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Bali Travel Guide: Tips for your adventure

Are you traveling to Bali and need a guide? Here you can find everything needed to enjoy as much as possible your trip!

Julio Osuna

November 7, 2023

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Are you looking for a Bali guide to enjoy your trip? There’s a lot to know, and people must be prepared to have a remarkable trip they can remember! But of course, a Bali travel guide is undoubtedly something that will help a lot. That’s why travelers should have one if they want to experience the Balinese culture in a dream destination.

So, if you intend to visit one of the most beautiful places in the world, preparation is something every traveler should have. So, let’s discuss everything travelers will need to visit Bali and enjoy as much as they can on their trip!

General information about visiting Bali

When traveling to a place like this, there’s some general information to remember for those who have already visited Bali and those who are going there for the first trip. So, let’s give some details about this beautiful island in South east Asia!

  • Weather: Overall, central Bali is a warm place. We are talking about an island located in Indonesia. Temperatures vary from 20° to 34° annually and in high areas like Mount Agung. Temperatures are a bit colder at night or in the rainy season. Travelers not used to the sudden changes often have “Bali Belly” or fatigue for a couple of days to adapt to the climate.  
  • Language: In Bali, you will find two languages among its inhabitants: people speaking Indonesian or Balinese.
  • Currency: The local currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah.
  • Time Zone: Bali is one hour ahead of places like Jakarta, and the current time zone is WITA, UTC+8.

Bali, Indonesia, is a warm place, and the currency accepted there is different from others found around the world. Therefore, everyone traveling there must be prepared, considering these little details, especially the money. Indonesian Rupiah is not shared outside the country.

It’s also vital for people to prepare a budget to travel to Bali; here, you can find luxury villas and affordable accommodations ideal for all types of travelers. A travel tip guide to how much to spend is a bit complicated as people don’t always travel for the same amount of time, so just be sure you have enough money for the time you stay there!

A temple in Bali. Source: Pexels.
Temple in Bali. Source: Pexels.

Travel tips and checklist before arriving in Bali 

Let’s discuss the things you need to know in this Bali guide before you travel. You need to have everything set up, and things such as visas, knowing the local culture, and some other things are just must-knows.

By having this in mind, it will be easier for people to be prepared for the trip. So, let’s talk about these things everyone should consider when traveling because not everything is related to preparing your luggage and flying there!

Visa to visit Bali

Visiting a place like Bali, located in Indonesia, requires people to be prepared for their visit, and one of the things they will need is a visa. Currently, there are different regulations related to the entry process to visit Bali.

At this point, there are different countries where residents can travel to Indonesia without a visa. These are the following: 

  • Brunei.
  • Philippines.
  • Cambodia.
  • Singapore.
  • Malaysia.
  • Thailand.
  • Laos.
  • Vietnam.
  • Myanmar.

People traveling from these countries can visit Bali for up to 30 days. It’s essential to keep in mind that visitors from these countries can’t stay in the country for longer than this period, which is not bad because it’s pretty accessible for them.

On the other hand, there are other alternatives for travelers to get a visa to visit Bali without having many issues. For over 90 nationalities, there’s a visa on Arrival available for them to get when arriving in the country.

There’s also the B211A visa, which works for digital nomads in Bali and Indonesia. This visa allows people to stay for more than 60 days, which is great for those wanting to know Indonesia as a whole!

Safety within Bali

Bali is known for being one of the most visited destinations in Asia, and the local community is very receptive to this. Overall, the island is pretty safe, but one thing people should always have is travel insurance to ensure they can get help if necessary while there. Other than this, violent crimes are relatively rare in Bali.

