Resources

  • Bali Advertiser (www.baliadvertiser.biz) Bali's expat journal with insider tips and good columnists.
  • Bali Discovery (www.balidiscovery.com) Excellent weekly summary of news and features, plus hotel deals.
  • Bali Paradise (www.bali-paradise.com) Compendium site of info and links.
  • The Beat Bali (http://thebeatbali.com) Comprehensive listings for nightlife, music and events.
  • Coconuts Bali (http://bali.coconuts.co) Local news and occasional features.
  • Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/bali) Destination information, hotel bookings, traveller forum and more.

Top Tips

  • Plan your time. Traffic is awful, so keep each day's activities centred around one area.
  • Spend the night in Ubud. If you just go on a day trip, you'll see tourist shops and wonder what the fuss is about. Spend the night, see a dance performance, do some yoga, chill in a cafe.
  • At the beach, don't swim near any water flowing into the ocean. You don't want to know what's in that water.
  • Take time to smell the offerings. Bali's Hindu beliefs are unlike any in the world and are deeply held. Notice and appreciate the little offerings that appear as if by magic all around you.
  • Slow the F down. The Balinese are relaxed, you can be too.
  • Avoid the Tanah Lot sunset cliché. People who endure the traffic and crowds say they'll never do it again.

What to Take

  • Plug converter for Indonesia
  • Insect spray and sunscreen; both can be hard to find or expensive locally
  • Small umbrella
  • Extra footwear, especially if you aren't average-sized
  • One decent shirt, blouse or top will give you enough wardrobe for almost any occasion

What to Wear

  • Women topless at the beach or pool is offensive. Elsewhere, a light covering is appropriate; wandering around in a bathing suit is not.
  • Casual wear, shorts, cottons, short-sleeve shirts, sandals etc are all fine during the day.
  • At night, if going to nicer restaurants, men may prefer lightweight long pants; women, skirts or dresses. Baseball caps are bad form.
  • Nightspots reflect the beachy vibe of the south, but many ban men in singlets.
  • Business dress is normally casual. Dress like you're going to a nice restaurant.
  • The old adage that men don't wear shorts in Asia, is just that: old. The Balinese wear shorts for many occasions and you can too.

Pre-Departure Checklist

  • Make certain your passport will be valid for six months after your date of arrival in Indonesia. This regulation is strictly enforced.
  • Download Bali mapping data to the Google Maps app so you can navigate with your phone offline.
  • Inform your ATM and credit card issuers of your trip so you won't get locked out.