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12 useful things you need to know when traveling to Bali

offering basket bali

A quick guide with important and useful tips when traveling to Bali. Where to stay, what to think about and what not to do when traveling to Bali.

When to go

You can travel to Bali the whole year, but if you don’t want to get wet, I recommend traveling during the dry season from May until October. During July, August and September it is high season, which means the prices for hotels are higher and it gets more crowded, but the temperatures are beautiful not too humid and you can get a real Bali tan.

Visa

From almost every country you can get a free 30days visa on arrival. This means you can just go directly to the immigration counter and don’t need to pay for anything. You can’t extend the 30 days visa. However, if you think about staying longer you can get a 60days visa, but this one you need to buy at the counter before immigration.

Check out this link for more detail visa information.

Where to go

If you are a first-time traveler to Bali I recommend visiting Canggu/Seminyak, Ubud, Uluwatu, North Bali and also go on an Island getaway. I wrote a quick guide for you guys on where to go.

Water

In hotels, villas or guesthouses the water is clean, but it is not drinking water. I only brush my teeth with filtered water and usually have drinks without ice, because I already have a very sensitive stomach.

Mosquitos

Always put on Mosquito spray with deet in it. This will protect you from the dengue virus. If you haven’t read my article about dengue yet, make sure you do before traveling to Bali. Also, the Zika virus has arrived in Bali and it is not recommend traveling to Bali whilst pregnant or if you want to get pregnant soon.

Money

In Bali you will be a millionaire 🙂  The currency is Indonesian Rupia (IDR) and for one US Dollar you get 13’400.00 IDR. How much money you need in Bali depends on your lifestyle. You can get a 2$ fried rice or you can get a meal for 20$.

Bali Scams

I created a little guide to download for you with the top 3 Bali Scams


Law

If you haven’t heard it already, the law in Bali / Indonesia is really strict. It means definitely no drugs at all and you have to wear your helmet while riding a motor bike, which brings me to my next point:

Motorbike

If you are staying in Canggu or Uluwatu area I recommend hiring a motorbike, because there are no or few taxis. However, if you are staying in Seminyak or Kuta you can get easily a taxi for a cheap price (see part Taxi). A bike rent per day is around 6$. Make sure you have an international drivers license and you wear a helmet. This is the law in Indonesia even though you will see a lot of tourist driving around without a helmet or any drivers’ license. Be better than them. 🙂

Taxi

In the more touristy centers, you find taxis everywhere and they honk at you to show you that they are free not to scare you off J If you don’t want to bargain only drive with bluebird taxis and tell the driver to put on the taximeter.

Alcohol

Cocktail sipping at the pool? That’s what most Bali tourists are looking forward to and there are some great beach clubs where you get amazing drinks. Compared to other stuff like for example food, you can’t get cheap alcohol. A good drink costs around 15 to 20 Dollar. Only the local beer “bintag” you can get for 2 dollars. J

Food

Try Bali’s yummy kitchen: You won’t regret it. I am still on the hunt for the best and cheapest Nasi Goreng (fried rice) and I love Nasi Ayam and Nasi campur. These are rice dishes served with vegetables and meat. More details on Balis typical dishes you find here.

If you are traveling to Seminyak you will find yourself in the mekka for all foodies. Also, don’t worry if you have any allergies or intolerances. Most of the Restaurants in Canggu and Seminyak are aware of that and you can make changes to your menu and choose an option that suits you. Food heaven in Bali.

Culture

Bali has an amazing culture and the locals keep their traditions and their Hindu religion. They are very friendly and usually don’t tell you when you are not respectful, so try to pay attention to the following things:

  • Never go to a temple without covering with a Sarong (a colorful towel which is used as skirt)
  • Don’t drive in your Bikini on the motorbike, try to cover at least a bit –even if it gets hot
  • While most people think that it is rude or disrespectful to step on an offering basket, for example by accident on the street, it is actually not a problem. When the offering basket is put somewhere, the Balinese people wave with their hand and a flower over it, which represents a sign for the gods to take the offering. After this small ceremony, the basket itself is not holy or anything like that. Took me a while to understand – I was always trying to be careful and dare not to step on it. 🙂

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28 Comments

  • Reply Jessica Nemire

    Haha, this reminds me of the guest post on my blog about Bali. Never been but it’s on the top of my list! Always enjoy following your adventures on Instagram. You make Bali look gooood, girl. 🙂

    December 29, 2016 at 6:32 am
  • Reply neha

    Those are really useful tips for someone visiting here and not that aware of the culture in Bali. I didn’t know about the offering baskets for instance. Thanks for compiling it all.

    December 29, 2016 at 8:07 am
  • Reply Abigail

    This post is making us miss Bali. It surely is a tourist’s haven. Great roundup of tips, which is useful for first time visitors!

    December 29, 2016 at 9:29 am
  • Reply SindhuMurthy

    Bali has been on my list for quite some time. This is the 2nd post I m reading about Bali today and each time I read a post about Bali, I so miss visiting it. How I feel like getting on that flight to Bali right away. I had not read anything about the culture and restrictions in Bali earlier.Your post is very informative and I loved reading it. Thanks for sharing such great insights.

    December 29, 2016 at 5:36 pm
  • Reply Gokul Raj

    Those were nice tips. My friends have been to Bali last month. Seems like a wonderful place. They got 2 wheelers without any license but like you mentioned it is better to have one to be on the safer side.

