Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. Known for its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces, ancient temples, and vibrant culture, Bali has something to offer for everyone. Whether you're planning a romantic getaway or a family vacation, here are 30 things you need to know before visiting Bali.
On Visa Requirements and Passport
Many nationalities are allowed to enter Bali without a visa, and those that do need one can easily apply for it upon arrival. A tourist visa is valid for 30 days and can be extended once for an additional 30 days. Day of arrival and departure day are counted as full days each. Your passport must be valid for 6 months when entering any cities in Indonesia, including Bali. One page must be empty for the visa stamp. And Keep your boarding pass when you arrive, you may have to show it to the Immigration officer when needed.
Bali is warm year-round, with two seasons: dry and rainy. The dry season is from April to September, while the rainy season is from October to March. Pack a rain jacket if you're visiting during the rainy season.
Balinese and Indonesian are the official languages, but English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Learning a few basic phrases in the local language can go a long way in making your trip more enjoyable.
The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the official currency, and it's best to exchange money at a reputable exchange booth or bank. Credit cards are accepted at most hotels, restaurants, and shops.
Tipping is not mandatory in Bali, but it's a nice gesture for good service. A tip of 10% is standard in restaurants and for tour guides and drivers.
Bali is a tropical destination, so pack light, breathable clothing. Respectful clothing is required when visiting temples or other religious sites. Cover your shoulders and knees, and remove your shoes before entering.
Bali offers a range of accommodation options to suit different budgets. Homestays are available for as low as 15 US dollars per night, while luxurious five-star accommodations are also abundant. Budget hotels with air conditioning are priced at around 30 US dollars per night, and 4-star hotels or resorts range between 80-120 US dollars. Private serviced villas are also an excellent option. Please note that prices are subject to a tax of 10% and a service charge of 6-11%.
Bali Dining Scene
Bali's dining scene is diverse and exciting, with a range of options to suit all tastes and budgets. From local Indonesian dishes to international cuisine, there is something for everyone. Vegetarian and healthy food options are also widely available. Most restaurants offer affordable meals, making it an excellent destination for foodies on a budget.
Bali has a vibrant nightlife scene, with bars and clubs in popular tourist areas like Kuta and Seminyak. Be aware of your surroundings and avoid excessive alcohol consumption.
On Traffic & Transport
Taxis, motorbikes, and private drivers are popular modes of transportation in Bali. Make sure to negotiate the fare before getting in. Avoid using unlicensed taxis, as they may overcharge you.
Traffic in Bali is on the left-hand side.
You will encounter many traditional ceremonies (hence, road closures), be respectful and obedient of the rules.
Scooter rent costs around 5 US$ per day. Always check brakes and lights when you rent one and keep the mobile number of the rental shop with you.
Car with a driver for 8-10 hours costs 40-70 US$ per day. Make sure they have a driver's license and the permission to be a driver (permit, insurance issues)
Grab Taxi is available, and meter taxi is safe too, but sometimes you need to remind the driver to switch on the meter. In Ubud no meter taxis are available; transport is organized by licensed drivers from the village.
Want to rent a scooter or car? Bring your international driving license with you.
Tap water in Bali is not safe to drink. Stick to bottled water, which is widely available at hotels, restaurants, and shops.
The voltage in Bali is 220 volts, and the plugs are type C and F. Bring a universal adapter if your devices use a different plug.
On Communication and Stay connected
Many hotels, restaurants, pool bar, and beach clubs have free WI-FI. You can always update your social media feed #whatsnewbali
To surf the internet anytime anywhere, Get a SIM card, preferably from a legit mobile shop, and ask for internet package. It is really affordable!
Prepaid top up credit is called "PULSA"
Consult your doctor before traveling to Bali to get any necessary vaccinations. Mosquito-borne illnesses like dengue fever and malaria are a concern in Bali, so bring insect repellent and use it regularly
The sun in Bali can be intense, so wear sunscreen with a high SPF and reapply it regularly.
Bali is known for its stunning beaches, but some of them can be dangerous for swimming due to strong currents. Pay attention to warning signs and ask locals for advice before entering the water.
Bali has a rich cultural heritage, with Hinduism being the dominant religion. Respect local customs and traditions, and dress appropriately when visiting temples and other religious sites. Must-visit landmarks in Bali
Bargaining is a common practice in Bali, especially at markets and street vendors. Start with a low price and negotiate until you reach a fair price. customary to
Bali is a scuba diving paradise. There are more than 100 dive centers and great dive spots around the island.There are tons of spots for surfing for beginners at Kuta, Legian and Seminyak Beach
Full body massage starts 7 US$ per hour. You can have them on the beach or at premium Spa parlours.
Must visit Temples: Uluwatu, Tanah Lot, Besakih, and Lempuyang for the most Instagrammable posts!
Shopping Paradise art work, handicrafts, oils and essence, clothes, shoes, furniture, accessories
On Day of Silence or Nyepi, no check-in or check-out from hotel is allowed. Entire island including the airport, will be shut down.
Water sport activities can be found at Benoa (jet ski, para gliding, water ski etc.)
On Safety & Manners
Bear in mind that being topless in restaurants, beaches, and shops are considered disrespectful. Keep and ear to ear smile like the locals. Don’t smile at the monkeys in the monkeyforest or temples, showing teeth is a sign of aggression for them. Always be respectful, especially when entering a temple. Wearing sarong and sash is mandatory. Some temples provide these attires for us to wear.
Driving a scooter. Never go too fast. Accidents happen daily. Loose chippings are everywhere. Cats, dogs, chickens, cows...anything can cross your way. And any vehicle can come towards you from any direction, anytime.
Currents in the sea can be dangerous, and change depending on the weather and wind conditions. Always obey the rules from local authorization.