Top 10 Things to do While Traveling Alone to Bali
In the course of their entire lifetime, one must try to visit The Land of Gods, or simply put an abode on Earth, Bali. Located in the island country of Indonesia, Bali attracts tourists from all around the world for its lush greenery, sandy beaches with clear blue waters and adrenaline pumping sports available for a once in a lifetime experience which easily translates to one of the best places to vacation.
Traveling solo is a definite “bucket list” item that almost every being has and some are fortunate enough to do so. To travel alone and experience a culture so unique and different, to get immersed amongst a crowd so far away from home, is no less than a dream.
So for all out there with a Dora, The Explorer side to them and a plan to get a tan on the beaches of Bali, listed below are ten tips to keep in mind for a fabulous vacay.
Do thorough research about your trip. From budget-friendly lodgings to visa requirements; a Visa on Arrival or VoA is available for a 30 day period, which can be extended but will be a tricky situation unless you get a good agent which isn’t really a tedious job.
Once you’ve arrived, two things are going to bother you the most. First, the weather in Bali is sticking hot almost all year around. So if your t-shirt looks like it just got out of the wet laundry machine, don’t panic. Keep yourself hydrated for the stay there.
During the rainy season (January- April and October-November), afternoon downpours are likely, and unless you want to regret being drenched, I suggest you go for the rest of the months in the Gregorian calendar, to book a relaxing vacation in Bali.
Secondly, taxis right outside of the airport are going to bug you and trick you into paying a lot more than the actual fare. Stay away from them and go to the taxis painted blue, called Bluebird taxis. You should find them at a slight distance from the lecherous ones, and they can be booked in advance at their website which shouldn’t be a problem if you have a working, fast internet connection and a quick Google Search. Or if you’re too lazy, let your Google assistant or Cortana or Siri do it.
Bottom line is, plan your dates carefully keeping the season in mind. Also, being the Land of Gods is not a simple thing. Festivals, are a huge affair in Bali especially Nyepi when Bali shuts down for an entire day. And with huge processions and daily offerings (which the Balinese religiously put up) comes a heck load of traffic as well. Don’t let your knickers get into a twist. It’s a common occurrence in Bali, and you will get used to it. Not a bad thing entirely, I’m sure you’ll learn patience by the end of the trip. It’s a win-win situation!
Since there’s a rising change in global warming rates and to boost your carbon karma, try switching to traveling around on bicycles which can be rented or try walking around for a true Bali experience. Also known for its gigantic waves, Bali can be truly called a surfers paradise.
So for those willing to chase the rising, monstrous waters, try getting your surf on. Although keep in mind that the waters can be treacherous as well, ergo, don’t swim alone. You could always look for a similar crowd as your taste and blend in. That way you socialize and have another thing to remember Bali by.
Try picking up on the local language, a few simple phrases and common words should do the trick. For example, to long for please, a halo for hello, Terima Kasih for thank you, Maaf for pardon me and so on. The locals will definitely appreciate you trying to learn their language and what’s more, is you will have another language to add to your repertoire.
Be careful about eating street food or trying the local liquor, or commonly Arak (never consume alcohol while being alone, or have it with trusted people you’ve come to meet on the island). It is easy to get a Bali belly since you’re not accustomed to what is grown in the island. In recent times, hygiene has definitely been made a priority, but do keep in mind the water made available by tap.
Always go for bottled water, which is relatively cheap as well. Instead of buying plastic bottles, which results for waste contributing to the pollution in Bali, try going for a steel bottle, which can be refilled at restaurants as such. Another thing to note, Bali’s cuisine ranks amongst the world’s most wonderfully cooked meals, and things to try would include Nasi Goreng Fried Rice, Sambal Anything, Bakso Soup, Ayam Goreng amongst others. These dishes may not be palatable to your tastes but a bite won’t kill you. It’ll only build up an experience you may not forget, and there are always cafes and rooftop bars if you miss food from back home.
One of many other things to note, Bali is relatively safe for women and for solo travelers as well but being careful will go a long way. Always make sure that you have the restaurant’s number you’re staying at, maybe even the local police’s number or carry a pepper spray.
Keep in mind that Bali has its roots ingrained in Hinduism, a major religion practised in the island city. So plan your wardrobe with religious sentiments in mind. Hands and legs are required to be covered up.
Sarongs are a really good option for both men and women, so do try to pack one up before your trip. Alternatively, you can buy it at cheap rates in Bali. Go for long sleeved tees and shirts or for women, you could try wrapping up a shawl.
Speaking of clothes, shopping in Bali can range from bargaining at thrift store prices to high-end boutique rates which can blow your mind, either way. Haggling in Bali is like a “try- to-play-hard-to-get” kind of game. Once you state a price that’s reasonable enough, and the shopkeeper denies it, walk out of there and let them chase you.
Easy peasy! Although not so much if you enter boutiques, but I’m sure the business-man in you will reach a too good to be true deal. Not just clothes, shopping for silver jewellery to antique crafts and handlooms, are going to make you the talk of the town once you’re back home.
Be wary of monkeys which are known for their thievery and nefarious activities. Rabies and other diseases are easily contracted so make sure you’re vaccinated as well before you pay Bali a visit. Get a thorough body check up done and make sure you carry essential medicines you need and try not to forget the prescription as well.
And it’s definitely worth a trip to get some fortune cookies cracking, or see if the stars in the universe have aligned during your time there and I hope they have so that you enjoy the immense pleasure that comes out of traveling in Bali.
Some mannerisms that you have to keep in mind while you’re in Bali are:
• When you’re meeting someone for the first time, shake their hands and nod. For further meetings, nodding will be enough.
• In case you’re meeting a lady for the first time, wait for her to put her hand forward and then shake hands.
• It’s bad manners to show the soles of your feet to the person in front of you.
• Do not, and I repeat do not tap people on the head in Bali. You just might get a hit to YOUR head if you do the aforementioned gesture.
Get your money exchanged at a reputed exchange site and always be on the lookout for shady tourist guides. The best part of being in Bali though is the exchange rates.
1 USD (US dollar) is 14,305 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah), and 1INR (Indian Rupee) is 200 IDR. So rest assured, your pockets will be full and I’m guessing so will your belly, shopping carts and pieces of luggage for the back home will be.
If you’re in the mood to get some fun and indulge in drugs, I suggest you be careful or rather be in the safe and not do it. The Indonesian government is strict. And the punishment for being caught doing drugs in death, without even undergoing a trial.
So unless you have a death wish and want to keep your head on your body and soul intact, try not to brew any trouble and you should be alright. Fair warning is given peeps. You can thank me later!
Well, that’s most of the general do’s and don’ts to have in mind before you fly down or whichever means of commute you take. Do let me know about your travel experiences and if any of the tips I’ve given above have helped you in any way.
So let your martinis get shaken not stirred, and may you get tanned medium rare like your steaks. Follow the wise words of Ketut which I quote “Smile with face, smile with mind, and good energy will come to you and clear away dirty energy. Hope you have a fantabulously fantastical vacation!