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Traveling to Bali? Here Amazing and Useful Travel Tips
With over 20,000 temples surrounded by lush greenery, mouth-watering local cuisine, warm sandy beaches to sunbathe on, and friendly locals, traveling Bali is a rich experience that is recommended for solo travelers and families alike.
Whether you decide to visit this magnificent island for the unrivaled natural beauty or are looking to plan the ultimate family getaway, here are 13 tips to make sure you get the most out of your Bali vacation.
1. Hire A Tour Guide
Especially if it is your first time visiting Bali, having a tour guide on hand that is knowledgeable and organized can help you adjust to the country’s etiquette, as well as provide a stress-free itinerary chock-full of culture, adventure, and fun.
Be sure to choose a company with diverse Bali tour packages—that way there is something to delight everyone in your travel group, from the relaxed traveler to the adrenaline junkie.
2. Learn Temple Etiquette
We highly recommend you visit at least one temple during your Bali stay, but there are a few rules you should know beforehand. They have a dress code that requires not only your shoulders, knees, and possibly your ankles to be covered, but you will also need to wear a sarong with a sash around the waist.
Beyond dressing the part, also keep in mind that it is frowned upon to point your toes at the altar—in Balinese feet are considered dirty—instead, sit cross-legged or on your knees. You should also be mindful of where you wander, sit, and stand, and avoid public displays of affection.
3. Consider the Food Festival
Whether you want to experience Bali in a big way, you’re a foodie that wants to chow down on local cuisine, or you’re a chef that wants to learn Balinese cooking, consider booking your stay around the Ubud Food Festival.
Not only will you get to experience the aromatic smells and tantalizing tastes of the local cuisine, but you will also get to mingle with the island’s locals and share in their unique culture.
4. Go Off the Beaten Path
While tourist areas are perfect to indulge in some shopping or a cup of hot java, get out of the hustle and bustle of main areas to explore truly exquisite scenery and local culture. This may include visiting rice terraces, staying in an ashram, or going to capture a few colorful photos at a butterfly farm
5. Beware of Wildlife
While the lush greenery teeming with monkeys and other wildlife certainly adds to Bali’s appeal, please note that these cute animals are still wild and should be handled as such.
This means keeping a reasonable distance, resisting the urge to pet them, and being aware of your surroundings—pick-pocketing monkeys are not just a funny bit in movies, they’re actually a thing.
That being said, these adorable creatures are abundant and do make for wonderful and unique photo opportunities, so don’t forget to bring the camera.
6. Try the Cuisine
The food is delicious, inexpensive, and includes some Balinese cuisine staples that you should definitely try, such as babi guling (suckling pig), nasi goreng (fried rice), mie goreng (fried noodles), and satays.
If you are more of a resort dweller, many of these delights can be found through room service or other on-resort food options. Or you can head to local restaurants, known as warungs, for an authentically delicious meal that can cost as little as a few bucks a plate.
7. Drink It Up
What would food be without a drink to pair it with? Some of the best cocktails can be found in heavily touristed areas such as restaurants, bars, and beach clubs—and the best part is they’re incredibly cheap.
You can even get a fix of hot coffee at some of the little cafes if you are craving a caffeine boost while Traveling to Bali.
8. Avoid the Water
Bali has come a long way, but ultimately it is still a developing country and tap water should be avoided. This means drinking bottled water only and making sure that any ice cubes you get don’t come from a tap.
This could be the difference between the perfect vacation or an unsettling bout of Bali Belly.
9. Beat Bali Belly
Speaking of Bali Belly, it does happen and you should be prepared. Food quality and knowledge of prep methods have improved over the recent years among workers, but traveler’s diarrhea does still happen. How can this be avoided?
Beyond not drinking tap water, if you are eating off the resort, use your common sense—if it is too cheap to even by Bali standards, steer clear. Realistically, sometimes Bali Belly happens even if you do all the right things, so be sure to pack Immodium, Advil, and Gravol just in case.
10. Travel by Motorbike
Traveling to Bali, motorbikes are the way of the land and you can easily rent one. Just be sure to wear a helmet and appropriate attire. If you aren’t comfortable driving a motorbike, services like Go-JEK offer motorbike drivers or if you want to skip the bike altogether, you can go for a taxi instead of an app like Blue Bird.
11. Pick the Right Season
Bali is hot during both peak and off-peak tourist season with an average temperature of 32 degrees.
While May to July is touted as the best time to visit since it is a bit cooler, the off-peak season often offers lower prices for those who are looking to travel on a budget, plus it means less crowding at hot spots and resorts.
Note that low-season (January-April and October to November) is rather rainy, so pack accordingly.
During these off-peak months, it is very common for downpours to happen, but the good news is they are usually isolated afternoon showers, so you should still get plenty of time to explore without an umbrella.
12. Study the Language
Learning a few keywords in the local dialect, Bahasa Indonesia, is a good idea. This language has no different tenses for past, present, and future, plus plural and singular terms are all the same, making it a much simpler language than many. Aim to remember words used commonly such as tolong (please), terima kasih (thank you), Ia (yes), and tidak (no).
13. Have Cash on Hand
Cash is the preferred payment method. You will need cash on hand specifically if you are exploring local markets or going to chow down at the local warungs—plus it’s easiest to tip with. The great news is, if you run out, there are many ATMs available in Bali and many upscale locations now accept credit card payments.
Bonus Tip: Prepare to Love It, when Traveling to Bali
Once visitors experience Bali, many make the spot their annual vacation haunt. With so much to do and see, each visit holds the opportunity to offer a fresh experience, whilst still being relaxing, fun, and unforgettable—our idea of the perfect vacation.