As you all know, I love Bali! Bali is known as the Land of Gods, and the Balinese believe that Heaven is Bali and that Bali is Heaven, and indeed, in the lush tropical vegetation, they have a distinct point. 90% of Balinese are Hindu and around five percent Muslim, which is quite different from the rest of Indonesia. The Balinese people are some of the nicest, most pleasant and tolerant people in the world. Although Bali is one of the most incredible places in the world, there are quite a few things to look out for. Here a few tips to consider to make your trip to Bali even the more special.
If you want to take a taxi in Bali, a meter taxi is what you want to look for. Blue Bird taxis are the best way to go in Bali. There are many taxi companies in Bali and it’s easy to grab one on the street. but please don’t ever get in another taxi than a Blue Bird taxi, or you will simply get scammed. First of all Blue Bird has a meter system that is reliable. Drivers from other taxi companies will first ask you for a fixed price which is usually three times higher than with Blue Bird. If you refuse and ask the driver to turn the meter on, they will turn on the meter, but the meter will also run twice or three times faster than in Blue Bird taxies.
Please be aware that other taxi companies are in the same blue color as the Blue Bird taxies. There is even a taxi company named Blue Biro group with the letter O at the end instead of a D. This is is not Blue Bird and they will also charge a higher price if they can. Other taxi companies are slighly darker blue and called “Bali Taxi”, “Blue Taxi Bali” etc. Save yourself the pain and just ask your hotel to call a Blue Bird taxi for you, download the Blue Bird app or simply wave one down the street.
Bali transport tip: Hire yourself a personal driver who will take you around the island for a full day for about 50 US dollars. For small trips, you can download the app Gojek to order a crazy cheap ride on the back of a motorbike. The drivers are very safe and professional. Gojek also delivers food, and you can even order a masseuse to your accommodation. It’s incredible!
Yes, the prices in Bali are considerably lower than in Europe or the United States but do not be fooled. Bali can get expensive too depending on where you shop or eat out. Five-star resorts are very pricy and when eating out at tourist hotspots in Kuta, Legian and Seminyak you will be paying about the same prices as back home.
Do shop and eat at more locals establishments, warungs and food markets where the prices are crazy low. If you are on a budget, do your research before spending your hard earned money on daily activities and you will occasionally be able to splurge when you feel like it.
Kuta is probably Bali’s most known tourist destination, and for that reason, people think that if they have seen Kuta, they have seen Bali. This is a mistake because a lot of people hate Kuta. It gets a bad rap, and I have to admit, it’s not all lies.
A few friends of mine went on a cruise that stopped at Bali for the day, and all they got to see was Kuta. And let me just say they don’t think very much of Bali, which is such a shame as Bali has so much more to offer. On the other hand, don’t avoid Kuta, it is changing, and changing for the better.
Best Kuta shopping tip: Visit the Beach Walk Mall which is one of my favorite spots to shop at Zara, H&M, Michal Kors, Victoria’s Secret, M.A.C. and more Western brand stores. Although a bit more pricey, there are many excellent restaurants at the mall that overlook Kuta Beach!
The roads and pedestrian areas are complete terror. Sudden gaping holes can appear out of nowhere. Frequently! Don’t attempt to wear high heels. it’s even worse. Watch your step and you will be just fine.
Travelers trying to get their money changed in Bali run the risk of being fleeced by dishonest money changers. Fortunately, there are a number of establishments where you can change your cash without worry.
Try changing your currency at one of Bali’s more reputable banks, or even better, try using their ATMs to withdraw cash directly from your credit card or bank account.
Hotel front desks often permit currency exchange, but with lower exchange rates compared to banks and money changers.
Best Bali Money Tip: Trust only money changers that have been recognized by Bank Indonesia; these establishments advertise their status as Pedagang Valuta Asing Berizin or PVA Berizin (Indonesian for “Authorized Money Changer”) with a green PVA Berizin shield where it can be seen by customers.
Tourists in Bali run a number of health risks. Travelers might catch “Bali Belly,” or traveler’s diarrhea, from dodgy meals. Or they might look at a macaque the wrong way and suffer a monkey attack. Or they might forget the sunscreen and suffer sunburn.
The right precautions can help you avoid these problems entirely. Read this list of Bali Hospitals and Clinics in case you need to make an unscheduled visit. Being prepared in case you get sick is a must. I have been in Bali many times and never got seriously ill, but it’s good to know where to go in case you do!
Best Bali Health Tip: Drink a lot of water to avoid getting a heat stroke. Just don’t get your water from the tap. Bali tap water is often blamed for many a bad case of “Bali belly,” so avoid it entirely. Stick to canned drinks or bottled water.
I hope you guys found these tips usefull. let me know if you are heading to the island soon!
XO Tamara Chloé
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