Travelling to Bali for the First Time: Bali Tips and Advices

Tanah Lot

Travelling to Bali was on my bucket list for a long time as many many other people. This stunning island looks like a paradise with its beautiful beaches, tropical landscapes and exotic atmosphere that no wonder it deserves a place on everyone’s bucket list. 

Like anywhere in the world, it’s always useful to know some tips and advice about the place you are traveling, especially if it’s your first time. I didn’t know that Bali is such an easy place to visit and I had some questions on my mind from what I should avoid doing to how not to be ripped off. So, I decided to put all the things together from my experience that I wished to know before and guide you through for your first time in Bali.

USEFUL THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU TRAVEL TO BALI 

First of all, I must say I enjoyed every minute that I spend here. I think everyone should experience this ‘Land of Gods.’ Hope this is going to be useful for you!

Yes Taxi?

yes taxi?
yes taxi?

Once you step your foot in Bali, the first thing you will see is taxi drivers with their repetitive question “Yes taxi?”. However, most of them are not legal taxi drivers and they charge you without a taximeter. I knew this before we go, so I downloaded the Grab and Blue Bird apps. Grab works like Uber and Blue Bird is the most reliable company here. 

BUT! Many different companies are pretending to be Blue Bird, so be careful raising your hands for a taxi. I always preferred to call a cab from their app.

Don’t use Grab! When we arrived, I called a cab from Grab app, and he didn’t show up! He texted us his number, and when we called him, he said he couldn’t come to the gates to take us since the other (non-legal) drivers waiting there. The only way to get in Grab is to go outside from the airport. As you may understand, these drivers have some conflict between each other and Grab is banned from some places. It was midnight, and we couldn’t find Blue Bird either. We had to bargain with one of these illegal taxi drivers. If you are arriving late, consider asking your hotel to pick you up (this might be expensive though).

In the following days, we tried to call a cab from Grab, again. This time the driver asked for more money than the deal we get from the app. It is best to stick with Blue Bird. And if you want to see multiple places in a day, agreeing with a private driver would be cheaper. It’s crazy that you can search for daily drivers from Instagram! Here is a reliable example @mydewabalitrip 🙂

Don’t drink the water 

Tap water is not drinkable in Bali. And bottled water prices change in every small shop! That’s why we tried to buy our waters from supermarkets such as “Alfamart.” The same thing goes for beer too.

Bali Random Shot
Random garden in Ubud,Bali

ATMs

Not all ATMs will work for your card. Don’t be panic; you will find the one that will work for you. Most places accept credit cards; however, you will need cash for art markets or cab.

Mosquitos and reptiles in Bali

Bali surprised me a lot on this topic. I live in Antwerp, and we have more mosquitos than Bali here! The first thing I bought in Bali was mosquito repellent (it is always better to get it from the local place). However, I never needed to use it except for some green areas. Plus, there were electronic repellents wherever we have stayed. There is a high chance to say hi to some geckos at night 🙂 That was all what I’ve seen.

Don’t smile to a monkey 

Bali-Monkey-Forest
Sacred Monkey Forest, Ubud

In monkey body language, showing your teeth means threat. Don’t forget to keep your mouth closed when you go to see the monkeys! And be careful, they might try to steal your belongings! Here is a good example; a monkey with a stolen water bottle. Other than that, have fun!

Tax and Service Charge 

Just be aware of the sales tax in restaurants and bars ranging between 10%-21% to not to be surprised after you finished your meal.

Bargain bargain bargain!

Bali-Mask-Bargain
Handmade masks from Ubud,Bali

Remember one rule when you are shopping in Bali; bargain, bargain, bargain! If you haven’t done it before, you will learn how to do it here. Starting price is usually two times even three times more than the final price. It’s just the way it is. Never hesitate to ask for a discount. When you look interested, they will refuse to drop the price. And if you walk away, you will see that price will drop. 

We got these masks from the art market in Ubud, and starting price was three times higher than what we paid.

Pools

Bali-Pool-Breeze
Uluwatu,Bali

Yeah, hotels have cool pools in Bali. How about their hygiene? I stayed in several different hotels in Bali, and unfortunately not all of them was hygienic. Even in some 4-star hotels, they tend to not clean their pool properly. They just keep adding chlorine into the water. Especially for women, I think it’s important to consider this twice.

Street Dogs

Bali-Street-Dog
A doggy on the street,Bali

You will see so many homeless pups on the streets. None of them seemed aggressive to me. They are mostly sleeping and hanging around. For Ubud, I had the impression that they are being looked after by someone. There are some charities that you can donate if you like, such as BAWA and BARC

Be aware of Strict Drug Laws

Don’t take drugs into Bali nor buy them. Just don’t do it. There is a death sentence. And if you are not convinced, google “Bali Nine.”

Bali-by-the-Dusk
An evening in Ubud,Bali

Keeping all this tips and advices in mind, I strongly advise you to visit this amazing island. Enjoy Bali!

If you find this tips useful, feel free to share it with your friends and for beautiful photos you can check our Instagram; https://www.instagram.com/raven.where/

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