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August 3, 2020 | Guest post by: Stuart
Bali is a popular destination that many Australians will travel to at some point in their lives. In this comprehensive guide, we cover everything you need to know to ensure you get the most out of your holiday to the land of the gods.
Bali has introduced short 30-day visa-free travel for Australians, so if you plan to spend less than 30 days in the country, you don’t have to worry about applying for one. All you will need to ensure is that your passport has more than six months left before its sell-by date. If want to stay in Bali longer, then you are going to have to apply for a visa from the Indonesian consulate.
In Bali, they use the Indonesian Rupiah. The exchange rate is incredibly good against the Australian Dollar with $1AUD being the equivalent of 9,344 IDP. Your money will go much further than it will at home, and you can comfortably rent your own villa with a pool or stay in good accommodation for less. It’s important to practise caution when exchanging your money. Look out for official exchanges, or a local bank. Do not venture to money exchanges located down alleyways and always remember if the rate sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Request money in 50,000 and 100,000 notes and do not accept anything smaller. When you receive it, do not let the teller distract you and count it in front of them to ensure you have been given the correct amount. Do not let anyone else touch it afterwards.
Bali is a safe destination that has low crime rates. In 2002 the island was the victim of a terrorist attack, so this is something to be wary of when visiting. Another thing to consider is natural disasters as Indonesia is located in the ring of fire, making it prone to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. The island has many protections in place and there are warning systems to let you know if there are any dangers. The most important thing to remember is that if there is an earthquake warning, to get to higher ground.
Violent crime is not common in Bali and the majority of crimes are opportunistic. Muggings can be an issue, especially in the more popular tourist regions of Kuta. Don’t always flash your valuables and exercise caution when using an ATM. Keep your bag or backpack close to you and if you have a safe in your accommodation then use it.
A lot of tourists try out Bali’s version of moonshine known as Arak. Just don’t risk it. There has been an increase in cases of methanol poisoning with tourists being affected.
No matter where you travel as a tourist you can find yourself caught up in a scam. There are a few common ones that are prevalent in Bali that you should look out for. One of the most common scams you will come up against is the hiring scam. This happens when you hire a surfboard or a motorbike after you return it the owner will make up damages that will have already been there and will be incredibly costly to repair. Before renting something check the item thoroughly and take pictures as evidence.
Another issue in Bali is police corruption. Police will approach you and tell you, you have broken a law and must pay an on the spot fine. Always request to go down to the police station together to sort the matter out as this might deter some officers, do not hand over your passport as some may ask for a bribe for it to be returned. The best way to avoid this is to ensure you abide by all the laws of the land, including wearing a helmet whilst riding a motorbike.
Unfortunately, the most common time of crime or scam in Bali is theft. Be wary of your valuables in crowded places, don’t wear flashy jewellery or be careless with expensive cameras. A good way to protect your cash is to invest in a money belt.
It’s important to look after your health when you are in Bali as you don’t want this holiday to be remembered for all the wrong reasons. The dreaded Bali belly is not as common as it used to be, but it is something to look out for. To avoid getting sick, do not under any circumstances drink the tap water, even when brushing your teeth. Use hand sanitizer after using the bathroom and avoid ice in drinks that could be made from tap water.
Bali is also home to the dreaded dengue fever. There is no vaccination or treatment available for this disease, so prevention is key. Make sure you bring plenty of mosquito repellent with DEET in it and cover-up if you are near mosquito prone areas.
Over 1.1 million Australians visit Bali every year and the majority of these trips are safe, enjoyable and leave long-lasting memories. To ensure yours is too, follow government travel advice, exercise caution with your valuables and don’t drink the tap water.
Bali is a conservative society. The tourist resorts may fool you, but it’s important to respect local cultures and customs and wear appropriate attire when visiting temples or exploring holy sites.
After all the serious stuff, now it’s time to get excited and plan on what you’re going to see and do.
Ubud is Bali’s cultural centre, located an hour and a half’s drive away from the bustling resorts of Kuta and Seminyak. Ubud is a welcome escape from the hustle and bustle. Relax and unwind in views of rice paddies, ancient temples and learn about Balinese culture and art. After spending a day getting used to the more relaxed pace of life here, head to the monkey forest and see some of the city’s most cheeky residents.
If you love temples, then Bali is the place for you. From Tanah Lot situated on its own island and offering you mesmerizing sunsets, to Uluwatu Temple set on a cliff edge overlooking the ocean, Bali’s temples are impressive. If you are looking for a truly unique experience, then head for the Underwater Temple in Pemuteran.
Canggu is the place to go with the board. The beach resort is surrounded by picturesque rice paddies and has a laid-back hippie vibe, that is ideal for any surfer looking to kickback. It’s the perfect spot for beginners looking to perfect their skills. There are plenty of surf shops and schools to choose from for a variety of budgets and skill levels.
There are plenty of options available for island hopping from Bali if you want to explore a little further. You can catch a boat to the idyllic Gili Islands, check out the underrated Nusa Islands or even catch a flight to Flores or Komodo to see the infamous Komodo dragon in all its glory. Bali doesn’t have to be the beginning and end of your holiday; it is your gateway to the rest of this beautiful country.
Why not save money and time and send your things straight to Bali using a luggage shipping service? Companies like My Baggage based in Belfast, offer a stress-free door to door service, so you can bypass the carousel and don’t have to worry about excessive airline baggage fees.
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We are Jacob and Taylor. Travel is our passion and we love sharing our experiences here at The Travelling Souk. Our hope is that you would be inspired by this little blog to try something new, embrace an adventure, and live life to the fullest.