About Bali for Newcomers

When to Visit

Bali is amazing at any time of year, but if you are interested in something unique to Bali, here are some dates you may wish to consider.

Galungun to Kuningan

Galungun, this is an amazing time to see Bali, all Balinese homes and business will decorate their homes with Penjors, held every 210 days, its worth getting a driver to take you out to the villages just to see the beauty and craftsmanship of these poles (as per photo above).  You can learn about the meaning of these on our culture tours.

Upcoming Dates: 1 Nov - 11 Nov 2017 

We are holding a tour for this Special Day  - click here for more information

Nyepi Day of Silence

Balinese New Year, 24 hours of airport closure (that’s right, you cannot fly in or out of Bali on this day), tourists cannot leave their hotel grounds, no one can go on the streets, boats cannot dock in Bali.  Oh dear!  No, it’s great!

Upcoming Dates:

Nyepi Eve - 17 March 2018 (Ogoh Ogoh Parades)

Nyepi Day – 18 March 2018 (Day of Silence)

Getting around

Public transport is limited on the Island, but is available for those that have plenty of time on their hands (dont expect the bus to be on time).

Try the following bus services


Most people prefer to use taxis for short trips, they are much cheaper in Bali, however you need to find the right taxi and they all look the same.

Bluebird Taxis will put the meter on and will know where they are going.

Look on the windscreen for BLUE BIRD GROUP and on the back the phone number 70 11 11.

Other taxis are also blue but they have been known to say the meter is broken and charge exorbitant prices.


For longer distances (over 30km) it is recommended to hire a licensed private driver,  nowadays all drivers use new AC vehicles.  

Please note: traffic jams are common in tourist areas of Bali expect long delays in the areas of Seminyak and Ubud and Jalan Uluwatu.


Religion is the number one priority to the Balinese people, their culture is based on a Religion rich in diversity which stems from Buddhism, Hinduism and Animism.  It is unique to anywhere else in the world apart from some very small parts of Indonesia.

Although the Balinese are called Hindus, the Hinduism practiced in India today is nothing like the Bali of today. Bali is unique and their ceremonies are full of colour and fun, if you have an opportunity to witness a ceremony you are truly blessed.


Note: The Island in recent times has had a influx of many other religions, people have come from all over Indonesia to settle in wonderful Bali, so on your travels you will meet people who are Christian, Catholic, Muslim and Buddhist. Bali is welcoming to all religions.

Note: The last sensus in Bali on religion numbers was done in 2010, it stated 83% of Bali was Hindu, it is now believed that with the influx of people that figure to be now halved in the Denpasar region and that the majority of the people that have settled in Denpasar in the past 5 years are Muslim.

The Country of Indonesia is majority Muslim, please take that into consideration when you visit Bali. Please dress modestly.

You can learn more about Balinese and their unique religion on our Cultural Tour.


The beaches in Bali are famous around the world for surfing, however they aren’t always the greatest in the world.

In the raining season the beaches are dirty so if you come at this time of year consider a holiday without a beach visit., there is so much to do in Bali you wont be let down, and when it rains, its still warm.

There are some amazing Islands in Indonesia easily accessible from Bali, such as the short trip to Nusa Lembongan Island (boats depart from Sanur) or the famous “Gili's" (small Islands), which are off Bali’s next door neighbor Island of Lombok.

Please note Lombok is majority Muslim and take this into consideration while travelling through Lombok

Health and Safety


No. 1. Do not come to Bali without Travel Insurance!!!!!!    Medical care for tourists is very expensive, one trip to the Doctor at the International Hospitals just for some antibiotics could cost you $800..

  1. Make sure you do not drink the tap water, don't worry too much if you get it in your mouth
  2. Always wash your hands immediately after touching the money. Here, left hand is for the toilet (without toilet paper), right hand for food
  3. Remember the money is filthy, it's been handled (remember no toilet paper is used) by many people
  4. Typhoid is in Bali, contracted through food and water
  5. 80% of the sex workers have Aids and condoms are no longer available to be purchased on the Island
  6. Hep A is in Bali, contracted through food and water
  7. Dengue Fever is in Bali, contracted through mosquitoes
  8. Use bottled water for brushing your teeth
  9. Carry a hand sanitizer at all times and use frequently
  10. Ice is fine to have in drinks here


  1. Don’t rent a scooter (they are actually 125cc motorbikes, some 150cc), unless you are an experienced rider, have an International License to drive a motorbike and have checked your insurance policy will cover you for riding (many Australian policies do not)
  2. Do not drink cheap cocktails or spirit shots in Bali, only ever drink bottled drinks (drink spiking and methanol poisoning is common in Bali
  3. Do not carry your valuables in a handbag, use zipped pockets, muggings are common in Bali, many woman are injured by being pulled into traffic by their handbags
  4. Do not buy drugs!!!!! It is the death penalty in Bali
  5. Be careful when you walk in Bali, there are many potholes and some roads are paved so look like paths but are actually roads, also motorbikes are known to ride on footpaths when traffic jams occur.
  6. Tell your Taxi driver if you are scared, tell him to slow down, do not let him put your life at risk.


Okay, the people here won’t actually scam you.  It’s just trickery and if you fall for it then they win!

So, don’t fall for it, it’s plain and simple.

Here’s some tricks they play. 

  1. Sleight of hand at the money changer, you won’t even see it happening! Here’s a tip, if the money changers rate is higher than everyone else and they also sell clothes or do laundry then don’t bother.  Go to money changers that look like banks and have a security guard.
  2. Scratchy tickets, envelopes with prices or surveys. Stay away from them – unless you are interested in buying timeshare
  3. Commission is paid everywhere, so if you go with a driver somewhere he gets commission, so keep that in mind when you are shopping with a driver or going to restaurants etc.
  4. If a driver tries hard to get you to go to a certain restaurant for lunch, or stop at a coffee plantation, or Batik, or silver making factory, or woodcarving, he is doing that as he can make a lot of money by bringing your there, 70% of your purchase. If he has a “friend” then be firm and say no, you may end up with Bali Belly or paying ridiculous prices for stuff you can find in the supermarkets here without the 70% mark up.

Oh, and the biggest tip we can give you is:  DON’T TELL ANYONE ITS YOUR FIRST TIME TO BALI!!!!!

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