Bali travel tips and advice

Bali is renowned for its warm welcome and peaceful nature. It offers a safe and rewarding experience with something to suit every budget and interest. Whether your interests lie in exotic art and history or a laid back bohemian beach lifestyle, Bali will inspire and amaze.

Bali travel tips: A stay in Bali should hold no fears for fit and healthy travellers. Most tourist businesses adopt western standards of sanitation and hygiene but a bout of ‘Bali belly’ is inevitable for some people unfamiliar with its spicy cuisine. The water supply is not potable but bottled water is available everywhere and extremely cheap. Take care when ordering iced drinks in small food kiosks and be wary of undercooked fish and meat. Bali has been malaria free for many years but dengue fever, which has similar symptoms is on the increase throughout Indonesia.

Bali travel tips: Most nationalities can obtain a visa on arrival at Bali Ngurah Rai airport which is valid for a stay of 30 days. The processing fee is US$25, payable in cash, and can be extended once for a further 30 days. Immigration checks and visa processing is notoriously slow and it is not uncommon to wait in line for 30 minutes or more. Overstaying on an Indonesian visa is a serious offence and subject to a fine of US$25 per day. Officially all travellers on a short stay Indonesian visa should have an onward ticket or proof of sufficient funds to buy one, however this is rarely enforced at immigration desks.

Bali travel tips: Bali’s climate is tropical with distinct wet and dry seasons and very little difference in temperatures year round. Expect constant hot sunshine interrupted by occasional heavy downpours. Humidity is not particularly a factor in coastal resorts but the sunshine can be relentless. Apply plenty of sunscreen at regular intervals and take on board lots of liquid. Bear in mind that cool sea breezes often give a false sense of security. M

Bali travel tips: Haggling for goods and services is part and parcel of life in Bali and an enjoyable way to interact with locals. Very little is off limits to a spot of bargaining, be it a local craft stall or a five star beach resort. As a general rule expect to pay 40-60 per cent of the opening price for a good deal. The Balinese are very friendly and accommodating people but do not respond well to raised voices. The key is to keep your cool and keep the banter light hearted. Often simply walking away will illicit a more realistic offer.

Bali travel tips: Religion and tradition play a major role in Balinese life yet in general people are very tolerant and accustomed to western ideals. As in most Asian countries revealing clothing and public displays of affection are frowned upon. Gay travellers are warmly welcomed in Bali, especially in the resorts of Kuta and Seminyak where there is a thriving gay scene.

Bali travel tips: Single female travellers will attract a certain amount of attention from a host of young would-be Romeos which is rarely a threatening experience. The Balinese are very expressive and sociable and are always keen to strike up a conversation with visitors. Sharing cigarettes and talking football for an hour or so is a sure fire way to making friends for life. Travellers with young children should expect plenty of attention wherever they go. Young kids, especially of the blond hair blue eyes variety, are universally adored.

Bali travel tips: An idyllic tropical utopia it may be but Bali is not completely without its dangers or annoyances. Petty theft is on the increase and the usual precautions should be taken to avoid any opportunist crime. Always store valuables and important documents in the hotel safe and never leave belongings unguarded on the beach. The major beach resorts of Kuta and Sanur are a hotbed for various street hawkers selling timeshare, cheap massage and organised tours. The constant badgering can be irritating and there are only so many times you can say ‘no thank you’  before losing your cool. Simply walk away.

Bali travel tips: Motorbikes are the most popular form of private transportation and the most convenient way to tour many of Bali’s rural attractions. Mopeds are available to rent virtually everywhere but there is no regulation and standards vary alarmingly. Always check the quality of the bike carefully before riding off as you will be liable for any repair bills. Road safety is poor in Bali and local motorists are renowned for their impatience and erratic behaviour.

Bali travel tips: Adventure sports are very popular in Bali and there is a wide variety of exhilarating pursuits on offer. It provides an exciting way to experience some of Bali’s most compelling scenery. Scuba diving, white water rafting, bungee jumping and rock climbing are all great fun but come with potential risks. Always use a reputable company and inquire about their insurance policy beforehand.