Your Ultimate Guide To Bali
By Claire Vögeli
Photographer and blogger Claire Vögeli shares her expert advice and insider tips to ensure that your next trip to Bali is simply unforgettable.
She shares handy information for first-time visitors to Bali 🌴
“Bali has to be the one place that I am almost sure my soul belongs. There is something in the air that I can’t quite put into words. Beautiful landscapes from jungles sprinkled with rice paddies, palms and roadside sculptors to hidden white sandy beaches shaped like dinosaurs and some super trendy cafe culture, beachside towns. There is something for everyone in Bali, whether you’re keen on having a serious unplugged retreat filled with yoga, massages and a whole lot of zen or you feel you’d rather spend the day surfing your face off or scootering to tucked away spots that not even Siri can help you find. Bali has it all, you just have to know where to look!
I hope you enjoy your experience in this beautiful country. The people are incredibly special and will go the extra mile for you without expecting anything in return. Be respectful, be kind and leave Bali the way you would like to find her in the future.”
Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). Everything is labelled in 1000s. You may see IDR: 50 on a menu, but that would mean it’s 50 000 which is about R 50 give or take. It’s best to not take Rands over as you will not find a place to exchange them, most other currencies are fine. If you have a credit card you can draw up to R2500 per day at an ATM. Carry cash when you are there for shopping and try to swipe at restaurants. There is a service charge on swiping.
Most Balinese are bilingual if not trilingual (Indonesian, Balinese, English). It’s best to learn basic greetings as the locals love it when people make an effort with their mother tongue!
Best way to get around – A scooter if you are experienced, Bluebird Taxi (try the app) or Go Jek. At times, you may not be able to get an Uber due to local taxi hostilities. If you find a driver who you feel safe with, it’s best to take their contact details and arrange transfers directly. Be sure to agree on a rate BEFORE you start your trip. If you are renting a scooter you will need a copy of your passport.
The best cellular provider is Telkomsel. Be sure to have a copy of your passport when you buy your sim.
Circle K Mart and Coco Supermarket for affordable, local groceries. Oh, don’t ever drink tap water in Bali. Bali Belly is not your friend!
Drinks are quite expensive in Bali but most people get around this by buying drinks at the local supermarkets and having one or two cocktails when out.
Do try dining at a local warung. A warung is a small, family-owned restaurant or café and the food is fresh, full of flavour and delicious. Plus, this way you’re supporting small businesses and entrepreneurs. Cheaper local restaurants around Bali also serve delicious local cuisine. Tripadvisor will let you know the top-rated ones in your area, they are so worth the try!
Type C and F. The standard voltage is 230 V, and the standard frequency is 50Hz. 2 point plugs for the South Africans.
Bali is super safe if you use common sense. Drugs are illegal and the law is taken very seriously. You can get up to 20 years for being found in possession of level 1 drugs such as weed, cocaine, and heroin. Just don’t do it.
Best time to visit
May to October