Top 10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Visit Bali

things i wish i knew before going to bali

Bali, the Island of the Gods, is a paradise for travelers looking to escape reality and immerse themselves in a tropical dreamland.

With its stunning beaches, lush rice terraces, vibrant culture, and welcoming locals, Bali offers an experience like no other.

However, there are a few things I wish I had known before my first trip to this enchanting island.

10 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Visit Bali

So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a Bali veteran, here are the top 10 things I wish I knew before I visited Bali.

1. Get a Local SIM Card

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Local SIM card

You’ve just touched down in Bali, and the excitement is palpable.

You can’t wait to capture the vibrant sunsets, lush rice terraces, and crystal-clear waters that make Bali so Instagram-worthy.

But, before you go trigger-happy with your camera, there’s something you need to do: grab a local SIM card. While many tourist areas have decent Wi-Fi, you’ll quickly realize that Bali’s charm extends far beyond these hubs.

The real magic lies in the hidden gems off the beaten path, where connectivity might be spotty at best.

Having a local SIM card means you’re always connected, ensuring you can share your experiences in real-time.

Thankfully, it’s a breeze to snag one upon your arrival at the airport or in various stores around Bali. These SIM cards are not only affordable but also incredibly convenient.

Whether you’re hiking the Tegallalang Rice Terraces or chilling at Bingin Beach, you’ll be able to snap, post, and share your Bali adventures with the world instantly. So, go ahead and make your friends back home green with envy while you soak in Bali’s beauty.

Recommended provider: Telkomsel and XL Axiata.

2. Download GoJek or Grab App

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Gojek app (source: Gojek)

Navigating Bali’s charming chaos is part of the adventure, but when it comes to getting around the island, you’ll be eternally grateful for the existence of apps like GoJek and Grab.

These ride-sharing platforms are your best friends for zipping from one corner of Bali to another. They offer a convenient, affordable, and air-conditioned way to travel. This last part is crucial, as the tropical heat can be quite unforgiving.

Say goodbye to haggling with taxi drivers or trying to decipher the local transport system – just tap the app, and you’re good to go!

With GoJek and Grab, you can effortlessly reach Bali’s stunning beaches, whether you’re catching the waves at Kuta, exploring the cultural heart of Ubud, or just satisfying your food cravings.

These apps are not just convenient; they’re also budget-friendly, leaving you with more rupiahs in your pocket for that extra serving of Nasi Goreng or a spa day.

3. Rent A Scooter

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Rent a scooter in Bali

If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, a scooter might be your ticket to a thrilling Bali experience.

Riding through Bali on two wheels provides a level of freedom that’s hard to match.

You can escape the well-trodden paths, explore hidden waterfalls, and reach remote beaches that are inaccessible by car.

But, before you channel your inner Easy Rider, there are some important caveats.

First and foremost, ensure that you possess the necessary driving skills.

Bali’s traffic can be a bit…uh…exciting, to say the least.

If you’re confident and competent, go for it, but remember that helmets are non-negotiable – they’re your best buddies for safety.

The island’s roads are often narrow, winding, and occasionally unpredictable, so always exercise caution.

So, rent that scooter, feel the wind in your hair, and explore the scenic countryside.

Just be sure to balance your sense of adventure with a healthy dose of responsibility. Your Bali adventure awaits, and it’s one hell of a ride!

Most scooter rentals in Bali don’t have self-insurance, so make sure yours does, or just be careful to prevent any risks.

4. Make a List of Beaches to Visit

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Balangan Beach in South Bali

Bali is a beach lover’s paradise.

With a seemingly endless coastline, each beach has its own unique charm and character. Whether you’re into surfing, sunbathing, or snorkeling, there’s a beach in Bali for everyone.

From the lively Kuta Beach with its world-renowned waves to the tranquil shores of Sanur, you’ll be spoiled for choice.

However, to make the most of your time on this stunning island, it’s a great idea to make a list of the beaches you want to visit.

Do a little research and choose your beach destinations based on your interests and preferences. Are you seeking the perfect wave to ride, like those found at Uluwatu Beach? Or do you long for a peaceful spot to read a book and soak up the sun, like Nusa Dua Beach?

Making a list and planning your itinerary accordingly will help you maximize your beach-hopping adventures without missing out on the hidden gems, like Bingin Beach, which might not be on your radar but deserve a spot on your list.

5. Install WhatsApp on Your Smartphone

things i wish i knew before going to bali

In Bali, WhatsApp is the communication glue that binds locals, tourists, and businesses together.

If you haven’t already, install WhatsApp on your smartphone before your trip.

Many local businesses, tour operators, and the new friends you’ll inevitably make during your adventures will rely on WhatsApp for communication.

It’s a versatile tool for coordinating plans, staying updated with the latest events, and making reservations at restaurants and accommodations.

You’ll find that everyone in Bali uses WhatsApp to keep in touch, which will make your life much easier when it comes to arranging anything from transportation to a jungle trekking tour.

