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How to NOT Getting Lost In Bali - Part 01

Ultimate guide to living in Bali

Since I have been a while in Bali, so I decided to write a little more about this island so that you will be familiar once you’re in this beautiful place.

 

You’re probably alrady know Bali for it’s pretty beaches, lush forest picturesque, waterfalls, and breathtaking rice fields. Bali is well known for good reason. This is a place where traditional customs and culture get intertwined with mass tourism.

 

Electricity

Electricity in Bali runs in 220 volts, outlets will accommodate any plug type C and G, if you typically use A and B my suggestion is to buy one once you’re here in the price of less than $1. At this point most of your electronics will have a voltage converter built into the charger so it can handle power as it would back home.

 

The best way to check is to look at the charger, most of them will label the power voltage that it can handle. For example, if it says input power 100 volts to 240 volts then you will be in good shape. It is a good practice if you bring universal adapter that can charge multiple devices on one adapter.

 

Internet

Internet in Bali is really strong, almost every bar, restaurant, and cafe in Bali provide Wi-Fi connection. You can even upload large video files under an hour if you stay in a modest Hotel anywhere in the location. If you want to get always connected from spot to spot, consider buying a SIM card at any convenience store. They run pretty cheap and easy to install before adventuring though all area in Bali. 

 

I suggest you downloaded some handy apps to make your day easier: Grab, Gojek, Google translate, Google maps, Air BnB, and Agoda or Traveloka. Almost all apps offer a chance to upload easy payment methods prior to using their service, so make sure you already setting those up to have a hassle free activities. 

 

Tips: GoJek and Grab is two startup king in terms of transportation and doing errand  like ordering food or buying things on minimarket. They are similar with Lyft and Uber so it’s pretty much easy to understand and you will be up and running in 10 minutes once you install them.

 

Taxis are also easy to find if you need an immediate ride, but if you do take a cab you should always insist on the driver running the meter. Many may try to negotiate a fare but the meter will provide the most accurate and honest pricing. Once you’ve arrived at your destination, it’s common for the fare to be rounded up, it is like unspoken tips for the driver anyway.

 

Do you know what is the most popular text messaging service in the country? Yes, WhatsApp.

 

If haven’t use it already, go download it because it’s a great method of communication between the locals and other tourists that you will meet.

 

Second backup is using Facebook Messenger for getting people’s contact information and sending messages.

 

Best maps application ever to use in Bali is google maps.

 

Google maps has up-to-date mapping and calso work offline by downloading maps while you’re on Wi-Fi. I highly recommend Google maps on your phone when exploring different cities.

 

Indonesia has more than 700 indigenous languages but Bahasa Indonesia or Indonesian is the official language of the country. It’s orthographies Latin based and it’s alphabet consists of the same 26 letters as the English alphabet so it’s fairly easy to see a word and kind of understand the pronounciation.

 

You may or may not pronounce it correctly at first but the locals here are patient and will help guide you through it. Keep in mind that you should always try to learn or at least attempt speaking the local language whenever you’re traveling. It’s a great sign of reference and it shows that you’re a respectful tourists.

 

I know that you won’t be fluent in Bahasa Indonesia before you come here and you don’t necessarily need to be. English just commonly spoken and when all else fails hand gesture and body language can get you pretty far.

 

A huge recommendation is to at least pick up three words. Learn how to say Hello with “Halo”, or common greeting for any situation is “Selamat...” good morning is “Selamat pagi”, or Thank you is “Terimakasih”.

 

Nonetheless having an app translator is a great support tool and you can really make your life easier. Google translate is a great solution and you can download languages for offline use.

Sacrifice to the nature is the way balinese respect environment
 

Bali has a very interesting mix of traditional culture and a clash of tourism. All over the island you’ll see different offerings lining the street. These are called ‘canang sari’ they are a form of appreciation for peace given to the world. Be respectful and try not to step of them or disturb them from their place.

 

Another thing you’ll see a lot are statues covered in checkered sarongs. These symbolize the balance between good and evil. Again don’t disturb them, just let them be as it is.

 

Arriving into Denpasar you will first realize that you are not alone in the quest to find all of Bali’s greatness. Bali’s airport Ngurah Rai is a huge airport and there are loads of people constantly arriving.

 

Just before the pandemic, this Island welcomed approximately 6 million tourist per year. Since most or you will be coming here for less than 30 days, you don’t need to bring any cash with you to pay for a visa or arrange one in advance. Just make sure your passport is valid for at least six months upon your arrival.

 

You will also want to make sure you have enough space in your passport for two stamps. One upon entering and the other upon exiting.  More information about visa and permits you can reach this LINK so you can update if there are any changes in regulation.

 

CASH

You will likely need to bring cash in the new land when you arrive and after you’ve gotten through customs you may encounter a huge line of tourists trying to exchange money. So I think it’s a good practice if you prepare small amount of money just to get to your hotel first to avoid crowds.

 

The optimal time to visit Bali is in the summer months of June and August. The weather is the driest and the days are the sunniest. Coincidentally everybody else wants to come to Bali in that timeframe so expect to deal with more crowds and more expensive hotel rates.

