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7 Things I Wish I Know Before Visiting Bali

Updated 21 Nov 2023
you should know before going to bali

So, you’re planning a trip to Bali, huh? That’s fantastic! Bali is a beautiful island with a unique blend of culture, nature and adventure. But before you hop on that plane, there are a few things you should know that will make your Bali experience even more incredible. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what I wish I knew before going to Bali.

For a comprehensive guide on the local customs and essential tips, be sure to read our detailed article on the Essentials: Do’s and Don’ts in Bali For Tourists and Travelers. This guide will provide you with invaluable insights into navigating the island respectfully and enjoyably.

1. Bali Airport: Prepare for Chaos, but It’s Part of the Fun

You’ve just landed at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali, ready to start your adventure. Hold on to your hats because this place can be chaotic! The airport is not the biggest or most organized you’ve ever seen, but that’s all part of the Bali charm.

First things first, you’ll need a Visa on Arrival (VOA) if you’re not from a visa-exempt country. Don’t worry; it’s not too complicated. Just follow the signs, pay the fee (in cash), and you’re good to go.

After navigating the immigration process, you’ll enter the arrival hall, and that’s where the real Bali experience begins. You’ll be greeted by a sea of friendly drivers offering you transportation to your accommodation. It’s a bit overwhelming at first, but it’s all part of the adventure.

2. Transportation: Motorbikes Rule, but Beware of Traffic

In Bali, you’ll quickly realize that motorbikes are the preferred mode of transportation. They’re everywhere, and it’s not just for locals. Tourists explore the island on scooters, which can be fun but requires caution, especially for inexperienced riders. Traffic in areas like Kuta and Seminyak can be intense.

However, if riding a motorbike isn’t for you, there are other options. Taxis are a common choice, but always ensure they use the meter or agree on a fare beforehand. Ride-sharing apps like Grab and Gojek offer convenience and affordability. Alternatively, for a more relaxed and personalized experience, consider hiring a driver in Bali. This option not only provides comfort but also the expertise of a local driver, making your travel stress-free.

3. Accommodation: From Budget Hostels to Luxury Resorts

One thing you’ll love about Bali is the diversity of accommodation options. Whether you’re a backpacker on a tight budget or looking for a luxurious beachfront villa, Bali has something for everyone.

If you’re on a budget, you can find plenty of affordable hostels and guesthouses that offer clean and comfortable rooms. These are often great places to meet fellow travelers and share tips on exploring the island.

For a more upscale experience, Bali boasts an array of beautiful resorts and private villas. Imagine waking up to the sound of the waves crashing on the shore and having your own pool – it’s all possible in Bali.

Best Area to Stay in Bali for Couples: If you’re traveling as a couple, you might be interested in finding the perfect romantic getaway. Discover the best areas in Bali that offer a blend of romance, luxury and breathtaking scenery.

4. When to Go? Anytime is Good, but Be Mindful of the Weather

Bali’s climate is pretty consistent year-round, with temperatures hovering around 30°C (86°F). However, there are two distinct seasons to consider: the dry season and the wet season.

The dry season typically runs from May to September, making it the most popular time to visit. With clear skies and lower humidity, it’s ideal for sunbathing and outdoor activities.

On the other hand, the wet season, from November to March, brings daily rain showers and higher humidity. While it might not be the best time for sunbathing, it’s the season when Bali’s lush landscapes come to life, and the island looks even greener.

Keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable, and even in the wet season, you can still enjoy sunny days. So, pick your season based on your preferences – just pack an umbrella in case!

5. Food: Indulge in Nasi Goreng and Try Everything Else

Bali is a paradise for foodies. Indonesian cuisine is a delightful mix of flavors and spices, and there are plenty of local dishes you must try.

Nasi Goreng, a classic Indonesian fried rice, is a must. It’s flavorful, often served with a fried egg on top, and can be found everywhere – from street food stalls to high-end restaurants. Don’t forget to savor some Nasi Campur, a Balinese mixed rice dish with small portions of various ingredients like grilled chicken, peanuts, eggs, and vegetables. It’s a great way to taste a bit of everything in one meal.

Balinese cuisine also includes exotic dishes like Babi Guling (suckling pig) and Bebek Betutu (duck stuffed with traditional spices), which are perfect for adventurous eaters. If you’re missing the flavors of home, don’t worry; Bali offers a wide range of international cuisine options, from Italian pasta to Mexican tacos.

And don’t forget to swing by our beloved establishment, Woods Bali. If you’re craving an experience that’s part forest oasis, part top-notch cuisine, and all-around good vibes, Woods Bali in Pererenan is your spot. Nestled in nature and crafted entirely from reclaimed wood, our restaurant exudes rustic elegance. We’re serving up more than just tasty bites; think a cocktail selection that’ll make your taste buds dance with joy. You can also enjoy our live jazz and vinyl nights that’ll have you tapping your feet and grooving in this semi-indoor, nature-kissed paradise.

6. Beaches are Great, but Be Mindful of the Tides

Bali is renowned for its stunning beaches, and with good reason. Whether you’re into sunbathing, surfing, or just taking a leisurely stroll along the shore, Bali’s beaches have something for everyone.

Kuta Beach is famous for its vibrant nightlife and great waves for beginners. Seminyak Beach offers a more upscale atmosphere, while Uluwatu Beach is a surfer’s paradise with its world-class waves and dramatic cliffs.

While the beaches are beautiful, be aware of the tides, especially if you’re planning to swim. Some beaches have strong currents, so it’s essential to follow safety guidelines and respect local warnings. But don’t let that discourage you; just keep an eye out for the red flags and enjoy the sun and sea responsibly.

7. Daily Budget in Bali: It’s as Flexible as You Want It to Be

One of the best things about Bali is that it’s incredibly budget-friendly, no matter what your wallet size. Your daily expenses can vary widely depending on your choices, but here’s a rough breakdown:

  • Budget Traveler: If you’re a backpacker, you can get by on $30 to $50 per day. This covers accommodation in hostels, street food, and budget transportation.
  • Mid-Range Traveler: If you’re looking for a bit more comfort, plan for $50 to $150 per day. This includes a nice guesthouse or mid-range hotel, dining at restaurants, and more extensive activities.
  • Luxury Traveler: If you want to go all out, Bali has plenty of luxurious options. Expect to spend $200 and beyond. This includes high-end villas, fine dining and spa treatments.

To delve deeper into the specifics, especially if you’re planning a week-long trip, check out our detailed guide on Expenses in Bali for 7 Days. This guide provides an extensive breakdown of costs, helping you to budget effectively for your 7-day journey in Bali.

So there you have it, my fellow Bali-bound adventurers. Armed with these tidbits of wisdom, you’ll be ready to tackle Bali with confidence and make the most of your tropical journey. Enjoy the enchanting temples, the lively markets, the breathtaking landscapes, and the warm smiles of the Balinese people. Bali is a place of magic and endless possibilities, and now you’re well-prepared to dive headfirst into this tropical paradise. So, round up your crew or fly solo, but whatever you do, swing by Woods Bali. Come for the ambiance, stay for the cocktails, and let the live jazz and vinyl nights whisk you into a world where reclaimed wood meets the extraordinary. Bon voyage!

rifka arianti

rifka arianti

Journeying through life with a camera in hand, Rifka Setia Arianti is a passionate explorer of the world's diverse landscapes. Currently settled in Bali as a web designer, her lens captures the essence of her travels, weaving together a tapestry of stories that encapsulate her love for both photography and adventure.

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