It can’t get said enough; Bali is the perfect destination for an unforgettable trip. Getting there is pretty simple nowadays; visitors from every part of the world come every year to discover how wonderful this island is. However, there are several things you need to be aware of, visiting any country requires some behaviors or actions to be performed in order to respect the culture and law and enjoy the destination to the top.
When you decide to go anywhere, safety concerns start to hit in; however, keep in mind that Bali is a safe place to visit yet, some risks can be avoided. And, since we care about you; we will point out the most common concerns you should consider to have the best out of your trip!
Before and while traveling
» Your very first acute decision is to read as many reviews as you can before booking your trip. Look up for the traveling options available from your starting point to Bali and choose the most suitable for your requirements and budget. Nevertheless, search beyond prices; features like taxes, permissions, regulations, travel insurances, security on board, and times must be considered before taking the final decision. Different Ferry trips are available for you on our website.
» On the other hand, the internet connection on the island is rarely found in case you were wondering; this is another good reason to get all your payments and reservations done before arriving at the majestic Bali, you don’t want to miss anything of this astonishing island.
Arriving in Bali
» Whether you pick a plane or a ferry; once you arrive in Bali, you may have to exchange your money to the currency used there (Rupiah), however, be extremely careful when choosing where to do it. There are people called “money changers” that work at the airport and the pier of Bali, they will probably try to head you off until you get out of the establishment. For any reason do not do your business with them; they are far from being your best option, some of them can try to give you a lower rate. Look for an established exchange office to cash your money without worries, in the main streets of Bali you can find plenty of them. Another thing you can do is visiting one of the banks on the island or simply withdrawing from an ATM.
» Keeping yourself and your belongings safe is vital; precaution begins in the very moment you start packing your stuff; think about it, do you really need your laptop and that fancy Swiss watch to enjoy Bali? I don’t think so. Carry on what is only necessary, not only for safety yet, for comfort too; in some piers, you will have to walk with your baggage and you will regret packing extra things. After you do the check-in at the hotel, check if the room you get has a security box or the front desk counts with one; if it has it, keep your most valuable belongings like passport, money, and jewels there. Be sure you lock the box efficiently; also, windows and doors must be locked before you leave the hotel to spend the day out. When you arrive at your hotel room, check that everything remains in its place, if don’t; you should notify the hotel staff immediately.
» To wander in Bali; it is not mandatory to carry all your documents with you, copies of your passport and driver’s license are acceptable for officers. The optimum solution is to keep all your original documents safe in the security box. In case there is no box, the most recommended option is to always carry your money and papers with you in your backpack. Bali’s streets are normally safe, however, precaution is needed anyway.
Careful with food and beverages
» Balinese food is so delicious; there is no doubt about it. International restaurant chains and local food are completely worthy. Seafood is one of the gastronomic specialties of locals and fresh fish is sold all around the island. Nevertheless, you cannot just eat anywhere, be sure the place you are picking has acceptable levels of hygiene; hotel restaurants are mainly safe places. Look for spots with a considerable quantity of visitors, it’ an indicator of good quality and freshness.
» Wash your hands frequently and remember; when eating on the streets, if you are eating something that you cannot wash, peel, or see how it is prepared, don’t eat it. Avoid the Bali Belly; which is the diarrhea travelers get as a result of eating not well-prepared food.
» On the other hand, beverages are an interesting topic in Bali. Lots of travelers love to party all night at the clubs; coming across drunken visitors on the street is very common. Bingtan beer is a very popular drink in the whole island; locally produced as a part of the Heineken brand, and it is an absolute must in Bali. However, there is another local drink that should not be in your plans at all. Arak is strong liquor made from rice; it is dangerously frequent in almost anywhere, not only bars yet in the airport and many stores.
» Arak, the spirit drink from distilled rice, is produced on the island and offered everywhere, the dangerous part is that a simple mistake in the preparation process makes this drink very poisoning. A bottle of well-prepared Arak and a poisoning one is almost impossible to differentiate by color, smell, or taste yet, the bad one can lead to blindness, kidney failure, facial paralysis, brain damage, or even sudden death.
» Keep in mind that in this gorgeous island the sun is always shining, so temperatures can get elevated and being hydrated is extremely important. Always walk around with a bottle of water and refuse to get ice cubes if it is not extremely necessary.
Cigarettes and drugs
» Bali’s regulations for the use of cigarettes in public areas are very strict. Since 2011, a smoke-free law went into effect; some places wherein is forbidden to smoke includes temples, restaurants, hotels, schools, hospitals, tourist attractions, and other public spaces. Breaking this law may carry with elevated fines or even up to six months in prison.
» Drugs’ regulations are very firm on the island; Bali’s government follow a series of regulations promoted in South-east Asia. Nevertheless, while walking in Bali’s streets, you may find out how easily illicit drugs are offered, from marijuana, ecstasy pills, to mushrooms that attract young visitors. If you get stuck in this type of situation, just say No and keep walking.
» Drug dealers work mostly at night and in nearby nightclubs. However, police officers are spread on the streets watching any situation they consider suspicious; some of them can even act like dealers just to catch someone. Paying enormous fines or ending up in jail is probably the worst way to spend a vacation trip.
Tattoos are not the only souvenir
» You are having a great time in Bali and wondering what to take with you back home as a memory of this amazing trip? Well, when we say tattoos are not the only one, we’re a right, several other options are available, safer ones.
» Most tattoos’ shops in Bali don’t cover all the hygiene regulations, which is very important given the fact that the less thing you want from your vacation trip is an infected needle getting into your skin several times. Keep in mind that one of the most frequent transmission ways of HIV is through infected needles in non-reputable tattoo shops.
