BootsnAll Travel Network

Gunung (Mt.) Batur

Well after a week in really boring Ubud, I decided to leave town and head for some physical activity up at the Volcano near Kintamani. I hired a guy to take me up to Kintamani, but on the way his motorcycle had problems and another guy came by and told me about his guest house and offered to give me a ride. We stopped at the top to take this awsome photo. Mt. Kintamani He was a really friendly guy and I got a great room over looking the lake for $4 with a hot shower. I was thinking to myself, I could stay here for a long time. I had heard and read that there are very aggressive tour guide/thugs that guard the public mountain, but I figured I’d go anyway and see if I could get around them or maybe the stories were exaggerated like they were about Vietnam. Just after I checked in tho, the high pressure sales tactics started. He showed me a price list that listed the long hike that I wanted to do at $60. Of course, I figured he was on Crack and said that I would have to think about it. He wouldn’t let me go and quickly dropped the price to $35 which I still thought was insane (note my own private room w/ attached bath was $4, beer is .50c)! But this asshole was really breathing down my neck and to get away from him I agreed to give him $30, but I had to get it from my room. I went into my room and didn’t come out until he shouted for me to come out with his money. This is where it got really bad. I told him I didn’t want to go anymore and that I might just do it some other time. He went ballistic and threatened to kill me if I didn’t pay him then and there. I managed to diffuse the situation for the moment, but he wouldn’t let me leave Hotel Surya and threatened me if I tried to go down the only road out of town. I figured that it would settle down and he’d go away, but after dinner he had gotten drunk and even more bellerigent. He asked me once again if I was going to pay him for the tour. And when I told him I wasn’t going to go at all, he said to me, “you pay me tonight or you die tonight”. I tried to get up and leave, but he hit me with a table as I ran into the hotel. Unfortunately for me, this was the biggest damn Balinese guy I’ve ever seen. There wasn’t even a question about fight or flight, I just ran. The staff were not very helpful. I wanted to call the police, but they wouldn’t let me. My cell phone was out of money so I couldn’t call for help. The staff did manage to get him to go home and leave me alone, but it was a very uneasy night watching football until 5am and going to sleep just before sunrise. I had planned to be awake at that time, but I wanted to be on the mountain watching the sunrise from 6000 feet. Fortunately, it was a good game and the US managed an amazing tie with Italy 1-1. The next day I packed up my bags and left town never to return to the pit that surrounds Gunung Batur. Unfortunately, this tale has been told by many a traveller and the idiots that run the area are too stupid to realize that strong arm tactics only hurt an already slow tourist industry. Hopefully the “Mountain Guide Association’ (mafia) that run the guide business now will all die off and get replaced by a more friendly and reasonable group. I would strongly suggest that you don’t patronize this area until real reforms are made. Unfortunately, it will also hurt the good business people in the area, but with desperation the locals will be forced to crack down on this inappropriate and unacceptable behavior. The manager at Hotel Surya promised me that the asshole was not going to be allowed to work out of their hotel anymore, but I’d be surprised if she made good on that promise. I was told that this guy has had many problems with tourists. It’s a real shame because Batur is a really beautiful area. Gunung Batur Summit


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