6 quick tips when travelling to Bali
A little while ago I asked you guys to share your best pieces of advice to someone travelling to Bali. I’ve finally put them all together and created a top list of 6 tourist tips when travelling to Bali as created by YOU!
I’ve found the best advice I’ve always come across has been from other people I have met along my journey. I’ve added a few of my own favourites, so hopefully the below will be helpful to anyone heading to Bali anytime soon. There are so many amazing pieces of advice, but I hope that these few will allow you for a great start to your holiday with no major hiccups.
Please feel free to share any more at the bottom of this blog as I’ll do a version 2.0version in the coming months!
Happy and Safe Travels,
The only official taxis are Blue Bird. Please have a read of an earlier blog post I have specifically done in relation to Taxis! https://www.saudaravillas.com/post/2018/10/23/how-to-not-get-taxi-scammed-in-bali
Be careful. Many local unofficial taxis will try and look like the Blue Bird. They will be blue, have imagery of birds and even go to the extent of putting a “Blue Biro” sticker on the window, which to the eye will look like “Blue Bird”
Blue Bird are the only taxi company that will religiously use meters. Many others will say “meter is not working” or they will use the meter, but it's not a regulated one and will end up costing you a small fortune for the journey. Generally speaking a 15-20 minute taxi ride should cost you no more than about 70,000IDR($7AUD)
THE TIP: Only use Blue Bird Taxis. Look really closely to make sure it is an official “Blue Bird” If you're happy to get around on the back of a scooter, I strongly recommend downloading the app called Go-Jek Its an Uber, but for travelling on the back of a scooter and is a much cheaper way that haggling on the side of the road with a scooter taxi. The pricing is set and worked out by the app based on your travel distance.
ATM’s in Bali work in reverse. I have left so many cards at the ATM before because of this exact reason. The machine will give you your money and then ask you if you have finished your transaction before giving back your card.
In Australia we are used to receiving our card back first and then get our money. DO NOT WALK AWAY until you have your card in one hand and your money in the other!
Make sure before arriving in Bali you check what your bank will charge you to use an international ATM. Please note that if you are a Commonwealth Customer in Australia, you can use Commonwealth ATM’s in Bali for a transaction fee of $2 Always withdraw the maximum amount the ATM will allow, some will be 1,000,000IDR($100AUD) and others a small amount more to maximise the fee you have just incurred.
There has been reported skimming issues with some of the tourist ATM's. There have been problems with som eon the main road of Seminyak, Eat Street and also Raya Seminyak. Look at the card slot area of the machine. If it looks loose or tampered with, then best not use this machine as its likely that a skimming decide has been put in replacement of the original card slot.
THE TIP: Know what the ATM will charge you as a fee, withdraw the maximum amount and make sure you leave with your cash and your card! Make sure the ATM looks safe and un-tampered with before using.
Cash is king in Bali. Most places will accept credit card, yet some will charge a fee for doing so. Take over AUD and exchange when you arrive. You’ll get a much better rate in Bali that if you change your money in Australia. Have a look at my blog post that talks about tips to changing money in Bali https://www.saudaravillas.com/post/2018/12/04/the-dos-and-donts-of-exchanging-money-in-bali
If you're not comfortable changing money on the streets, then get a driver to take you to BMC which is one of the largest chain exchangers or head to a bank. Just note that the rates will likely be slightly less due to their overheads compared with on the street.
THE TIP: Change a maximum of $50AUD in Australia before you come. You may want to buy something at the airport like a bottle of water or will need taxi money or a tip for your driver. Alternatively there are plenty of ATM's at the airport if you want to withdraw as soon as you arrive. The either take all the money you want to exchange to a reputable exchange place as you'll likely get an even better rate for exchanging a larger amount. The keep your money in your hotel or villa room safe.
BUY YOUR DUTY FREE SPIRITS AND WINE IN AUSTRALIA
The tax in Indonesia for imported spirits is nearly 300%. Therefore, spirits are horrifically expensive in Bali and it’s not worth buying. That’s why in most of the fancy restaurants and beach clubs, cocktails are approximately the same price as at home. Many of the smaller bars are using local spirits to bring down the prices and being able to lure in tourists. Be careful, some of these spirits are not safe! Good wine is also near impossible to but at a decent price. Use up your Duty-Free allocation which is 1 litre per person. Check out a service on Instagram + Facebook Cocolocoinbali. An experience where they will send cocktail makers to your villa to make your duty-free spirits into cocktails. It's a really safe, affordable and fun night in with friends and/or family.
THE TIP: Use your entire allocation of 1 litre per person and purchase all wine and spirits at the Duty-Free shop in Australia.
BE RESPECTFUL OF THE BALINESE CULTURE
Be respectful of the local culture. Remember you are not at home, and therefore being in another country means you need to consider some of their rules and social etiquette. Don’t wear biking tops down the street and guys, please wear at least a singlet when you’re anywhere public (apart from beach clubs and the beach) Always use your ‘please’ and ‘thank you's’ 'Silahkan and Terimah Kasi.' Don’t step on 'offerings' (the beautiful little coloured bamboo trays of love you will see everywhere” These are just a few basics, but always use your common sense!
THE TIP: Just remember, just because you are on holidays and having a great time....this is the locals home and they are living their 'everyday life' with peace and respect.
GET OUT AND ABOUT
You’re in a beautiful tropical island, get amongst the people, culture, food and amazing scenery! Hire a driver for a day and do some day trips. All villas and hotels will be able to offer you a driver service. If you’re staying central, walk instead of using taxi! Wander the back gangs (what we would call little lanes) and don’t just spend all your time locked up in your hotel or villa!
Take the back way for adventure. You ever know who you will meet or what you will see.
THE TIP: Get a little lost and have a bunch of fun!