Beautiful landscape, amazing local food and meditation seminars. These are all the things that 90% of Bali videos talk about – so, today I will focus on the fun stuff in Bali: nightlife, accomondation, parties, dating, socializing, etc.
I have been to Indonesia before but only spent time in Jakarta. Bali has never been on my radar. I had always thought it would be a less exciting version of Phuket – and given that I didn’t find Phuket too exciting, I never had plans of visiting Bali.
Then a friend started to go to Bali repeatedly, and stayed there for long periods. That changed my opinion because unlike what you read online, when a friend shares his experience, and you know your friends well, you get a more realistic perspective about a location.
Still, I had doubts …
- Is Bali even worth it when Thailand offers everything already?
- Would I even be interested in the local women?
- Is Bali even busy enough to be exciting?
- Is there any resemblence of a good online dating scene?
I just said let’s give it a try. Thailand (specifically Bangkok) doesn’t feel super exciting anymore because I have explored much of it already.
Thailand is the Gigachad when it comes to nightlife, partying, convenience, and general infrastructure. The Philippines is also a popular spot – mostly for those who want something similar to Thailand but put an empahsis on English -speaking locals (and girls).
Given those 2 options: Why would you go to Bali?
What does Bali have to offer?
To answer those questions, let me start with a question:
What has the biggest impact on any (travel) experience in life?
It’s usually a combination of the people and the environment you are in.
Think about it this way: Say in Thailand you socialize, then hang out at your hotel room, or apartment. In Bali you would do the same, instead, you will be at your private villa with pool, or at a villa party.
You meet up with people at a Beach Club, or one of the many nightclubs, or bars that are spread all over the island.
If you are into outdoor activities, you have endless options. There is a more of local vibe – and compared to say Bangkok, a visit does feel more like a real holiday (beach, nature, etc.)
Most of what’s going to be interesting for me (and you) is located in the highlighted area.
Specifically, the following areas area of interest:
- Seminyak – Major tourist hotspot.
Visa – For most countries, no visa is required as you get a visa on arrival. You can stay for up to 60 days (includes a 30 day extension). If you know you wish to stay longer (up to 180 days), you can get the B211A visa (via a visa agency for around $200) and you can stay several months.
Online Dating – Make sure to set up Bumble & Tinder before arrival. Unless you plan on staying for several weeks, you want to have everything set up beforehand to not waste any time. Also, get your SIM card with Internet directly at the airport.
Hotel/Villa Booking – It makes sense to book something for at least 1 week, just so you have enough time to explore different areas and see which one you like the most. For this, you can use Agoda/Booking and simply filter by price & guest rating.
You arrive at Bali airport (Ngurah Rai International Airport) and grab a taxi to say Seminyak. That will cost you between $12-20 USD.
Things to Note
- You will need to rent a motorbike to get around
- Need international drivers license for that
- A mix of Austrialian/Easter European tourists
- Rainy season is from November to March
Before I talk about the Bali scams you should be aware of in detail, let me give you a bird’s-eye view. When watching videos about scams, it is very easy to lose perspective.
You watch a bunch of those videos and start questioning whether you should cancel your trip altogether. Perhaps it is a human tendency to exaggerate the bad, and undervalue the good.
If going to Bali is a 10/10, then considering all the scams, it would still be an 9/10 – perhaps even a 10/10 if you are aware of all the scams BEFORE going there.
Most of the Bali scams can easily be avoided by knowing about them beforehand. If anything, this video should make you more confident about visiting Bali, knowing that you are well-prepared, thus allowing for peace of mind.
First, a brief list of common scams & risks in Bali. Afterwards, I’ll give you concise tips on how to avoid them:
- Money Money Changers
- ATM Skimming
- 100,000 Notes and 10,000 Notes
- People Handing Out Scratchy Cards
- Airport Porters
- massages on the beach
- surfboard and bike rental
- Using Drugs
- Parking or Entrance Fee Scam
- The Free Guide Scam
- Bali Belly
Now that I’ve given you a random list of Bali scams & dangers (without any further details) – here’s what I recommend you do to avoid them.
Instead of adressing and mentioning every scam/risk individually, I will give you some overarching princiles that will keep you save. That plus a healthy dose of common sense will have you enjoying Bali without any of the downsides.
- Exchange money ONLY at authorized exchange places
- Withdraw money ONLY inside (banks)
- Use Grab, Gojak for getting around
- Use a trusted bike rental (check reviews online)
- Wear a helmet when driving your bike
- Carry all necessary paperwork with you (international drivers license)
- Drink ONLY bottled water
- Don’t eat street food
- Drink alcohol ONLY at established venues
- Don’t do drugs (regardless of what locals/others do)
Lastly, don’t worry too much! Enjoy your Bali stay.
All the other details, I will cover separately. This was just meant to serve as a brief introduction to Bali!