Bali is one of thousand of islands in Indonesia. Here are a few things to know about Bali before traveling there.
- The island is unique in that it is one of the few (or only) islands in Indonesia that is not predominantly Muslim. Bali is a multi-religious island that is tolerant of many religions like Christianity, Islam, and Buddhism. The main religion is actually combination of Hinduism and Buddhism. This means you’ll see a lot of Chinese and Indian influences on the island that shows in its food, culture, architecture, history, religion, and more.
- Canang sari: daily offerings that can be found on the street. Do not step on them, please.
Best and Worst Time to Visit:
- November through March:
- Rainy season. Literally rains everyday, so don’t go, it’s not worth it.
- March 7th-8th: A national holiday known as, Nyepi, or “Silent Day”
- Nothing is open, literally EVERYTHING is closed. Beaches, hotels, offices, businesses, etc. The island basically shuts down.
- It’s a day of silence, fasting, and meditation celebrated in Bali.
- April through October:
- Low humidity, lots of sun, perfect temperature (not too hot or cold), and little rain.
- Best time to go.
- Low Season (cheap and less busy):
- March, April, May
- High Season (expensive and busy):
- July, August, late December, and early January.
- Diving Season:
- April to June: Good
- September to November: Best
- Surfing Season:
- Best during the dry season, April to September.
- $1.00 USD = 14,235.05 (01/18/19). So with $100 USD, you’ll be a millionaire. This is the closest, I’ll ever be to a millionaire.
- Everything in Bali is also really cheap, but be prepared to bargain!
- Bluebird taxis are supposedly good in Bali, wouldn’t know since I never took it.
- Driving places in Bali is not easy and I do not recommend.
- Many of the roads do not even have street names, so it is difficult to navigate and get to places unless you are a local or know someone.
- Roads are crazy windy and narrow, especially going to places like Lempuyang Temple.
- Traffic is ridiculous, it can take unexpectedly long time to even drive a few kilometers
- Traffic laws do not apply in Bali, basically it’s free for all. So, it can be overwhelming.
- When it comes to driving around Bali, get a driver. It costs more, but it is easier and it’ll save you the stress.
- Motorcycles are a good option, if you know how to ride it. But I don’t recommend, unless you are confident in your navigation and driving skills. Be aware of other Balinese drivers though.
- Most public places in Bali do not care about your attire.
- Temples may require you to wear a sarong or kebaya.
- Don’t be that idiot that brings or buys drugs in Bali. You will get caught and it will not be fun. Smuggling = a death sentence. Just don’t be an idiot.
- When you get to Ngurah Rai International Airport and get past customs. Turn right into the hallway and you’ll find someone who will sell you a SIM card. It’s really, really cheap. I was there for a week and I bought about 16 GB worth of data for less than $20 USD. I didn’t even finish it!
- Unfortunately, the oceans in Bali are filled with trash. It is still blue, but filled with trash. Be aware of what you’re putting into the ocean.
- Currents can be incredibly strong, even if you are in the shallow part of the beach.
- There can be a lot of women, men, and children at the beaches (and everywhere else in Bali) selling you bags, sarongs, bracelets, and more. For me, personally, it is really hard to see children selling you items when they should be in school, especially when they are persistent. So out of guilt, I would buy something. But don’t feel pressured to buy anything, just be polite and tell them, “no thank you”. In the end, you will see hundreds of children selling trinkets to tourists all around Bali.
- Lots of mosquitos though.
- Bring mosquito repellants, but I don’t think they help. So just accept you will get bitten and you’re going to be itchy.
- Buy a mentol-containing (Mopiko) ointment or Tiger Balm for the bites.