Bali – Medical Aid and Traffic Corruption

I started a series of rabies shots in Bangkok, so it was time to get the second one. There are several doctors’ offices in Ubud, and I chose one close to my apartment called Ubud Health Care. The air-conditioned waiting room had two other patients waiting when I arrived. A French couple were there with their little son who had a fever, and a Canadian woman with a broken arm.

I waited about 15 minutes to see the doctor. He googled my required vaccination and told the nurse to give me the shot and left to see a new patient in another room. I made sure the vaccination was the right one, and released the nurse on my arm. I went to the reception to pay and left. All quick and easy. There was no waiting for 30 minutes to make sure I had no reaction to the shot. There is a big difference in professionalism between the Thai Travel Clinic in Bangkok and Ubud Care, but if you know what you need it is fine. You can find the doctor’s office and book online at www.ubudcare.com or just drop by like I did.

I talked to the nurse about what most patients needed help with. So far that day, they had handled 20 motorbike wounds, all by foreigners on holiday. As there is no public transportation in Ubud, most travellers rent motorbikes or scooters to get around.

Traffic is crazy in Bali. The roads are not built for the numerous motorbikes and cars driving there. Queues and chaos is part of everyday life on the roads if you are moving from city to city, especially between Ubud and the southern coast cities and viewpoints by the ocean. The cheapest and most efficient way to get around is on two wheels, but not without risking life or limbs. You can rent and drive yourself or ask whomever of the locals to drive you for some rupiah. A taxi or Uber is the safest option but remember to calculate extra time for queues on the roads and agree on the price before you go.

In Bali you will notice that both cars and motorbikes are stopped at small along roads and hand over money or you are stopped by the police and need to pay a few rupiah before you continue your journey. The corrupt Bali police consider this their tip. They will invent a felony like you stopped to close to a sign or don’t have the right papers. The locals would recommend you to pay and be on your way. If you refuse, you might be sent to court to pay and it will likely cost you a lot more time and money.

There are numerous stories of surreal situations you can end up in with a traffic accident. It doesn’t matter if you are innocent, your wallet will be lighter as you pay your way out of the situation. Arguing with the police will only make them more annoyed, the price higher and your holiday shorter.

Some of the taxi companies also work with the police on extorting money from tourists. A friend told me she was stopped in an Uber taxi and forced to turn around going from Seminyak to Canggu. They wanted her to use the local taxi that pays their local bribe.

The Blue Bird taxis has meters and is the safest way to get from a to b. Uber is the cheapest, and you pay via the app so no money is exchanged in the car. There are noumerous other companies in different shades of blue, with and without a meter. so make sure you go in a metered one and make sure it is on. If they say that the toll road is extra, say YES. It is the only way fast forward and the price is 1 euro extra.

At the airport the Ngurah Rai Airport Taxi has fixed prices and monopoly inside the building, but if you go outside there are other companies waiting to get a ride.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s