So, get ready to send those thumbs-up emojis and embrace the WhatsApp culture in Bali – it’s the key to seamless and convenient communication.

6. Pick Which Area to Stay In

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Map of where to stay in Bali

Deciding on your accommodation in Bali can greatly affect your trip. Bali is diverse, with each area offering its own vibe and attractions.

For vibrant nightlife and lively beaches, Canggu and Seminyak are top picks.

If you’re looking for tranquility and culture, Ubud is unmatched with its verdant landscapes and the iconic Monkey Forest.

Surfers and digital nomads will love the relaxed atmosphere of Canggu, known for its cool cafes and relaxed beach bars.

And if pristine beaches are your priority, consider staying in the very south of Bali: Jimbaran, Uluwatu, Pecatu, or Nusa Dua. These areas are renowned for their stunning coastlines and offer a tranquil escape from the crowds.

Before booking your accommodation, do some research to identify the area that aligns with your travel style and interests.

Whether you’re seeking tranquility, adventure, or a mix of both, Bali has a place that’s just right for you. Choosing the perfect location will help ensure that your Bali experience is everything you want it to be.

Here are some of our recommendations if you’re looking for a vacation house to rent:

Read more: Place to Visit: Berawa Beach Canggu Bali

7. Explore the Local Temples

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Tanah Lot Temple in Tabanan

Bali, often referred to as the “Island of a Thousand Temples,” is a place where spirituality and culture intertwine seamlessly.

These temples are not just places of worship; they’re stunning architectural marvels and cultural landmarks.

From the iconic Tanah Lot Temple, dramatically perched on a rock in the sea, to the serene beauty of Tirta Empul Temple, famous for its holy spring water, you’ll want to immerse yourself in the rich of Balinese culture.

When visiting these temples, remember to dress respectfully.

It’s not only a sign of respect but also a wonderful opportunity to embrace the local customs and traditions.

As you explore these sacred sites, you’ll gain insight into the spiritual heart of Bali and witness the exquisite craftsmanship that went into building these architectural wonders.

8. Pack Your Clothes Accordingly

things i wish i knew before going to bali
tropical climate clothes

Bali’s tropical climate is a dream for sun worshippers, but it also means you should pack your suitcase wisely.

Leave those heavy jackets and sweaters at home, as you’ll rarely need them.

Instead, focus on lightweight, breathable clothing to keep you cool and comfortable in the island’s warm and humid weather.

Don’t forget to include swimwear and sunscreen, as Bali is a paradise for beachgoers, and you’ll want to spend plenty of time basking in the sun and swimming in the crystal-clear waters.

While flip-flops and sandals are great for the beach, remember to pack comfortable walking shoes, too.

Bali is all about exploration, and you’ll find yourself wandering through ancient temples, trekking to waterfalls, and strolling through rice terraces.

A good pair of walking shoes will keep your feet happy throughout your adventures.

Lastly, consider bringing a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated in the tropical heat while reducing plastic waste – it’s a win-win for you and the environment.

9. Create a Daily Budget for Your Trip

Balancing your budget is a vital aspect of planning a successful trip to Bali.

The island offers a wide range of dining options, from delicious and affordable street food to high-end restaurants.

To make the most of your experience, it’s a good idea to set a daily budget. This budget should encompass your expenses for transportation, accommodation, meals, activities, and even a bit of shopping if that’s your thing.

Bali caters to a diverse range of travelers, from budget backpackers to luxury seekers.

By setting a daily budget, you can ensure that your expenses align with your financial comfort zone.

You’ll have the freedom to enjoy the delights of Bali without overspending and risking any budgetary mishaps

Whether you’re savoring local warung delights or dining in style at beachfront restaurants, you can make your money work for you while relishing the wonders of this tropical paradise.

10. Be Aware of Scams or Price Markup When Searching for a Room to Stay

things i wish i knew before going to bali
Ayuna Suites in Canggu, Bali

While Bali is known for its warmth and hospitality, like any tourist destination, there are potential pitfalls.

One common issue you might encounter is overcharging when it comes to accommodations.

To avoid this, it’s essential to do your research before you arrive and book your accommodations through a reputable and trusted agent and property like Alterstay.

Also when you are planning for a long term stay, Alterstay will assist you to get the best worth price in every area of Bali.

As a guest, you’ll benefit from our complimentary consultations via WhatsApp about where to stay in Bali, ensuring a hassle-free experience.

Find your ideal place to stay in Bali, perfectly suited to your needs. Whether you’re seeking a retreat or an adventurous escape, Alterstay has you covered.

Visit our Book A Stay page to explore our selection of carefully curated villas. Book with us today and experience Bali like never before!

Bali is a place of enchantment, where every moment can be a new adventure. With these ten tips at your disposal, you’re now better equipped to make the most of your Balinese journey.

Whether you’re a Bali newbie or a seasoned traveler, these insights will help you navigate the Island of the Gods with ease and truly immerse yourself in its exotic charm.

Enjoy your Bali escapade, where each day promises a new discovery, a breathtaking sight, and the warm embrace of this tropical paradise!

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