» In case you are going for less aggressive techniques such as Henna, you should know that Henna tattoos are temporary, or at least they are supposed to be. It is made with a creamy brown pigment that is put on your skin, mainly on the hands and arms with artistic figures. However, on the island, artists use the wrong pigment to create henna, they use hair pigments instead of skin ones. Chemical products on hair dyes are strong and should not be used on the skin, as they would probably lead to skin injuries. Also, when the sun is always shining over the island, sunshine may burn the colored area, causing dangerous skin burns.
» Traffic in Bali is considered chaotic for both locals and travelers. The principal cause of this anarchic situation is because Bali did not have motor vehicles for too long, streets were not designed in the same size as the city developed in tourism. However, the perception you get will depend on the way of transportation you pick to move around the city.
» Car rentals are available in the island in case you have a wide budget and do not feel like using the public transportation; if you’re thinking about renting a car, some services do offer drivers to take you anywhere you want to go. On the other hand, you can always pick the car and drive it by yourself.
» Renting a car will give you the freedom to move to less-traveled destinations and common ones too, which seems to be practical, however, per in mind that gas stations are rarely seen on the island; local vendors have gas and petrol for resale, at higher prices of course.
» Taxi services work in Bali in the same way it works in every place in the world; you get into a cab and a driver takes you to your desired destination. Some taxi drivers are not very honest though, as they take the longest way to the destination just to cost you a higher price. An important tip is to always ask them to put the taximeter and ask for an estimated price before accepting the ride.
» There are blue taxis in Bali, they are called “Bali Taxi” and known by locals as Bird Blue Taxis; they have the very best reputation on the island, do not hesitate to use their services in case you need a ride. Emerging private enterprises of transportation are offering their services on the island; minivans are a good option to be considered. In the same way, public transportation works all over the island, it is cheap and safe while it may take longer to get to your destination.
» Renting cars is not the only option yet, motorbikes and scooters are available too; however, these options are by far two of the most dangerous in Bali. To rent a motorbike or a scooter, you will need to hand out your driving license, be sure you have enough experience, as Bali is not precisely the very best place for your first try.
» High rates of travelers’ injuries are caused by motorbike accidents, be sure to have travel insurance and practice the most defensive driving you can. Be aware that locals do not take traffic laws seriously.
» No motored options such as biking and walking are excellent ideas; they allow you to exercise while discovering the island and saving money as well. Do not forget that footpaths are not precisely the best. From time to time one motorbike driver will use them as a part of the street. Pedestrians have been involved in accidents by imprudent drivers, stay alert, watch both sides and move fast. If you decide to walk at night, carry something shiny with you, a torch or lighter to that ensure drivers see you.
Tips on the water
» The main attraction of Bali is the wonderful beaches spread all over it; thousands of visitors worldwide come every year to splash in this waters for a while, some others come to improve their surfing skills. The Southern and northern beaches of Bali are flawless with strong and steady waves to challenge surfers. Moreover, some of them can be risky if you are not a very experienced one.
» Strong currents happen very often, make sure to observe the beach for a couple of minutes before getting into the water, never surf alone and be aware of your ability; the less thing you want is to get injured by getting stuck in the coral reef. Also, be careful when swimming over the reef while snorkeling, corals are a delicate environment that must be cared for by everyone. Do not forget that coral reef can be really sharp.
» During high tides, waves can reach up to 10 meters; red flags are often visible on the bay to delimitate the area wherein is safe to dive. Lifeguards are always on duty, yet they work only on the most visited beaches like Kuta, Jimbaran, Seminyak, Legian, etc. Take a look around the bay to make sure there are safety watchers in the area.
» Pollution has sadly affected certain areas of the island; particularly after rains, trash, and bad smells can be noticed on some beaches, Double Six Beach and Seminyak Beach are the most affected ones.
Pickpocketing is trendy
Violent acts are rarely seen on this beautiful island, yet it does not mean that robbers do not exist in here. Phones, wallets, and bags are the favorite items to steal as they can take it from you and easily run away. Even cases of stealing bag packs from another bike driver on the street have happened in Bali. As in any other place, the recommendations are the same: do not let valuable objects on the beach while swimming, one of the group must stay to look after the belongings.
Nature can be misleading
» As you may know, Bali is more than beaches, natural wonders of the island go further sea and land. National Parks are interesting places to visit too; Jalan Monkey Forest is undoubtedly a must visit place in your journey through Ubud, monkeys here are very sociable and are very used to receive visitors. Moreover, they have learned a lot from tourists. For these monkeys, plastic bags are a synonym of food and they can be aggressive while trying to get some aliment from you, they will not hesitate to hike into your bag to check if there are fruits or chips in your belongings.
» Tropical diseases like dengue fever can be caught in Bali, mosquitoes that transmit this fever have white strips on their legs; however, do not hesitate until you see the white bands to kill it. Features like mosquito netting on the bed and repellent sprays can keep you safe from dengue.
» Despite the fact dogs are human’s best friend, we advise to not be so friendly with dogs over the island; some of them may suffer from rabies, which is a type of illness that you definitely don’t want to experience. The truth is that rabid cases have decreased considerably in the recent years yet the island cannot be considered free of this condition yet.
» Ancient volcanoes shape a great part of Bali’s beauty; Mount Rinjani is a basic attraction on the neighboring island of Lombok, even when it does not erupt frequently, it is still an active volcano. Also, heavy rainfall can be expected on the island, when it falls, it lasts long and pours everywhere; check the daily forecast before leaving the hotel each day.
By following these considerations, we can ensure that your trip around Bali will be more than perfect and unforgettable memories are going to be created.