5 Things To Know Before Visiting Bali
By Parker Diakite
Bali might be one of the few destinations where your desire to travel the exotic city increases the more people within your social networks post about it. From its beach, iconic rice paddies, and scenic volcanic mountains, Bali is a picturesque vacation that offers so much to explore.
No matter how popular this destination is among tourists, there are some things people fail to disclose.
Thinking about a trip to Bali? Here are five things to know before your visit:
When Exchanging Currency, Be Sure To Have New Bills
The local currency is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) and $1 USD is worth approximately 13,720 IDR.
Credit cards are accepted in many places but as you travel further out from Bali, cash will likely be the only form of payment.
Here’s the thing that frustrates travelers: you need fresh and new bills.
Most currency exchange stations will reject creased or old bills.
Another tip: bills denominated $10 and below are also likely to be rejected.
One of the best things to do before you travel is withdraw new bills of $100 from your bank. You’re also more likely to get a better exchange rate as well.
It’s GO-JEK Not Uber
Bali officials banned Uber back in 2016 but don’t let that frustrate you. Before your trip, download the app Go-Jek, a motorcycle ride service that offers rides on demand.
If you’re not comfortable riding on a motorbike, taxis are available. Be sure to use Bluebird taxis and tell your driver to turn on the meter before your ride to avoid being overcharged because you’re a tourist.
Do Not Drink The Water
Depending on the time of year you’re traveling, the weather in Bali is hot and humid (think New Orleans in the summer but double the number of people). You should always have water readily available to avoid heat exhaustion.
Just make sure that water is in a bottle of a can.
Drinking tap water in Bali has caused a digestive illness deemed as “Bali belly” from tourists. For your own safety, and to avoid disruptions to your trip, avoid brushing your teeth or drinking the country’s tap water.
Drugs and Poison In Your Liquor
One of the first things you might notice at Denpasar airport is the number of posters reminding tourists that drug trafficking is punishable by death.
When you’re out exploring, people will try and sell you different kinds of drugs, especially magic mushrooms. These are more than likely undercover police officers. Don’t fall for the trap.
With that being said, make sure you are fully aware of cheap mixed drinks. There have been various reports of spiked drinks containing methanol in drinks made with arak, the local moonshine in the area. Always have your guard up and avoid arak completely.
Tipping Isn’t Required But Appreciated
Even though tipping is not required in Bali, you will find that servers appreciate even the smallest amount given. With that being said, be aware that there are some restaurants that target tourists and will add a service charge to your bill.