Overall, here are some tips that people can get when traveling to Bali:

  • Pay attention to people walking near you on the street, as petty crimes are standard on the island.
  • Bali has an active volcano on the island, Mount Agung, which hasn’t erupted since 2019.
  • As people travel in shorts, they need to keep all their stuff in safe places to avoid losing it or having it stolen.
  • Frauds are expected to be seen in Bali, especially for travelers, so avoid people who might act weird or are offering you something.
  • The island is filled with numerous religions, so people need to avoid molesting locals so they can remain safe on the island.
  • Always keep a personal ID with you, no matter where you go. It’s vital that, as a traveler, you have a way that local authorities can identify you, so keep an ID with you at all times.
  • Don’t drink too much if you plan to experience Bali’s nightlife so you don’t lose money or leave yourself vulnerable.
  • By any means, avoid doing drugs, as this is not accepted in Bali, and the police can arrest you if you’re found with or consuming narcotics.
  • Always keep some money safe in the hotel where you stay, as you don’t know if you might need it afterward.

Local culture in Bali

For quite some time now, Bali has been known for being a place where culture is everywhere, not only for its beautiful beaches. A Bali guide telling you there’s no culture on the island would be a lie, and this will give people a lot to know while traveling to the island.

Currently, there’s a lot to see in Bali in terms of culture. Paintings, sculptures, handcrafts, woodcarving, dances, Balinese massage, and music are all present on the island, and depending on where people travel there, chances are they will get to see more of the local culture.

Also, Bali is a place known for its varied religions. Therefore, people need to keep an eye on this, mainly because there are Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam followers on the island. As you can imagine, the spiritual scenery of the island is one of a kind

Internet connection in Bali

Let’s talk about the internet connection in this Bali guide. People need to know how complicated it can be to get an internet connection there. Currently, on the island, many travelers can use roaming from different mobile carriers, a Pocket WiFi, or rely on free WiFi found all around the island.

But for people wondering what are the best options to use there, an eSIM for Bali is undoubtedly the best option. Another alternative for people traveling to other nearby countries is the Asia eSIM card. Thanks to companies like Holafly, people can get as many as they need without limits and access unlimited mobile data and data sharing.

For travelers who want to rely on eSIMs, there’s only one thing for them to keep in mind. It’s important they have an eSIM-compatible device because otherwise, it won’t be possible for them to use one!

And, one recommendation based on travelers’ experiences is not to rely on local free WiFi. No matter the place or country, free WiFi is not meant to be fully trusted. These are easy to hack, so try to avoid them for things related to financial and personal info.

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Best dates to visit Bali

Traveling to Bali, even though the weather doesn’t vary much throughout the year, some things actually change. Due to its location, travelers need to keep in mind the known west monsoon is something to keep in mind. This event takes place from October to April, so, for some people, visiting Bali during Christmas is not the best idea, even though prices are just a bit lower due to people not being able to enjoy proper weather.

From December to March, the rain is present almost every single day. So people need to have this in mind in case they are planning to visit Bali during these months because even though it’s cheaper, chances are the weather won’t cooperate.

From May to September, there are a lot less rainy days in Bali. The humidity on the island is also lower, which is an essential thing for travelers to have in mind. So, these months are the best to visit Bali!

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When is the cheapest to travel to Bali?

Bali is known for being an expensive place, especially during the high season, which takes place after the west monsoon season is over. So, if you are planning on visiting the island, you need to keep this in mind as much as you can. 

The idea is to travel and find some deals, both for hotels and flights, so travelers can save money. So, what are the best dates to visit the island? Well, that’s easy to tell. Even though December has a lot of rain, prices drop slightly, but not as much as travelers would expect.

So try to visit Bali during the last days of March or at the beginning of April, when prices haven’t returned to the “normal” standards. That way, you can get to save some money and avoid rainy days all month long.

How to travel to Bali?

People who are planning on traveling need to know how they can reach their destination, so let’s talk about how to travel to Bali in this guide. As we are talking about an island, arriving by car is impossible, but there are other ways to manage this situation!

For people wondering how to reach Bali, there are two different ways to do it. Either by air or sea, Bali visitors can reach the island if they buy proper tickets for either option they decide to take.

