Bali is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia - and with good reason. This tropical destination boasts stunning beaches, lush green spaces, magical temples, and breathtaking waterfalls.
Need we say anymore?
Plus, Bali is not a difficult place to travel to and is well catered for tourists.
That being said, whenever you travel to a new place, it’s always a good idea to have an understanding of its cultures, rules, idiosyncrasies, and other top tips to ensure you get the most of your time there.
That’s why we’ve put together this list of some useful tips and ways you can experience Bali to the fullest.
Read on to find out more.
Go at the right time of year
As with many tourist destinations, there are some times of year that are better to visit than others. Although Bali generally has a warm climate all year round, it has two seasons: wet and dry.
The dry season is between April and September, making this the best time to consider your trip. However, the high season is July to August and through the Easter holidays, which can be much busier and more expensive.
It’s worth keeping this information in mind so you can choose the perfect time to visit Bali.
Respect the culture
It’s always important in any new country that you visit that you understand and respect the culture. This way, you can avoid causing offence or upsetting the locals.
Although there is a lot of tourism, Balinese culture is still very strong. There is usually some sort of religious celebration going on, and individuals across the country take prayer daily.
So it’s important to always be aware of the locals and ensure that you’re not rude or ignorant. In particular, ‘canang sari’ are spiritual offerings placed along steps and in the street every morning.
So watch your step and be careful not to step on these as you’ll see plenty of them during your visit.
Follow health and safety rules
It’s good to know some of the most basic but important health and safety rules before you travel, so you can ensure you are safe at all times on your trip. The last thing you want is to fall ill or have an accident that could ruin your trip.
Some of the most important health and safety tips to keep in mind include:
- Don’t drink the tap water - make sure you buy bottled water or take a bottle with you that has a filter built-in
- Be careful of stray dogs - most will be fine, and it can be tempting to pet them, but just exercise some common sense and if you do get bitten or scratched, see a doctor right away
- Be aware that though there may not be malaria in most tourist areas of Bali, there are still lots of mosquitos, and bug spray is a good idea
- If you plan on going in the sea, take note of any warning flags as sea conditions can occasionally get rough
Learn a few local words
Despite the fact that most locals will speak at least basic English, it is always nice to be able to communicate in their local language. So before you go, why not learn a few basics phrases such as ‘hello’ and ‘thank you’.
If you want to go one step further, you could even invest in a phrasebook to take with you.
Try the local cuisine
When it comes to cuisine, Balinese dishes are delicious, and you should definitely sample some of the local food. Of course, there are western restaurants available, but these are often more expensive, and hey, you can get that at home!
Best of all, Bali is very veggie-friendly, so if you don’t eat meat, you’ll still find lots of tasty dishes for you to try. In fact, there are even lots of exciting vegan restaurants in the busier areas.
Be careful with your cash
The great news is, there are lots of ways you can make the most of Bali on a budget. Below, we’ve pulled together a few top tips for making your cash go further whilst still having a great time. These include:
- Getting your laundry cleaned at a small street shop in town rather than at your hotel. These are usually much cheaper
- Don’t be afraid to barter - things rarely come at face value in Bali, and as long as you’re reasonable, you can usually knock the locals down on the price
- Tipping is not expected - though you can tip if you feel it is deserved
- Be aware of added tax when you eat and drink - there is a 21% charge on food and drink by law, and while some will already include this on the menu price, others don’t add this on until you’ve asked for the bill
- Save money on drinking by hitting up happy hour at the bars
- Save time and money by using a luggage shipping service
- Save money on taxis by using rideshares such as Uber. You might also find that your accommodation offers free shuttles. If so, make the most of these.
Enjoy the wildlife
Bali is home to some of the world’s most wonderful wildlife, as well as lots of wildlife parks and conservation centres.
So whether you want to go scuba diving and check out the marine life or even make the trip to Komodo island to see the world-famous Komodo dragon, you should certainly take some time out to enjoy Bali’s incredible wildlife.
Take part in some of Bali’s best activities
As well as the beautiful sites and wildlife, there are so many incredible things to enjoy and do in Bali, and there are certainly some you don’t want to miss out on. These include:
- A trip to the hot springs in Lake Batur or Air Banjar
- Island hopping to some of the surrounding islands such as Nusa Lembongan
- Visiting a Hindu temple
- Hike the Mount Batur volcano
- Learn about Balinese culture in Ubud
Of course, these are just some of the amazing things to do in Bali, and it’s worth looking at several guides before you go. This way, you can make a list of some of the other must-see spots to visit during your trip.
Relax and unwind at the spa
Finally, Bali is the ultimate spot for relaxing and unwinding. There are lots of spas offering every beauty treatment you can imagine. Plus, Balinese massage is hailed as one of the most relaxing in the world.
So make the most of your time here by spending some of that time at the spa, pampering yourself, and re-energising. After all, what are holidays for!