The island of Bali is an oasis of lush landscapes, friendly people and fascinating sunsets. While most people have the time of their lives visiting this wonderful destination, others make mistakes that spoil the experience. Find out the most important mistakes to avoid in Bali.
Be negligent with food and drink
Balinese cuisine is delicious and, fortunately, there is plenty of it on the island. Depending on where you come from, the Balinese fare isn’t the type of food that’s always available, so it’s definitely a good idea to make the most of it and sample some local delicacies.
Having said that, it is very important to pay attention to everything you eat and drink in Bali. In many restaurants, health and hygiene practices are not at the same level as in western countries. If you’re planning on tasting street food, for example, try to avoid eating anything that doesn’t look fresh or like sitting in the sun.
Water in Bali is generally not safe for foreigners to drink. Remember to drink only bottled water and keep in mind that tap water is used to prepare certain meals in some coffees. Even simple ingredients, like lettuce in a hamburger that has been washed with local water, have the potential to make you sick. That’s why it’s always a good idea to keep over-the-counter medications handy to stop any case of gastro.
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Crowding for the most popular beaches
When most people think of a Balinese vacation, they think of relaxing on a beautiful beach and watching the sunset. Bali is truly blessed with several beautiful beaches, but they have not all been created equal. And if they were, they would no longer be the same, thanks to mass tourism that ruins them.
Kuta Beach is one of the most popular destinations for foreigners on the island, but if you are looking for a peaceful beach experience, this may not be the best solution. Some Balinese beaches can be invaded by tourists, especially during the high travel season, so it is worth doing your research and discovering beaches that few people know about.
Some quieter Balinese beaches that tend to fly under the radar include Jimbaran Bay, which is also known as the island’s fish center, and beautiful Pasir Putih, or White Sand Beach.
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Forgetting to visit the mountains
It’s certainly worth visiting the beach in Bali, but that doesn’t mean you should forget about the other natural wonders that the island has to offer. Although beaches tend to get the most praise, you should also add the lush highland valleys to your list of Balinese buckets!
The city of Ubud, located in the misty highlands, is the ideal place to explore the surrounding landscape and attractions. Nearby, you will find the famous Sacred Monkey Forest, where you can get up close and with wild long-tailed macaques.
The area also houses coffee and tea plantations, an art market and art galleries, a palace and temples, sublime views and pedestrian walkways, museums, botanical gardens, historic monuments and rice terraces. Known as the cultural heart of the island, this is a must-see neighborhood.
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Packing the wrong clothes
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in Bali is not being prepared for the wet weather. Due to the island’s location near the equator, the climate is warm and tropical for most of the year. While temperatures are mild, the humidity level is generally between 85 and 90%.
This type of wet weather can increase your chances of having a heat rash, so it’s important to bring the right type of clothing for your trip. Leave behind all the clothes made with materials that do not breathe, such as polyester, and instead bring comfortable clothes made with fabrics such as cotton, which do not suffocate the skin.
Sure, you can buy cotton clothes once you get to Bali, but there is so much to do on the island that you don’t really want to waste time shopping if you can help it!
Don’t follow local laws
Bali has a reputation for being a paradise and the locals are extremely friendly and welcoming to foreigners. But this does not mean that it is correct to disrespect local laws.
The island of Bali is actually part of Indonesia which is mainly an Islamic country. Bali may have been a holiday resort but is still subject to Indonesian law, a legal system which is known to be very strict by western standards.
Indonesia takes a strong stance against illegal drugs and continues to practice the death penalty. There have been several notorious cases of tourists receiving harsh sentences, including executions or decades of prison, for crimes such as drug trafficking. Bali is a wonderful place to have fun but the consequences of not following local laws can truly destroy your whole life.
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