5 Things to Know Before You Go to Bali

April 1, 2018

Doing Bali right starts with some research. It’s not a place where you can wing it if you’re not a frequent traveler to Southeast Asia. Bali is a beautiful, natural island that is busy and booming. With so much going on in the moment there, it will be beneficial to get familiar with what you’re going to be dealing with.

These tips helped me a lot in making sure I was staying safe and not getting scammed. Some I researched before and some I learned on the spot sooo you’re welcome.


If you look like a tourist and sound like a tourist, they will probably try to charge you more. It never hurts to try and bargain even when the prices are affordable to you cause it will eventually add up. From taxis to souvenirs, I had no shame in asking for a lower price. They will usually give you a cheaper price even if it’s 5-10%.

What worked for me?

  1. When they were driving a hard bargain, I would give them a tired stare that said, “I don’t have time for this shit and I’m about to leave”.
  2. “Searching” through my purse and telling them that this was all I had. Scummy, but so are the prices.

Blue Bird Taxi

Take Blue Bird Taxi

If you’re planning to take a taxi to a destination, only take Blue Bird Taxi. You can easily identify them since all their cars are blue and they will have a bird logo on the top of their car. Other taxis may charge you more than it should cost and might be sketchy. The nice thing about Blue Bird is that they have a meter in most cars. I’ve ridden in some Blue Bird Taxis that still tried to charge me a flat rate but if you can do meter, go for it. It’s much cheaper. You’ll save some stress and time by asking if they use the meter first.

Hire a Driver For Long Distances

If you’re trying to get across the island, book a driver in advance. I don’t recommend using a scooter to go long distances especially if you have some heavy luggage on you. And not knowing your way around can make the trip much longer. It’s relatively cheap and really nice having someone drive you around on these narrow roads.

What I really like about having a driver too is that you can do day trips and make stops along the way so you can do some site-seeing. I had my driver stop at waterfalls and restaurants which was convenient. They’ll wait in the car for you while you do your thing.

My friend recommended a driver, Wayan, to me who’s really nice and reliable. You can contact him by his WhatsApp number: +62 813-3704-7535.

The Travel Manual

Don’t Scooter in Busy Cities

You can rent a scooter as low as $5 a day which is awesome. It’s a fun way of getting around for short distances, but I highly recommend staying away from renting a scooter in a busy city if you’re not experienced. Like most busy cities in Asia, their roads are anything goes. Scooters are swerving through traffic in a disorderly manner which is terrifying. I only rented a scooter in rural areas where there was barely anybody on the road.

And remember to wear a helmet in busy areas, otherwise you can get a ticket. Also die.

Use Bottled Water to Brush Your Teeth

This is something I learned from experience. One day I woke up with a horrible headache and the minute I got out of bed, I was running to the toilet to vomit. This went on for 6 hours on Nyepi, Bali’s Day of Silence, where there’s no electricity and you’re not allowed to leave your house or villa. I was a hot, sweaty, lonely, vomitting mess.

I’m guessing it’s from the salty water I used to rinse my mouth out when I brushed my teeth. Total rookie move since I haven’t been to Asia in about 10 years. The water in different areas may be okay, but I wouldn’t risk it. Especially on the island, Nusa Penida.


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