When to go. Where to stay. What to do.
Oh Bali, where do I start? This magical Indonesian island is truly such a gem and is a favoruite destination for many. It’s a small island located in the Indian Ocean, amongst 17,000 other islands. This holiday hotspot is known for its wide beaches, lush volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, and exotic sunsets. Aside, from the landscape - Bali has the freshest foods and the most divine cafes.
Getting to Bali
Depending on your previous destination you can get to Bali by boat however, the most practical way is to arrive by plane. We landed at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Indonesia's second-busiest international airport. Be prepare to be bombarded by taxi drivers the moment you leave the baggage claim. Pre-booking your airport transfer is the best option to reduce stress and save time. To get from the airport to your destination there are four options:
Taxi: There's no lack of taxi drivers in Bali! If your traveling with a group of people, I highly suggest this option (if traveling solo- do not take a taxi).
Go-Jek: Go-Jek is just like Uber or Lyft. If your traveling solo this is the best option for you. This option may be more expensive but is the safest way to get to your destination.
Private Shuttle: If you're staying in a hotel or hostel some will provide a private mode of transportation. Make sure you contact your accommodation to set this up.
Scooter: The most popular mode of transportation in Bali is scooter riding. Feel the wind in your hair and the drop in your stomach as you zoom in and out of the Balinese traffic. If you're ready for a wild ride then renting a scooter is a must!
Getting Around Bali
Traffic throughout Bali is chaotic! During rush hour it can sometimes take up to one hour to travel 10kms. I highly recommend hiring a driver for the duration of your trip especially if you plan on doing a lot of sightseeing. Another option is to book tours that include transportation.
Best Time to Visit
The best time to visit is during the island’s dry season. From May to October, the sun is always shining, and the humidity levels are low. The only downside is that it is tourist season and flights can be quite expensive.
Rain or shine always a good time! The island’s wet season is from November to April - there’s still plenty of things to do, and it's the cheapest time to go! Aside from the short rainstorms and high humidity... there are a lot of mosquitos.
If you are traveling on a budget then the best months to visit are May, June, and October.
Where to Stay
I love everything about Bali, but one thing that caught my eye was how unique each accommodation was. And not mention the hospitality... was beyond belief. Each place greeted us upon arrival, insisted on carrying our bags and ensured that we had everything we needed. We would wake up to the sun shining and breakfast being delivered to our room - talk about feeling like royalty!
Although we were back-packing on a budget when it came to choosing accommodations we splurged- for the Instagram pictures of course! I recommend doing your research - read everything before booking.
See as much as you can. Eat until you’re so full you have the "Bali Belly.” Immerse yourself in the Balinese culture and capture the breathtaking sunsets.
Bali Tips: Everything You Need to Know About Bali
Language: The official language is Balinese. Most locals will speak and understand English
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah (1 IDR = 0.000095 CAD)
Cash VS. Credit Card: Visa and MasterCard are the most accepted credit cards in Bali. Credit cards work at most hotels, restaurants and tour operators. Cash is important to have for getting around and shopping at local markets/shops.
ATM's: I recommend exchanging cash prior to leaving on your trip and/or using airport ATM's. The most popular/reliable ATM's in Bali are Bank Central Asia, Bank Mandiri, Bank Negara Indonesia, and Permata Bank.
Wifi: Wifi is everywhere! You can find it in most bus terminals, coffee shops and restaurants.
SIM Cards: There are so many options for Indonesia prepaid SIM cards. Depending on how much data you need and your number of days in Indonesia - the three main providers are Tri, Telkomesel, and XL. I purchased all of my SIM cards once I arrived - this saved me the hassle of having no communication or navigation issues.
1. Respect the culture
2. Don't be afraid to barter
3. Watch out for beach hawkers - a gentle polite no thank you should do the trick!
4. Do not drink the water!
5. You can tip but it's not expected
6. Head West for waves and East for snorkeling
7. Crazy, chaotic traffic - look in all directions
8. Dress appropriately when visiting temples - I always brought a sarong with me
9. Take cash out at the airport!
10. Stay clear of super cheap drinks - methanol poisoning is a big problem in Bali
11. Just because an animal is cute doesn't mean it's friendly - I learned this the hard way
12. For emergencies dial 112
13. Relax and enjoy everything that this beautiful island has to offer
First Stop: Ubud
The Blonde Traveler