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Bangsal Harbour

Lombok
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Bangsal Harbour

We had some guests do a day trip to Gili Air today. Despsite the warnings I had given them and I had explained the cost for the public boat is Rp8,000 and the charter Rp155,000 they ended up paying Rp700,000 for a charter. They had difficulty finding the ticket office as it seems it is now in the new building and there are no signs even in Indonesian. They guys that sold them the charter were very aggressive and insisted they were the official government ticket office, showing what they said were government stamps etc. Intimidated and with limited time they ended up paying it. Once on Gili Air they could see the correct prices.

These guests loved Gili Air and plan to go back to stay in September - but they will be travelling by fast boat from Bali to avoid the dramas they went through today.

Don't these guys realise that they are driving tourists to bypass Bangsal and losing more business? These guests also plan on making a review and posting photos of the two guys in question!

Melbourne, Australia
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1. Re: Bangsal Harbour

That's just awful Lombok_Lover. So short sighted. When will the authorities clean this place up. I had thought it was improving, but clearly not.

Lombok, Indonesia
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2. Re: Bangsal Harbour

The ticket office was in the normal (older) building when I was there recently and there was a uniformed DISHUB person (department of transport) keeping an eye on the girls selling the tickets.

Still one of the girls still tried to shortchange me with the tired old delayed change trick.

The scammers were working the perimeter of the ticket counter area, entrances and surrounds of the building with their offers of $10.00 tickets (10 times the price correct price) and other entirely absurd suggestions.

The boat captain tried to pick a fight with me as I approached to board the boat.

That place really sucks.

Edited: 21 July 2012, 18:16
Lombok, Indonesia
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3. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Do encourage them to post the photos.

sydney australia
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4. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Last time I was at Lombok - took the Catamaran from Bangsal- the touts were very annoying.

Kuala Lumpur...
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5. Re: Bangsal Harbour

It seems like very scary when dealing with these guys selling ticket at the harbour. Since its so difficult to find the ticket counter, probabaly if someone could post the picture of the ticket counter location so that the tourist will know where is the exact location is and i think it will helps alot.

Lombok, Indonesia
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6. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Difficult to put a photo here...

However, after turning off the main road at Pemenang travel toward Bangsal, the beach is a fair way down that road.

You will arrive at a point where the road is controlled by a checkpoint.

This checkpoint should be manned by a uniformed attendant from the Ministry of transport DISHUB.

That office also encompasses the Department of Tourism.

To pass the gate in a tourist services vehicle a Rp1,000 fee is payable and a ticket should be issued.

The gate is sometimes unmanned later in the day and unauthorised persons sometimes occupy the position and pretend they have authority, they have none what-so-ever.

No DISHUB uniform, then they are not an official. It looks a bit like an airforce uniform and is very similar to the one worn by the DISHUB personel at the airports.

To the right of the checkpoint is a carpark.

Private vehicles and taxis are meant to enter and park there.

The fee is Rp5,000 and must be paid for all cars.

Motorbikes are less but as I never park there I do not know how much, no doubt it is Rp1,000.

Unfortunately people who alight at the carpark must walk to the beach.

The alternative is to use a horse cart (cidomo)

They should charge no more than Rp10,000 max, though they may try for a lot more. Do not relent, just offer them Rp5,000 then go up to Rp10,000 if you must.

Ignore anyone who wishes to assist, they are unlikely to be of any help and will probably set out to make things at least ten times more difficult than they really are. There are a few infrequent and noble exceptions to this but your having that experience is sadly rather remote.

As you approach the beach it may appear to be a bit of a chaotic mellee, don't worry , it is not, it just looks that way sometimes and the touts and scammers like to keep it that way as it confuses people.

The road ends at a paved area, straight ahead is a little used lineal dock reaching out into the sea.

To the right is a new administrative building, this provides facilities to the Department of Transportation.

To your left (if you are facing the sea) is an older but substantial recently refurbished building.

It has an entrance with a large portico in the corner nearest to you, behind that entrance is a ticket counter.

Facing the sea is a more formal entrance, also with a large portico.

Use either entrance, perhaps with a preference toward the front entrance as you then have more time in the building as you approach the ticket counter (left rear corner) and can assess who is there.

There is a toilet inside, to the right, if you need one.

It could be a good way to get rid of anyone that has followed you in from the outside.

There maybe a uniformed DISHUB officer sitting or standing behind the counter watching proceedings.

The ticket counter is staffed by several young women.

They no doubt have their own agendas including delayed change return tactics and other subtle ruses too ensure you pay too much for your ticket but the main concern are the 'guides' and 'assistants' that lurk about there or follow ticket purchasers into the building, normally trying to intercept the purchase with an offer of assistance to buy a ticket, often for ten times the correct price, or more.

They may lurk at the counter suggesting the boats have finished, are full, not running or cancelled and promote alternatives. These alternatives are often described as the "supply boat" *(they are all supply boats), a "charter" (they will normally put you on the regular boat but charge a ridiculous price), or a genuine 'charter' but at an outrageously inflated price.

You must just concentrate on the girls behind the counter, tell them which island you wish to go to and how many people.

Try to give them the exact money for the transaction otherwise you may need to prompt them several times to return your change.

Tickets are:

Gili Trawangan Rp10,000, Gili Meno Rp 9,000, Gili Air Rp 8,000.

