Bali Tourist Attractions and Vendors

Posted by on May 28, 2011

Today is our last full day in Bali. In Komodo, and at Seraya we were secluded from most of the Bali culture being on the boat and staying on the resort except for some walks on the beach while at Seraya. So the last few days in Ubud have been very interesting as we have been out and about interacting with people. Now I have to admit that we have been doing the tourist thing so probably not the real Bali culture but the “tourist facing” culture.

Besakih – Mother Temple
Tirta Gangga Water Palace

We’ve seen some amazing sights includng the water palace at Tirta Gangga, Besakih, and Git Git waterfall in particular. We’ve enjoyed ourselves but are really turned off by the hard sell vendors everywhere we go. There weren’t too many at Tirta Gangga but when we went up to Besakih they were everwhere! They actually make you walk up this long road with vendor stalls on either side of the road. Then while in the temple itself there are children and women with flowers and cold drinks and other trinkets which your “guide” makes sure to take you past on his tour. At the very top where he assured us you could see the entire comples (East, West, North and South temples) there are more stalls selling paintings, carvings, jewelry, food and drink etc… But you can’t actually see all four temples or if you can I couldn’t tell which roof was which.

Roadside vendors converge on Randy.

Same thiing at every other place we stopped. The walk to Git Git waterfall could have been a very nice peaceful walk through the rice fields, around the mountain, along the river to the waterfall. Instead, you have to walk along a trail with many sets of stairs from one set of vendor stalls to another with every vendor chanting in a sing-song voice, “very cheap mistehr, only 20,000, 20,000, come look mistehr, very cheap”. My evil twin took over and by the time we left Git Git I was chanting back in a sing-song voice “no thank you, no thank you, we have watehr, we have watehr, no thank you”. By the time we left Git Git we were so sick of being accosted by these vendors that we didn’t want to stop at any of the other temples or markets suggested by the driver. Take us back to our hotel please!


What I felt like at the end of the day.


Git Git Waterfall

It surprised us that there is so much commercialization in the temples. They are beautiful. And they are temples, right? Religious places and historical places. But it seems like they not only allow but encourage the vendors. I find it kind of sad. The U.S. is very commercial, but we don’t put vendor stalls along the trails in Yosemite.