What are some things to know before visiting Bali?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Mutia Adisoma

1. Research your areas before you travel to Bali. Don’t book a hotel in Kuta if you’re looking for a secluded hideaway (Kuta is generally where backpackers and budget travelers stay) and don’t expect to find rice fields or raw food cafes if you stay in Seminyak (this area is best for shopping and sunset cocktails by the beach). Bali is not as tiny as some people imagine it to be and it can take a good amount of time to get from one area to another, especially during the high season when the roads are packed. Have a general idea of the places you want to go to and the things you want to see while you’re here before arranging accommodation.

2. ATM machines, grocery stores and pharmacies can be found in abundance in most tourist areas, so don’t worry too much when you’re packing. If you forget something essential, it shouldn’t be too hard to find in Bali. But if you’re staying somewhere a bit off the beaten path, it’s best to ask the hotel staff and they will surely do their best to get you what you need.

3. If you’re looking for a subway or buses to hop on and off of, you won’t find them here. In Bali the best way to get around is by car, by motorbike or by taxi. Renting a car and finding a knowledgeable driver to take you around for the day is very easy to arrange. As for the adventurous traveler, renting a motorbike and weaving in and out of traffic like the locals is also an option. Taxis are abundant but make sure the driver turns on the meter, as some will try to negotiate their own price. Try to hail a Blue Bird cab when possible – they are more reliable than some of the other companies.

4. Lastly, knowing a little bit of the local language has its benefits (as is the case when visiting any non-English speaking country). Try to learn some basic words in Balinese and/or Indonesian and don’t feel self-conscious about butchering the pronunciation. You’re sure to get a better bargain or at the very least an amused smile!

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