Traveling to Bali by air

Currently, Bali offers people the chance to visit the island by air with ease. This is thanks to the fact the island has one operative airport at the south of the island where people can arrive and then start to move to their destination.

The Ngurah Rai International Airport allows people to travel from other countries quickly, which is great for international travelers. And, as expected, different international airlines offer flights to the island. Some of the most famous alternatives to visit Bali are Qatar Airlines, Nippon Airways, Philippines Airways, American Airlines, and many others, depending on where people travel!

Also, people won’t have to worry about the airport being a bit far from the center of the island as there are different ways to move around the island!

Traveling to Bali by sea

Traveling to Bali by sea might seem complicated, but it isn’t. People need to know there are different ferries offering trips to Bali by sea constantly. This is an option for those who want to visit the island but prefer to take a trip through the sea.

But people must know that most ferries to Bali start their trip from Indonesia. Therefore, chances are it’s just better to take a flight directly to Bali rather than traveling to another city in the country before hitting Bali.

This is a secondary option unless people want to know other cities from Indonesia. If so, then chances are you want to take this adventure!

Traveling to Bali by sea
Traveling by sea. Source: Pexels.

Local food in Bali: What do Balinese offer to travelers?

When it comes to talking about local food in Bali, it’s not hard to tell people what the available options they will find around the island. Part of the culture people can get to know on the island comes with their food, which is one of the most important traditions they have.

For people wondering how is the Indonesian food in Bali, one word can describe everything quite well. Balinese food is “flavorful.” And even though people will find fried rice with almost every single recipe they find in Bali, other things will come together with rice to make it one of the most impressive cuisines in Asia.

Despite having a wide variety of traditional dishes, it is also possible to find some less elaborate preparations. Even Bali is famous for its oriental street food and quick preparation! You will often find peanut sauce instead of ketchup or mustard.

Trying local dishes like their traditional cakes and desserts, their local seafood, and traditional dishes like Bebek and Ayam Betutu and Babi Guling is simply part of the adventure. So you better not miss them out because there are many delicious food to try!

eSIM with unlimited data for Indonesia
Holafly eSIM for Indonesia. Source: Holafly.

Top 5 things to visit in Bali

If you need a Bali guide to know what to do while being there, here are some ideas for you to visit while visiting the island:

  • Ulun Danu Beratan Temple: Bali is known for being one of the most religious cities in Indonesia. With many famous temples available for people, it’s fair to say the Ulun Danu Beratan Temple stands out due to its beauty and the landscapes surrounding the area. But there are other beautiful temples that you can also visit, such as the Uluwatu temple, Tanah Lot temple, and Besakih temple, among others.
  • Kuta Beach: One of the most stunning beaches in Bali is Kuta Beach. It is one of the most beautiful places to visit in the area. People who want to swim in the Indian Ocean will get a unique chance here while also having the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful sunset, beach clubs, and, if they love nigh-life, this is the perfect place to enjoy it.
  • Jatiluwih Rice Terraces: One of the perfect places to visit from February to April is Jatiluwih. Located in the middle of Bali, this place is one of the most iconic tourists can get to meet. The landscape is breathtaking, and people can walk around a lot, but the best time to go is during the sunset or at sunrise, an ideal destination for a day trip!
  • Mount Batur: If you are up for an early adventure, chances are you don’t want to miss out on hiking to Mount Batur. Located at a 1.7000 height, visitors hike the mountain to enjoy one of the most beautiful sunrises on the island.
A panoramic photo of a sunset in Bali. Source: Pexels.
A panoramic photo of a sunset in Bali. Source: Pexels.

What are the best holidays to enjoy in Bali?

