- Stay near the beach
Bali is a beautiful island to explore and there are so many things to do here. But many of the travellers travel from around the world just to soak in the sun and enjoy the Bali beaches, after all there are so many like> Kuta, Nusa Dua, Legian, Seminyak, Geger beach, Jimbaran and so on.. Now bali is for rich and poor both.. so you have to decide which one you want to for. If you are a clean and isolated private beach person you better stay near Nusa dua or Geger beach which are little expensive areas with 4-5 star hotels. On the other hand if you are like me, who wants to save the money for another trip to another country, you better stay near Kuta. Legian beach have both cheaper and expensive hotels , so that is a another option. I did not stay near one, so I spent quite a bit for transport to the beach almost everyday. If you stay near the beach you save that money. Also some hotels provide free drop to the beaches, you must ask the reception. But that is only one way.
2.Plan your activities
Bali has lots of water sports, paragliding, shopping streets, food junctions, shopping malls, beaches to roam around, volcano hiking and temple hopping. You have to identify what you want to do. Plan well, because if you are for 7-10 days, all may not be possible.
3.Use blue bird taxi
In Bali you can see lots of posters saying Uber / Grab taxi are banned. I asked one Grab driver, he said it is not a government ban, but the local transport companies do not want them to drive as it is quite reasonable price for grab and uber, while the local drivers in front of your hotel (not uber/ grab) usually asks a sky high price. I will give you an example, from our hotel to Kuta beach, the hotel drivers asked 150000 IDR for one way which is around 10EUR, so you spend 20EUR for to and fro. Whereas, if you take a grab/uber to the beach for the same distance it is 35000IDR one way , which makes the to and fro journey for 5EUR. If you want to avoid any unwanted situation, you may take the local third taxi group called Blue Bird taxi. They charge higher than grab or uber, but still reasonable, and as it is a local company, hotel drivers cannot create issues. For all 3, grab/ uber/ blue bird, google play/ App Store have free apps. You need a local sim and internet to book. Most of the driver understands little bit of English.
4. Be aware of stray dogs
Bali had an epidemic of Rabies in 2014 and I do not trust the health system in a foreign country. Problem with Rabies is > 1.even if you take a pre exposure prophylaxis, it is mandatory to take IgG vaccine after bite 2. Vaccine is not widely available in Bali 3. Without treatment Rabies has 100% mortality that means without vaccine no-one can save you on earth. So do not feed stray dogs, it is not europe that every dog is vaccinated. If any bite, wash with water immediately then with soap. Then catch the next plane to a country where u can get the vaccine within 24 hours. By the way, Geger beach even being a paid beach has lots of stray dogs. I thank God that while in Bali only my iPhone screen got smashed but no dog bit us 🙂
5. Bargain before you buy
Bargain because Bali is not cheap. Every price is several time worth the actual. I bargained a statue in Borobudur, price dropped from 150000 IDR to 20000 IDR. Many people may argue you should spend money on the local people, this is their earning etc., but aren’t you already paying in hotels, taxis, beaches and even in temples? And I am also spending my very hard earned money and I would always try to save some. Bali is actually expensive, for a decent meal you need around 20EUR.
6. Say no to drugs
Indonesia like many other south east asian country has death penalty for carrying or abusing drug. So stay away from doing drugs. (I think anyway you should do that ). You must be aware of Bali 9 and two leaders of the gang served capital punishment in 2015. Surprisingly, the Indonesian govt. did not keep the request of Australian prime minister and foreign minister to exempt the punishment. Oh! People do offer drugs openly on the road. I did not believe that a first, while hiking Mt Batur, one swede girl and one Irish born Spanish girl told me so. But Saturday night walking through Kuta made me aware how strongly the business is flourishing in the nooks and corner of dark streets of Kuta. I had to rudely say no to two people, as anyway drug is not my thing. But it is important that you say “no” clearly.
7.Taste the local food
Balinese food is awesome, but remember it is extremely spicy. We are used to spices still we were in tears. Usually taking the hotel breakfast proves quite useful. The buffet is usually great and it covers both continental /Mediterranean and Balinese food, usually less spicy than a local shop. You may try a little Balinese food in hotel and if you like it there are lots of restaurant outside. Another attraction is seafood, which are sold alive per kg. Then they will cook or grill and serve you, that is how it is fresh. Nasi = rice , Nasi goreng is fried rice , ayam = chicken, bebek= duck babi= pork ..which are the common food vocabulary
8. buy some sarongs
Buy some local fabric. It is really comfortable. Great beach attires and sarongs are available in every street, but you need to bargain. I bought a sarong for 129000 IDR on second day and last day I bought another of far better quality in 50000 IDR. Here is the photo of the good quality fabric stall, which is in the top floor of Beachwalk mall, Legian. Nice cotton towels are also available for beach.
Bali have many temples, few of them are world famous. Tanha lot is famous because of its position over the sea and beautiful sunset views. Danu bratan is the iconic temple, which you can see on every webpage on Bali. One of the important reason to visit them is Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia and you never know when ISIS will destroy all of them. The reason they are still thriving is the huge revenue they earn from the foreign tourists. I never knew temples would have entry fees, that too as high as 5EUR 😉
10.Plan your day trips
There are quite a few day trips possible from Bali Island. Fast boat to Gili or Lombak island or flights to Jakarta or Yogyakarta can be booked. Usually flights within the country are cheaper. We took a flight to Yogja, to see the 9th century Buddist structure the temple of Borobudur which is 60EUR round trip. You can choose your own trip..
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