After you have your ticket you will notice the prices are printed upon it.

Make your way down to the beach, when a boat is going to your island it will be announced over a distorted public address system.

Have your shoes off and secured as you will need to climb in across the stern from the beach.

Tie your shoes to your bag and secure anything valuable inside your bags, wrap it in plastic if it is likely to be harmed by water.

If very late in the day toward 5pm or later a shuttle boat runs, it is the same boat but is more expensive (around twice the cost), or a 'charter' of a boat may be required if everything has stopped running, or if you have large group.

The charters are available for a set price but most people there pretend they are at a market price, they endeavour to exceed the official price by a large margin, that being their commission.

More than often people who 'charter' are just loaded onto the regular boat with the other ticketed passengers and only realise the ruse as they leave the beach, or maybe later depending upon how successfully they have been bamboozled.

Others are just put onto a boat someone else has already chartered to carry across supplies for someone else, that is why the boat has all the mysterious other stuff or people loaded onto it.

The Wikitravel articles http://wikitravel.org/en/Gili_Islands on the individual Gili islands have the Inter-island boat rates, charter rates and Shuttle rates detailed, plus some other tips, click on the links to each island and Bangsal for separate articles on each

You could have a look at google maps.. maps.google.com/maps… but the imagary is very out of date.

The new adminstative building is not shown there and there are some jetty and foreshore works going on in the image area.

The ticket office is in the larger building shown there, with the brown terracotta roof.

Cords are : 116° 5'56.83"E 8°23'38.59"S

Enter them into Google earth and you will find it has the same imagery but with a single 'streetview'.

It may help to look at it but it has all changed since then, these are 'historic' images.

Or look at it here... www.360cities.net/image/bangsal-harbour…

It does show the building though, the largest one with the canopy over the entrance. It has since been refurbished and repainted and the area has been repaved.

Boats... panoramio.com/…date_desc

Boats... …google.com/mw-panoramio/…47221469.jpg

Boats... panoramio.com/…5024523

Very old view of ticket buiding, pre beachside paving and other developments, it is the still same building though ...

panoramio.com/…2733618

Edited: 06 August 2012, 10:54
Ontario
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7. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Hi Lombok Lover (It's Holly and Dan). We think we got scammed as well on July 15, but we are not sure. We took the cidomo as well but it stopped at this little office and they told us it was the ticket office. I didn't think it was at all but was not sure. They told us that there were no public boats going over for a while but if we booked with them, they would get us over to Gili Air and then an open ticket to Amed, Bali for 2million rph. I said no way as I had spoken with Amed Express and got a quote for 350000 rph per person from Gili Air to Amed. I got up to leave and they said name your price. So eventually we agreed at 500000rph each for trip to Gili Air and then open ticket with Kuda Hitam Express to Amed a couple days later. The worst part though was then they walked us to the harbour and we waited while they loaded supplies on a small boat and then we saw locals paying less than 10000 rph to get on the boat. We were the last 2 on the boat and could barely fit. I had to sit on the side rail and hold on tight. So, not sure if we paid too much or not, but I know they were not the official ticket people.

Edited: 09 August 2012, 01:44
Lombok
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8. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Hi Holly & Dan, Sorry that you got scammed too! I will have to try and tell all guests that I are departing to Gilis about the scams there and where to buy their tickets. I thought it was getting better but it sounds like it is actually getting worse! I fell for the same trick back in 1997 when I chartered a boat and found myself on a boat full of locals and supplies. If they haven't managed to stop it in the last 15 years I wonder what hope there is. The cidomo drivers are obviously in on it too if that is where they are dropping passengers!

Lombok, Indonesia
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9. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Hi Holly and Dan, yes you certainly did get scammed.

That is a disgraceful sort of thing to have happened, it involves a clear premeditated and deliberate deception.

Sadly this sort of story has been told many times before.

Anyone who is going to pass through there would really benefit from reading through the detail in that lengthy previous Post 6.

If they do so and then look at the photos linked there they should be suitably equipped to deal with it, and to know when they are being diverted or misled.

The Wikitravel articles http://wikitravel.org/en/Gili_Islands on the individual Gili islands are also helpful.

Lombok_Lover mentions becoming a victim of the shenanigans there back in 1997.

The children of the main players in 1997 are doing it now, it is a multi-generational pursuit and most of the perpetrators have a sense of 'entitlement' over the venue and the people passing through there.

They really do think it is OK, and that they are 'entitled' to do this.

They vigourously resist attempts to introduce any reforms, helpful signage and other seemingly reasonable initiatives.

The greater number of the participants are in reality... just dirty rotten scoundrels.

The Department of Transport and Tourism (DISHUB) have placed some uniformed staff there at the beach to mitigate the effects, it has helped but the problem is certainly still manifest.

As can be seen from above, if the ticketing environment is tidied up then there are people actively diverting arrivees away from the ticket office to some freelancing operation with absurb pricing and deceptive sales tactics.

Really sorry to hear this happened to you during your visit, I do recall your trip planning from some of your posts here.

Ontario
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10. Re: Bangsal Harbour

Although we were scammed a little here, it did not ruin our vacation by any means. Once we arrived on Gili Air and had time to relax, we put it behind us and carried on. Unfortunately, there will always be people who will take advantage of the meek and confused tourists all over the world. It is super helpful though that there are forums and great people who are willing to share information to help us out though. So, thank you for that :)