Guides and Drivers
A car with driver
is probably the favorite option of most
visitors to Bali. It is like having a private
tour bus, with the go-anywhere flexibility
of a hire car.
Most drivers are budding tour
guides, and are willing to explain the stories
associated with the common sights. Perhaps
the largest drawback is that the drivers
tend to follow a well-worn circuit of popular
day-trip destinations, so be prepared to
plan the sites you want to visit, and discuss
your plans with the driver.
Keep in mind that there is
a difference between a "driver"
and a "Tour Guide" in Bali. And
in most cases, if you want a "Tour
Guide" you will be paying for two people.
The "Tour Guide" describes what
you are seeing - and more importantly, per
law, has a CERTIFICATE/LICENSE which permits
him to say he's a TOUR GUIDE. The "Driver"
is just that, someone who drives. Hiring a driver, and not a tour guide, saves
you money, but you may not get the 'real
deal' touristy information like you would
receive had you spent money for both.
In Bali, most guides and drivers
try to steer tourists to particular shops
that give them commissions on everything
you purchase. Merchants pass on to you the
commission charge. Most commissions range
from 10 to 20%. Top quality shops in Bali
do not pay commissions, because they have
a steady clientele based on their reputation;
many guides and drivers won't take you to
these shops. Shops that are frequented by
tour buses invariably pay commissions to
guides, and in addition many of their goods
are of poor or mediocre quality. Hence it
it important to book your guide and driver
through a travel agent or rental car company
who are fully responsible for their guides