteer to help anywhere you see an opportunity. Life Change Retreats has a “Pack with a Purpose” motto and we pack and donate school supplies to local schools near the resorts we stay in. You can do the same. Every kid like new pencils, books etc…. they don’t take up much space. Pack a few things to give away while you travel around.
The Balinese dress more conservatively than we do, so dress like you are on holiday, but think ‘culture’ before you step outside… looking half-dressed to the local people. If you are on a motorbike (you shouldn’t be – your travel insurance doesn’t cover you unless you have a licence) realise that your sarong will blow in the wind and you will be exposed to sun and people. Also, be aware of the sun, use protection – a hat or sunblock. Keep your shirt on everywhere except on the beach. Respect the culture!
If You Ride a Scooter…
Be careful and aware. Know that Australian Travel Insurance does not Cover you unless you have a current Australian Motorcycle Licence (Check your policy) Wear a Helmet. Avoid getting burnt by the Sun or the exhaust when stepping off the bike. Don’t be tempted to drink and ride or do dumb stuff you wouldn’t do at home. Always, put your gear under the seat, so you do not suffer a ‘drive by’ robbery. When you are riding around, remember, road rage has no place anywhere. It will be frustrating, remember you are on holiday… you have plenty of time.
Bali is a fantastic place to visit, to explore and to let your hair down. Don’t have fun at the expense of others. Be respectful. You will enjoy your memories for years to come more comfortably if you are not secretly ashamed of any of your actions. Let’s become the new generation of tourists in Bali…