Bali Travel Tips
Things to Know Before You Going to Bali
If you haven’t been to Bali before and you’re planning your very first trip, there are a few things you should know in order to get the most out of your trip!. Bali is the island known as the Island of a Thousand Temples has become a magnet for travellers from all around the World!.
Here is a useful list of Things to Know Before You Going to Bali. Compiled by several travellers who wished they had it on their first trip. To avoid experiencing for those who First Time in Bali classic mistakes, browse this page and in only 5 minutes you will be a little more prepared for your Bali holidays!.
These tips are often quite basic and easy to follow, but when added together they can make a huge difference to your first experience of Bali. So without further ado, here are the Things to Know Before You Going to Bali!
GETTING TO BALI
In 2018 there are 169 countries that receive an Indonesia Free Visa. If you are from any of the following countries, you can travel to Indonesia Visa-Free (for 30 days): Austria, Bulgaria, United Kingdom, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Belgium, Sweden, USA, Canada, Russia, New Zeeland, Japan, Norway, Finland, Hungary, Czech Republic, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, etc. The Visa-On-Arrival (VOA) for all other citizens costs 35 USD and can be obtained at the airport. Find more information and the list of all 169 countries. HERE: Visa & Immigration Bali.
Weather, Climate and Seasons
Bali is located about 8 degrees south of the equator. The annual average temperature stands at around 26° – 27° C and the humidity level is about 85 % – 90%. Water temperature is always pleasant too – from 25° to 31° C the whole year long!. Therefore you can expect a tropical, warm and humid climate all year around - with two main distinctive seasons: Dry Season is from April until September and the Rainy Season from October until March.
The best time to visit Indonesia and Bali is between May and the end of September. The most rain comes between December and February during the so-called “pancaroba“ season. During these months winds are stronger at the coast and the ocean gets rougher too.
Getting around Bali is relatively easy. Taxi operators abound and you can easily wave for one along the streets of Bali's major beach resort areas. For more convenience, you can rent a car with driver.
Other budget ways to travel in Bali include public buses and the locally popular bemo - short for becak bermotor or ‘motorised rickshaws’ in the local tongue, a term which nowadays also applies to public commuter vans and minibuses. You can also ask for shuttle transfer services provided by your own hotel – ask your concierge.
But if you really want to see the sights and make the most out of your time, a well organised tour is a popular choice. For those who prefer the freedom to explore, motorcycles are fun, however be sure you are always insurance-covered, have an international license, and always wear a helmet. Following here are more ways to get around Bali to enjoy the island.
Indonesian Rupiah will make you feel like a Billionaire, or at least like a Millionaire! USD 1 = IDR 14,000. So, now you can imagine that you’ll be dealing with hundreds Rupiah even if you want to buy only a coffee!.
Make sure you have enough cash during your stay in Bali! Exchanging money in Bali can be tricky – always check your money twice! The notes for 10.000,00 IDR and 100.000,00 IDR look very similar e.g… Furthermore, it is not that kind of easy to get used to the money during the first days in Indonesia.
ATMs in Bali dispense IDR 50,000 or 100,000 bills; withdrawal fees using foreign bank cards, Visa or Mastercard vary and can be high. Beware of skimmers and rigged units, and remember to take your money and card after each transaction.
Don’t drink the water! It is not potable. Water from the tap will make you sick and that is definitely the last thing you want during your Bali holidays!
Don’t do drugs! Indonesia has some of the most strict drug laws and the penalty for (smuggling!) drugs is death!
Be aware of the Monkeys! They can get much more aggressive than the dogs, especially the monkeys on Mount Batur! Don’t wear food, accessories, sunglasses, hats, blink-blink stuff, and cell phones when visiting e.g. the Monkey Forest or Uluwatu Temple. They will get anything they want to and you won’t get it back. Do not try to pet them though – they are wild animals, not pets!
Whatever happens: in case of emergencies call 110 for police and 118 for the ambulance.
Whether you come to Bali for leisure or business. Staying connected to to the internet and being able to use all the great communication tools that come with it, is for many travelers a must - a basic need. SIM cards on Bali are very affordable. No need anymore to pay a crazy amount of money for roaming. For 10USD you can be online for 30 days with a package of 4 GB. Local SIM cards can be used as long as you have an unlocked phone. The vendor needs to take your passport details and name and will then usually register the new simcard online for your you. This will take anything between 2-24 hours.
Plugs and Sockets in Bali
In Bali and Indonesia you can expect the 2 pin socket and plug as used in larger parts of Europe. Whether you are staying in a hotel or in a private villa you should be able to get an adapter if you ask for one. The pins are round, not flat or rectangular.
