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The best human being (and driver/guide) in BALI


cashmeremypuppydog
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Hello there,

First of all, I just want to point out that this post is in relation to a 2015, 2017 AND 2019 trip to Asia.  This is a beautiful story but quite long.

 

In March 2015, after a 28-night cruise, we flew to Bali.  We had the driver of our hotel (Ubud) picked us up from the airport. His name was Dewa. He was very professional, spoke great english and was very knowledgable about everything: life, history, customs... He had dealt with different personalities over the last 3 years (2012-2015) working for the hotel and he is very patient and knows how to "deliver". We loved him so much that we booked an 8-hour tour. Well, it was better than I could have imagined. I don't want to write too much details but we travel like "Rick Steves" and love the off-the-beaten-track experiences. His bubbly personality contributed a lot to our experience. We booked him for 3 more days... He then drive us to Seminyak where we were supposed to spend 10 days then fly back home (Canada). Unfortunately, my husband got very sick (read: almost died) and ended up 2 weeks at the hospital. Twice, Dewa drove 45 min from Ubud to visit with my husband at the hospital! By this point, we were like family.  After our return from Canada, we pounder on what had happened and decided to sponsor Dewa’s daughter (Ayu) to English school to better her schooling.

 

Feb 8-9, 2017   Our cruise ship stayed overnight in Bali.  Dewa was there to greet us.  Our reunion was very touching as the last time we had seen him was just before DH was released from a Bali's hospital.  Dewa had rented a nice van and a driver as we had 3 other couples who wanted to join us on our 2-day adventure in Bali.  As we are sponsoring Dewa's daughter, Ayu, to go to English school, we feel she is a grand daughter to us.  Her birthday is on Feb 10 so we had asked Dewa to organize a birthday party for Ayu at our expense.  Each year, Ayu is asked what she wants for her birthday: go to Mc Donalds or a party with 2-3 of her friends.  She always choose McDonalds.... So this year, it was her first ever birthday party...

 

We started by touring around Ubud until 5pm.  Then, it was party time.  We drove to Dewa's house and the birthday girl was already celebrating with 30 other children from her class and relatives.  It was so exciting to see big smiles on their faces.  A clown had been hired to entertain the kids.  He did an awesome job.  DH and I met Dewa's family: mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, cousins, nieces....... The compound was filled with people.  It is an evening DH and I will never forget.  Later on, Dewa drove us to a small Balinese hotel (in Ubud) where the 4 couples slept.  The next morning, Dewa picked us up at 9 and we toured around until it was time to get back to the cruise ship.  We have only one regret: not enough time with Dewa, his wife and his 2 children.

 

Over the past 4 years, we have been in contact with Dewa on a weekly basis.  This is very special as many of us do not hear often from our own sons and/or daughters...  Dewa does not know it but he is giving us so much.  It's hard to explain in words, I think we see in him the beauty of human beings.  We keep telling him he gave us so much when we were in Bali: he did not give us materials but he gave us his time without making us feel rushed.  His dedication in leading us exploring Bali to the fullest was out of this world (remember, he has seen the rice fields, the waterfalls, the temples... a thousand times).   But we could see the fire in his eyes/his passion as he explained Bali to us...it was truly beautiful.    We have a tremendous respect for Dewa.  We consider him like our son. 

 

This is why I decided I wanted to celebrate my 50th birthday in Bali (Sept 2019).  It might be our last time in Bali and I want to spend time with Dewa who showed us what love is all about by giving us everything he had in 2015: precious time.

 

Dewa is truly a special person and I would like the whole world to find out about him. We love him and are so blessed to have him in our lives.  Hopefully, you can find out first hand for yourself.  If you know of anyone travelling to Bali, please let them know about Dewa.  Thank you so much everyone,

Dewa Purwadinata  Email: dgrock1140 at yahoo dot com Phone: 085238493089

This is is new blog: https://dewadriverinbali.blogspot.com 

 

The Canadians!😎

Update

We are back from Bali!  We had an amazing time with Dewa and his family.  We brought friends with us and they loved Dewa as much as we do.  Also, Dewa was our translator when we met Olin, the 6 y.o. girl we are sponsoring through Compassion Canada.  A week later, we met with her parents and visited the project in Denpasar.  These 2 days were without stress due to Dewa taking care of everything….

