How to get the most out of your travels to Bali.
If you’re a true adventure traveler, you might like to go into your trips blindly, but if you prefer some prep, don’t hesitate to stalk your destination on Instagram and various websites. You’ve probably seen photos of Bali beaches and other tropical scenes but what do you really know about this island? If you’re preparing for your first trip to Bali, here are a few things you might want to keep in mind for the best vacation in the world.
Bali is one of 17,000 Indonesian islands located in the Indian Ocean. The island of Bali sits east of Java and west of Lombok. While it seems super small on the map, Bali is actually pretty big with 145 km from west to east and 85 km from north to south. Aside from the main island, the three Nusa Islands also belong to Bali.
Bali has a tropical climate all year round with hot and humid weather. The island has two seasons, a dry one and a rainy one. It usually rains between November and March, but it varies from year to year. During the rainy season, you can expect a few hours of rain in the morning and a few hours of rain in the afternoon, so it’s not the best time to visit. If you want pleasant weather with very little rain and plenty of sun, visit in May, June or September. During these months, you will also avoid crowds and have beaches and famous sites all to yourself.
In Bali, cash is still king, so make sure to always have some money with you. In hotels and cafes in urban areas, you can pay with a credit card, but everywhere else, you will need cash. The largest denomination is the 100,000 Rp banknote, so make sure to bring a bigger wallet since you’re always going to be full of money.
Public transport in Bali is almost non-existent, so it’s best to rely on taxis which are everywhere. There are two types of taxis, the Bluebird taxis and the rest. The first kind is safe to use because all drivers use the meter. They even have their own app so you can summon them whenever. The second kind requires some experience to use because drivers are often dirty and want to take you on a longer trip than necessary to pay more.
Make sure to leave some extra space in your suitcase for a few authentic Balinese souvenirs. Their best-known product is carved animal skulls that will look amazing in any tropical-inspired home. If you forget to get one on your trip, you can always order a hand-carved skull with SkullBliss and have this souvenir to remind you of Bali and your vacation. Other souvenirs you must grab are local pastries and rattan bags.
Bali has a variety of delicious food you should try, but if you want something authentic and cheap, make sure to eat at a warung. This type of small family-owned restaurant usually offers local food you can pick from a menu or eat buffet-style. Try fried bananas, fried noodles and sate.
Even though Bali people are very religious, tourists don’t have to follow a certain dress code, except at religious sites where everyone needs to wear a sarong. If you don’t own one, you can buy it on the island or rent it for cheap at every religious site.
For most travelers, Bali is heaven on Earth. No matter if you’re spending there only a week or if you’re planning to stick around for longer, you will have an amazing travel experience and will want to go back as soon as you can.