As Bali, Indonesia continues to grow in popularity, it’s important to know what to do and what not to do when visiting this tourist-laden island.
What NOT To Do In Bali Indonesia: 14 Essential Tips
Before you depart for your trip across the globe, be sure to read these 14 essential tips that will tell you exactly what NOT to do in Bali, Indonesia.
1. Don’t Spend All Of Your Bali Time In Kuta
As you research the perfect area to spend your Bali vacation, I’m sure you’ll come across a popular town on the island called Kuta.
Kuta has been a tourist hub for the past few decades and continues to be an epicenter for surfers and avid partiers alike.
But, one thing you should not do when you visit Bali, Indonesia is spend all of your time in Kuta.
There are so many other places to explore that it would be a shame to spend your entire trip club-hopping in Kuta with a bunch of drunk tourists.
2. Don’t Drink The Tap Water
This tip might just save your stomach.
One of the most important things NOT to do in Bali, Indonesia is drink the tap water. Under no circumstances should you fill up a water bottle using water from the sink. You will pay the price for it later.
Instead, stock up on bottled water from the grocery store; Pepitos is a good grocery store with many locations throughout Bali.
Why Can’t I Drink The Tap Water?
Unless you’re hoping to get a solid case of Bali Belly, you’ll want to avoid the tap water in Indonesia. The water is not clean and can cause you to fall ill; not something you want to happen during your vacation.
Can I Brush My Teeth With The Tap Water?
You should be fine to brush your teeth with the tap water in Bali. But, to be safe, I wouldn’t even risk it. Use bottled water to brush your teeth and hopefully this will help you stay healthy.
3. Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Bali Trip
Here’s the thing.. Sometimes we can’t always avoid Bali Belly or a motorbike accident.
These things are frequent occurrences in Bali. I don’t want to scare you because ultimately, you should NOT let these things hold you back from exploring this incredible island.
Instead, you should come prepared just in case something does happen.
Travel insurance is the best way to prepare yourself for any unforeseen circumstances that might arise.
Travel insurance will cover emergency medical expenses, lost baggage, flight cancellations, and so many other important travel-related occurrences.
Don’t risk it, buy travel insurance before you arrive in Bali.
What Is The Best Travel Insurance For Bali?
✔️ SafetyWing – $37 for 4 weeks of travel
SafetyWing is an affordable and quality travel insurance company that will cover all of your endeavors in Bali.
I highly recommend purchasing a travel insurance plan through this company to save you from any headaches.
Read more about buying a SafetyWing travel insurance plan for your trip to Bali in our review: What Is The Best Travel Insurance For Bali?
4. Don’t Rent A Scooter In Bali If You’ve Never Driven One Before
The idea of riding a motorbike down the palm tree-lined roads of Bali with the warm wind whipping through your hair might sound like the perfect way to move around the island.
However, renting a motorbike with little or no experience is something you absolutely should NOT do when visiting Bali, Indonesia.
According to The Jakarta Post, more than 500 people each year die in motorbike accidents. That number only includes those who have died; the number of seriously injured motorbike riders is significantly higher.
Traffic in Bali is so chaotic that only those people with extensive experience driving motorbikes in Southeast Asia should rent them.
How To Get Around Bali, Indonesia
Instead of risking an accident, I highly suggest taking taxis around the island.
Download the Grab app (the Southeast Asian version of Uber). With this app, you’ll be able to hail taxis for the cheapest price available.
You can even hire a taxi for an entire day if you’d like and they charge a flat rate price. It’s an excellent deal.
5. Don’t Forget A Helmet
If you do decide to rent a motorbike during your time in Bali, Indonesia, it’s crucial that you wear a helmet every time you go out.
Not only is it illegal to ride a motorbike without a helmet, but you’ll be putting your life at risk.
Every motorbike shop will have helmets available to go along with your rental, so there’s no excuse not to wear one. If the shop you’re renting from doesn’t have a helmet, you might consider renting your motorbike from a more legitimate shop.
Note: The easiest way to rent a motorbike is through your accommodation host. This is especially true if you’re staying in an Airbnb. They should be able to set up a motorbike rental for you upon request.
6. Don’t ONLY Visit The Tourist Spots
When most people think of Bali, they think of the Tegallalang Rice Terraces and Ubud. They think of smoothie bowls and beach clubs. All thanks to Instagrammers who have made these places popular.
My best advice for you? Don’t spend all of your time visiting the tourist spots.