 

If you have hired Dewa in the past, please post here.  If you have any questions, please post as well.

 

2 photos are attached: 1-) Dewa and Ayu (his wife) giving me a gift on my birthday    2-) Dewa, his family and The Canadians! having supper on our last night in Bali. 

IMG_0451.jpeg

IMG_20190913_160019.jpeg

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On ‎10‎/‎20‎/‎2019 at 9:24 AM, hallasm said:

I did hire Dewa for our stay January 2019 - used him for airport transfer as well as 5 day tours - excellent experience.

 

 

What a lovely story, great pictures.  Now I can see what he looks like. We (8 of us) have hired Dewa Feb. 20/2020.,  I will mention reading your letter on CC.

Marlene

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just to say we spent the first of two days with Dewa today. Absolutely awesome time with him. We chatted about our itinerary which has changed slightly since the last time we spoke. He's very flexible enough to do what we like and made time to take us to Kuta after a bit of temple spotting. My partner really wanted to visiting the Bali Memorial so it meant a lot to her even though we don't actually know anyone. 

 

Looking forward to our second day tomorrow

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5 hours ago, Yinster said:

Just to say we spent the first of two days with Dewa today. Absolutely awesome time with him. We chatted about our itinerary which has changed slightly since the last time we spoke. He's very flexible enough to do what we like...

Looking forward to our second day tomorrow

Thank you so much for posting.  Is he not a great guy?  DH and I just love him so much!  

Looking forward to hear about day #2.  Have fun.

the Canadians!😎

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Day 2 was just as good. We went to two Instagram hot spots with Dewa. Then he took us to a traditional salt maker. One of my highlights. Not touristy and no pressure to buy unlike other tours. In fact there was nothing to buy. Just watching and seeing how salt is made from the sea to the stuff we eat. A donation was made and they give us two bags of the stuff.

 

Both days we asked if we could get just get something familiar for lunch. So McDonald's and KFC were our choices. No problems paying everyone's meals. Much cheaper than a tour's buffet and something we know we eat. He also took us to Kuta shopping mall while we went to a particular store. Something tour companies don't do. He's so flexible with the schedule which is a real positive asset.

 

Dewa also spoke fondly of you guys, the Canadians and Mogens. We chatted about Bali and life in general. One thing that did crop up is how he can drum up business. I told him he needs to create a brand, a company or he won't compete with others in TripAdvisor. A website is good but only if you can get traffic to come to you. Also told him to brand his car with simple information once he has a brand. Advertise when he's driving about. One thing I do think he needs to start doing is provide water even if it's just one bottle per person. Every other company does it and I know it's a small expense but it's what people expect when going on a tour. He has sarongs already which we gratefully used. 

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  • 2 months later...

I wanted to post in regards to the driver/guide in Bali, Dewa - he is fantastic! I used him for a full day tour from Seminyak to the interior on January 2, and some clients of mine used him for a similar day tour a few days before me, and all of us were delighted. Dewa is a joy to spend the day with and he really enjoys showing you the best of Bali.  He is on WhatsApp at +6285238493089 and I believe his web site is https://dewadriverinbali.blogspot.com/  

Highly recommend booking him well in advance. 

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Great information, thanks for sharing.  We're on Celebrity Eclipse Feb 2021, a while away yet, but will keep Dewa in mind when over the next couple of months we'll be looking at booking excursions.

 

Mary

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Hello Cashmere Puppy! Thanks for recommending Dewa.  We finally made it on our long-planned cruise, with 3 days pre-cruise in Bali.  We, of course, hired Dewa, and thought he was fabulous.  He took great care of us, and my husband was very impressed with him as well.   By the way, he does now provide bottled water.  We spent our first night in Sanur, just because I didn't think I'd be up for driving a lot (well, being driven a lot) after grueling flights to Bali from the U.S. east coast.  We actually liked Sanur a lot.  Then we went up to Ubud, stopping at a few places along the way.  I had given a suggested list of things I wanted to see and let him plan the days/times.  Everything worked out great. 

