Traveller’s Guide: 14 Things You Need to Know Before Travelling to Bali

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Traveller’s Guide: 14 Things You Need to Know Before Travelling to Bali

When it comes to travelling and touring, Bali is perhaps the biggest tourist attraction not just in Asia but also in the world. The fact that this island has become a sought-after tourist spot in the country speaks volumes about its importance for the tourism industry in Indonesia. In short, Bali has everything that you may want to experience during your visit. However, as applicable with any tourist destination in the world, it is always safe to know of any idiosyncrasies, local tips and unknown rules as well as some regulations before you plan to visit a new place. Here, we give you some insights of Bali.

The Best Time to Visit Bali
There is no rule of thumb as to what time of the year to visit Bali. In fact, Bali is amongst very few places on earth where outdoor temperatures soar above 30 degree Celsius across the year. The environment at its most pleasant during May and remains so until October. Bali sees a decent amount of rain each year and is amongst places where there is enough rain that maintains the summer heat to a real extent. Make no mistake as this is almost the perfect throughout the year.

Beaches in Bali
For most tourists, Bali offers an excellent climate and plenty of sunshine all around the year. As in any island, here, you can find a rich collection of beaches, each with its appeal and characteristics. You will find unique and delightful beaches ranging from limestone beaches to calm and remote beaches in the northeast. Just around the Bukit Peninsula, you’ll locate the calm and blue waters of white sandy beaches.

Those who love to go to the beach, the island offers around 13 hours of sunlight, so you have plenty of time to have great beach fun heading your way. Enjoy a great time on the beach or surf the new ocean tides. Apart from well-known beaches, there are also some hidden but exquisite beaches at its remote corners.

For those surfers who love to explore newer surfing spots, the months of June, July and even August will be a perfect time to take a tour to Bali. Make sure that you don’t surf alone at night! And since there are no lifeguards in some of the sea area or beaches, so make sure you swim soberly. Keep a lookout for aquatic life as water plants and animals may harm you.

Rent a Motorbike
A comfortable way to see Bali is on a motorbike. Biking is mellowed, and it permits you freely to get out to the tourist destinations. They can charge you $6-10/day to rent. Remember, you are supposed to get a valid Indonesian driver license to legally drive here. Always use a helmet when driving your bike or scooter!

Respect the Local Culture
Balinese culture is very strong and beautiful. You can barely take a couple of steps along the street before you encounter ‘canang sari’ – one of the colourful routines offering by the Balinese Hindus. Mind your step, be careful and avoid stepping on them or causing any other damage!

Must-wear on while visiting the temples is sarong (usually with a sash around your waist). Temples are commonly free of any cost for visit. But most shopkeepers will point out towards the ‘donation box’ or rent sarongs at the entrance point for near about $1. Always use your right hand for gesturing; never use your left hand or feet.

Don’t Drink the Tap Water
Avoid drinking of the tap water in Bali. Constantly purchasing bottled water may well break your pocket but tap water will definitely make you ill. It is strongly recommended travelling with a water bottle with an inbuilt filter, carrying a glass bottle which you can use for filling up water from free filtered water at your hotel.

Super Strict Drug Laws in Bali
After reporting of the ‘Bali 9’, super-strict drug regulations in Bali where getting caught smuggling is liable to a death sentence. Just avoid it! The Indonesian legal system is quite confusing and contradictory, but it’s best not to unnecessarily argue with police personnel if you are blamed with an infringement that may feel them unjust and pay ‘fines’ with good grace. You cannot expect any type of special treatment for being a foreigner guest.

Learn a Few Local Language Words
We are always eager for visiting a country and communicate with native people, even just a small bit, in the local language. A vast majority in Bali will speak English to communicate with you (sometimes only basics).

Be Aware of Extra Taxes
All bars and restaurants will charge an additional 21% on their food and drink prices. Whilst some of them add this to the price written on the menu, others may give you a small print explaining that it will be added to your final bill. This is completely legit; however, it’s going to add a hearty chunk on to your final bill at the end of the food!

Don’t Get Panic at the ATM
There are few notable things to know about using ATMs in Bali. First, you may find that not all of these ATMs are working for you, another point to be noted that you will receive only the equivalent of $200 per withdrawal (not great when you’re getting charged a couple of quid just for the pleasure of using the ATM), and several ATM machines may refuse to acknowledge your card at all.

Be Cautious of Wild and Stray Animals
Wild and stray animals may look cute, but rabies and other terrific diseases are serious risks in Bali and monkeys are very well known for their thieving ways. Bali’s stray dogs are too much in number, with pretty bad presentations.

Remember about the Rainy Season
Be careful of Bali’s rainy season (January to April and October to November) when thinking of planning your Bali trip. You may receive greater discounts, but if you end up spending your holiday cooped up in your hotel rooms, you may be left wondering if making the trip was worth it. Fortunately, the rains are quite often limited to brief afternoon downpours, so your holiday isn’t likely to be a total write-off.

Bargain Respectfully
For many items and services in Bali, you can bargain but do it respectfully and with a shining smile on your face. You’ll know when the shopkeeper has reached his limit, and at that point don’t push him unnecessarily. If you are in doubt, walk away – if the seller doesn’t follow you and comes after you, you can be pretty sure that they aren’t prepared to reduce their price any lower. Shopkeepers can sometimes become aggressive to sell things, but always be cool and keep calm. Have a careful look at things before you want to buy to make sure you will get a good quality one. Be sure to check the prizes with the next shops for the same items before starting to bargain at one shop.

Stay Connected
SIM cards are widely available at kiosks and convenient stores; most of them are mobile internet-ready. Verify your SIM and micro-SIM factors upon purchasing it. ELECTRICITY: 220 Volts, 50Hz. Electrical plugs are two-pronged ‘Europlug’ type.

Don’t Get Stressed
Bali is generally a safer place than the headlines suggest, but with near about to four million tourists hitting its shores yearly, it’s quite natural that some travellers may face some or other issues. Be safe while enjoying your party. Avoid costly and flashy jewellery that can make you a target for thieves. Bring enough cash in your pocket. Be respectful and be responsible. Don’t do anything that you wouldn’t do in your hometown.

About Author

Joannes Rhino is a professional writer and editor with a long line of publications under his belt. His travel tales are adventurous and hold appeal with anyone fond of a good read, especially those who aren't afraid to leave a scar in the pursuit of fun. As well as travel, other subjects which fall into his expert remit include culinary, culture, design, fashion and shopping. He is also an author with 6 published books, including the 2016 Amazon Best Seller in Psychological Fiction, The Unseen Face. His second Psychology-Mystery novel, Dream, earned him the recognition as one of best young writers at the Khatulistiwa Literary Award ceremony in 2009. Equal to his love of words is his passion to see the world, and his desire to travel haunts him. He is still in search for a place to call “home”.