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Bali Travel Guide

by Sam Opp
Taman Soekasada Ujung overview with mountains and ocean

Ultimate Travel Guide For Bali, Indonesia

Thinking of traveling to Bali? Bali is one of my favorite destinations as it has so much to offer. Bali is is an island providence of Indonesia and over 80% of the population are Hindu. In this Bali travel guide, you will learn where find beautiful temples, practical information and detailed guides for visiting cities around Bali.

From lush jungles, volcanic mountain landscapes and pristine beaches, you might find yourself never wanting to leave. On top of that, Balinese culture has so much to offer. 

What to Expect When Traveling to Bali

Language: Indonesian, Balinese, English and widely spoken, making it easy for tourist to communicate.

I would still recommend downloading Google translate to make communication easier!

Currency: Bali uses the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

Cards/ATM’s: Credit Cards are widely accepted and ATM’s can be found everywhere.

Visas: Most countries (140) including the USA, can get a 30-day free entry stamp but cannot extend. Passports should be valid for 6 months. Always double check to make sure rules and regulations have not changed.

Vaccinations: Bali is still considered a developing country, so proper vaccinations should be practiced. Hepatitis A, Typhoid, and Tetanus are usually strongly recommended. Always check with your doctor or travel health care provider to find out exactly what you need before you go!

Power outlets: Bali sockets are type C/F sockets. The standard voltage is 230 V and the standard frequency is 50 Hz. I recommend using universal adaptor. 

Safety: Bali is generally safe, with a huge expat community including female solo travelers. As always, practice common safety measures when traveling in Bali. 

Tipping in Bali: Tipping is not expected in Bali, unless otherwise told.

Budget:  Bali can be very budget friendly! You can find affordable hostels as low as $15 a day(maybe even less) and street food as low as $1-3 per meal. If you’re looking for luxury, you can easily get a 5-star hotel for $70-150 a night with many options available. 

Some Bali Background

Bali is a providence of Indonesia and one of the only Hindu majority islands with over 80% Balinese Hinduism. Known for their lush Volcanic jungles and pristine beaches, Bali has been a huge tourist destination since the 1980s.

With a large ex-pat community, you will find many Balinese can speak some English. After the well-known book and movie, Eat, Pray, Love, many tourists have come from all over the world to practice Yoga, meditation and other many other spiritual retreats in the center of Bali, Ubud.

Bali Pulina Coffee Plantation lookout Ubud Bali

Best Times to Visit Bali

Bali has two main weather seasons, dry and rainy season. November-March is the rainy season. April-October is hot, humid with little rain.

April-June, and September are usually more affordable and less crowded times to visit Bali.

July, August and around Christmas break are usually the busy season of Bali.

Best Cities to Visit in Bali

Some of the most popular areas to stay while traveling in Bali are Ubud, Seminyak, the Nusa Islands, Uluwatu, and Canggu. All are easily accessible by car, scooter or boat. 
 

Ubud, Bali

If you are interested in temples, culture, jungle vibes, yoga and retreats, Ubud is where you want to be. You will find adorable cafes, rice patty terraces and some of the most important temples in all of Bali.
 
Ubud also has a huge ex-pat community, coffee plantations, waterfalls nearby and some of the best shopping! 
 
I personally loved staying in Ubud, but note just like any city, it’s full of traffic and people. I would recommend staying anywhere from 4-8 nights in Ubud if time allows. Ubud is also a great jumping off point for day trips!
 
 For a full in-depth guide of the top activities, temples and food spots in  Ubud, Bali found here
Ubud Palace Water Temple Bali Guide
Ubud Water Place filled with lotus flowers

Nusa Islands

Nusa Lembongan

Looking for more of a remote bungalow experience? Then the Nusa Islands are for you! Take a ferry boat (30 mins) from Sanur to Nusa Lembongan. We stayed at The Well House by Mushroom Beach. We had a pleasant stay and were in walking distance to Devils Tear and Dream Beach (top attractions).

Nusa Ceningan

Across from Nusa Lembongan is Nusa Ceningan. You can either take a taxi or scooter to the yellow bridge, but only scooters and people are allowed to cross (no cars). 

Nusa Ceningan is pretty small. You can actually walk the island in a day, which is what we did! Note: it was slightly exhausting in the heat. You will find Instagram favorites such as the Blue Lagoon, Secret Beach and Mahana Point.

Nusa Penida

A little further is Nusa Penida, which is the least developed of the islands and the most Instagram famous. Top destinations include Kelingking Beach, Broken Beach, Angels Billabong and Crystal Bay Beach.

This island has a lot to offer including swimming with Manta Rays.

For an  in-depth guide for exploring the Nusa Islands, click here!

Broken Beach, Nusa Penida Bali Guide
Broken Beach in Nusa Penida
Famous Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida Bali Guide
Kelingking Beach

Seminyak

Next, is a beach town paradise with lots of shops, food, and tourists alike. Welcome to Seminyak, where you will get more of a beach resort feel. Here you will find trendy food spots, beach clubs and “airport-like” security in most places you visit. If your main plan is to relax on the beach, drink and eat, this is where you want to be!

We stayed at a more budget-friendly hotel, Tijili which we loved. It had an amazing breakfast, beautifully updated rooms and a funky cool layout. We were about a 7-minute walk from Double Six Beach. This beach is full of lounge and bean bag chairs, as well as, restaurants right on the beach!

Although this beach is crowded, every night, we sat on our bean bag chairs, ordered a Bintang beer and watched the most epic sunsets we have ever seen!

Find the Best Things to do in  Seminyak, Bali here!

Sunset at Double Six Beach, Seminyak, Bali Guide

Bali, Indonesia Travel Guides

Transportation in Bali

Plane

Most likely you will have to fly to Bali depending on where you are coming from. I find the best flight deals on Skyscanner and also learned it might be cheaper to fly into Singapore and then Bali, so check out that combo!

Cars & Scooters

So, Bali does not currently have any mass transportation. Therefore, scooters, taxis, and drivers are your best ways to get around! We found that hiring a driver to bring us on full day excursions was the easiest, but also the most expensive ($50-$70 USD for the day).

If you feel comfortable riding a scooter, this is the cheapest and best option you can do, however, the driving in Bali is crazy! Driving a scooter can be one of the most dangerous things to do in Bali.

Bali also has Grab (like Uber) but as an island, they are trying to ban Grab because it takes jobs away from the local taxi drivers. You can get one occasionally and they are much cheaper, however much harder to find.  For taxi’s, look for the bluebirds, which are known to be the more honest taxi drivers.

If you want a personal driver, let me know in the comments, or email me and I can give you our driver who was extremely friendly and helpful! If you do get a driver, ask them to pick you up a sim card for your phone when you meet them at the airport; It’s much cheaper! Don’t forget to bargain.

What to Wear in Bali 

 Bali has a more conservative dress code, especially when entering temples. Make sure to bring something to cover your shoulders and knees which is required when visiting some places of worship. It’s is always important to respect the culture!

Booking Accommodations in Bali

Bali has tons of beautiful accommodations across the island! Find everything from super luxurious to stays for less than $15 USD a night! Overall Bali has really affordable accommodations. Check out my trusted booking resources below!

Disclaimer: This page may contain affiliate links where I may earn a small commission at NO additional cost to you if you decide to click a link and make a purchase.

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