— Paradise without persecution

Support Travel Ethos & Bali.

If you approve of what we are trying to do in our small way, please support us by trying to book via our site if you can (as this earns us some money), let your friends and family know about us, if you write anything on the Internet (your own web site, travel forums, blogs, etc.) please be sure to give us a mention.

Please do not support any form of corruption in Bali. It may be difficult to say "No" to a police officer demanding money for a traffic or other offence you did not commit, but the average 50,000 Rp "fine without a receipt" extorted from tourists is the equivalent of 2 days pay for a Balinese worker, and while the police are too busy taking money, they are not just failing to stop crime, they are adding to the problem of course. If you say you do not have your passport (always take copies) and are leaving Bali later that day, the most they can do is seize your International driver's license which is easily replaced.

Tourism industry drivers are also often stopped by police and have money extorted from them. If your minibus or taxi gets stopped and the driver taken out of sight, this is what is happening to him. Just getting out of the vehicle and keeping him in sight may be enough to deter the police from extorting money from him. Please consider taking the names of police officers involved and reporting the matter to your country's consulate (reporting it to the police would be fool-hardy and may pose risk); please look after any Balinese who looks after you.

Going to Balinese village dance performances and buying Balinese made arts and crafts will give you value and help the islanders. Be aware taxi and coach drivers will generally take tourists to art shops which pay them a commission; if an art shop has smartly dressed sales assistants, you are paying way over the top and generally not getting the authentic article. Buying from shops and stalls in tourist areas again will generally nett you cheaply made articles often made outside Bali. Take time to find out where the actual artists and weavers operate from and then visit those areas.

Supporting the Balinese is a noble thing, but please be aware Indonesian charities are not subject to same standards and / or monitoring as those in your own country (charity fraud is believed rife); it is often much better to give to International charities who have a presence in Bali. Supporting individual Balinese or their villages is a very noble and satisfying thing to do, but please do not expect anything you give to one person to be distributed the way you intended. Taking a trip out into the country armed with a large bag of pencils, especially if they are marked to your home country, and asking the driver to stop at a local school in a rural area will absolutely make your holiday. The more remote an area, the poorer the people. Schools around the tourist areas are generally much better off then those in the country.

If you want to understand the realities of life for the everyday Balinese and the many victims of corruption, pay a visit to a Balinese public hospital and / or prison. Visits to hospitals often can be done just by turning up. Visits to prisons need to be organized in advance, perhaps by first writing to a prisoner; you can get details of foreign prisoners and Indonesian prisoners of conscience on Save-A-Life - look for Kerobokan prison and please do not automatically go for known names such as Schapelle Corby. It actually does not take much to see just how hard a life the Balinese endure, you will often see old ladies earning a few rupiah carrying bricks stacked on their heads to a building site from where the delivery truck stops. Negotiating is part of the Asian way of life, but please think about how much you actually got an item for and about giving the vendor an extra dollar after the sale is done.

Sponsoring individual children or children's charities is the ultimate act of humanity and insurance for all of our futures, and the good karma this brings you will be felt immediately. Helping Balinese youngsters to attain an education, find a career outside the tourism industry, or even just keeping them out of the sex industry will go a long way to one day seeing the Balinese achieve the future they deserve.

Thank you for caring.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional