Driver/guide in Bali

This item appears on page 34 of the February 2011 issue.
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Bali is a beautiful Indonesian island, and our guide and driver, Merta (e-mail mertagct@telkom.net*), made it a place my husband and I could feel at home, Feb. 24-March 20, 2010.

Merta is fluent in English and has an understanding of what American travelers are looking for and how to relay that information to them. He told us about the local Hindu culture and local foods and fruits, described how rice is planted and covered some problems his country is facing.

We happened to be there on March 16 for Nyepi Day, the Balinese New Year’s Day or Day of Silence (this date varies from year to year), and he told us about the traditions around the celebration.

Merta also shared about his family, his clan and his village. We now consider him a friend. He visited us on our last night in Bali and sent us home with a wall hanging as a remembrance.

We hired Merta on four different days to drive and guide us around Bali for $50 to $60 per day (including the van). Merta took us to see terraced rice fields, temples, local markets, etc. I would highly recommend him. His love of his country is infectious.

LORNA TJADEN

New Hope, MN

*In a correction printed in the March 2011 issue, Merta's e-mail address was corrected to the one shown.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Bali is a beautiful Indonesian island, and our guide and driver, Merta (e-mail mertagct@telkom.net*), made it a place my husband and I could feel at home, Feb. 24-March 20, 2010.

Merta is fluent in English and has an understanding of what American travelers are looking for and how to relay that information to them. He told us about the local Hindu culture and local foods and fruits, described how rice is planted and covered some problems his country is facing.

We happened to be there on March 16 for Nyepi Day, the Balinese New Year’s Day or Day of Silence (this date varies from year to year), and he told us about the traditions around the celebration.

Merta also shared about his family, his clan and his village. We now consider him a friend. He visited us on our last night in Bali and sent us home with a wall hanging as a remembrance.

We hired Merta on four different days to drive and guide us around Bali for $50 to $60 per day (including the van). Merta took us to see terraced rice fields, temples, local markets, etc. I would highly recommend him. His love of his country is infectious.

LORNA TJADEN

New Hope, MN

*In a correction printed in the March 2011 issue, Merta's e-mail address was corrected to the one shown.