My trip to Bali mostly went off without any major hiccups, but these 5 tips will help you enjoy your time as much as possible.
1. Let guesthouses know when you’ll be showing up
Especially when it’s late. I showed up around midnight to a deserted guesthouse on my first night in Bali in the middle of no where with stray dogs barking around me, no lights anywhere and no where to go. I ended up figuring it out, but it was definitely a stressful situation. After being in Bali for a few days I kept hearing that this was a common problem travellers had – so definitely find a way to contact your guesthouse before showing up to let them know when you’ll be arriving!
2. Eat at Warungs
Warungs are essentially restaurants that serve local Indonesia food – or sometimes specialize in other Asian food like Thai food. They all have “warung” in their name so they’re easy to spot. Some have a nicer typical restaurant vibe to them and others will look a bit questionable and you might be skeptical to eat there – they’re all delicious and great so don’t let the ones that look more questionable turn you off. If anything the food there is more delicious (and cheap!). Most warungs range from about 25,000 IDR to 50,000 IDR for a meal depending on where you are.
3. There is a weird fight between taxis and ubers/grab/blue bird
You’ll notice that there are signs saying that uber/grab/blue bird are not welcome in certain areas and are for drop offs only. Some people and taxi drivers will even say they are illegal – they’re not. Well, not technically. From what I understood, the government hasn’t officially made it illegal but there is extreme tension towards these drivers – especially towards grab drivers. The problem is that these services are insanely cheaper than taking a cab so obviously, you’re going to want to take them. For longer distances I just downloaded the blue bird app and took that because I found it was easier to get a driver – but if I needed to get somewhere close I would just use grab scooter because they were generally more welcome and wayyyyyy cheaper.
4. Haggle everywhere
Especially for taxis. Like I said, they are expensive! Negotiating prices in Indonesia is essential and you really need to do it for transportation. You could almost negotiate prices anywhere though, for tours, rides, and even in some stores.
5. Expect drives to take longer than your GPS says
The roads in Bali are a hot mess and so is the traffic. While your map might say 11 km expect that to still take close to an hour driving. Most of the roads aren’t straight and zig zag through places. Even if you look on a map you’ll see that the layout of the streets are very different here and it eats up a lot of time.
Good luck, and enjoy this wonderful island!
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