Lucky you! Looks like you’re on your way to our all-time favourite destination…! Here at The Bali Bible we are the experts on creating memorable trips and we are going to share with you our tips to make your trip as enjoyable, easy and safe as possible.
How much should I pay from the airport?
The easiest way is to get your hotel to arrange pick-up and drop off. It can be cheaper to organise your own transport at the airport, if you don’t get ripped off. Haggling is rife at the airport. fares from the airport start from;
· Canggu: 200,000IDR
· Kuta: 100,000IDR
· Seminyak: 150,000IDR
· Ubud: 300,000IDR
· Uluwatu: 250,000IDR
How much is it for a personal driver?
You can get a personal driver for a day trip for around 600,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($60) a day. Your hotel should be able to arrange one for you. The Bali Bible has a network of reliable drivers- firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the best taxi service to use?
Blue Bird taxi is the most reputable taxi service throughout Indonesia. The cars are light blue with a Blue Bird logo. Although, you need to be quite vigilant because a lot of other taxis are also blue. Blue Bird taxis will always offer a metered fare, unlike other companies that negotiate the fare through their drivers. You can download the Blue Bird app or get your hotel to call one for you.
When are the traffic peak times?
Gridlock traffic is common and can’t be attributed to any particular time of day, but for tourist areas such as Seminyak, Kuta, Canggu, it’s usually the heaviest during lunchtime (12 - 2 pm) and also afternoon to dinner time (5 to 7 pm).
During the whole week, Saturdays are usually the heaviest.
Why is there so much honking?
The people of Bali are not chronic road ragers! Honking is a polite gesture to let someone know that you are nearby or overtaking. They also disregard lanes and speed limits, which can be confusing as a visitor.
Things to keep in mind if you rent a scooter-
· You are by law expected to wear a helmet. You will find that bike accidents are common. Travel insurance often doesn’t cover moped accidents, especially if you don’t have a license.
· It’s normal to pay around 70,000 Indonesian Rupiah ($7) a day to rent a scooter short term
· Green means go… Orange means go faster… And red means don’t stop immediately or someone will run up your ass. Maintain situational awareness and make sure the traffic behind you is slowing down with you.
· Scooters can be a great way to explore Bali but did we mention, you should wear a helmet? Wear proper shoes, long pants etc if possible.
· If you are stopped by a policeman for any reason, 50,000IDR ($5) is the standard fine.
MONEY & CURRENCY
What is the best way to get local currency?
Occasionally money changers have been known to short change people. Although tempting, it’s best to avoid the changers offering the best rates. The more official money changers such as Central Kuta Money Exchange and BMC are amongst the more entrusted. Withdrawing cash through ATM’s is also possible and the best way to avoid skimming is to use ATM’s located in bank branches or guarded my security guards. Exchanging cash at home is also a great option.
How much money should I bring?
Bintangs are from 25,000IDR ($2.50) to 50,000IDR ($5). You can pay as little as 20,000IDR ($2) for a Nasi Goreng to 150,000IDR ($15) for a salad and a smoothie. Dinner for two at swanky restaurants can cost 1,000,000IDR+ ($100+). Bali can be done on all budgets!
Is tipping customary?
It is not a requirement but a small tip can go a long way for a lot of Balinese, especially for cleaners, drivers, helpers etc.
FOOD & DRINKS
Can I drink tap water in Bali?
Definitely not, the tap water in Bali hasn’t been processed for drinking.
Is it safe to have drinks with ice?
Long has it been preached to be weary of ice in Bali. In the last decade or more however, standards have improved. Most places have drinking ice delivered. So YES, it is safe to have a drink with ice.
How can I prevent Bali belly?
Bali Belly is very common. Be cautious and use hand sanitiser frequently, never use tap water to brush your teeth and be careful not to get water in your mouth when showering, swimming etc. Street food in Bali often doesn’t agree with Westerners, so if you want to sample the local food it’s best to go to a clean looking ‘warung’. Charcoal pills are the best remedy, you can get them at chemists around Bali.
Are local spirits safe?
Many of the cheaper bars use local spirits. These can cause bad hangovers and in some cases alcohol poisoning. If the prices are too good to be true, they probably are.
Should I get a local SIM card?
Prepaid sims cost very little and 150,000IDR ($15) of credit should last you at least a week or two. This way you can use transport apps, check in at your favourite places and refer to The Bali Bible on the run.
Most cafes / restaurants / hotels etc have WIFI.
What will the weather be like for my trip?
Bali experiences a tropical rainy season from around October/November through to March/April. Rainy season can still be fun, usually the sun will shine for a few good hours on most days. But yes, it is hot ALL year round.
What is the best way to deal with street vendors?
It’s ok to walk past or ignore pushy street vendors- they are used to it!
If you would like to buy something, make sure you negotiate as this is expected. Test your haggling skills and try and get the price down to 50-60% of the original price.
Are there supermarkets?
Bintang supermarket in Seminyak unfortunately burnt down in early January 2020, and we're awaiting news of a replacement. It was the biggest supermarket on the island, so short term there will be a bit of a gap. In Canggu there is Canggu station and Pepito (which is also available throughout the whole island). In Sanur there is Hardy’s, which is almost as large as Bintang Supermarket was. Some areas also have Coco Marts.
But if you are talking about mini markets, you can always find Alfamart and Indomaret in almost every location in Bali (you’ll find one every 500 metres!)
Where can I go for medical care?
Siloam Hospitals and BIMC hospitals are the best options to see a doctor or for medical emergencies with locations all around the island. The best thing to do is hop in a taxi and ask to be dropped at the nearest one. 112 and 118 are the emergency numbers, but sometimes it’s best to call the hospital direct.
Is there a lot of crime?
Like any tourist destination in the world, there are thieves that target tourists. However we find Bali is relatively safe and the Balinese are honest by nature. The most common thing to be weary of are bag snatchers on scooters. Always carry your bag on the other side of the road, and keep bags and valuables under the seat when riding a scooter.
How can I be respectful to the locals and their customs?
The Balinese are warm and smiley by nature. A smile and ‘Terima Kasih’ (thank you) can go a long way. If you really want to impress, ‘Suksuma’ is the traditional Balinese way of saying thanks. Bali is full of colourful and ceremonies and spectacular culture. They are mostly happy for you to spectate and take photos. Unlike the rest of Indonesia, Bali is Hindu in religion, but when in areas with high Islamic populations it’s best for women to dress modestly. These include the Gilis, Lombok, Java, Medewi etc.
Article Written by Rosie Patterson