I just have to write a separate post about this. Although in Indonesia and Bali there are thousands of different dialects and languages the one we are hearing the most is the special “honking” traffic language. It’s really different from back home. Similar things have also been present in other SE locations but here it’s at a totally new level. Since the traffic in Bali is an organized chaos some method of communication is needed. I already understand some of it but I think it really takes time to master :). If in Estonia you hear a car horn only when someone is stuck to their cell-phone screen for too long and the green light has been on for already some time or when someone is just pissed at the other driver, then here it’s a different story. It’s a constant melody of different horns. Here are some examples why people are using a horn and some that are just my guesses 🙂
- If you near a poor visibility junction or a curb in the road the horn is used to let other drives know that you’re coming
- If you plan to pass someone who is standing at the roadside the horn is used to warn them so they wouldn’t open a door or wander to the road
- When driving on a highway usually most of the cars who are passing on the faster lane sound their horns
- When you’re walking near the road all the available taxis sound a horn at you so you could notice them and maybe even jump aboard 🙂
- Majority of huge trucks and buses sound their horns so you could just get out of their way! And believe me when I say that horns installed on these things are just deafening!
- When you see a familiar face in the traffic you’ll sound a horn so they could notice you 🙂
- And yes, also in here when someone is pissed at someone sounding a horn is not spared!
All that above is just a glimpse of what I think horns are used in here. But sometimes it seems that they are using it just randomly or maybe they want to ask from a friend “How was the movie yesterday?” or “Shall we go for a lunch tomorrow?” :). Either way it’s quite an experience and during some time you’ll just start to ignore the unimportant honking and focus on the important ones. That is if you get it right of course 🙂
As I already mentioned in the last post renting a scooter is a must since the distances in here are noticeable. In order to get from one side of the island to the other it can take up to 4-5 hours without the crazy traffic that you’ll encounter around Kuta, Denpasar and other bigger areas. With a car it probably takes much longer because of the already mentioned traffic + in some places roads are really not roads and unless you’re in a 4×4 there’s just no way to pass. And be very careful in junctions since there are no rules. If a big enough mass gathers it’s your time to go. Be sure to look left, right, behind, ahead and down because there will be surprises coming from each direction :)! If to compare it with Phuket, the other place with notoriously horrible traffic, I think that this place is a bit worse, especially during rush hours. But you’ll get used to that :)!
Secondly be sure to carry cash everywhere you go. Since in almost every beach, temple and tourist object there is a small fee for parking your scooter + a fee per person to enter the area. Sometimes these two fees can be combined but you can be sure that someone will ask you a small amount of money :). Usually it’s about 2000-3000 for parking a scooter and entrance tickets can be from 2000 to 10000 with prices going up to 60000 in most popular tourist attractions. I get all that but what seems a bit weird is that even if you want to go to McDonalds or just a walk in the park for example, even there they’ll charge you for parking :). I don’t know from where this kind of tradition has come from but it’s just easier to get used to it!
Petrol/gasoline is really inexpensive (about ~0,53€ per liter) here. You can find it being sold almost everywhere in small home-made gas stations and in old liquor bottles on wooden shelves by the road. It comes in different colors 🙂 but as I’ve been told the only thing that they differ from is the price and an average scooter drinks almost about everything.
Since there are sadly a huge number of stray dogs roaming on the streets you have to be really careful about them also. In addition quite often you can meet just standing in the middle of the street: cats, chickens, rats, lizards, cows, geese, turkeys and a huge variety of other unknown animals :).
I hope you found some value in these tips! Meanwhile here’s the second video of Bali. Go and have a look!