I saw this snakeskin clutch in a little shop in Ubud which was quoted to me at RP300,000. If I had insisted, I could have gotten it for RP200,000, except I didn't want it that badly. The same clutch is priced at USD115 at the airport. Talk about ripping off tourists. One is never sure of the true cost of anything in the shops, very much exemplified in the prices in Bali where price spectrums are tilting off the scales in the extremes.
We've done the RP150,000 massages, as well as the USD90 ones. Of course there're clear differences in the ambience of the spa, the use of air-conditioning or air-coolers. But the treatments per se, not obviously so. The quality of the massages is arbitrary and it always depends on the skills of the therapists which aren't relative to the prices.
We've been lucky. The massages have been soothing. Or is it possible that our muscles are so tired and tense that we can't differentiate between the quality anymore? All I know is, the long, gentle strokes of the traditional Balinese massage eased away the tension and put me to sleep during and after the sessions.
Would I pay for a USD90 massage in Bali? Hell, yeah. In a heartbeat. At least I've the luxury of time to enjoy it. At home, I've to make time, plan for a massage and still not be fully relaxed at the end of it. In this case, swimming and intense sessions of pilates work much better for me.