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Ok now it’s time for me to be a little serious: in this post you’ll find some practical information and travel tips for Bali.
I am happy to give you some travel tips for Bali and to share with you also some bad choices I have made.
Why also the bad choices? Because you can learn from them and help people not to make the same mistakes you made!
So let’s start with a few travel tips for Bali that will help you BEFORE you go to Bali.
VISA TO INDONESIA.
First of all we need to know the official documentation that we need to have to enter Indonesia.
If you are European like me and you stay less than 30 days in Indonesia you don’t need a Visa.
You only need your passport. Just make sure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months after your planned date of departure.
CURRENCY IN INDONESIA.
The Indonesian Rupiah is the official currency. Dollars and euros are not accepted.
The are plenty of ATMs around the island, especially near the main tourist spots.
Make sure you always have some cash with you. I suggest you arrive in Bali with some Rupias. There is an ATM at the airport but the machine runs out of money quickly!
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR INDONESIA.
You should never travel without travel insurance that can cover you for medical treatments when you are abroad.
There are many travel insurance companies that offer annual multi-trips plans or just single trip travel plans.
I personally chose Columbus Assicurazione but if you google travel insurance there are many options that you can choose from.
WHEN TO GO TO BALI.
In Bali it’s hot all year around. There is a wet season that goes from November to March and a “dry” season that goes from April to October.
I have been in April and I have to say it wasn’t dry at all!
Expect to find thunderstorms during the dry season as well. In Bali it rains every day. I guess during the wet season it rains a little more but honestly I don’t think there’s much difference.
WHERE TO STAY IN BALI.
Now you have to book your hotel. There are obviously plenty of options you can choose from.
Here you have the names of the hotels we have stayed in.
We loved our stay at this hotel. Our room was fantastic and the resort has a beautiful SPA and a pool.
Each room has a private verandah with a view over the rice field.
The restaurant is really good and they also provide free room service!
Oh no! I feel bad. Our room was terrible and dirty, the toilet was broken, everything was a disaster!
But the staff was super nice!
Let’s do this. I won’t say the name of this hotel but I can give you a tip: book a room in a resort. It is still cheap but way better than random hostels with no comfort at all!
Words can’t describe how much we loved this resort! It is the cutest bungalow ever!
The rooms are huge and beautiful; the design is so peculiar!
I would definitely recommend it; it feels like you are in a dream!
This is an ok accommodation in Kuta. The rooms are decent, breakfast is included and there is a swimming pool.
The location is perfect, just a few minutes from the main streets.
HOW TO GET TO BALI.
Well that really depends on where you will be flying from. I personally flew to Bali from Bangkok. Since this is a blog based on my personal experience I can tell you how I got to Bali from there.
There are pretty cheap flights if you book through Air Asia.
But what if you are traveling from somewhere else?
This is a pretty good website that researches the cheapest solution from the city you will be flying from:
Perfect. Hotel booked. Flight booked.
Is there anything else that I need to book in advance?
Book in your airport pick up to your hotel in Bali.
Contact your hotel and ask them to arrange the transfer for you.
If you are planning to go to Lombok and/or to the Gili Islands, book the tickets online.
There are different ways to go to Lombok from Bali.
You can take a plane from Denpasar. It takes only 20 minutes and it is also very cheap. It is probably the best way IF you are not planning to dive in the next or previous 24 hours.
Alternatively you can take a fast boat from Padangbai. Book the tickets in advance and you will find good deals! Do not do like we did!
We didn’t book any ferry tickets. And this is what happened. The taxi driver took us to some agency in Padangbai to buy the ferry tickets. It was very expensive and we would have saved so much money if we had booked the tickets online.
Another tip for your trip to Lombok: watch out for the taxi drivers when you dock in Bangsal. They charge you a lot just for a short ride. But if you walk out of the pier area, they will charge you way less!
To go to the Gili Islands from Lombok (or from Bali) you can catch a ferry too. And again I suggest booking the ticket online.
We actually found a good deal at a tourist info stand in Lombok. They picked us up at our hotel in Senggigi and dropped us off at the pier in Bangsal. There we took a… I would call it unconventional boat with the locals and their goods! All included for a few Rupias. But you don’t always find good deals when you are there! So plan ahead and book your ferry tickets online!
You can book anything else when you are in Bali. There are many tourist info stands around the island if you want to book some tours.
But there is also another thing that you need to do when you’re still at home.
It is a fantastic app and I always use it when I travel.
You just need to download the app and then you download the map of Bali (or Indonesia).
Once you are in Bali you can track your way on the map you downloaded. You won’t need internet connection for that. It works using the GPS. It really is a great app!
All right. Now that you booked everything it’s time to pack.
WHAT TO BRING WITH YOU TO BALI?
In Bali it rains. A lot. Every day. So bring a poncho. I know! You want to share your pictures on Facebook and you don’t want to look like a giant condom. I get it! But trust me, you will need it!
Sneakers. Bali is fun! A lot of unforgettable adventures are waiting for you! And you want to be in your most comfortable shoes for them!
Also bring with you some jackets. It’s normally hot during the day but it might get chilly sometimes, especially after the rain. So basically wear layers and again… always have your poncho with you!
We have finally landed in Bali. What should we do now?
First, let’s talk about the different options you have to get around the island.
HOW TO GET AROUND IN BALI.
The best way to get around in Bali is to rent a scooter.
There are many rentals around the island and they are all pretty cheap.
There are not many road signs but if you are not traveling alone one person can drive and the other person can track the way on the map.
If you don’t feel like driving you can take a taxi. But don’t forget to negotiate the price before you get into the car!
An alternative way could be renting a car with a chauffeur, especially for long distance day trips. The driver will take you all day to many different spots. You can ask the reception of your hotel or you can ask one of the many tourist info stands that are around the island. It sounds something very expensive but it is not. It is actually a good option especially if you are in a group.
And let the fun begin! In Bali there are many things to do and see.
If you liked my itinerary and you want to do what I did, I’ll give you here some specific information about it.
TEMPLE RULES IN BALI.
When you are visiting a temple in Bali keep in mind that there are some rules to follow.
Basically your knees have to be covered. In some places your shoulders too. Buy a sarong in Bali. It will be very useful any time you are visiting a temple and it will also be a nice souvenir to bring back home.
Another interesting rule: you can’t enter the temple if you are bleeding. Meaning, you can’t visit the temple if you are on your period!
No. No one is checking your underwear.
DANCE SHOWS IN BALI.
You can watch the typical Balinese dance at the Ubud Palace. The ticket office is at the entrance and you can buy the ticket on the same day for the evening.
NIGHT HIKE TO THE VOLCANO BATUR.
If you want to hike the volcano Batur at night and watch the sunrise you have to book a tour.
You can’t go there by yourself, you need a guide.
Book the tour at a tourist info stand. They will pick you up at your hotel and they will provide you with food, water and flashlights.
Wear layers. When you hike you sweat and you won’t be cold. But when you sit on the top of the volcano and watch the sunrise you will feel the difference! So bring a jumper and do not forget your hiking shoes!
DIVING IN GILI.
The Gili Islands are a wonderful place to dive! There are a lot of diving centers everywhere. Pass by and book for the next day.
We booked our dives at the Blue Marine Dive in Gili Air. The staff is amazing and they provide a perfect service!
If you are not certified you can do a pool session in the morning and a dive in the afternoon.
If you are certified do not miss Shark Point. This site is rich in marine life. I loved it.
And this is it! I hope my travel tips for Bali helped you to plan your trip at its best.
(You’ll find out soon what it means)