Things to know before visiting Bali!
Known as Land of Gods Bali is heaven with lush green tropical vegetation, with distinct points. People of Bali are among the nicest, most pleasant and tolerant around the word. Getting to know these real Balinese will make your trip an intriguing and enriching one. A few tips for your Etiquettes while traveling to Bali, Indonesia is intended to remind you that while traveling to a country you need to be aware of the local customs and travel as a responsible tourist.
Food and Drinks
- Enjoy the tropical fruits and local food which are all freshly cooked while in Bali. It’s better to avoid western foods.
- The humid temperature in Bali can be dealt with with the local Bintang beer.
- Keep caution while even consuming bottled water, even they may not be pure. You can choose to boil the water to keep yourself away from the contamination.
- Try taking up a cooking class while in Bali.
- While ordering drinks apart from local Bintang be careful as they might be highly diluted or some other drink altogether.
- Do try eating at Local Balinese Cafes- warungs, which is perfect for reasonable and good food.
- Try to stick on to one beach beer seller and return to them. So, this way you shall not be ripped off over and again. It will be a hassle-free thing once you have paid for a service. Do the same thing hair braiders, the nail painters and other hawkers too. This way you will learn and get to know more about the local people too.
- You do not have to pay tips to the service providers as the charges are already included in your services.
Safety in Bali
- Do wear your helmet while riding in Bali even when the vehicle is a hired one. No doubt helmets are for safety and also if not followed you will likely get booked by police.
- Honking while riding is quite a common practice in Bali, do not get cranky if people honk at you. Honking is not considered Road rage in Bali instead of a means of indicating that you are overtaking or trying to grasp some type of attention.
- It doesn’t always work by paying off the police who charge you for not wearing a helmet. Be careful it might not always work even though it is quite a common practice.
- Be very careful while getting a tattoo done, some of the tattoo artists use textile chemical dyes which might not suit your body.
- It is always a good idea to have travel insurance, there are chances of accidents in the surf, on scooters and from dog bites.
- Balinese driving license will be required to drive around if not an international license.
- There might be filthy beaches because of the tides forming from other Indonesian Islands, so be careful while swimming. It is advisable to avoid Kuta, Legian, and Seminyak during January and February.
- There might be strong waves and unpredictable currents that are also exposed to rocks in the beaches of Canggu, Echo Beach and other surfing hot spots, so do take caution of that. It is also a good idea to talk to other surfers before taking up the activity.
- Drugs in Bali is a serious matter, you can exected for carrying it. Death Penalty exists in the whole of Indonesia and Bali. It is zero or no tolerance towards drugs.
- You may come across people trying to sell you drugs and the best way to deal with them is by simple denial.
- Getting through immigration and customs will take way longer than usual, but yeah one thing you can be sure of is you are safer on the island because of this meticulous checking.
- You may be offered many strange things including a Viagara during your breakfast, so do not accept offerings from suspicious sources.
- While you are having a conversation with the Balinese try to remain very political and avoid issues like executions, and terrorism. Balinese might seem interested in such world events, anyhow they are still Indonesians and are governed by the same laws and rules.
- Do not touch any Balinese person’s head not even of a child’s, because this part of the body is considered very sacred.
- Do not point your feet to the altar in the temple or expose more of your upper body. Most of the Hindu temples in Bali are open-air so you need to wear a sarong or a sash.
- Do keep in mind to take off your shoes if you are entering a temple or somebody’s house. You will also notice that there will be footwear just outside the entrances of such places.
- It is advised for ladies not to enter a temple if they are menstruating.
- Do leave some token of donation at the temples as it is considered a good deed.
- Avoid using left had while handing over a business card or giving money. However, many Balinese have been exposed to such Western cultures so wouldn’t mind much.
- Do not point your index finger at someone or even something. Even though Balinese are becoming more used to these Western gestures, theoretically speaking you shouldn’t be doing it.
- Enjoy the various ceremonies that take part in this spiritual country, it is indeed the real beauty of Bali. Avoid walking on the ceremonial offerings you shall come across on the streets. People are deeply spiritual and try not to walk around on these out of respect.
- It is hot in Bali but do not remove your t-shirt while walking the streets. For the sake of modest Balinese keep your clothes on.
- Learn a few Balinese phrases, like Selamatpagi, good morning, and Terimakasih – thank you. This shows that you respect people and their culture of the region.
Shopping in Bali
- You have an option of bargaining and negotiating, so use your skills carefully but try not to overdo it. Since most of these vendors are local Balinese vendors who are making a living on such stalls.
- You may come across some unusual t-shirts and also a few disgusting so if you plan to buy them avoid wearing them. If you are wearing them then be prepared to be recognized as a tourist.
- Be careful with hawkers who approach you trying to sell you something or to show you a hotel and give you a free night, or a week of free nights. The best way to deal with them is by Politely and persistently denying the offer.
- Do not get hassled when you go to see Kecak dancers and volcano, they are the means of living for these hawkers selling those services.
- Internet connection is Bali is not bad, with most cafes will having free wi-fi. Some inner areas such as Ubud can have a drop out now and again but still a lot better than other countries.
- You will come across endangered species of turtles on the beach, Balinese are also seen helping and being respectful with them.
- You will find a lot many stray dogs all around the place. Beware of monkeys at tourist spots such as Ubud and Uluwatu Temple. They are quite notorious and will steal anything they can get their hands on.
- You can choose to use motorbikes, scooters, taxi’s and tour guides or even hire a driver. But fix your rates before you go ahead with the service.
- You can also go around on the local buses.
Bali is a wonderful tropical island rich in culture and heritage. Make sure to enjoy the essence of the place without harming their sentiments or beliefs.