Bali is a beautiful part of the world, filled with sights and sounds and experiences that are just not possible to experience anywhere else on the planet. However, it is vastly different in terms of culture and lifestyle than anything you will experience in the West, and therefore it is important that you keep your whit’s about you for the duration of your stay.
The good news is that Balinese people believe in Karma, a Hindu belief system that purports that whatever you do to other people you will receive back. For this reason, violent crime is very rare, as is petty theft. That’s not to say it doesn’t happen, just not nearly as much as in some of the other countries I have visited. However there are some other things that need careful attention in order to steer clear of, here is a Bali Celebrated list designed to keep you safe for your trip to Bali…
- Keep your belongings safe by using the lock away facilities provided by your hotel or homestay. Its no fun to lose your passport or stash of cash while out and about. Rather be safe than sorry
- Mind the traffic! Bali is notorious for the high volume of traffic that whizzes up and down its streets, seemingly following no logical road law system. One of the leading causes of death amongst tourists is scooter accident! Taxi’s are cheap on Bali, and one can usually hire your own private driver in a very comfortable vehicle for about $50 USD per day. A small price to pay for road safety, and for not getting lost down one of the myriad side streets that seem to honeycomb there way through and around Bali. Plus, you get your own tour guide for the day that can answer all the questions you might have on the local culture or the islands history.
- Wear a helmet! If you absolutely have to hire a scooter to get around, make sure to use your helmet at all times, don’t get over confident and leave your helmet behind, its not worth it. And needless to say, don’t drink and drive.
- Don’t drink the water out of the taps/faucets- Drinking water out of the taps is tantamount to spending four days in bed with a stomach bug. Bali can get insanely hot and humid, so its important to remain hydrated, especially when out and about. Drinking water is cheap to by in the stores, and due to the a government drive to reduce the amount of plastic on the island, most stores now offer refillable water bottle facilities. Carry a personal metal or glass water bottle around with you wherever you go.
- Don’t buy drugs in Bali– Like all of South East Asia Bali has a zero tolerance policy towards drug offenders. This crime is punishable by death.
- Bali beach safety– Bali is known for its beautiful beaches and perfect waves. Just be aware that the underwater currents can get very strong when the waves are big, so make sure to always swim in between the red lifesaver flags that are set up on the beaches. Also avoid swimming in areas with sharp coral reef as this can easily cut the skin and get infected.
- Wear lots of sunblock– Bali gets hot, and the sun bakes down most days, so make sure to consistently apply a high factor SPF sun block that is water resistant, that way ensuring that you don’t sweat it off in the first few minutes.
- Respect the culture – You are welcome at most of the ceremonies in Bali and if we respect this invitation, that will continue. Be aware of where you are allowed to stand, what photos you can take and what you are expected to wear for the ceremonies. (for more information on this, click here)
- Accommodation – If you can afford it, choose a room with an air-conditioner.
- Insect repellents – If you are prone to being bitten, make sure you pack some insect repellent
- Kids and Pool’s – it is not a law in bali to cover or surround a pool with a fence so be careful if you have small children. ask relevant questions when booking your accommodation. Some accommodation has a pool between rooms, this would be a nightmare if you have your main room on one side of the pool and your kids go on the other side and can venture out at night without you knowing, or stressing that they can’t get to you.
For an extensive list and some other travel tips, we loved this blog post.