 

We went to Jatiluwih Rice Fields,  Sangeh Monkey Forest, Setia Darma House of Masks & Puppets, Tegenungan waterfall (may have spelled that incorrectly), a  very pretty place for lunch and McD's for a snack (husband wanted to see rice served with hamburgers) before going to the port, Batuan temple and Batubulan temple, a barong and kris performance in Batubulan, a place in the village of Mas where men were carving,  where Dewa lived to see a typical extended family compound (for lack of a better word to describe it) and the port.  I also explored the area around the Runik in the early morning and those are some of my most lingering memories now.  I also saw the usual Ubud sights, and did a walk (Juruk Manis, from Kajeng street) similar to the Camphuan one many people do. He picked us up from the airport and then dropped us at the port for our cruise.   We downloaded whatsapp to text him, and that worked well, although basically we really only needed that to tell each other where we were (him waiting for us, us at baggage).  He told us plenty but didn't chatter the whole time.  He kept us from getting out of his vehicle in front of scooters (I'm bad at that), stopped at a store so my husband could get the green towel pictured below, and never pushed us to hurry up, or not go somewhere, etc.  He dealt with my slightly nutty, boisterous husband well.  We ran into a traffic jam not far from Ubud and he knew just how to get around it.  He stopped a few times so I could take a picture out the window.  He offered to carry my camera bag.  He occasionally pointed me to a great photo spot that I was about to walk past.  He was just fabulous, as was Bali.  I loved Australia and New Zealand too, but I loved Bali the most. 

 

My photos from Bali are here if anyone wants to see them: www.pbase.com/roothy123    No sign-in is needed, and the Bali pictures should be the first gallery you see listed.  Be sure to push the "All" button at the bottom of the first page so that all pages of pictures are viewable. 

 

Anyway, thanks for recommending Dewa.  Here's a picture of him with my slightly nutty husband at Taman Ayun (Royal Palace near Mengwi) and one of my favorite Bali pictures (Jatiluwih Rice Fields).

IMG_0064 B MengTamanAyunHowardDewa.jpg

IMG_0122 B Jat MoreIwalkedmoreIsaw.jpg

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Oh, and one more comment.  I have no idea what cruise lines charge for their excursions in Bali, since we embarked the ship in Bali (Benoa - see my post titled "Bali - Tips for Cruisers" or something like that) and I don't think our ship offers any excursions on embarkation day.   However,  I would strongly advise cruisers to hire a driver in Bali rather than taking a ship's excursion.  You'll likely save a lot of money,  have more flexibility, and have a better time as well.   

 

Two more pictures - just for fun!

IMG_0204 B San Oneofmyfavoritesnotazoo.jpg

P1070815 DewabyHowardendlesslylookedoutforus.jpg

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This is excellent information, thanks to all.

 

I was planning 5 days in Bali, but realized that I couldn't really do it because Nyepi is in the middle of it (holiday where you can't leave your hotel for 24 hours.)

 

So, we have a day and a half in Bali instead, with an overnight stop on our cruise, pulling out at 1pm the second day.

 

So I'm considering a full-day tour, but also thinking about staying somewhere overnight, off the ship, so that we can do more, and experience a traditional Balinese hotel, then be taken back to the sip the next morning.  I was thinking Ubud.  Any opinions?

 

Thanks again!

 

 

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Canadians, Africa is on my bucket list.  So far we have nothing planned or booked, but I'm sure we'll be itching to take another trip before too long.  I'll keep your email address in case we go some day.  

 

Enjoy the rest of your trip.  It sounds like an incredible adventure. 

