Due to quite a few conversations about Bali within the last weeks, I decided to write down my basic suggestions when travelling to Bali. It’s about facts you might want to know. So this is not about sights but about general tips for Bali.
A couple of my friends are traveling to Bali and asked me for advice. Actually, one of them just left this week. So the following lines are suggestions that came up when I was asked to give some hints.
Here we go.
Before you leave for Bali
– Book your first night. I was super happy I did, even though it was quite last-minute. If you arrive in Denpasar it’s rather hard to walk off and look for accommodation. Additionally, I was coming from Australia and had a bit of a culture shock. At this point, it’s always good to know that you can just go to the address of your accommodation, refresh and be ready to explore.
What to expect at the airport:
– Once you get your luggage, locals will try to help you carry your stuff. If you want them to help, make sure you will tip them. I told them uncountable times that I’d carry it on my own but still couldn’t stop them. Once they asked for money I didn’t give them anything because they made me super mad carrying it against my will and still bagging for money. I didn’t care what they’d say…
– When arriving Bali you get a temporary visa. Try to have the accurate amount of money they ask for. When I arrived it was 25 US Dollar. Because whatever else you will give them, the change will be the local currency.
As usual I wasn’t prepared at all so I didn’t have USD nor their currency with me. And it is not that I want to blame anyone but I am not always sure whether the change was right or not. Now it is for free for most of you I suppose.
– You are as chaotic and mindless about preparing a trip like me? Then you might have forgotten to change money and you don’t have any local currency. No worries, they’ve got ATM at the airport once you get out. That’s where I got my cash! That is what you should do as well, because…
– I was super happy to meet locals in the plane. The woman is originally from Indonesia and gave me some advice travelling Bali. One important thing she told me was about the money changing hubs at the airport. If not necessary (basically only in emergency), don’t change money at a stall at the airport. They look official but at the end they rip you off. They’ll count the money they are about to hand you in front of your eyes and put it in an envelope for you. They are quite quick in taking out some money before they’ll hand it to you. Even though you might think you will see it. You won’t!
– Another important note by the local: don’t just go out to a taxi. If you have to catch a taxi to get to your place you better go to the official taxi booth. There you’ll let them know your destination, pay the fee, get a receipt which you’ll hand to the taxi driver outside and they’ll drive you to your place. This way you will pay less than what the local would charge you by just walking to the taxi drivers.
Island Time ❤
– Don’t get confused. There are usually no hostels but guesthouses and even more often homestay instead. There are no dorms and you pay per room and not per person. While I was travelling, I also shared a room with two other travelers to save money.
– Wherever you go, don’t take any parcels from A to B. Getting caught with drugs may bring you into jail if lucky or even the death sentence.
– Wherever you go it is important to show respect to a culture. One absolute normal thin to do is take off your shoes once you enter a place.
– Be aware of monkeys. If you are told that they might take your belongings, don’t underestimate their absolutely quick ability to take stuff from you. That also means that they might open your bags or take things you carry in your hand. While I was visiting a temple a woman lost her mobile phone and tablet. At some point I felt safe and put my glasses back on… and sure they took them. I was super shocked but due to a super quick staff member and his ability to excite the animal with sweets, the monkey dropped my glasses. Thank God. Of course I gave the staff member a big tip for his help, which I could tell he had to do quite often.
– There are a bunch of options how to explore the island. If you use a scooter make sure you drove one before. The traffic is absolutely insane. I was even told that in average six tourists die daily. I did fine, though we also had an accident within the group I joined for a day. If you are scared or know that renting a scooter won’t be an option for you, then take a taxi driver for a day which costs around 20-25 Euro.
– You are afraid to lose connection because you travel low-budget? No worries! Even the smallest restaurants and homestays got WiFi.
Those are the essential information I offer for all those who will be traveling to Bali.
In general, I still want to note that those are the experiences I had which might differ from yours.
And don’t judge before even knowing their culture and habits.
Cheers and enjoy Bali 💚