a few friends warned us it was likely… and they were right.
apparently bali is infamous for its corrupt police force. they’ll find any excuse to pull over a westerner on a scooter, and then politely ask you to empty your wallet before going on your merry way.
our friends recommended we always wear a helmet, shoes and keep very little cash on us. so that’s what we did.
but on our bike ride from seminyak to uluwatu, we were part of a big roadside stop for just western bikers.
helmet – check.
shoes – check.
international drivers license? – nope.
despite danny having a motorcycle endorsed drivers license from the USA, it didn’t satisfy this guy.
so we played along, said we’d be happy to pay the ticket at the station, but they weren’t having that. he asked to see our wallets, so danny opened up and said “this is all we have and we need to keep a little to get petrol” – he took it (despite being lower than the “fine”) & moved along.
pretty much everyone we talked to had the same story – and some multiple times over. after logging a serious amount of motorbike hours in southeast asia, this felt like total bs and super annoying, but i guess each place has its “thing” and this is balis.
two days later we were driving home from the beach and saw a few kids getting stopped up ahead. we made a quick u-turn and ended up driving through a farm on the middle of the island before finding our way back home. boomshakalaka! take that, polisi.
if you’re reading this and going to bali, pick up an international driver’s license at home or at the police station when you arrive in Bali (approx: $30USD). we hear it really pisses the cops off when you meet all the criteria and can’t be fined.