When traveling to Bali, there’s a lot for people to enjoy while being there, and that includes holidays! Therefore, for people who want to connect more with the local culture, having in mind these holidays will help them out a lot!|

  • Galungan: On January 4th, Galungan is one of the most significant holidays on the island. During this holiday, Balinese people celebrate the triumph of the good over the devil, but for locals, it’s the victory of dharma over adharma. For visitors, it’s the perfect date to connect with local roots.
  • Diwali: In Bali, Hinduism is something common among locals, and therefore, they have adopted the 5-day celebration. During this holiday, people celebrate the entry of the Hindu New Year, and therefore, it’s considered to be one of the most joyful nights on the island.
  • Nyepi: If you want to enjoy Bali differently, the Nyepi celebration is for you. From March 11 to March 12, the island remains mostly in total silence. Both locals and visitors must follow this rule as Nyepi is meant to “clear” the island from evil spirits by remaining silent.
  • Independence Day: For locals, the Independence Day of Indonesia is one of the most important public holidays on the island. Celebrated for over 70 years now, the Balinese people also participate in this celebration, with parades, games, and much more.
  • Waisak Day: For Budism, Waisak Day is the most important holiday celebrated on the island. On this day, people remember Buda by making him offerings and visiting temples on the island. It’s the perfect chance for visitors to connect with local religions.
holidays to enjoy in Bali
Holidays to enjoy in Bali. Source: Pexels.

What to do to enjoy the Balinese culture?

Local culture in Bali is quite essential. People will get to see this from the very first moment they visit the island, meaning there are lots of ways for visitors to enjoy the local culture. So, let’s talk about it on this Bali guide:

  • Visit local temples: In Bali, visiting the different temples around the island is a must. People simply need to go for the known “Temple Hopping” to meet as many temples as possible.
  • Ubud cleansing ritual: Ubud is known for being the capital of the local culture in Bali. While people visit this part of the island, one of the best things they can do, especially during significant celebrations, is to visit Tirta Empul in Ubud to be part of a cleansing ritual.
  • Local dances: For the Balinese, dancing is one of the most important art and cultural expressions. But one stands out from the rest: Kecak, which takes place at sunsets in Bali. There are other dance shows, such as Legong and Baris.
  • Visit the local market: If you are planning on getting to know more about local culture, chances are visiting the local market will help you with this. This is the perfect opportunity for visitors to learn more about the island, and maybe they can get something unique from the market!
  • Yoga studios: The island’s idyllic natural beauty, coupled with its rich spiritual heritage, provides a captivating backdrop for yoga retreats. The local yoga studios attract yogis from around the globe.
  • Museums: There are different museums for people to visit while in Bali. In this Bali guide, we recommend the Samsara Living Museum as it provides a unique experience of connecting with the local culture in a whole different way!
Woman doing a cleansing ritual in Bali. Source: Pexels.
Woman doing a cleansing ritual in Bali. Source: Pexels.

How to practice ecotourism in Bali?

When discussing an island, having the chance to practice ecotourism is not as complicated as people might think. Ecotourism is part of our Bali guide because it is a visitor’s must-do. Let’s see what visitors can do on the island:

  • Cycle around the island: Bali’s weather, even though it is a bit hot, will allow you to enjoy cycling around during the day to meet those historical places around the island thanks to the fresh air currents running in Bali. Renting a bike is not complicated at all on the island, so chances are you want to give this a try; you will be amazed by the number of rice fields on the island!
  • Stay in an eco-friendly hotel: Due to the vast amount of visitors Bali receives year after year, hotels and resorts are changing the way they work. Nowadays, finding an eco-friendly hotel is not complicated, and as a matter of fact, travelers will get the chance to help with the local environment.
  • Visit local national parks: Around the island, there are many national parks for people. Therefore, for visitors, getting to meet these on foot and connecting with nature is the perfect time to practice ecotourism on the island significantly.
  • Go scuba diving: One of the best things about Bali is the chance to dive in the clear waters of the beaches near the island. Thanks to this, people will get the chance to take a look at the local fish and the natural water ecosystem found on the island. Don’t miss out on the many local surfing beaches if you enjoy the sport.
ecotourism in Bali
Ecotourism in Bali. Source: Pexels.

Moving around Bali: What are the options to use?

Moving around Bali is not complicated at all. Around the island, many alternatives are available for travelers beyond requesting a private driver. So, before getting to know the Bali areas, let’s see the available options.