Ruth

 

Wendy, I concur with the suggestion to stay overnight in Ubud.  One thing I loved was walking around very early in the morning because I couldn't sleep  -- 13 hour time difference/jetlag had set in!  If you're right in Ubud, you can do that (as far as I know safely - I felt safe, anyway), and it's wonderful - quiet, peaceful, and lots to see within a half hour's walk of many hotels.  

Edited by roothy123
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  • 1 year later...

Hello IWantToLive OverTheSea,

I know someone from my city moved to Bali in July.  They had to stay a while in Jakarta before being able to fly to Bali.  After their arrival in Bali, Dewa picked them up.  Then, everything shut down!  Why don't you email Dewa?  He will be the perfect person to update you.  

Email: dgrock1140 at yahoo dot com

 

The Canadians!😇😎

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12 hours ago, cashmeremypuppydog said:

Hello IWantToLive OverTheSea,

I know someone from my city moved to Bali in July.  They had to stay a while in Jakarta before being able to fly to Bali.  After their arrival in Bali, Dewa picked them up.  Then, everything shut down!  Why don't you email Dewa?  He will be the perfect person to update you.  

Email: dgrock1140 at yahoo dot com

 

The Canadians!😇😎

Thank you!

 

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  • 4 months later...

I believe a quarantine is still required in Bali upon arrival before being able to leave your hotel or ship. So many people are not cruising to Bali YET.  But for those going, or at least hoping to go, here is my advice, based on our Dec. 2019 experience: 

 

--If you're lucky enough to start or end your cruise in Bali, be sure to extend your trip by at least a few days.

--If going early/staying late OR just there on a day on a cruise, hire a driver.  Dewa P is great, and knows the Benoa port, airport, Ubud (where he lives), etc. quite well. If you hire him, know his last name and what he looks like.  Dewa is a very, very common name in Bali, so knowing this info will help. We texted him a picture of us in the airport at baggage claim so he could look for us.  Baggage took a long time in the airport.  It was a hot and long wait.  There were a LOT of drivers with signs just as we left the airport looking for their passengers.  It was a zoo.  Then Dewa took our luggage, we walked with him across to the parking lot, and he went to get his large, AD'd Toyota.  

--If you don't hire Dewa, DO hire someone else before you come.  Driver/guides may not be outside the port (costs money to get in, for one reason), may not speak great English, etc.  Some might be there, but only to take people to the beach. 

--If flying to Bali, be careful with medications, including ones that may be over the counter here but not in some countries.  My spouse and I traveled with a list of meds, signed by our doctor.  My husband had to show his bag of meds (in original containers) and list to get through airport formalities in Bali; I did not.  Many people probably won't be questioned, but just be careful.  Bali is very sensitive about meds and illegal drugs. 

--Don't plan too much for your sightseeing day(s).  I found the humidity pretty draining (and I tolerate heat/humidity pretty well).  Also, most places you'll want to go are outside, so you may find you can't do as much as you planned.  Take a lightweight hat that fits (I didn't), and dress and travel lightly. Take toilet paper for rest rooms (good advice just about anywhere in the world). Dewa will have cold water and pay for parking.

--We got Indonesian rupiah before we traveled since we were staying in Bali two 1/2 days pre-cruise. I can't really say if it was necessary or not for that amount of time - probably not.  But we didn't spend a lot of rupiah during that time.  You may want to ask your driver if you need rupiah for places you might go to. With Dewa, we paid admission and for our lunch (and his, optionally! - and I think the restaurant took credit cards) but he paid for parking, getting into port, etc.  All costs were reasonable. 

- -Finding decent places to eat wasn't a problem at places we went with Dewa, and not even evenings on our own in Ubud.  I was a little afraid of getting sick but neither of us did.

--If go early, on first/second nights there, have some snacks in your hotel room in case you wake up very, very early due to the time change and no breakfast is available.

-Don't count on there being much in the port at Benoa.  There were 4 or 5 vendors when we were there in Dec. 2019 to embark our ship. I believe they took USD bills in addition to Indonesian rupiah.  I don't know about credit cards.   But don't expect things like food, liquor, bottled water, soda, aspirin, etc.  And there's nothing outside the port unless you're willing to walk a LONG way.

