You are over the top excited to stroll around the island and suddenly the question Is It safe to travel in Bali hits?
The island talk of the world is everything anyone could ever dream of; the tropical haven at its best. Yet, just like any other place, this may come with a few setbacks that every traveler should be aware of.
Hey! We don’t mean to tone the excitement down, we just want to keep you safe all the way. So, read on!
Is it safe to travel in Bali?
Common Dangers in Bali
Volcanoes Eruptions in Bali
Sitting in one of the most active volcanic regions in the world will surely arise some concerns when you’re thinking to travel in Indonesia; as, over history, the country has experienced several natural disasters.
The last major one would be the eruption of the active volcano Mount Agung in 2017, since then, it has been erupting on a regular basis. In late May 2019, Bali residents were rushing away from the area and planes were grounded due to two major eruptions.
How can you be safe during a volcano eruption?
Given the fact that Mount Agung is a very active volcano; the outcomes are unpredictable and may occur at any time.
The only thing that you can do is staying away from the Agung exclusion zone, even if it appeared quite calm. You never know!
Earthquakes in Bali
With volcanoes come earthquakes. There are constant earthquakes in Bali. While most of them are not vigorous, some of them are pretty strong and the situation can get very scary when they occur.
A Couple of years ago, Lombok Island was hit by an array of severe earthquakes, which resulted in the death of several people and thousands became homeless.
After a couple of more months, an earthquake and the resulting tsunami eliminated entire towns on Sulawesi Island.
Not so long after, the Java region was hit by a 6.0 magnitude earthquake that also had its effect on Bali. The array of earthquakes has been a source of heartache in Indonesia. While the worst is over for the time being, the effects will be ongoing through the coming years.
What are the earthquake precautions?
Keep a small carry-on bag with you that contains your wallet, passport, cash, a phone charger, power bank, warm clothes, snacks, and a big bottle of water.
Be mindful of the surroundings In Bali, getting inside a building is not the way to protect yourself in case of an earthquake, as most of the buildings are poorly constructed and seeking them as a shelter will actually cause more harm as the entire building may fall down unless you are in a pretty solid building.
Thus, it is advised to get outside in a clearing and do so quickly. Also avoid trees, other buildings, power lines, and anything that possess the risk of falling apart.
Allocate tsunami escape signs at the beach tsunami escape route signs are allocated in some beach communities like Sanur, which acts as the first warning.
If there’s a tsunami warning, don’t settle and wait for others to take charge. In areas like Uluwatu, where the beaches are at the bottom of a cliff, be conscious of the closest stairs that gets you outside of the beach and use them instantly.
Always look up BMKG, Indonesia’s most trusted weather forecaster, whether Twitter or the website. If it says either of the words “TDK berpotensi tsunami”/“TIDAK berpotensi tsunami” take a deep breath as it means “no potential of a tsunami.” However, if you found the words “berpotensi tsunami”, instantly get to high ground.
Terrorism in Bali
The last crucial terrorism threat was back in 2002 during the Bali bombings. The threat of terrorism is more common in Java than any other place in the country.
How to Stay Safe When Traveling in Bali
While the rest of Indonesia is prone to caution; Bali is safe for most tourists. Taxi scams, petty theft, and sexual assault can still happen, however, being up to date can totally lower the risks at a minimum.
Safety on the streets in Bali
Bali has a chaotic traffic situation that can cause trouble if you're not prepared for it. And here are a few forewarnings!
Look to the left, right, up, and down forward, and backward when crossing the streets in Bali, as there are no actual traffic rules here. Set your mind that vehicles always have the right-of-way and you will be just fine.
Do not self-drive given the previously mentioned situation, driving independently in Bali is not the best idea. Consider hiring a local driver who is mastering the road instead, and just set back and enjoy the views.
Re-consider smoking in public areas or be ready to face up to six months in prison and/or fined up to US$5,500 (IDR 50 million). Due to a "smoke-free" bylaw effected in 2011 banning smoking in most public areas across Bali.
Never go for drugs in Bali the Indonesian law is very strict regarding this matter and ready to take serious actions with any tourist that may get caught doing drugs anywhere on the island. However, you may get across sellers who try to whisper your way to cheap marijuana or mushrooms. If this happened to you; simply walk away.
Can I eat whatever I want in Bali?
The majority of restaurants in Bali are praised by many and considered as safe places to eat, however, you must make sure that you take all the necessary precautions to have a great culinary experience in Bali.
Some of these precautions include: 1. Looking up reviews online of the best places to eat, you’ll definitely find some good recommendations. 2. Make sure to go to places that have a large number of visitors, as safe and clean places attract more customers than others. 3. Avoid all foods that are washed using tap water. 4. Hotels are respectable places to eat as they offer their services to visitors from all around the world.
When it comes to drinking water in Bali
That might not be the safest thing to do. It is recommended you only drink tap water in case it is boiled like coffee or tea. Don’t ask for ice in your drink, unless it’s somehow made from boiled water. We don’t recommend you brush your teeth using tap water as well. Another thing you must avoid is arak. Arak is a distilled rice spirit and happened to have caused the death of many travelers before.
Driving in Bali, Is it safe?
It is very common for an accident to occur in Bali, particularly a motorbike accident. In Indonesia, hiring a car is actually a much simpler process than in most places around the world. Most companies don’t request you have an international driver’s license to give you a vehicle, which adds on to your responsibility as a driver if something wrong happened on the road. Before renting a vehicle, it’s advised you take a photograph or a video of how it looks first, to avoid rental companies from blaming you for damages you are not responsible for.
The traffic police might happen to stop you along your way in addition to asking for bribes.
