If you’ve been researching on international destinations that you could hit for your next vacation while ensuring a budget travel experience, you would probably have considered enchanting Indonesian island of Bali. Popular for its spiritual and natural offerings, Bali offers much to Indian tourists who are looking for one place that offers diversity in terms of the places to see, things to do and food to eat- all at an expense that won’t burn a hole in your pocket.
What’s more, you don’t require having a visa before travelling to Bali because it allows Indians to get a visa-on-arrival! All flights that go to Bali have a stop-over at Kuala Lumpur. The cheapest way to reach Bali from India would likely be from Chennai and/or Cochin airport but if that seems like too much of hassle for you, it’s best to book well in advance and avoid the peak season which ranges between June to August and of course the Christmas-New Year’s usual rush. You can actually expect to fly to and from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport for as low as INR 15,000 if you plan it right.
Whether you’re planning a family trip, solo travel or a conducted tour- there are always some travel hacks to know before planning your next trip to Bali. Being aware of a few things before you reach a new place can always come in handy. It can ensure enhance safety, lower probability of getting duped and an easy and comfortable visit that lets you make the most of the place. So here are 7 travel hacks for Bali that you will be thankful you knew before you hit the beaches and inhale the serene bliss of Bali!
7 travel hacks to Bali
1. Be Smart with where you get your money exchanged
If you come across a money exchange store that offers a price that is too good to be true, it probably is. There are many self-proclaimed ‘authorized’ foreign exchange stores that offer great rates. Don’t fall for it and look for a well-known, permanent store (with preferably multiple branches) or go to the bank instead. The shady stores that offer great rates usually have various ways to create confusion and hand out less cash than promised. The fact that the Indonesian Rupiah is calculated in large figures (running into millions) makes it even more difficult to count.
2. Avoid buying a SIM card from the airport
Chances are that your hotel will have a Wi-fi connection that you can happily use for data. So, you don’t need a new SIM card that comes with 5GB data and costs no less than 10,000 IDR. Visit convenience stores such as Indomart, Alfamart and Circle K instead to get more flexible packages that don’t cost so much.
3. Keep The Cash Handy
Many local stalls, restaurants and markets in Bali do not accept card payments and would hence require you to carry cash. So it’s best that you carry some cash, especially if want to explore the local market, crafts and cuisine.
4. Get things delivered
Imagine lazing around your splendid villa when you realize you want a drink (at a cheaper rate than the villa of course) and some tidbits. It’s likely that your villa is going to be situated far from the maddening crowd- something that you absolutely craved until now. Well, luckily for you, civilization maybe far, but some amazing apps in Bali aren’t. Download the Go-Jek app for some quick food and hard drinks while splash around in the pool.
5. Get the bargaining right
When at Bali, get your bargaining game on. With the right timing and skills, you can bring the price down to half of the one quoted. Usually, it’s easier to get a better price during the morning as the shopkeepers are eager to make their first sale of the day and are hence willing to bring the price down. Also, don’t make the mistake of going to shops recommended by your tour conductor as the prices will be higher than normal to ensure a commission for him/her. Note that the market at Ubud is less expensive than the ones that you will find in Seminyak or Kuta.
6. Know what to wear where
If you have researched about Bali, you must have a list of temples that you plan to visit on your itinerary. There’s a certain etiquette and dress code that you need to keep in mind before you visit a temple, so as to respect the local sentiments and traditions. Both women and men should wear clothes that are below knee length and have their shoulders covered. So, short dresses, half pants or skirts are not allowed. Carry a sarong and a scarf along with you as it is mandatory for many temples and while many temples may have provisions to hand them out, many of the smaller and more discreet ones don’t.
7. Beware of the monkeys
There is going to a lot of monkeying around in Bali, especially if you are visiting the Money Forest (but, of course!) or Uluwatu temple. There have been many instances of monkeys displaying aggressive behaviour and attacks. So if you happen to be visiting a place that has monkeys, be sure to not carry any form of food or water as the monkeys are tempted to attack and snatch them away. If they suspect you to be carrying any of these, they may even fight with you and eventually run away with valuables like your sunglasses or camera. It’s best to avoid photo shoots with the monkeys because you never know when their mood changes. If you happen to see a monkey approach you, do not panic. Call for help instead.
Hopefully, your Bali trip experience will be a smooth sail with this special ‘Bali tips’ blog with lots of lip-smacking Balinese food, the rejuvenating massages and spas and the breathtaking beauty of the mountains, volcanoes and seas.