Expensive sarong at temple scam

Bali-scam-expensive-sarong-templesEvery visitor of one of the many Hindu temples in Bali, whether male or female, needs to wear a sarong, even when they are already wearing long pants or trousers. It is insulting to the Hindu people in Bali not to wear a sarong when entering a temple compound. Just as women are not allowed to enter a temple during their monthly period, by the way.

Most of the temples, like the well-known Uluwatu (also known as Pura Luhur Uluwatu), will provide visitors with a sarong for the duration of their visit at the temple, which is either included with the entrance fee or a small surcharge is added for the rental of the sarong. But at other temples, like the popular Besakih temple, there’s no sarong rental available, which means that visitors need to bring their own sarong to be allowed to enter the temple.

There are small shops near the entrance of the temple selling sarongs to the tourists who don’t have one or forgot to bring theirs. Unfortunately, these shops are well aware of your reduced bargaining power, as you need a sarong to enter the temple. As a result, they are able to charge double the price of anywhere else on the island, with little room for negotiation.

It is discussable whether this kind of overcharging actually is a scam, because in that case paying € 8,- for a cup of coffee at Casino Square in Monaco would also be a scam. But as this site is all about helping travelers prepare for their holiday and to prevent them from spending their hard-earned holiday cash unnecessarily, I believe it is worth mentioning here. Especially since many online forums are filled with people complaining about this price gouging.

So to prevent yourself from getting into the situation where you are forced to buy an expensive sarong, make sure you buy a sarong at a regular vendor in town at the beginning of your stay, and make sure you bring it when visiting the temples.

Find experiences from real victims or post your own story in our Bali Tourist Scams Forum.

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