"If you find yourself in Bali, you should definitely visit here, see this, and have breakfast there," - there are many articles and lists about what to do in Bali on the internet. However, no one talks about what not to do. We have gathered the most common mistakes made by novice travelers to the paradise island for you.
"Don't provoke" Losing your phone in the first few days of your stay on the island is sad. No messengers, no banking apps, no navigation. Google Maps, in particular, disappoints many. A guy on a bike, with a passenger closely monitoring the route on his iPhone, of course, held out. Sound familiar? Friends, don't do this. Sooner or later, someone will drive by who can't resist grabbing your phone. The chances of catching a local expert in this are even smaller than waiting for the police to find them. A phone holder on the handlebars won't help either. The ideal option is headphones with voice navigation. If you're not confident in your skills yet, pull over to the side of the road, turn away from traffic, and calmly study the map.
"Don't be greedy!" Tourists are, first and foremost, a source of income for locals. You can come to terms with this by considering the various tricks of the Balinese as a "tax on living in paradise." Some people react with indignation when asked to pay. The key here is not to overdo it. Yes, bargaining is possible and even expected at local markets; it's customary and appropriate. You should set clear boundaries but remember that we are guests in Bali. If you rudely refuse to pay a parking attendant, don't be surprised if you come back to find a flat tire on your bike. Is the hassle of bike repair worth the money you were asked to pay for parking? Probably not!
However, one thing you definitely shouldn't do is attempt to hike Mount Batur without local guides. For those who rely on guiding tourists to the start of the route every evening, it's a very important and profitable business for which they are willing to do whatever it takes...
"Don't panic!" Even for those who are strong swimmers, it's important to study everything about dangerous ocean currents before traveling to Bali. Don't skimp on this, friends, as it can truly save your life! Danger can strike unexpectedly: you may be swimming along the shore or simply standing in the water when a sudden wave pulls you towards the deep, and swimming back becomes difficult. You may try your hardest, but you keep getting farther from the shore. This is when panic can set in. At this moment, you should swim not toward the shore but parallel to it. The width of the rip currents is usually around 10 meters. Once you've swum out of this current, you can catch your breath and return to the beach.
"Don't brake!" One of the most common reasons for scraped hands, legs, and sometimes even heads is bike accidents caused by sand on the road. The main rule is that when you encounter sand, do not attempt to brake, especially with the front brake. Also, avoid accelerating. Instead, smoothly transition onto a clean part of the road or come to a gradual stop.
"Wounds will heal on their own!" If your skin is damaged, don't wait for the wound to heal on its own. Unfortunately, it doesn't work that way. Things will only get worse. This is a characteristic of the humid climate in Bali. The sooner you start disinfecting and using an external antibiotic ointment (like Nebacetin), the faster a protective scab will form on the wound!
"Don't be foolish!" If you're heading to Bali, forget about prohibited substances. There are places like Thailand where they are not prohibited, but in Bali, they are strictly forbidden! Especially if a local "helper" you barely know offers to assist you. In the best case, you might end up paying $20 for a few pinches of dill. In the worst case, you'll have to bribe the police, and it won't be a mere $20-30 or $50. Indonesia has very harsh penalties for drug offenses, and bribes won't help in such cases.
"Don't look at her!" "Oh, what a cute monkey, I want to take a photo," are often the last words before someone loses their gadget. Monkeys may evoke delight, especially when you see them for the first time. However, they have a penchant for taking valuable or tasty items from tourists. Monkeys don't care whether it's an empty water bottle, new sunglasses, or a phone. Retrieving your belongings from them is nearly impossible! Moreover, staring into a monkey's eyes can provoke them. Even a simple smile can be interpreted as a threat, and they may attack! In general, be cautious, and it's better to smile at people instead!
"Don't rely on hope!" To get insurance or save money? This question arises for everyone who arrives in Bali. It only arises for those who haven't encountered local healthcare, specifically its prices. A simple blood test in a Balinese clinic can cost you, as a foreigner, around $200. If you need complex diagnostics or treatment, the bill can be enormous! Insurance for a month typically costs around $80 on average. If you're staying in Bali for an extended period, it's more cost-effective to get coverage for a year. Make sure to familiarize yourself with what to do in case of an insurance claim. Before using paid Balinese healthcare services, contact your insurance provider. Only after they approve the service will you be guaranteed reimbursement for all expenses.
"Don't experiment with alcohol!" You should be cautious when consuming alcoholic beverages in Bali, especially in unfamiliar bars where cocktails are served in plastic cups. In the best case, you might be served the cheapest local alcohol at the price of imported brands. Some "bartenders" mix methanol with local palm liquor Arak and other chemicals. Such cocktails can quickly lead to intoxication and are very cheap. Symptoms of methanol poisoning include vomiting, dizziness, and abdominal pain. Prolonged consumption can result in blindness, and poisoning often ends in death.
"Don't offend!" Sacred sites on the island aren't limited to just temples; they include waterfalls, volcanoes, and even trees. Nowadays, everyone knows how to use social media. So, if you think that explicit photos from your Instagram with 800 followers won't be seen by locals, you're mistaken. It's essential to be respectful and considerate when posting pictures or content related to sacred or culturally significant places in Bali.
Friends, if you have learned through experience what else you can’t do in Bali so as not to spoil the impression of this wonderful place, add to our list in the comments!