Tips For Going On Holiday To Bali.
With Bali being just around the corner from pretty much anywhere in Australia, loads of Irish visit Bali for a 2 week, 4 week or even longer stints. A few members here on the Irish Around Oz team have been to Bali for month-long stays and in some cases longer! We wish we knew some of these tips for bali ourselves before we went! Enjoy these tips for Bali
- Drink bottled water! – Kind of obvious but even when you are brushing your teeth, use bottled water it’s that easy to catch a nasty belly infection
- Buy sun-cream before you go! – Again obvious, but what we mean here is it’s literally 5 times more expensive for a bottle half the size that you would get over here.
- Haggle! – These guys love to haggle, there is tons of street vendors and if you don’t haggle they will literally be disgusted. Also on a side note in Kuta the guys tend to give out white bags to those who don’t know how to haggle i.e. are new and terrible hagglers and black bags to those who do! Basically so other shop keepers can see you coming!
- A note on haggling – Although you can haggle these guys pretty hard, keep in mind that it might seem like a lot but in reality it will only be $1 – $2’s difference and not worth the effort!
- Use Blue Bird Taxi’s – These guys use a metered taxi and often get confused by the very similar other blue taxi’s in Bali! The main reason is there is no haggling they are nearly 100% of the time spot on and give you a fair price based on the meter!
- Sleep cheap(If you want) – There are plenty of cheap lodging options in Kuta and other tourist destinations. You can sleep in a private room for as little as Rp.30,000. Use TripAdvisor it’s very accurate about pricing, living experience etc!
- Go at the right time – October to April is the rainy season; May to September the dry season. Keep in mind the rainy season is not as bad as you might think, sure you might get a few showers but you will still get 30+ degrees every day!
- Electricity – We suggest taking an adaptor for your appliance.
- Learn Indonesian on your iPod
- Wear A Helmet! – The police over in Bali love to stop tourists and check their licenses etc by wearing a helmet not only are you less likely to injure yourself but you could avoid a unnecessary fine!
- Humidity – if you’re flying in from a WA summer – like we did – it’s not such a shock. A little bit more humid than the everyday here but temperatures were near the same as when we had left home. Make sure your accommodation has air-conditioning or a good fan!
- Money! – There is a few options when we went we just used our Irish bank cards, you get a reasonable exchange rate and very little charges! However if you are thinking about bringing your Aus cards they typically charge about $30 per transaction! (Crazy!)
- Money Continued – Easiest thing to do is bring cash but be careful, the currency traders are excellent at folding notes! They make it seem legit but always, always, always count it back to them in front of them! By folding notes they fold a corner to make it look like there is one extra note, thus losing out in about $10!
- Insurance – Make sure you have a personal insurance or Travel Insurance that covers all accidents(What). If you rent a car (with insurance should), watch out for motorcycles, because there are too many on the road. The roads are nuts!
- Alcohol – You’re better of sticking to beer, the main beer you will be drinking is Bintang! Lots and lots of Bintang! Don’t drink spirits there has been tons of tourists poisoned and even a few deaths from dodgy alcohol!
- GET OUT OF KUTA! – Kuta is good for two things partying and buying souvenirs trust us get out of there as fast as you can unless you are only there to party. Head to the Bukit Peninsula! Which only 40 minutes away and a paradise!
- Transport – You can hire a driver pretty much like a taxi for a whole day for about 20 – 30AUD! Pretty good when you think about how much it would cost over here. Again you can haggle with these guys.
- Airport – Two things, you will get offered by these lovely porters who look legit and work in the baggage area, they very kindly offer to help you with you bags and carry them through reception to the money exchanger, where at this point the surround you and request a tip! Obviously you don’t have to but that is how they make their sole income so our advice just carry your own bags!
- Airport Continued – You will need 35USD(or approx $42 AUD) to get your visa into Bali, alternatively you could transfer some $’s to Rupiah before you go. Probably worth transferring about $100 AU.
- Exit Fee(thanks Jess) – There is also a 200,000IDR exit fee too, this is because of the newly built airport, which by the way is a major improvement from the old one.
- BALI BELLY! – This is probably the most important one, bring some Imodium/Motilium! You need to catch Bali belly before it hits, if your stomach feels uneasy. This article covers how to avoid Bali belly and food poisoning in Bali. How will you know you have it? You will know when you have Bali Belly – you feel like nothing you’ve ever been like before, both ends are running, often at the same time. The time from infection to symptoms varies from a day to 2 weeks and the problem is contagious throughout the period that the organism exists in the gut and is being passed. Imodium is a common clinical remedy take 2 tablets straight away and 1 next morning. Loperomide usually works within 1 hour. Others recommend daily Acidophilous tablets as a preventative to ward off the buys. Norritt, little black activated charcoal tablets available at Matahari Supermarkets and many other places in Bali, including Circle K stores and Mini Marts, for 6,700(RUP) for 40 tablets. 6-9 tablets three times a day. Some travellers swear by Entrostop charcoal tablets from a local ‘Apotic'(chemist). They should not be used with other medication. Others recommend Raspberry juice with at least 30% preferably more, real juice in the blend. You don’t want to get Bali Belly
- Have more than 6 months validity on your passport left . Otherwise they’ll rob you at the Airport
- Don’t give or receive an object with your left hand.
- Tipping – Most major hotels and some restaurants include a 10% service charge in your bill. When this is the case, no additional gratuity is required or expected. You can tip but it’s up to you, not many people do.
- No drugs! – Bring drugs/narcotics can carry the death penalty, and there are enough foreigners residing in Bali courtesy of the prison of the government.
- Driving License – If you do decide to rent a scooter and get stopped by the police you will get a fine regardless of the license you have. There is quite a bit of corruption over there, and your fine can vary from pretty much whatever you have in your wallet! Don’t carry too much cash with you. Still you might be lucky and get away with it, just be warned. The correct license you need is an international driving permit issued by the Bali police! Good luck getting a real one anyway.
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There is a whole lot more you need to know but this covers the basic things you need to know and hopefully it will help you, at the end of the day these things are just guidelines nothing will really happen to you if you don’t take our advice but you will feel quite foolish when you are forking out extra cash for stuff you don’t need! :)
With return flights at around $400 -$500 how could you say no to going on holidays to Bali.
We will be continuing this guide with places to see in Bali as well as many more guides!