Bali for the first time, quite an experience. This island is a very easy and fun to visit. The island is diverse, locals and people here are used to tourists, and they are more laid-back than in other parts of Indonesia. There is also a pleasant ‘island vibe’ at Bali and you don’t end up in a tropical big busy city (compared to other popular travel destinations in the area). From volcanoes, swinging monkeys, beautiful corals, various natural landscapes and rice fields to traditional villages, busy nightlife, busy roads and endless market stalls, Bali has it all.
A few things that are useful to know if you are a first timer in Bali
Life can probably not be more relaxed than here. The atmosphere is casual, friendly, open and people live here by the day. People in Bali are never in a hurry and often you don’t meet at an exact time but for example “after lunchtime”. It’s therefore important to go a little bit into this lifestyle yourself because if you go rushing in Bali, you go screaming crazy, and the people around you too.
Gojek and Grab
These are the apps that you must have on your phone for a visit to Bali. Via these apps, you can order drivers to take you somewhere on a scooter or by car. Certainly recommended for some busy parts is the driver by scooter because you will be on the road for a lot less time. Also via this app, you can have food, groceries or services delivered to your home or wherever you want.
There is plenty of food and a very diverse range too. Most dishes can be found anywhere in Bali. So come up with something, and they have it somewhere. The food varies from traditional Balinese/Indonesian dishes to Western food. With western food, it’s important to remember that it’s generally much more expensive than traditional food. Especially if you only eat western breakfast, this is something to keep in mind. Also, you can’t drink tap water here, so try to keep this in mind in local warungs and restaurants, for example when they are washing salads or using ice in drinks or smoothies.
On this island, you enjoy a tropical climate with the necessary drying and rainy seasons. The humidity can be high in some places. Take as much light cotton clothing as possible with you during your stay at Bali. Tight clothing is uncomfortable to wear in this weather. Besides, it’s advisable to bring a long skirt or sarong for visiting temples. Bare legs and shoulders are not allowed here. Finally, bring a rain poncho or rain suit, during the rainy season you can expect heavy and unexpected rain showers. But don’t worry if you don’t have this clothing at home. All of this is available in Bali shops.
North vs South
Which part of Bali you want to visit depends on where your interests are. In the south are the larger cities, most tourist attractions, and the trendy surfing areas. If you like more crowded places, you are definitely in the right place here. Do you prefer to immerse yourself in nature? Then you should stay more towards the north of the island. Here you have beautiful untouched nature and traditional villages. The locals here are less used to tourists, which sometimes makes the experience even more special!
Bargaining and Tip
Bargaining is a game between tourist and seller, especially on the market it can be fierce. Do not agree with the first price that the seller mentions. However, do not sit too low in price and don’t be too irritated by the game, this can seem rude. The friendly locals don’t have that much money, so if they help you or serve you well, don’t forget to tip. It doesn’t have to be big amounts of money but it’s a polite thing to do.