Since many friends of mine who got to Bali the first time always asked me about any tips or do’s & don’t’s before they arrive, I decided to write this post. I realised that there are many articles or blogs talking about what to do, where to go in Bali, but not many which talk about the very “FIRST THINGS” to get before & when you get here. So let’s!
BEFORE ARRIVING IN BALI
This is what you have to prepare before you get on the island:
Whether it’s a Tourist Visa, Sosial Budaya Visa, Business Visa or else, just make sure you have it done right. Make sure your flight date would not go pass over your visa expiration date. For Tourist Visa, if you plan to extend it, check the Indonesian and Balinese holiday such as Nyepi, Galungan, Pagarwesi, and others in order to know when the public services such as immigration office will be closed. Some people paid for the extension just because they didn’t count these days.
- International Driving License
People drive scooter or motorbike in Bali. If you’ve never been to Asia before, how people drive and the road might get you surprised or shocked in an extreme way. The public transportation is not a common thing here, so whether you want to get taxi everywhere(means you have to pay way more expensive), scooter is the best thing you can have. Get your international driving license validated before getting here.
Dear first-timers, you won’t need your furry warm winter coat here. Indonesia only has two seasons : dry & rainy. Grab your wind breaker for scootering at night or your warm jacket if you plan to trek on Mount Batur, Batukaru or Agung. If you come on rainy season, you can get the good-quality raincoat on Jl.Imam Bonjol for 100k-150k IDR or you can get something way cheaper but less solid, there are plethora of choices.
Many people want to see & know Bali but sadly most of them don’t have enough time to. If you ask me, 2 weeks is minimum length of stay if you want to explore Bali and/or the Gili islands. I recommend you to stay at different area for 2 nights minimum in each. Seminyak, Canggu, Ubud, Amed, Bukit are at least the spots you want to see. Other places such as Munduk, Sidemen, Menjangan, Kintamani, Bedugul, Balian, Lovina are also lovely but you can save them for your next visit since it takes a longer road to get there, not very practical if you don’t have a long holiday.
If possible, save the local number of scooter rentals before you get to Bali or contact them before. Many scooter rentals can drop the scooter at the airport, if they can’t, you can ask them to drop it at your hotel and they will pick it up when you leave. Many hotels also offer the scooter rental service, just ask them by email before arriving if they rent scooter as well. Choose Honda brand of scooter, such as Vario F1 or Vario 125. The price is usually between 40 000 – 65 000 IDR/day. You can try to negotiate to get a cheaper price if you rent it for one week or two weeks in a row.
WHEN ARRIVING IN BALI
Ok, your plane just landed in Ngurah Rai International Airport:
After getting your luggage, try to find a booth where they sell phone SIM card. (check if your smartphone is blocked or not before). There are a few good providers in Indonesia, but the widest range today is still Telkomsel. You can ask the shop assistant to fill it with some credits as well. An amount of 25-50k IDR is enough for calling or texting. For the internet, ask them to help you get the internet package also. Take the 2 Gb for a month(it’s easier and cheaper than if you pay weekly), it’s around 80k-90k IDR. The card costs usually from 10k-20k IDR. In total, you may pay around 150k (11-12 USD). Once it’s set up, your smartphone is internet connected, so you can have the GPS or Google for searching address & phone numbers.
Whether you order your scooter and ask them to drop it at the airport or your hotel, you can now call them or Whatsapp them to let you know that you already arrived at the airport after you did the previous step. 😉
- Taxi, GoJek, Grab taxi, Uber
If you take the taxi from the airport, do not get surprised if you find the price is overwhelmingly expensive, because IT indeed IS. I usually ordered GoJek (a motorbike taxi) through Apps on smartphone, I’ll talk about this furthermore on another post. Speaking of taxis, the reliable taxi company in Bali is Blue Bird company. They are the only one who use the taxi meter without us asking for it, while other ones, you have to negotiate the price before you’re hopping in. Uber & Grab taxi are also still working around here despite of some locals forbid them to enter certain areas.
Well I think that is all for now. Hopefully it’s helpful and PM me if you have questions.
Here is a list of standard price for a few things in Bali:1
- Coconut : from 10 000 IDR -20 000 IDR
- Bottle of water : take the brand Aqua or Nestle, the medium(500 ml) is from 2 500 IDR – 5 000 IDR on warung or mini market. In big restaurants you can pay it for 10 000 IDR – 15 000 IDR.
- Bintang beer : from 18 000 IDR – 35 000 IDR (small one, price depends on the place you buy it.
- Cigarette : 20 000 -25 000 IDR
- Gas : there are 2 common type of gas brand, Premium & Pertamax. Premium is cheaper, around 7 500 IDR/lt while Pertamax is 8 500 IDR/lt. Depending on each scooter, but mine for example, I can pay 22 000 – 25 000 IDR to get my tank full. I ride Honda Vario F1. This is the official price if you fill your tank at Pertamina Gas Station. If you buy them on street side(they put it in the used bottle of Vodka most of the time), the price would be a slightly higher.
Well then, enjoy Bali!!!