You probably have heard the not nice experience of exchanging money in some unauthorized money exchangers. People get less of what they should have got from exchanging their money in these so-called money exchangers. I have not met tourist or my clients who have been ripped off by money changers, but still I am going to pose here some tips on how to exchange money safely when you travel to Bali.
Well, the first thing to do is to ask for recommendation from people whom you trust, you can ask the hotel staff where you are staying, or your tour guide, or travel representative. They know, and will tell you where the good place to change your money. Maybe you also have friends or relatives that has traveled to Bali before, you can ask them.
Next, make sure that you go to the authorized money changer. How do you know that a money changer is authorized? It is not that easy, because all money changers, both good and bad, have "Authorized" sign in their sign board. So? Well, go to the popular money changers. (I am referring back to the first tip, ask for recommendation.) For instance, in Kuta there is a big money changer called PT Central Kuta, (PT is Ltd), they have branches in Kuta, Sanur, and even in Denpasar. Rest assured, if you go to this money changer, you'll get fair amount of money. So, just go to the reliable money changers, do not go to any money changers, for instance, clothes shops or people in the street offering money changing service.
That's about all the tip that I can write here. As long as you go to authorized money changers, and those have big or popular names, you'll be okay.
I have heard some stories about 'bad money changers.' Here are how they trick people..
The try to confuse you. How do they do that? They will give you small notes and confuse you with the zeros. Let say, you exchange USD 200, you will get One million eight hundred thousands rupiahs. (Wow, you become a millionaire!). Instead of giving bigger notes, such as, hundred thousand note, fifty thousand notes, or twenty thousand notes, they give you five thousand note or maybe one thousand notes hoping that you'll become overwhelmed with so many notes and zeroes. When you are confused, they will get a chance of giving you less than what you should get.
Another thing they do is to let you count the money first. Okay, so you count the money and find it is the right amount. Next, they will offer to count again for you. When they count they money, when you're not looking, they will drop some of the bank notes. And there is a basket on the floor where the notes will fall. You don't realize this, of course.
Next, when you walk around to go to money changers, you notice one or two that give you a much better rate. Better than the normal rate. This is usually a sign that these money changers are bad money changers trying to lure you to enter their trap.
Well, I hope that you are not discouraged to come to Bali because I told you this. To some extent, I think these tips can be used anywhere in the world. I am telling you this for your own safety so you will have great vacation in Bali…