There are so many unknown and beautiful places in Bali that it would be a shame to spend all of your time fighting crowds at the latest Instagram hot spot.
Broaden your horizons and add some culture to your itinerary. To help you branch out, check out these 7 truly hidden gems in Bali.
7. Don’t Visit The Monkey Forest
Even if you venture off the beaten path while visiting Bali, I’m sure you won’t miss out on some of the most popular destinations on the island.
But, if you can forgo just one tourist hot spot, skip the Monkey Forest in Ubud.
Look, I get it. Getting a selfie with a monkey might seem cool. Believe me, I thought the same thing once upon a time.
But the truth is, these monkeys are disgusting, full of germs, and they are thieves. They will steal anything and everything from you when given the chance.
Not only that, but they are aggressive. Getting a monkey bite while in Bali, Indonesia would not be ideal.
If you’re looking to enjoy nature, explore the Campuhan Ridge Walk or Kajeng Rice Fields instead; both are centrally located in Ubud.
8. Don’t Skip Northern Bali
If you’re looking for an authentic Bali experience with beautiful scenery, rolling hills, and incredible waterfalls, northern Bali needs to be at the top of your itinerary.
I strongly suggest dedicating a few days to northern Bali. The best home base in northern Bali is a small village called Munduk. Munduk has many guesthouses and restaurants to make your visit comfortable.
What Are The Best Things To Do In Northern Bali?
1. Watch for dolphins at Lovina Beach
2. Visit Semkumpul, Banyumala, and Git Git Waterfalls
3. Explore the rice paddies in Munduk
4. Check out Ulun Danu Beratan Temple
5. Drink lots of coffee!
6. Climb Mount Batur for sunrise
9. Don’t Miss Nusa Penida
Want to know what not to do while visiting Bali, Indonesia? DON’T skip a Nusa Penida visit.
Nusa Penida is a small island off the southeastern coast of Bali, just 45 minutes by fast boat.
This island is so rugged, raw, and incredibly untouched. Spend a few days exploring the beaches, cliffs, and unique viewpoints.
A few of the best things to do on Nusa Penida include exploring Kelingking Beach, visiting Tembeling Natural Pool, and lounging on Atuh Beach.
For more ideas to add to your itinerary, check out our post, A Nusa Penida Trip: Every Detail For Your Epic Adventure.
10. Don’t Forget To Do Your Part
Bali is a major tourist destination and it has continued to grow in popularity in recent years. With so many tourists flocking to this small island, it’s no wonder they’ve had problems with pollution.
As a tourist on the island of Bali, don’t forget to do your part. Be sure that everything you bring to the beach is packed out and thrown in a trash can. Recycle when you can.
It’s so important for us to do our part to keep this island clean; without our help, the beauty of Bali will be lost forever.
For even more information about how you can help keep the beaches clean, check out One Island One Voice. You can even sign up to participate in a beach clean up while you’re on the island.
11. Don’t Book A Place That Doesn’t Have A Pool
One of the best things about visiting Bali is that accommodation options are SO CHEAP.
But something you should NOT do when visiting Bali, Indonesia is book a hotel or Airbnb that doesn’t have a pool.
You can easily find an incredible Airbnb or hotel for $30 per night, including a pool. By midday, as the Balinese sun beats down on you, you’ll be very thankful that you have a pool to jump in.
If you haven’t used Airbnb yet, get $20 off your first stay by using our referral link: Book Airbnb.
12. Don’t Ruin Your Camera
While living in Bali, we quickly found out that although we loved the tropical weather, our camera did not.
Due to the humidity, our camera lens would regularly fog up and produce condensation. It always took at least 30 minutes after walking outside for our lens to clear up before we could use it.
The best thing you can do for your camera while traveling in Bali is to make sure it’s acclimated to the humidity before turning it on.
Approximately 30 minutes before you decide to use your camera, set it outside. This will reduce condensation and keep your camera in good shape while traveling in a humid country.
13. Don’t Take The Wrong Taxi
For us, one of the worst things about Bali was trying to find a legitimate taxi driver. We felt that many taxi drivers in Bali were looking to take advantage of tourists.
During my first visit to Bali, there were several times where the cab drivers tried to charge us $70 USD for a quick ride down the road.
When we ventured back to Bali, we quickly found out that there are good taxi drivers and not-so-good taxi drivers.
To ensure you take the right taxi cabs, choose from one of the following: GoJek, Grab, and BlueBird Taxis.
How To Order A Taxi In Bali
The easiest way to order a taxi is to use the GoJek or Grab app. You can decide to take a motorbike taxi or a vehicle.
