Return to site

The Price You Pay For Peace

AKA The Monk Scam

I suppose this is quite a funny story to be able to tell, looking back, but at the time it left me completely shocked.

I'm sharing in the hope that someone else who reads this can avoid getting caught up in what seems to be one of the latest scams in Bali.

I was with a group of friends at a little bar on Legian Beach, enjoying the sunset and having a few drinks, when a monk came up to us dressed in orange robes and carrying a jar to collect donations. He had some simple bracelets with him, and he explained that they would bring us peace.

Now, Buddhism is a minority religion in Bali and you rarely see monks out and about, but I occasionally see them walking along the street collecting alms, and wonder if they are genuine – there are so many con artists and scammers around here, you can never be too careful.

This guy on the beach was at least offering something in return for money (and who doesn't need a bit more peace in their lives?) so I decided to give him the benefit of the doubt, and several of my friends and I accepted the bracelets.

I gave the monk 20,000 Rupiah (about £1/$1.50), which I thought was pretty generous considering the quality of the bracelet. To put it in context for anyone not familiar with Indonesia, you can get a filling meal of rice, vegetables and meat for 10,000 Rupiah, so he was doing pretty well on this.

So imagine my surprise when this calm and friendly monk turned on us and started shouting, telling us that we had to pay 50,000 Rupiah for the bracelets! I thought he was joking, and told him that 20,000 was plenty, but he got more and more angry and tried to rip the bracelets away from us.

One of my friends gave in and paid him the extra, but the rest of us told him to take his bracelets back. We certainly weren't getting any peace with him around! Eventually he moved on to find his next group of unsuspecting victims.

I told some of my friends what had happened and one of them said that the exact same thing had happened to her on a beach in Sanur, so this obviously wasn't an isolated case of one monk just having a bad day.

These monks clearly haven't realised that they would make a lot more money by just accepting people's donations rather than shouting at them and demanding more thereby losing out completely.

So if you do happen to be in Bali and a monk approaches you offering you peace, it might be best just to tell him that you have enough already, thank you very much.

Add paragraph text here.

you may want to read this .. click here

All Posts

Almost done…

We just sent you an email. Please click the link in the email to confirm your subscription!

OKSubscriptions powered by Strikingly