DO’s and DON’T’s in Bali

Travelling to a place that is unfamiliar to you will be very difficult if some issues arise. That is why we made a list of a few Do’s and Dont’s that might be helpful if you are going to travel to Bali.

Do’s and don’t’s about drugs

  • Do NOT take drugs into Bali. They do execute people as happened to two Australians who were executed in Bali in 2015. This is all of Indonesia and Bali, where the death penalty exists, and there is little tolerance for drugs, and rightly so.
  • Do NOT buy drugs in Bali, and have no doubt – you will be offered them often. Always answer them “No, Thank You”.
  • You will be offered everything including Viagara when you are having your breakfast in the morning. If you want to run the risk of what could be in that capsule, then that is up to you; but I would be highly suspicious of this.

When arriving

  • Do expect that it will take a long time to get through customs and immigration at the airport. For some reason, it takes forever. However, if they are being meticulous, then that is a good thing and means you will be safer on the island.
  • Do not use your left hand when giving money or a business card, if you can help it. Many Balinese, however, have been exposed to a lot of Western cultures and do understand south paws.
  • Don’t point with your index finger. The Balinese are becoming more used to these Western gestures but theoretically you shouldn’t.
  • Learn some Balinese phrases, like Selamat pagi, good morning, and Terima kasih – thank you.

Do’s and don’ts on Temples

  • When entering any Hindu temple in Bali, and many are open-air temples, and you will need to wear a sarong it is a travel packing essential and a sash. Many temples will have these at the entrance. Don’t expose too much of your upper body out of respect. Don’t point your feet to the altar in the temple either.
  • Take your shoes off when entering a temple or a person’s house. You will know because there will be shoes everywhere outside.
  • Leave a donation at the temple…because it is the right thing to do, and good karma.
  • If you are a female menstruating, do not enter a temple.

Ceremonials do’s and don’t’s

  • Try and avoid walking on the ceremonial offerings in the street. Dogs walk over them, but if you can, and they are everywhere, try not to as a mark of respect to these deeply spiritual people
  • Enjoy the many ceremonies that take place in this spiritual country. This is part of the beauty of real Bali.

Do’s and don’t’s with food and water

  • You are in Bali, and the food is fresh and very good. Enjoy the tropical fruits, and more.
  • Don’t drink the water, and be a little careful about which bottled water you do buy. Many people have bottle capping machines. It pays to take a water filtering bottle with you. You can always boil the jug to remove issues from the water.
  • Enjoy the local Bintang beer.
  • Be careful when ordering any drink other than a Bintang, as it may be watered down or even something different, and this will make you ill.
  • Go to a cooking school in Bali. You will love it
  • Eat at the warungs, the local Balinese cafes. The food is cheap, and the food is good.
  • You don’t have to tip as service charges are already included.
  • Don’t avoid Kuta, it is changing, and changing for the better

Do’s and don’t’s in the Bali markets

  • Haggle with the market owners, it is expected. Bali has the most unusual lot of t-shirts, some purely disgusting but others relatively funny. If you have to buy one, then don’t wear it, but if you do, expect to be recognised as a tourist and probably an Australian bogan one at that.
  • Be careful with the hawkers/salesman who are often Anglo-Saxons, who want to show you a hotel and give you a free night , or a week of free nights. and that you have won something and then take you for a long ride to try and sell you something or other. They will approach you the minute you walk out of your hotel. Politely and persistently say, “No, Thank You”.
  • Don’t get annoyed when you are hassled at the volcano, or when you go to see the Kecak dancers, or any other tourist place by the hawkers. They need to make a living.
  • Always be careful when getting a tattoo. Some tattoo artists use textile chemical dyes which are not suitable for use on the human body

Do’s and don’t’s when driving in bali

  • Always wear your helmet when you hire a scooter, which you inevitably will. You will more than likely get booked by the police of you do if you don’t.
  • Be careful when you offer the police money to pay off your fine for not wearing your helmet.
  • You are going to need an international drivers license or if you don’t have one of these, you will need to get a Balinese driving license, which you can get in Denpasar. Many people don’t bother, and then deal with the fine that they will inevitably get. Check your insurance policy, to see what they do cover.
  • Always use your horn to honk a lot. There is no road rage in Bali; it is a means of indicating that you are overtaking or trying to get some type of attention. Don’t get cranky if people are honking at you.
  • Make sure you have travel insurance. There are many accidents in the surf, on scooters and from dog bites.

Other do’s and don’t’s

  • The internet reception in Bali, in the main, is not too bad. Most cafes will have free wi-fi. Expect in some of the inner areas of the island like Ubud, that it can drop out every now and then, but it is better than many other countries we have been to.
  • Be respectful of the turtles on the beach, they are endangered, and you will see Balinese trying to help them
  • The monkeys on the island, particularly in highly touristy spots like Ubud and Uluwatu Temple, are cunning thieves and will steal the sunglasses from your head, and anything else they can get their hands on.
  • Do use motorbikes, scooters, taxi’s and tour guides and also hire a driver, but make sure that your rate is set in concrete before you go.
  • Local buses are also OK.
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