--Make sure you consider going somewhere other than the beaches.  There is so, so much more to see and do in wonderful Bali.  Even on a cruise ship day only, you can see a lot if you hire a guide. 

--Hotels, if you're going in early/staying late:  There are so, so many.  I'd find one in the area that interests you the most.  Many are closer to the port (Denpasar, for example) than Ubud, but I loved staying in Ubud, which is about an hour from port of Benoa; less for Denpasar, Sanur, etc.  If you like waking up at the beach, you can do that.  You don't have to overpay for hotels.  We loved our modest but not cushy hotel.

--If you want beach, we liked Sanur - reported to be (and I suppose was) for the older crowd compared to the beaches to the west.   You can also, pre-trip, ask your driver about what there is to see, and what can be accomplished in a day or two or three.  For a day in port, Ubud area (one hour from the port) is probably the most you can see with assurance of getting back to the port with plenty of time.  But if you start early, it's doable.  

 

Enjoy Bali, and hope the above is helpful.

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Hello IWantToLiveOverTheSea,

Thank you for updating your adventure. We are glad you enjoyed Dewa. We are in touch with him and his family all the time over WhatsApp. It is a very difficult time for tourism in Bali! 😪

We keep in touch also with our friends in Uganda and Tanzania and it is alarming what is going on as no one is travelling and they can not make a living. It is a sad situation!

We are glad you enjoyed your trip.

 

Thank you again for your update as it is a breath of fresh air during this cold January.

The Canadians!😎 

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We have read about Dewa and We were hoping to use Dewa's expertise for our 2 days in Bali next December.....who know if our ship will even get there. I guess once I know Australia  (our starting point) is reopened, I will contact  him.

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On 1/15/2022 at 1:54 PM, Mrs f. said:

We have read about Dewa and We were hoping to use Dewa's expertise for our 2 days in Bali next December.....who know if our ship will even get there. I guess once I know Australia  (our starting point) is reopened, I will contact  him.

You will love him!

 

I hope people will start travelling soon as many people working in tourism are being affected drastically. No work= no $$ for so many people… It is so heartbreaking.

The Canadians!😎

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We are in touch with several of our former guides. The pandemic  has been very hard on them. Some have had to sell off possessions just to have money for living.

 

When do you think i should reach out regarding  a tentative date. Should I just email him to introduce myself and give him our dates?  Since we will be in Bali overnight,  I would like a guide for both days

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1 hour ago, Mrs f. said:

His email?

I'm not the original poster, but can help you with an email.  If he has changed it in the past few years, Cashmere will hopefully chime in.  But as far as I know, it's what she posted above, starting with dgrock 

Just replace the word "at" with the @ sign and the "dot" with a period.  Some of us don't want to put the actual email on public places on the internet in case there are spammers out there looking for addresses.  And I'd agree with The Canadians.  I'm sure you can email him now and he'll understand that things could change later. 

 

I read somewhere before my cruise that December could bring some rain.  But we never got any on our 3 late December days.  My Bali photos are here, by the way: https://pbase.com/roothy123/bali_for_3_glorious_days&page=all

and I have Australia ones nearby as well.

Edited by IWantToLiveOverTheSea
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5 minutes ago, IWantToLiveOverTheSea said:

I'm not the original poster, but can help you with an email.  If he has changed it in the past few years, Cashmere will hopefully chime in.  But as far as I know, it's what she posted above, starting with dgrock 

Just replace the word "at" with the @ sign and the "dot" with a period.  Some of us don't want to put the actual email on public places on the internet in case there are spammers out there looking for addresses.  And I'd agree with The Canadians.  I'm sure you can email him now and he'll understand that things could change later. 

 

I read somewhere before my cruise that December could bring some rain.  But we never got any on our 3 late December days.  My Bali photos are here, by the way: https://pbase.com/roothy123/bali_for_3_glorious_days&page=all

and I have Australia ones nearby as well.

Thanks

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