Bali Tour Guide - What to Look For to Find the Right One by:Greg Mitchelhill
Finding the right Bali Tour Guide can make the difference between a good holiday and a great one.
There are many good guides in Bali. But for every good one, there is a dud. When you are planning your trip to Bali, you obviously want to get the best value for your money, and will want someone who can help you make the most of your visit.
Finding a good guide can make an amazing impression on your holiday. A bad guide could certainly leave you wondering what might have been.
Some guides will have bomb cars, while others have late model cars. The difference between sitting in a comfortable air-conditioned vehicle for 8 hours versus one without A/C and a broken seat is obvious. Pick someone with a good car.
It is important that your Bali Tour Guide has a good knowledge of the Island. That is fairly obvious. It is fair to assume that someone who is driving for a living would know Bali, but don't take it for granted. It is the hidden treasures of Bali that are sometimes the best. Only experience will find those special places.
Your guide should have a good grasp on your spoken language. Communication is the key. I am assuming that you will want someone who speaks English if you are reading this. They don't have to be fluent, but you need to easily understand each other. Trying to tell your guide that you need a toilet stop by sign language could be embarrassing.
You definitely don't want someone who is receiving "kick backs" from manufacturers or retailers. Most Balinese are honest hard working people, but a rare few are unethical. You do not want to be going to the most expensive silver manufacturer in Teluk, and being told they are the cheapest, only to discover your guide is pocketing 20% of the sale. Or similarly being taken to a "great restaurant" where the food was very ordinary, but the driver receives a commission.
The last quality of a good Tour Guide is his character. The last thing you will need on a long day trip is a driver who wants to talk all day, and thinks he is a comedian. Almost as bad is someone with no personality that only mumbles seven words for the entire day. A guide who can communicate on an intelligent level is ideal.
Check out the guide you intend to use carefully, and then sit back and enjoy the ride.
About the author
Greg Mitchelhill provides general information, tips and news on travel in South East Asia.