Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Wed January 13 2016

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  • Shannon Wolf | January 13, 2016 9:00 PM ET

    27 Life Lessons Learned In Indonesia

    27 Life Lessons Learned In Indonesia

    PHOTO: This is the public ferry (aka: slow boat) going from the Gili Islands. As you can see, it’s simple but easy and cheap! (photos by Shannon Wolf)

    After turning 27, I managed to learn 27 life lessons while visiting Bali, the Gili Islands and Lombok in Indonesia.  I focused on personal wellness, ate some of the best food of my life and learned all about the art of tourist traps and scamming so you don’t have to follow the same steps!

    1) The image in your head of Bali is probably not accurate. It’s no “Eat, Pray, Love,” but it sure is beautiful.

    2) Bargain EVERYTHING. From fruit, to toilet paper to hotel rooms. Tourist pricing is a huge thing and the real price is less than half of what they tell you.

    3) Ubud is the center of personal wellness and a MUST in Bali — from yoga to spa and holistic healing, there’s something magical about this town and you won’t want to leave!

    4) Never pay more than $10 for a room.

    5) It is important to give yourself time to relax and reflect on everything while on the road. Gili Air is a perfect place for that.

    6) Indonesia is EXPENSIVE. $20-$30 a day is more reasonable.

    7) You can buy a round-trip fast boat ticket to the Gili Islands and back for 500k including a shuttle. Don’t pay more. If you have time, take the longer way to save a ton of money. Use Perma Tour shuttle bus and public ferry (aka: slow boat).

    RELATED: Indonesia Looking to Boost Tourism

    8) The most expensive coffee in the world tastes like poop, because it is. (Kidding — it doesn’t taste like poop but it’s nothing special either.) If you’re interested in trying it, its called luwak coffee which you can sample at many coffee plantations around Bali.

    9) NEVER, EVER book a fast-boat with Royal SemayaOne.

    10) Gili T is everything you’ve heard. Party central and overpriced but at Gerald Homestay, you can find a room for 200k, which is reasonable.

    11) Unless you’re on your honeymoon, don’t go to Gili Meno (found out it’s known as the “Honeymoon Island”) Gili Air is the go-to island for peace and relaxation.

    12) Stay away from the monkeys. They look cute but they will steal your things and bite you.

    PHOTO: Just because they’re cute, doesn’t mean their friendly. Many people I met got bit so keep at arm’s length.

    13) To get between the Gili Islands, take the public ferry.

    14) If you plan to do magic mushrooms on the Gili Islands, buy them on Gili T and head to Gili Air for sunset.

    15) From Gili Air, if you go to Lombok, only take the public ferry instead of the combo you can buy for 250k. The boat is only 20 minutes and costs 80 cents (I learned the hard way).

    16) If you get caught buying drugs in Bali or Lombok, you will go to jail for five years or be executed. Three words: not worth it. (The Gili Islands are overlooked).

    17) You need a scooter to get anywhere. (it’s 50k a day everywhere.)

    18) If you don’t want to ride a scooter, you can use Go Jek or Uber — a very inexpensive way to get around. Taxis are very expensive and not worth it.

    19) If you want cheap prices and a more rugged experience, go to Lombok.

    20) Bangsal Harbor in Lombok is full of scam artists. DO NOT buy a shuttle bus ticket from them or believe that you can only take a private car to get throughout Lombok. Shuttles are plentiful all across Lombok.

    21) The best vegan food you’ll ever eat is in Ubud.

    RELATED: Experiencing The Flavors of Bali

    22) ALWAYS eat at a Warung (a family owned business). Best local food and cheaper.

    23) Maxium ice cream bars are less than $2 here and coconut Oreos will change your life.

    24) Alcohol is expensive all across Indonesia. ($2.50 for a small bintang, $3.50 for a large Bintang in Bali — double the price on the Gili Islands).

    25) Indonesia is a Muslim Country — dress appropriately.

    26) Indonesian fruit is incredible. Try it all. Papaya, Snake Fruit, Dragon Fruit, Mangos, etc. You can also get quality, fresh fish for CHEAP.

    27) Allow yourself a minimum of two months to explore Indonesia. One month is not remotely enough!

    PHOTO: From the coast of Bali to the Islands of Gili, you can’t go wrong. It’s paradise.

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Shannon Wolf Tales From the Leap

Shannon Wolf Shannon Wolf is a freelance photographer and writer, traveling across the globe with an open itinerary and no intent of stopping. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she left behind a fast paced life to truly live and not just exist in an attempt to inspire others to follow their bliss. At age 26, Shannon has visited 20+ countries on four continents around the world. She has travelled overland by chicken-bus and tuk-tuks, hitchhiked by fruit trucks and through islands on horse and buggy. She has slept in the jungles of Nicaragua, on benches in London, secluded hidden beaches and she’s only getting started.
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