Ten years after my last visit, I decided to travel to Bali this year. In total, I’ve been in this Indonesian island four times, and I can’t stop going back. A decade has passed, and I know nothing is the same since it became one of the most touristy places in Asia.
To prepare myself for this three weeks trip, I began to do some research and found some travel advice that I want to share with you.
Theft and Fraud
- As in any touristic areas, be careful with your bag or belongings.
- Credit card fraud is common. Have your card under your eye whenever you are making a transaction.
- Be cautious with your belongings when riding on public transportation and if you drive, keep the car doors locked.
- Make sure any drink is prepared in front of you. Do not accept drinks from strangers and never leave your glass unattended.
- Buy drinks in more reliable places, even if they are more expensive. There are records of methanol poisoning through counterfeit bottles of well-known brands.
- Always remember that tap water is not drinkable and try to avoid ice in less touristy places.
- Do not get involved with illegal drugs. Possession, trafficking, and manufacturing of any illicit drug are severe crimes in Indonesia. Indonesian authorities have a zero tolerance policy and those who are caught face long prison time or even the death penalty.
- Your driving license is not accepted in Indonesia. You will need to obtain an international driving license if you travel to Bali.
- Tourists who are caught going against the driving code or involved in accidents may be vulnerable to extortion. If you want to avoid these type of situations, opt for a car with a driver.
- Be sure to wear a helmet if you drive a motorcycle.
- If you choose to do an internal flight, choose airline companies with the best reviews. Personally, I travel with Garuda and avoid Lion Air, which has records of airplane crashes.
- The boat or ferry is a great way to travel between islands. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the means of security that are at your disposal in the boat. Not all ships have lifejackets for children, so consider bringing one if you travel with younger ones.
- Like anywhere in the world at the moment, no tourist destination is safe from a possible terrorist attack. The attacks can be indiscriminate, even in places frequented by foreigners. Be vigilant.
- If you travel with a Portuguese or British passport, you don’t need a visa to enter Indonesia for visits of up to 30 days, calculated from the date of arrival to the time of departure.
- If you hold another passport, consult the Indonesian embassy or consulate in your country to find out if you are eligible for a visa-free entry or if you must obtain one.
- Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of departure for Indonesia.
Medication and Vaccines
- It’s never too much to go to pre-travel consultation before any trip to Asia, as many countries require the yellow fever vaccination.
- If you need particular medication, take a copy of the prescription. Note that some substances are illegal in Indonesia.
- Indonesia is a country with high volcanic and seismic activity, positioned in the well-known Ring of Fire. On June 28, 2018, Mount Agung, east of the island, erupted. The alert for this volcano remains at level 3, and there’s an exclusion zone within a radius of 4 km around the crater. Observe these limits and always follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Earthquakes are also recurring in this part of the globe. In case of an event of this nature, follow the guidance of the local authorities. The Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning System issues alert if there’s a risk of a tsunami. Also in this situation, always follow the indications of the local authorities.
Many of these travel tips for Bali — which may apply to many of the major Asian tourist destinations — came from the English government website and we know that these platforms often anticipate the worst scenarios. It’s not worth being a paranoid traveler, but it’s never too much to have information, so you don’t get caught off guard.
Tips For those Who Travel to Bali
This post was built based on information released by the website https://www.gov.uk and updated in February 2019. If you travel to Bali, please consult or contact the government institutions in your country.