    December 29, 2016 at 7:08 pm
  • Reply Jackie Taylor

    Bali is one of my all time favourite destinations!!! 🙂 These are awesome tips for people who are visiting for the first time. And that is so true… only use Blue Bird Taxis!! Love these recommendations!

    December 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm
  • Reply Soraya

    This is a great summary post! I actually am in Bali now and have been here for almost a month so far. I totally agree with you – best spots to stay Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud, Uluwatu. Being in Canggu, the thing I do struggle with the most is the lack of taxis, but we have learned how to ride a motorbike, which has been staying here so much easier. Love the food around Canggu!

    December 29, 2016 at 11:01 pm
  • Reply ADAM DOOLITTLE

    I’ve always wanted to travel to Bali and see more and more people are doing so these day. This is a very helpful list that I will keep on hand for the day we make our way to this great destination.

    December 30, 2016 at 6:43 am
  • Reply kathy (from walkaboutwanderer.com)

    This is so so relevant for me as I am currently in The Philippines and will be heading to Bali next. Thanks for the tips especially about the visas. I will be needing the 60 day one so will get it on arrival.

    December 30, 2016 at 6:49 am
  • Reply Kelly @ TastingPage

    Great information. Wow, those are some pretty expensive cocktails, but nice to know that the beer is cheap. I think a motorbike would be a really fun way to get around too!

    December 31, 2016 at 5:34 pm
  • Reply Stephanie

    I really love your branding! Bali has been on my list for too long, I may have to give your site another look. Happy travels!

    December 31, 2016 at 6:24 pm
  • Reply Lily Travella

    I didn’t know you could get a 30 day visa on arrival. Great to know. I’ve always wanted to go to Bali! Hopefully I can fit it in next year!

    December 31, 2016 at 8:25 pm
  • Reply Adrenaline Romance

    Hopefully within this year, we will do a major climb to Mt. Rinjani. We will visit Bali before or after the climb, and we’re already excited! Thanks for these tips! We will also check out your other articles about Bali.

    January 3, 2017 at 6:52 am
  • Reply Anthony Jury

    I love Bali, close to home, affordable and just a perfect holiday destination. I really love Sanur, where I spent most my time last trip, laid back and away from the busy Kuta area. Nice detailed post.

    January 3, 2017 at 8:42 am
  • Reply Jessica

    Very helpful and concise guide to Bali 🙂 I hope to make it there in the next year or so. I heard great things about it as I was traveling in SE Asia. It’s so great that you live there! That must be a dream!

    January 3, 2017 at 10:48 pm
  • Reply Brianna Simmons

    Looking at going to Bali later this year, these tips definitely will come in handy!

    January 3, 2017 at 11:28 pm
  • Reply Theresa

    These are great tips! I hope to make it to Bali someday. It seems like an amazing place to visit and live!

    January 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm
  • Reply Erin

    I’m going to spend 6 weeks in Bali next year and want to spend some time in Canggu, how did you learn to ride a bike? Is it hard? I feel like this is going to be a must if I want to get around freely!

    January 5, 2017 at 10:41 pm
    • Reply Blonde Seashell

      I think it just comes with practice. If you don’t drive fast and don’t go on off-road streets you will be fine 🙂 And yes in Canggu it is the only way to get around…

      January 6, 2017 at 8:51 am
  • Reply Kristine Li

    Fascinating especially the last point about stepping on the offerings! I will always try to avoid them when they’re on the floor, now I’ll feel less paranoid!

    January 7, 2017 at 4:14 am
  • Reply Goni

    Nice article! It took me a while too to realize that it is ok to step on the offerings. It still does feel a bit awkward though… Should I be able to get the 2 months on entry right away? I was told so before, but then I only got one month which I could extend later on.

    January 7, 2017 at 10:49 am
  • Reply Piyush Rai

    Wow.. a great information for all folks out there and planning to visit Bali. Thanks for writing up this concise guide, I am sure this will be informative for all folks who are planning to go there. I am sure it would be a serene experience to live there. Happy Traveling !!

    January 7, 2017 at 3:52 pm
  • Reply Lusine

    Very useful article for first time travelers, thanks for sharing this! I’d love to visit Bali in my SE Asia travels, so bookmarking this article, it will come in handy one day 🙂

    January 8, 2017 at 2:17 am
  • Reply Bruce Schinkel

    Such a great overview of everything Bali. I especially appreciated the food and culture sections. You never can be too prepared!

    January 8, 2017 at 2:51 am
  • Reply Brown Gal Trekker

    Great run down of things to know about bali. It’s a unique place with so many things to stimulate your senses. I didn’t know about some of the religious/spiritual norms that you mentioned. Good to know.

    January 8, 2017 at 9:34 pm
  • Reply Ria (@lifeinbigtent)

    Great tips! I would add as well that using for example Uber is much cheaper to travel around some of the Bali areas than using taxi 🙂

    February 4, 2017 at 8:19 am
    • Reply Blonde Seashell

      thanks for your comment. Yes that’s true, but also it is forbidden in a lot of areas in Bali and you can’t find any drivers…

      February 6, 2017 at 5:52 am
  • Reply Therie

    Cultural tips and guides are really important. Thanks for putting this together, it’s really helpful!

    March 16, 2017 at 6:34 am
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