Visiting Bali is a pleasant experience. The island offers many places to discover, food to eat, culture to absorb and people to meet.
Whether you’re a first timer or a frequent visitor of the island, there are some things that you should try to avoid in Bali.
These 25 What to Avoid in Bali Indonesia will keep you informed on the things that you’re not supposed to do in Bali. They will also help to keep you safe and make your trip memorable.
1. Don’t Wear Revealing Clothes in Temples
Temples are very sacred places in Bali. There are particular rules that a visitor must obey. The rules are meant to avoid offences or disruption to any activities that occur inside the temple. Try as much as possible to cover the upper part of the body. Many temples also offer a sarong and a sash that you can wear while visiting.
Also read: Rules When Visiting Temples in Bali
2. Avoid Bringing in Drugs
Drugs are a big no in Indonesia. They are extremely prohibited within the country and Bali is no exception to this law. Both users and suppliers are seen as offenders. So, don’t accept any drugs from unknown strangers as you might get yourself involved with the police. Also make sure to carry drug prescriptions for your personal medicine to avoid troubles.
Read about: Prohibited Drugs in Bali
3. Don’t Smoke in Public Areas
Smoking is not allowed in many public areas in Bali. They include the temples, the hotels and some restaurants. You can only smoke in zones that are specially reserved for smokers. It will be disrespectful and against the law to smoke in Bali’s public space. Be mindful of other tourists and locals who do not want to be bothered by cigarettes smoke.
Read more: Smoking Rules in Bali
4. Avoid Using the Left Hand
Try to avoid using the left hand when you’re interacting with people. The left hand is still seen as rude to carry out certain activities. Giving things, accepting things or shaking someone’s hand should be done with the right hand. It is a common etiquette in Bali. Even if you must use the left hand, you should say “maaf” to the person.
5. Don’t Drink Water from Tap
Indonesia still does not have drinkable water from taps. When in Bali, drink your water from reliable sources. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Drinking dirty water will cause serious tummy ache to you. The water from the tap is not safe for drinking. To even drink from it, you have to boil it first to kill of bacterias.
6. Don’t Ride Shady Taxis
You might need to ride taxis in Bali to help you explore the city. One important thing to remember is that to ensure the taxi you’re riding in is safe. Before getting into the taxi, check whether the riding metres is on or not. Also make sure that the driver’s ID is in sight in case you need it. Don’t ride taxis that cause you discomfort or the ones that look suspicious.
Read more: Tipping Etiquette in Bali
7. Avoid Unauthorised Money Changers
There are so many money changers in Bali. However, not all of them are worth your time. Some money changers may use this opportunity to cheat you. What you have to do is to avoid the unauthorised money changers. Browse the internet for the ones that are trustworthy.
8. Don’t Swim in Dirty Sea Water
As beautiful the beaches are in Bali, some of them can get really dirty. This especially happens when the tides are high. They bring in lots of trash and debris from other oceans. When you see that the sea water is dirty, don’t swim in it. You could cause infections to your skin. You might even stumble on some harmful trash while diving into the water.
9. Don’t Touch People’s Heads
Never touch people’s heads in Bali. Don’t even point at their heads. The head is considered to be a sacred body part of Balinese. Respect people’s head at all times. When you need to pass something to someone else, avoid having your arms going over the head.
10. Don’t Step on Balinese Offerings
You will frequently see many offerings placed on the sidewalks in Bali. These offerings are made by the Balinese for their prayers. Never step on the offerings. Also don’t play around with the offerings either. You just have to let them be. Walk around the offerings to continue with your journey.
Also read: Traditional Beliefs in Bali
11. Avoid Showing Money in Public
Never let your guards down even when you’re in Bali. There are evil people trying to take advantage of you. Be very careful about how you handle money in public. You should not flash display a huge some of money while you’re out and about in public. The pickpockets may see you as their next target.
12. Don’t Give Money to Beggars
It’s okay to give money to beggars in Bali but be selective. That sounds horrible but there are a lot of beggars who are not genuinely in a difficult situation. Some pretend to be beggars to earn easy money. Meanwhile, some people are used by someone else to get money.
Read more: How to Avoid Scams in Bali
13. Don’t Forget to Wear Sunscreen
Bali is hot and sunny. Occasional showers of rain do happen but still it’s always best to wear your sunscreen. It’s best to avoid having sunburns on your skin. Sunburns will only make your stay in Bali to be unpleasant.
14. Avoid Littering
Don’t litter when you’re in Bali. Dispose your trash or your garbage at the appropriate places. As someone who is staying in Bali, respect the island by keeping it clean. Litters that are not properly disposed may end up in beaches and the sea water.
15. Don’t Fall for Scams
Other than worrying about the pickpockets, there are also scams that you must avoid. When you’re going to tourist places, there could be some people offering you guides. Don’t directly accept the offer. Ask about it thoroughly. In case you don’t want to pay for it, make it very clear to the person so you won’t be tricked into paying at the end of the guide.
Read more: Scams to Avoid in Bali
16. Don’t Eat at Unhygienic Places
Another way to avoid getting sick in Bali is to not eat at unhygienic places. Eat your food at restaurants or food stall that seem clean. Though you will never know a 100% percent whether the food you’re eating is safe or not, you can always see the surrounding of the place. You may also take into account of how popular the place is.
17. Don’t Cause a Ruckus
Avoid causing a ruckus in Bali. Causing fights are not welcome in the island. In case you’re facing a troublesome person, try to take care of it in a civil way. If that doesn’t work out, you may ask the help of someone in the authority or the help of the other locals.
Also read: Social Etiquette in Bali
Other Important Things to Avoid (18-25)
These are other important things that you should avoid while in Bali.
- Check on ATMs Machines: Some thieves can get your PIN through cunning ways. Observe the machine and shield your PIN while you type it in.
- Refuse Suspicious Drinks in Clubs: Don’t take drinks you did not order yourself to avoid poisons.
- Don’t Travel during Peak Holiday Season: Unless you really want to take in the holiday atmosphere which is packed with people.
- Avoid Gambling: It is highly illegal to gamble in Bali.
- Watch Out for Photography Bans: Some places do not want visitors to take pictures without permissions.
- Don’t Forget Helmets while Riding: When you’re riding motorcycles, avoid forgetting your helmet.
- Avoid Wearing Bags Out of Your Sight: Wear your bag in front of you so you can keep an eye on it.
- Don’t Leave Your Passport: Even though you’re staying at a safe place, better bring your passport along with you just in case you need it.
Never hesitate to ask the locals for help when you’re confused or run into troubles. Balinese are friendly and are always willing to help you out.