Before heading to Bali island, here are some tips that hopefully will make your holiday more enjoyable.
1. Don’t forget to put on sunblock, unless you’re going sun-tanning, obviously. I didn’t bother bringing along sun screen during the trip cuz I thought I’m used to living under tropical sun but the heat of Bali is not to be taken lightly.
2. If you could speak the local language, use it at most times, especially when trying to get a bargain. Just like in any holiday destinations, shop owners often prey on tourists for high profits. If you’re a domestic traveller, ask for local prices. If you’re a foreign traveller, act like a local who knows the real market price.
3. Although public transportation in Bali is generally fine, I would recommend hiring a car and chauffeur to get around. It is more comfortable, convenient and you could organised your own itinerary and it’s also cheaper than taking taxis. The normal rate is Rp 400,000/ 10 hours but I hired one for Rp 350 000/ 10 hours through friend’s connection. You could get a better deal by negotiating the price or request extra hours at a discounted rate.
4. I’m sure there are lotsa travellers like me who want to try out the local dishes everywhere you go. Balinese food is tasty and has a strong flavour… Mainly spicy. So if you can’t take spicy food, it’s advisable to prepare a bottle of water. But regardless, you should try out Balinese Babi Guling (roasted suckling pig).
5. Watch your steps. Not to prevent you from tripping over stones but to prevent stepping on “offerings to Gods”. Bali is a religious island and that is evident from the offerings in most cars and in front of door gates. Be careful not to step on them on your way into a restaurant, temple, etc.
6. If you don’t like haggling but don’t like being ripped off, shop for souvenirs at Krisna, a famous souvenir store in town that sells most items sold at the tourist attraction places. You can really see the price difference. My sister bought a wooden trishaw figurine for Rp 190 000 and we saw exact figurines selling at Rp 450 000 each at Tanah Lot. They expect you to bargain the price but most tourists wouldn’t know that the item’s actual selling price is 60% less than what the seller offers.
That’s about all I could think of right now. Most important of all is to keep a positive mind about any place you’re about to visit and I’m sure good things will come your way. Have fun and stay safe! :)