 

The wettest months are going to be November to March.

April, May, and September, October are gonna be the shorter months of high season and a decent compromise weather-wise. During this time you’ll be able to get great rates on hotels and dodge some of the crowds but no matter what time of the year you go, you can always expect here a lot of tourists visiting.

 

Bali has everything from mountain view down to beaches

Temperature in Bali doesn’t fluctuate much, since Bali and its surrounding islands are close to the equator the temperature are going to feel hot. It can get a little cool at night depending on the time of the year you visit.

 

The coldest temperature will be found in the higher elevation areas like Ubud or volcanic regions. I recommend you to pack light-breathable cloting and comfortable shoes. Shorts and shirts made with polyester or nylon are a great choice. 100% cotton shirts and shorts are okay too but they tend to trap a little more heat and take some time to dry out.

 

If you plan on visiting Ubud or hiking some of the surrounding volcanoes, bring a long-sleeve and a light jacket. If you’re planning on hitting the beaches on Bali and surrounding islands, shorts and t-shirts will be your go-to.

 

For guys, If your nightlife is your thing, bring at least one dress shirt, a pair of pants, and a pair of nice shoes. For ladies, likewise for you Bali is one of those destinations where it’s wise to pack nice clothes. Flowy dresses are nice and Maxie’s are to two-for-one not only for going out but also for temples and religious attractions.

 

Speaking of religious attractions, make sure to have a hair-tie on your wrist as sometimes it mandatory to pull your hair back to get in. And for guys when it comes to religious attraction, sometimes several places are considered sacred so that you have to wear sarong. They usually lend you for free, or if not you have to rent it. In that case, better pack before a nice sarong of yours if you don’t want to rent.

 

If you’d like to walk around and explore, just pick a comfortable shoes that works best for you. Boots are the last option, I prefer sneakers for all terrain and situation. I don’t recommend wearing flip-flop or sandals when it comes to outdoor activities. You don’t know when it suddenly raining and wearing sandals could feel slippery and unsafety. Wear sandals just for a short walk around your hotels. 

 

If you forgot to pack someting, Bali has plenty of clothing options in all sizes and you can always pick up someting and easily. Speaking of clothes you can do laundry almost anywhere you visit in Bali. So remember to keep it light. There are several laundromats where you can drop off your clothes at a cost of one to two dollars per kilo.

 

Surrounding islands in bali is Nusa Penida

The two other things that you should bring on your pack are sunscreen and mosquito repellents. You can always pick up sunscreen anywhere you in Asia, but it tends to come in smaller amounts. The SPF may be limited and it’s a little more expensive. Just remember to always apply it, the sun is stronger here and you don’t want to spend your time sunburned.

 

Another item that you don’t necessarily need to pack but you’ll want to keep it on you is toilet paper. Bali is on top of their game when it comes to having toilet paper in public restrooms. Just in case you come across one that doesn’t you will want to be prepared.

 

Speaking of toilet paper, it’s commont courtesy to placed the used toilet paper in a trash bin and not down the toilet. The reason for this is because sewage systems here are not designed to handle anything  except human waste.

 

What is better, travelling with a backpack or a suitcase in Bali?

In my opinion it’s better to use backpack as sometimes the road and sidewalks aren’t in the best condition for transporting a rolling suitcase.

 

But then again it depends on what type of trip you want to go. If you’re the type that’s gonna go from the airport to a car to a hotel and then a hotel to a bus or train, then there’s no need to bring a backpack.

 

The famous tegalalang rice fields that use Subak


If you’re the type that will brave a mile or two to a bus station to save on a taxi, then I suggest bringing a backpack. There’s a local brand name called “Eiger” that is very popular and it has been known for quality that you may considered to choose. It is relatively cheaper compared to many big brand name in the same size.

 

Just remember, it’s hot in this part of the world so less is more and last but not least is recyclabe bags. It’s not only in Indonesia but a lot of places in Asia go overboard with their plastic products. They’re great for business owners because they’re cheap, convenient, and awesome for distibution. But they also terrible for the environment should they not be disposed off properly.

 

Transportation

Bali has total area around 5.6 million m2 and that is about 0.29% total area of the country. Bali province is divided into 8 regencies, 1 municipality, 55 sub-district, and 701 villages.

 

With over 4.3 million people living in this island, it comes a lot of traffic issues. Getting from one place to another will takes time, so be patient when coverting large distances like Denpasar to Ubud. The best advice is to take rideshare transportation from one point of interest to to the other. Once you arrived at the destination, a motorbike will come in handy.

 

Driving in Bali comes with it’s risks. Road discipline and conditions are rather poor. If you’re unexperienced with motorbikes then take things slow. In this area of the world, drivers follow left-hand traffic which means they drive on the left side of the road.

 

It will probably take you a day or two to get familiar with how traffic flows. But if you’re not confident enough to drive by yourself, then the wiser choice is always choose GoJek or Grab to help you moving around from one to another place. 


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