The Lonely Planet warns readers against prostitutes that ride around on scooters and hassle men walking around alone at night. It specifically warned of one gang (alley), so I made it a point to stay clear of it. At the same time, I had little sense of how this “danger and annoyance” might present itself. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way.

I had found what I thought to be the fastest internet cafe in Kuta, so after being frustrated with slow speeds elsewhere, I decided to spend several hours at it before I left Bali for Lombok the next morning. My accommodation was about a 7-10 minute walk through a few winding gangs. I’d done it several times during the day, and knew where I was going, and how long it’d take.

I left the internet cafe around midnight, and the gang it was on had restaurants so it was still a bit lively. I made my first turn onto the second gang and noticed the shops that had been open earlier were closed, the street was rather empty, and not well lit. I puffed my chest out, and continued to walk at a quick pace trying to look imposing.

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  • David Lee

    In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …

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