Transportation in Bali is considered to be very safe. The safest taxi to use is called Blue Bird, it has garnered a very impressive reputation when it comes to both safety and prices.
If you happen to use other taxi options, then be prepared as they are notorious for charging more than they should.
All transportation apps are common and used by many travelers including Gojek, Grab, Uber and more, however, it is not the most convenient as some hotels may not allow it, which will lead you to walk away and ordering your ride from where you are.
Popular scams in Bali
Stealing on motorbikes Sometimes there may be thieves driving past the streets looking for purses to snitch; so always wear your purse on the opposite side to the road.
ATM skimming The most common scam in Bali is ATM skimming, so make sure there is no skimming device attached to the machine before using it.
Keep an eye on the monkeys This one is not an actual scam; however, the monkeys in Bali are not as cute as you think! These swirling beasts are experts in stealing shiny items and even food right from your bag. Don’t try to indulge in a meal or a quick sandwich within plain sight too as they will totally come for you!
Quick reminders to keep yourself from harm’s way
‣ Drugs are prohibited. Many tourists have gotten into so much trouble taking drugs in Bali, so be wise and stop yourself from making the same old mistake.
‣ Get yourself the appropriate vaccinations before traveling. Scheduling an appointment with the doctor to check up on your body and getting the proper vaccinations might save you a lot of health problems while traveling in Bali. Pertussis, tetanus, typhoid, and diphtheria, as well as Hepatitis A and B, are only some of the recommended vaccines you should take.
‣ Keep an eye on the road. Traffic in Bali can get a little bit chaotic and overwhelming, so, it’s good to be more alert than usual when driving on the road. It won’t hurt to contemplate travel insurance as well.
‣ Respect local traditions. It would be really helpful to educate yourself on the customs of Bali especially in regards to the appropriate attire when visiting temples.
‣ Beware of pickpockets. Be on total alert and caution when carrying large amounts of money on you in addition to any valuable object, try to keep them as close to you as possible to avoid thieves riding on motorcycles grabbing your stuff and running away. Card game scams are another common trick you better watch out for.
‣ Don’t get too close to animals. No matter how cute, small or friendly they may seem, it’s better to stay away from contact with wildlife at all times. Many dangerous cases of rabies have been recorded in Bali.
‣ Don’t swim too far in the water. Many riptides and dangerous spots are not signposted.
‣ You don’t want to be reckless and accept anything to eat, drink or accept other items from complete strangers. This may seem like such an obvious warning, but you’ll be surprised at the number of people who keep making the same mistake.
‣ The police in Bali conduct many searches to scour for any illegal drugs, it has been reported that some police officers perform sting operations and go undercover trying to fit in the crowd for the slightest chance they can catch someone carrying any type of illegal drug. Steer clear of any drugs that may be around as you don’t want an amazing vacation tainted with the memory of being arrested and charged with a drug offense.
Do I need Travel Insurance?
It is best to be prepared for anything that may go wrong on a trip and one of the trusted ways you can accomplish that is Travel Insurance. Travel insurance will offer you many benefits that will give you peace of mind and will allow you to enjoy your trip more knowing that you have an extra safety parachute you can rely on.
Can Bali be a safe place for a lone traveler?
Traveling alone absolutely has its own perks and downsides. Bali might not be the safest place for a solo traveler, especially a female. With that being said, there have been many amazing positive travel stories told about Bali by independent travelers. It is important to have fun and explore but, keep an eye out for anything suspicious or shady that may be going on. After all, people aren’t saints!
One of the first things you need to do is book a well-recommended accommodation. It is extremely vital to pick somewhere safe and do your research and due diligence on the matter.
Taking a night-stroll by yourself isn’t recommended. If you really want to, be aware of picking a place that has a reasonable number of people to have a much safer experience.
It’s also recommended to lock your windows and doors at night. This will help to keep out all the robbers away from entering your room.
Another highly-recommended endeavor is group activities such as cooking classes, yoga classes, hiking tours, surfing and more, that way you’ll make friends and prevent unwanted situations.
Is it safe to travel in Bali with kids?
Traveling in Bali with kids is one of the richest experiences your kid could ever live. Moreover, it is one of the easiest places to travel with children because of the well-established tourist infrastructure and good facilities. There are also many family-friendly hostels around and a variety of healthy food options too.
One bonus point is that Bali is a very small island, so moving around would be very easy, convenient, and so much fun.
The Balinese are friendly people and having a kid around would increase the chances of socializing, laughing, and will create even more amazing memories. And exposing your children to different cultures will have an immense impact on shaping their future personalities.
And here are some of the best highlights!
The Nicest Beaches ‣ Kuta Beach Surf schools ‣ Sanur Beach Kids ‣ Batu Bolong Beach
Best for Animals ‣ Ubud Monkey Forest ‣ Dolphin watching, Lovina ‣ Bali Bird Park, south of Ubud
Adventure Time ‣ Bali Treetop Adventure Park
Water Fun ‣ Waterbom Park, Tuban ‣ Rice fields walks ‣ Pulau Menjangan
Old Attractions ‣ Tirta Empul, north of Ubud
In a nutshell, Bali is considered a relatively safe place and one of the nicest places on earth, and you probably don’t want to miss that. You just have to be careful and follow the guidelines mixed with a bit of common sense.
We all know a bunch of people who have been there and had the times of their lives; while some made it an annual must-visit, some of them do not really return.
Yes, the risk of natural disasters’ may sound like a hazard; yet, there is nothing for granted. If we looked closely, we will find that risks are a part of every single day. And it is not the best to make decisions based on the unknown. It’s just better prepared than sorry!