Use the GoJek or Grab app the same way you would use the Uber or Lyft app. You can even order food through both of these apps.
To order a Bluebird Taxi, call the local number +62 (0) 361 701 111.
Note: Be very wary of taxis posing as Bluebird Taxis. They are only legitimate Bluebird Taxis if they have their Bluebird identification displayed on their dashboard.
Bluebird Taxi drivers also wear a distinguishable bluebird t-shirt. You’ll be able to identify them from afar.
Lastly, make sure the meter is on and working. Do not ride in a taxi where the driver claims that the meter is broken.
14. Don’t Worry About Having A Lot Of Cash On Hand
Before coming to Bali, Indonesia, I was under the impression that I needed to have a lot of cash on hand to pay for things like restaurants, groceries, and more.
Luckily, the majority of the restaurants and grocery stores we visited accepted all major credit cards. We were also able to pay for taxis via the Grab app using our credit card rather than cash.
This saved us so much money because our credit card covered any foreign transaction fee. We also didn’t have to pay for many ATM or exchange fees.
Note: You should have some cash with you because you can’t use a credit card everywhere, but there’s no need to take hundreds and hundreds of dollars with you.
Things To Be Careful Of In Bali
One of the most common questions I get about Bali, Indonesia is, “what are some things to be careful of in Bali?”
As I’ve mentioned earlier, there are two situations to be on alert for during your trip to Bali: Bali Belly and motorbike accidents.
Bali Belly, also known as traveler’s diarrhea happens when you consume contaminated food or water. Symptoms include diarrhea, stomach pains, and a fever.
Getting Bali Belly isn’t the end of the world, although it is quite uncomfortable. The best way to avoid getting Bali Belly is to avoid eating raw or under-cooked meat and avoid drinking tap water.
Sometimes Bali Belly is inevitable no matter how careful you are. When this happens, take a few days to rest at your guesthouse or villa.
If symptoms persist or worsen, go to a doctor. The urgent care we visited in Bali was really great. Here are the details:
PrimePlus Medical – Canggu, Bali
Jalan Subak Sari No. 90-A
Br. Dinas Tegal Gundul
Phone: +62 361 474 0055
As I’ve mentioned, do not rent a motorbike if you’re inexperienced. It’s not worth it. Taxis are plentiful and easy to hail.
If you do rent a motorbike, always wear a helmet and take caution when driving. Approach traffic with confidence and drive defensively.
If you do get into a motorbike accident, it’s unlikely that insurance information will be exchanged. Typically, each driver is responsible for their own damages.
I recommend getting your motorbike repaired before returning it to the shop you rented from. You’ll likely save hundreds of dollars by doing this.
When Not To Go To Bali
Bali, Indonesia is a great place to visit year-round. Although there is a “rainy season”, it’s not as harsh as other places around the world and you’ll still be able to enjoy plenty of sunny days.
The only time I don’t recommend visiting Bali is during Nyepi. Nyepi is a Hindu celebration marked by a day of silence.
During this day, businesses are closed, you are not allowed to leave your home, the internet is cut, and lights should be turned off.
In my opinion, Nyepi is a neat experience, but if you plan to explore Bali during your trip, you’ll need to put your plans on hold for this day.
Nyepi typically occurs at the end of March each year, so take note of this when planning your Bali trip.
How To Be Respectful In Bali
As tourists, it’s always smart to be prepared and respectful of the culture and land in a foreign nation. Here are three ways to be respectful in Bali:
Wear appropriate clothing at temples. When visiting a Hindu temple in Bali, Indonesia, you should always dress modestly. Be sure to cover your shoulders and knees while inside.
Don’t contribute to the pollution problem. Always pack out what you bring with you. Any trash should be disposed of in a proper receptacle bin; recycle when you’re able.
Be respectful of locals. Bali is their island, not yours. Treat the locals the way you would want tourists to treat you in your hometown.
What Is Illegal In Bali?
If you’re wondering what you should NOT do while visiting Bali, Indonesia, the answer is drugs.
Drugs are very illegal in Bali. Possession of any illegal substance could land you in prison for the rest of your life.
Avoid illegal drug activity to stay in the clear during your Bali vacation.
The Wrap-Up: What NOT To Do In Bali, Indonesia
There are many amazing things to do while visiting Bali, Indonesia, but there are also many things you should not do during your vacation.
Take these tips and create the best itinerary for your ultimate Bali holiday.
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