CUSTOMS and ETIQUETTE
Religious adherence and tradition permeates every aspect of daily life which makes Bali such a fascinating place to visit. It is very easy to immerse yourself in a little of this unique culture as there are colourful rituals and festivities to witness almost on a daily basis.
1. Always Dress and Act Modestly
Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, the island is still very conservative. While you can lounge around the beach and resorts in skimpy outfits or without a shirt, you must dress modestly when out in town or at the markets. This doesn’t mean you need to wear long sleeves and pants amidst the hot climate, but appropriate clothes such as a shirt and long shorts or skirts are enough.
Touching among the opposite sex is also not appropriate in public, unless you’re within the confines of a resort or a popular area predominantly occupied by foreigners. Do the hugging and kissing in such places, or better yet, in private.
2. Greet Strangers with a Handshake
When meeting people for the first time, offer them a handshake and a slight nod of your head. When a man is introduced to a woman, wait for her to offer her hand first. If she doesn’t, then don’t give out a handshake. When offering handshakes to older people or those in authority, slightly bend the body facing the person.
3. Leave Your Footwear at the Door When Entering a Home or Temple
To show respect to a Balinese home or temple, people must leave their footwear at the door. Since homes and temples are considered sacred places, shoes and all types of footwear are seen to contaminate the cleanliness of such places.
4. Wear a Sarong and Sash in Temples
A t-shirt and shorts combo is not appropriate for temple visits and you certainly won’t be allowed to enter. Sashes and sarongs are available in temples so make sure you wear these when visiting religious places and temples in Bali.
5. Respect Balinese Religion
The Balinese take their faith very seriously, so never argue in public or with a local about religion or politics. Balinese women also frequently place religious offerings on many sacred places found around the island. Outside areas of shops and homes may have flowers, food, and incense, so best be careful about walking in the streets. Never step on them as the Balinese believe you will upset the gods.
WHERE TO GO ?
There is no doubt – Bali is a very touristy destination! Most of the visitors stick to the southern portion of the island, the party area of Bali. If you like more quiet experience and nature – you should go to the North of the island. And for the “Real Bali”, you should stay in Ubud and Central Bali. Some “Keywords” for the most prominent areas in Bali:
Party; backpackers; a loooot of Australians; nightlife; cheap accommodations; tasteless; many surfers and surfer schools; sunning; the largest waterpark in Southeast Asia.
2. Ubud and Central Bali
The Real Bali; shrine to Balinese Culture; temples; arts; rice fields; yoga retreats; classical artists’ villages; river valleys; five-star retreats; excellent restaurants; wellness programs; heritage museums; art galleries; fashion boutiques; no beaches; from backpacker homestays to luxury resorts.
3. Seminyak and Canggu
Lots of designer villa beach clubs; glam cocktails; quiet sunset beaches; luxury five-star resorts; world-class beach clubs; the gay-friendliest place in Bali; fun bars; shopping paradise; designer boutiques.
A mix of Seminyak and Kuta; beach resort areas; cheap accommodations; party; nightlife.
The tranquility and peace you can find here can be a perfect antidote to a stressful world. The land gently slopes away from the beach revealing exclusive celebrity haunts. Some are hidden under a canopy of leafy coconut palm groves.
6. Amed and Tulamben
Snorkelling; diving; chilling; seaport; bridging Bali to Lombok and Gili Islands; good low to middle price range.
Middle budget tourism; chilling; good restaurants; first tourism resort area in Bali; laidback and quiet; relaxing atmosphere; perfect for honeymooners; local art shops and high-end boutiques.
Quiet coastal escape; no sandy beaches; perfect sea panoramas; cheap accommodations; great restaurants; ancient Balinese villages; much more laid back than Kuta and much cleaner sea water than Sanur; traditional arts; hand-made crafts and fabrics.
9. Nusa Dua
Luxury hotels; high-end restaurants; the best beaches in Bali; white sand
Backpacker destination; middle range accommodations; excellent low-cost restaurants; long drive from the airport.
Menjangan National Park; small village; limited number of hotels; snorkelling; relaxed holidays; shallow waters.
Even though Bali is a small island, there are plenty of accommodations, its different beaches and areas offer their own set of features. What one lacks in dynamic nightlife it might make up for in quiet and laidback settings, and so forth. It's worth going through some of the highs and lows of each of Bali's most popular areas before deciding which hotel to book. We strongl suggest to make online booking. It is less stress and you can get some great offers when booking with Booking.com