Bali is said to be a paradise and not without reason. There are beautiful beaches, great vulcanoes and thick green jungle on the island. The vibrant culture is intriguing and the people who live there are nice and calm. But, of course, nothing is perfect. There are some baddies everywhere, even in a paradise. Mother Nature can be a tough lady. And even minor illness can ruin your vacation. Most of these issues can be avoided easily. So remember! Feel safe, but be smart.
Crimes and scams
- Act like you own the place
There aren’t a lot of thieves in Bali. Those who exist usually pick as their target confused tourists in crowded places. So even if you are lost or confused, act like everything is going according to plan.
- Knowledge is power
Before departing, check the prices of different commodities and services. Local vendors sometimes take advantage of a tourist and tell higher price then usual. Remember to bargain!
- Talk before you go
Before you enter an auto rickshaw or a taxi, have a set price for the ride. Drivers in Bali rarely have a taximeter in their vehicles. So if you don’t want to be cheated, set the price before the ride. Remember that each distance has a different price. If you are not sure, how much you should pay, the easiest way to learn is in your hotel.
- Avoid self-appointed guides
You are not required to have a guide. Near many tourists attractions you can find scammers that will tell you that you can’t enter to a temple or a museum without a guide. It’s rarely true. Always buy your tickets in an official cash desk.
- Mind your money
Avoid shady places, use a bank-affiliated currency exchange and count your money in presence of the money changer.
- Don’t even think about drugs
In the Southeast Asia you have to be careful of any drugs. You shouldn’t buy or sell any because the punishment for possesion in Indonesia is death. About 150 people in Bali are on death row now and about third of them are foreigners.
There are no mandatory vaccinations you have to get before going to Bali. It is recommended though that you get vaccinated against Tetanus, Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Rabies. The risk of malaria is also low. Knowing all this, what additional precautions can you take?
- Drink bottled water
Tap water in Bali is generally bad quality. So don’t drink tap water. And brush your teeth with bottled water as well.
- Choose the restaurant carefully
There are a lot of cheap and excellent restaurants in Bali and if you crave street food, go ahead! But be careful since many places aren’t sanitary.
- Don’t forget insurance!
Bali’s beautiful nature is world famous. It’s amazing and you may feel safe most of the time. Just good to know about few things.
Indonesia is a country of thousands volcanoes. Many of them are still active. When in Bali, you may experience, though not likely, an earthquake. Sometimes flights are also canceled because of volcanoe eruption.
Although cute and smart, monkeys aren’t the nicest of animals. They can steal a purse or sunglasses. Grab your food. So don’t eat your icecreams along with monkeys. Don’t have your valuables easily to reach. Don’t let your kids go too near them. And don’t provoke them.
Fortunately, they aren’t everywhere. Some places, where you can meet them are the temple of Uluwatu and in Monkey Forest in Ubud. These places are often crowded with tourists so there will be some help if you need it.
There are heavy surf and strong currents in many places in Bali. Choose beaches with trained lifeguards on duty. And be careful when you are swimming over coral. It can be sharp and cuts are easily infected.
- Consider to hire a driver
In Bali cars drive on the left which is already challenging for many of us. Road rules may seem chaotic to a foreigner so it’s better to consider renting a car with a driver.
- Rent a motorbike
You can rent a motorcycle as it’s a very popular mean of transport. Remember to check the bike for damages and scratches, test the brakes, the lights, all controls, and get a helmet. Ask about the insurance as well.
- Look where you go
Google Maps show the shortest path, which are not always the best.You can end in the middle of nowhere, literally. Ask the locals for directions.
- Have your international license
Don’t forget to bring your international driving licence as your country’s licence may not be enough.
So life in Bali is generally safe and all these unpleasant things don’t happen often. The best assurance is a local that can help you to find yourself in a new place. So maybe the good idea is to hire a private guide.