Travelling tips to Bali

Bali has always been on our list of places to visit. So many good friends had been and fell in love.To keep the sharing going, I thought I’d put together these tips for travelling to Bali if you are a newbie. We ended up with A LOT of spare time at Denpasar Airport waiting for our delayed flight home, so I used the time for good

This is by no means an extensive list but it might be a start for you.

And if you are a Bali visitor from way back, then please add in your tips in the comments below.

Weather

October to April is the rainy season; May to September the dry season. We travelled late January, which is considered off peak and in the wet season. We lucked it with the rain with most of the heavy falls coming at night time or early morning. Kind of cleansing really.

For my October trips, it rained only a couple of times in five days – and that was early morning or mid afternoon and then was clear. Make sure your accommodation has air-conditioning!

What to pack

Pack light clothes in natural, breathable fabrics. I worked on two-three outfits a day, one throw-over type dress or shorts/light top combination for during the day and kaftans for evening if we were heading out to a bar or restaurant. Even in the upmarket restaurants it’s still pretty casual. Mr SY wore dress shorts and a rolled up shirt and Vans if we were getting our fancy on.

Pack at least two swimsuits means you always have a dry one on the go. SPF 30+ or 50+ sunscreen is a must. You are right near the equator Stylers, that sun has bite.

I wasn’t taking any chances. We had everything from kids’ Nurofen to antibiotic ointment, ventolin, antihistamines and others.

Accommodation

Bali is geared up for tourists in a big way. Accommodation ranges from the very basic thorough to some of the most amazing five-star hotels you’ll find anywhere in the world. You can stay hotels in bali nusa dua.

Food and drink

Food was cheap. Even at the fancy places, you could eat handsomely for less than equivalent standard in Australia.

Menu items included Indonesian staples plus other Asian, Mexican and Western favourites.

We also picked up drinks {Mr SY loved that Bintang is almost cheaper than water} and snacks at little supermarkets. The deli-style supermarket at Seminyak Square is particularly good.

Places to see

  • Waterbom Park: seriously the cleanest and most efficient water park I’ve ever been to. The fact that I could drink cocktails from our poolside cabana while the kids went crazy? Big, big plus.
  • Ubud Sacred Monkey Forest: The kids loved this. Bigs especially. The monkeys were pretty well behaved the day we went. More here.
  • Mount Batur volcano: Stunning contrast to the beaches in both climate and view. Dine at one of the restaurants that line the ridge with a view to the volcano and surrounding lakes.
  • Lembongan Island cruise: a bit crazy, crowded touristy for my liking but the youngest in the family LOVED this. The boat takes you and 200 others across to a pontoon moored off the island of Lembongan. From the pontoon you can snorkel, ride a banana boat, take a village tour on the island or slide down the waterside 50,000 times like Mr 7 did.
  • Uluwatu: Loved travelling down to this part of the island – stunning views and scenery. More here.
  • Nusa Dua: Not staying at one of the resorts in this enclave? There is a public beach plus beach clubs where you can lounge all day as long as you order drinks. More here.
  • Bodyworks: Not so much to see but to do. Beautiful spa treatments in Balinese style at a fraction of Australian costs.

Shopping

We did most of our shopping on the streets of Seminyak. It’s boutique-y and not trashy. There are also plenty of surf brands on offer at slightly cheaper prices than in Australia. Fave stores:

  • Mist: I was told to hunt down this label when in Bali and I wasn’t disappointed. Beautiful summer frocks in hand printed fabrics of the softest rayon.
  • Drifter Surf: Mr SY loved this indie surf store and cafe. Awesome coffee and wi-fi and a refreshing addition to the big name surf brand stores which dominate the island.
  • Samantha Robinson: my favourite porcelain artist has a recently opened store in Seminyak. Prices same as in Australia but seeing the full range in one place was something else. Samantha has also added her prints to cushion covers and sarongs to the store – these are made in Bali so more affordable.
  • Kody & Ko: Modern art and homewares store – think neon Buddhas and floral skulls.
  • Hobo: loved this homewares store and could have bought so much. They ship to Australia so that just might happen.
  • Sari Dewi Silver: our driver took us here on the way to Ubud. It’s a massive store where the prices are in $US but you’re encouraged to bargain down to less than half the marked price.
  • Biasa: Italian-designed floaty cottons in statement cuts that scream quality.
  • Frockk: Another Australian brand based in Bali, frockk’s signature style is all about effortless elegance through cotton/linen blends. Expect to pay about 30% less than in Australia.
  • Toko Emporium: Aussie expat Janet curates a fabulous collection of decor items, accessories and some clothing – you won’t be able to leave the store without buying something.

Money

We used Visa credit and debit pretty much everywhere and only needed actual cash for paying our driver and a few cab fares. There are money changers everywhere.

Safety

We felt very safe throughout the trip. There are security checks on cars and often bags, as well before entry to any of the major tourist spots and hotels. As we drove past the site of the Sari Club bombing and memorial to those who lost their lives, it seemed to me that this “new” Bali is here to stay.

 

So during a trip on the island of Bali you do not have to worry about all the what, let alone to stay, you can stay in hotels in Bali Nusa Dua.