Any woman who is currently traveling in Bali or planning to do so, and has to ask the question whether or not it is safe for them to travel alone should be advised against it. They should surround themselves with other travelers who have been in Bali for a little while. Although, most people here would say yes. Bali is safe, for those who have basic street sense. Is Bali much safer than other places, yes but things happen where you least expect them to? However, as a woman or any gender traveling alone anywhere in the world, there are a few ground rules you should follow no matter what.
Research Your Destination Before You Go.
Find out the good and bad areas of town.
Don’t leave a drink unattended.
This is for obvious reasons and doesn’t get drunk unless you’re in the company of people who can take you all the way back to where you’re staying.
Make Local Connections.
Even if you don’t have friends in the area, villa owners in Bali are very helpful and will answer any questions you have about places to go, and how to stay safe.
Don’t Put Yourself in Overly Isolated Situations.
From the choice of accommodation to the location of your daily stroll, isolation means the inability to call for help if you need it.
Walk With Confidence.
People can see your afraid, lost, or nervous by your body language which in turn can make you an easy target. Wear sunglasses so people can’t see where you’re looking and walk tall.
Although you’ll see all kinds of tourists wearing skimpy dresses, tank tops, and bikinis, don’t follow suit; Bali is a conservative Hindu culture and it’s considered rude to show too much skin. Doing so will further label you as a tourist who doesn’t know what she’s doing and thus make you a greater target.
Carry A Sarong
Take a sarong with you when visiting temples or any other religious grounds. Wear a t-shirt that covers your shoulders. If you don’t have a sarong, many temples will provide one for a nominal fee. This isn’t a money-making exercise, the locals are simply trying to help you observe the basic courtesies.
Blue Bird taxis are the way to go. They are known as being reliable tourist ones so I wouldn’t bother with any others. They all have photo IDs’ too. Beware of the Bluebird imposters posing as actual Bluebird Taxi’s, they will try to triple the price. They’ll even keep driving as you try to bargain for the entire ride, just be firm and tell them to let you out immediately.
GoJek and Grab are becoming super popular in Bali, despite the taxi mafia trying to stop them. In short, these local drivers are part of a “Banjar”(taxi mafia) – a co-operative community made up of less than 500 people and a concept that has existed in Bali for hundreds of years. The earning of these drivers go not to just their pockets, but to the well-being of the community and to building and maintaining roads in their Banjar area. Roads that your online taxi drivers would have used. For a safety reason, take a picture of the driver, the car or motorbikes license plate and then text it to a friend and let the driver be aware of what you are doing.
Stay Alert and Protect Your Stuff
There have been cases of people getting their purses or phones snatched off while riding a bike by another pair of people who are also on a motorbike. They prey on tourist especially the passenger of a motorbike who is either navigating with their phone app, filming their journey, or taking selfies. They are in fact easy prey when they have their phones out. These crooks normally look for victims in quieter areas, but it has been happening a lot during Canggu’s rush hour.
There have also been a number of instances of women getting their purses snatched. Purse snatchers will grab the strap from your purse causing their victims to crash and without their purse and belongings. Either way, a purse with a strap is a big no in Bali, it makes you an easy target. Instead, put your purse under the seat compartment or carry your belongings in your pocket. So even though it takes a lot of concentration to navigate through the streets of Bali, try to always be on alert and hold on to your stuff.
Overall Best Hostels in Bali for Solo Female Travelers
Canggu / Seminyak
Sr. Home Jimbaran
So, no matter where you go in this world as a solo female traveler or just a solo traveler in general, stay alert at all times no matter where you are in this beautiful but unpredictable world. Check for cars in both directions, change your passwords frequently, you’re your prized possessions safe, always tell someone where you are going, and continue to make connections throughout your adventure in Bali.
By: Gerald Winik