Do’s and don’ts when visiting Bali.
Bali is known for it’s relaxed zen vibe, lush vegetation, plenty of waterfalls and gorgeous scenery. This island is quite different from the rest of Indonesia as it is mostly Hindu and only a small percentage Muslims.
Bali and especially places like Canggu and Ubud might be full of instagram Cafe’s and foreigners. That doesn’t however mean you can act whichever way you want to. Always try and be respectful of the country that you are in and their beliefs and values.
What shouldn’t you do when visiting Bali
Do not take or buy drugs in Bali
I am sure as everyone knows by now, taking drugs in Bali is a serious offence. Certain substances might be legal where you come from but that is not the case in Bali. Abide by their law and don’t get yourself into a serious amount of trouble.
Be aware that as you get to Bali the airport security is very intense. You are likely to get stopped and your bags checked. They go through every single thing in your luggage and scan everything for substances. This makes Bali safer for everyone.
Don’t drink the water
Unless you want a case of Bali belly you should definitely avoid drinking tap water. Use bottled water where possible or fill up your own bottle at filtered water stations. Also try and avoid eating anything you think might have been rinsed with tap water.
Do not drive a scooter without a helmet
You are putting your own life in danger and being a bad example by not wearing a helmet in Bali. The roads are notoriously bad and you definitely don’t want to fall into a rice paddy without a helmet on. For all the vain people, it’s much sexier having helmet head and being in an accident!
Don’t enter a temple with shoes on
Entering a temple or a Balinese house with shoes on is considered very bad. This is just one of the rules regarding respect for the people and their religion. Why not read up about Bali and it’s traditions and how to be respectful before visiting the island.
Avoid drawing cash from certain ATM’s
A scam that has gotten plenty of people the last couple of years is the ATM one. People draw cash from an ATM in Bali and a few days later their bank account get’s depleted. There is one way you can avoid getting your money stolen. Draw cash only from ATM’s that are inside or connected to a bank. These are usually safe with a security guard on duty.
TOP TIP – What we did was we would do an online transfer of the exact amount into an empty account and then draw the full amount. That means that there wont be anything to steal anyway!
You shouldn’t drink and drive
Drinking and driving is not only illegal but could also land you in a heap of trouble if you get into an accident. Rather hop on the back of a taxi scooter to get home after having a few too many or always have a designated driver.
Don’t be disrespectful to locals
Don’t judge the Balinese for things that are normal in their culture. You might not understand everything but being disrespectful is really bad. They are some of the nicest people so why not act like they do.
Do not get scammed
Like in every country there are some bad apples just out to scam tourists. Don’t fall for scams by doing your homework. Only buy from and go on tours with reputable places. Use your head for everything else and you will be just fine!
Keep your clothes on when walking in the streets
It might be really hot and humid in Bali but that doesn’t mean you can walk around half naked. Don’t be the guy that takes his shirt off in the street or the girl that goes to the cafe in her bikini!
Don’t get annoyed with hawkers
Everyone needs to make a living so you can’t blame hawkers especially with the huge influx of tourists. Don’t get upset if you get asked for a donation at a rice field or other tourist places. If you have enough money to travel to Bali then you definitely have enough to pay them the small amount they are asking.
Don’t just swim at any beach
A lot of beaches in Bali are just not made for swimming. They are either really dirty and you do not want to pick up something nasty. Or they are really dangerous because of big waves and rip currents.
There is already such a huge plastic problem in Bali. Don’t be the foreigner that leaves plastic bottles on the beach or insists on getting a plastic bag for your shopping at a market.
What you should do when visiting Bali
Do eat local food
The local Warungs in Bali serve absolutely great food at minimal cost. These aren’t only great if you are on a budget though. If you want to experience traditional cooking it is definitely where you should eat.
Tip when you can
Tipping is not expected in Bali but it is really appreciated. If service was good let them know and give something extra because if you can afford to be in Bali you can afford to give something.
Do have an international license for driving
You can get into heaps of trouble not having an international scooter license. Make a copy and carry it with you at all times to avoid hefty fines.
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Drinking Bintang is a must in Bali. Not only is it the cheapest alcohol, it is also super refreshing! If you have other drinks, you might run the risk of getting watered down spirits and at a huge cost. All imported wine, beer and spirits are extremely pricey.
Definitely chat to locals
The best way to get to know a new place is by chatting to locals. Don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation.
Do be careful of the monkeys
In Uluwatu and Ubud monkey’s are used to humans and very naughty. At the monkey sanctuary they will grab everything they can so rather keep your phone and sunglasses safely in a locked backpack.
Do respect nature wherever you go in Bali. No running over rice paddies or scribbling your name on rocks. Leave everything they way it is so plenty more people can enjoy it!
Do take your plastic waste with you
Plastic is such a problem in Bali and they don’t need you bringing any more. If you finish for instance a shampoo or makeup product while in Bali don’t bin it there. Take it back home with you where you more than likely have a better recycling system.
Do eat plant based
The plant based options in Bali are absolutely amazing and it is the perfect place to experience a vegetarian diet. They use a lot of tempeh and tofu in some incredible ways so don’t miss out.
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Take lots of photos
Bali is so photogenic it hurts! That is probably why so many photographers go there every year. Take as many photos as possible because otherwise you will regret it!