  • Bike or scooter: Nowadays, either renting a scooter or a bike is not something complicated to do on the island. It is one of the preferred alternatives for locals when moving around popular destinations! And, if you like ecotourism, this is your option to live 100% the Bali experience.
  • Mobile apps: With Bali being such a vital place to visit in Indonesia, there’s no doubt there will be mobile apps available for travelers and locals to use to move around the city. One of the best local options is the Blue Bird Taxi App, an Indonesian company that offers these services and allows you to locate a taxi driver safely.
  • Bus: For people who want to save some money or simply enjoy the whole experience of feeling like a “local,” taking a bus is a great option to do it. So, you might take a bus if it will take you to the place you are visiting as it is a great choice! This is also common when traveling in groups with local guides.
  • Ferries: If you are planning on moving to one of the nearby islands, then you need to have the ferry option in mind. Currently, in this Bali guide, we can tell ferries have become more and more critical thanks to everything they offer to travelers who need to move by sea!
People walking to a beach. Source: Pexels.
People walking to a beach. Source: Pexels.

What to buy in Bali?

If you travel to Bali, you need to know what things you can buy and take back to your hometown. There are many alternatives to buy and take back home, but people might not have a clear idea. So, let’s talk about what to buy in Bali in this guide.

  • Local masks: A way for people to stay connected with Bali even after they leave is by taking a local mask back home. These are known as “Barong Masks,” and people can buy them in Bali for an affordable price!
  • Souvenirs: Something that’s not complicated at all to find are souvenirs around the island. Almost everywhere people go, there will be souvenirs to get. So if you want to surprise someone back home, get a souvenir you think they will like, or you might want to take one for yourself!
  • Chocolate: The chocolate available in Bali is just great. People can get the chance to travel around Bali and find different places where they can buy chocolate, so this might be an excellent option for chocolate lovers!
  • Handicrafts: Having the chance to buy handicrafts is a unique experience to live in Bali! If you want to take something you can surely place in your house or gift someone else, handicrafts are the best option for you!
What to buy in Bali
What to buy in Bali, Source: Pexels.

What’s the cheapest thing to buy in Bali?

Traveling to Bali and wondering what’s the cheapest thing to buy might be complicated to answer. For people traveling on a tight budget, visiting the local market and getting some souvenirs is the best option.

On the other hand, for people who have a wider chance of spending money, there are lots of local stores that offer unique options. These are a bit more expensive, so keep that in mind!

How much money is required to visit Bali?

Surprisingly, traveling to Bali is not as expensive as some people might think it is. For two people, traveling with USD 3,000 is enough. Therefore, if you plan to travel solo to Bali, you might want to take around $1,500 to USD 2,000, according to our Bali guide.

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FAQs for traveling to Bali

Is it common to find English speakers in Bali?

Even though the local language varies from Balinese to Indonesian, English is the third most important language on the island. This allows people to stay calm when traveling there!

What’s the main religion in Bali?

When people are traveling, one of the main things they need to respect is the local religion. In Bali, the most important religion is Hinduism, but it’s a bit different from the Hinduism found in India.

Is it hard for people to change their currency for the Indonesian Rupiah?

Not at all. Traveling to Bali means people will get different ways of exchanging their money in an easy way. But, visitors need to use legal exchanges rather than relying on someone who’s on the street offering this service.

How much does a flight to Bali from the United States cost?

Currently, the average flight from the United States stands at prices varying from $850 to $950 USD.

Is Bali safe to visit?

Currently, it is. Even though in previous years there was some terrorism on the island, this is no longer an issue that takes place on the island. Bali is considered to be one of the safest places to visit in all of Asia!

What kinds of clothes are advisable to take to Bali?

While you are indoors, you will either have access to an air conditioner or a fan, so you might want to take proper clothes for sleeping at night. But while meeting the island, try to take clothes that will help you handle the hot weather from Bali!