As I told you before, I came to Bali in September 2018 to spend a couple of months. I did not know how long I was going to remain in Bali. I’m currently in Uluwatu spending Christmas and New Years with some friends.
It is my first Christmas away from home and it’s so strange living this season while it’s thirty degrees celsius outside!
Anyway, before I came to Bali, I informed myself about a couple of things. I’ll try to list everything about my planning for this trip. I’ll also discuss any doubts that I had prior to moving here. Please comment or write me if you have any question or concerns and I’ll try to help!
‣ Do I need a visa to come to Bali?
If you come to Bali you will receive a visa-free entry for a maximum stay of one month. I advise everyone to please confirm with the Indonesian Embassy at your respective country for details about obtaining a visa prior to arrival if needed.
If you come to Bali and opt for a visa on arrival you can only stay for a month (if you decide not to extend it); however, you will also have the ability to get a 1 month-extension for 30€. Keep in mind that the extension isn’t available for the visa-free entry mentioned before.
If you are like me and you want to visit Bali for a period longer than two months, you have two options.
First option: Upon arrival to Bali, you can opt for the two month visa. After two months you will be required to leave the country and come back. You can return to Bali the same day if you want. Some popular and affordable locations for a quick exit to renew your visa-free period are Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.
Second option (which is the one I chose): I went to the Indonesian Embassy (in my case in Lisbon, Portugal) and I obtained a visa for two months which costs 50€. In Bali, you can renew this visa every month at the immigration services office for 30€/month without leaving the country (6 months maximum). To get this visa you need a couple of documents also a flight out of the country after the 6 month period. In my case, I bought an affordable flight from Bali to Thailand at the end of February (2019).
You can click here to get the Immigration Services contact (you can WhatsApp):
‣ What is the name of the airport in Bali?
Ngurah Rai international Airport, Denpansar (DPS).
‣ Should I get vaccinated or bring medicine to come to Bali?
It’s up to you. I opted to have a traveler’s appointment and take the vaccines that they advised me: Hepatitis A, Typhoid Fever and Japanese Encephalitis (vaccines cost around 200€). At this appointment they also gave me a list of medicines to buy at the pharmacy (antibiotics, antihistamines, etc), including mosquito repellent (yes, it’s useful and you can also buy in Bali).
I booked the appointment in Porto through this website:
‣ Wich is the best season to visit Bali?
Bali has two seasons, the dry season and the wet season. The dry season is from May to October. The dry season is usually the busiest season with many tourists. The wet season is from November to April. I came to Bali in September and since I’ve been here it hasn’t rained intensely. It’s also very quiet during this time. The rain is very unpredictable, one day it may rain during the night but the following day may be a lovely sunny day. It is always very warm in Bali, you should expect temperatures between 28-35 degrees celsius. The temperature usually drops to the low 20’s at night which is very pleasant!
‣ What to wear in Bali?
If you are planning to come to Bali for a couple of months you only need one jacket (not too thick), a sweatshirt and maybe a raincoat (if you’re coming during the wet season). You should also pack summer clothes such as large dresses (for females)!. Do not make the same mistake that I made. I packed several jackets thinking that it could get cold at night (lol).
‣ Is Bali dangerous for solo travelers?
Initially, I thought I would not be able to visit Indonesia alone. I thought it was dangerous. For this reason, I tried to find information about the safety in Bali on the internet and on facebook groups. You should try to find people from your country that are living in Bali. For instance, I joined a facebook group named “Portugueses in Bali”. This group really helped me understand how it was to live in Bali, what to expect, etc. Joining the group eliminated several doubts that I had. Since I’ve been in Bali, I’ve never felt afraid. Bali has a super friendly environment. Most of the tourist are surfers; others yoga practitioners. The people who live in Bali are super sweet, always ready to help you.
‣ How to get around in Bali?
There are different ways to move around Bali. Usually people rent a scooter which costs around 3-4€ a day. You can also rent a scooter for the month which is more affordable. The month costs like 30-40€. I advise everyone to bargain for a better price. It is very easy to find places to rent a motorbike. If you don’t drive, the best way to get around is to download the app Grab or Gojek. With either app you can easily request transportation. You can request for a scooter or a car to pick you up. You also have taxis and hotel transfers, but these are usually more expensive.
‣ Do I need an international drivers license to drive a motorbike in Bali?
It’s also an option. I opted to get an international drivers license in Portugal costing almost 50€.
The reality is that balinese authorities aren’t to stringent with transit regulations. There are very few signs in the streets (characteristic of the island lol). Since I’ve been in Bali, I’ve never been stopped by law enforcement personnel and I’ve never had the need to show my license. I believe that if you wear a helmet at all times you’ll never run into issues.
‣ Is it hard to drive in Bali?
I had never driven a scooter in my entire life, but as soon as I arrived I realized that I really needed to drive. It’s really easy (easier than driving a car). The average speed on Balinese roads is 40/50km so there are no major accidents (just a few fender benders lol).
‣ Can I drink water from the tap in Bali?
Absolutely not. Usually, hotels and villas provide water for this reason. Ice is controlled by local government, so you can consume it.
‣ About earthquakes in Bali…
Bali has never been affected by earthquakes of large magnitudes; however, since I’ve been in Bali, I’ve felt three small earthquakes. It was a strange feeling. Natural disasters are beyond our control, unfortunately. Nonetheless, do not change your plans in fear of earthquakes, things can happen wherever you are.
‣ Is Bali cheap?
This is the most common question and the answer is YES.
Bali is really cheap, probably the flight to Bali is the most expensive thing.
I’ll show a couple of prices in order for you to get an idea:
Hostel/Guesthouse accommodation you can get from 3€ to 10€ per night.
Local Food: 1€ (Nasi Goreng, Mie Goreng, among others)
Expensive meals: maximum 10€
Rent a motorbike: 3/4€ per day
Full tank of gas: 1,50€ (depending of the use, it lasts anywhere from 3-4 days)
“Big purchases” at the supermarket: I never spent more than 20€
‣ What is the currency in Bali?
The official currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). The highest note is 100,000 rupees which is equivalent to 6 euros, so you can have an idea of the exchange.
‣ Should I exchange money in Bali or withdraw money at an ATM?
There are several places to exchange money, including the airport. You will need to pay the exchange fee.
Before moving to Bali I purchased the Revolut card that works like a top-up card and it’ tax-free till a certain amount. The card works with several currencies and I strongly recommend it, especially to those who travel and do not want to use their card at local ATM’s in fear of identity theft and things of that nature.
Here’s the link if you want to join:
‣ Where to stay in Bali?
If you are going to Canggu I strongly recommend the Guesthouse where I stayed for three months and where I felt at home. This guesthouse has incredible staff and is in great condition. It also has a great pool and a lot of space for leisure. You can check the prices and availability here: Asung Guesthouse.
Below there is a list of the best accommodations at several prominent locations in Bali.
Please click to find them out:
I hope this post was useful for you! Any questions please comment below or write me. I’ll do my best to help you!
Thanks for reading!
If you would like to keep following my journey please find me here: