Bali, also known as the Island of the Gods, is proud of its mountains and sandy beaches, spiritual and unique culture, and is considered a paradise on earth.
Tourists interested in history are attracted by a large number of cultural, historical and archaeological attractions, while for those who seek vacation and relaxation, Bali has to offer endless beaches and fantastic diving opportunities. That is why tourists need to differentiate among various resorts that are designed especially for certain type of people when choosing one. Sanur is ideal for family holidays, Kuta for those who search for parties, while Uluwatu is a surfing paradise.
Warnings & Dangers in Bali
OVERALL RISK : MEDIUM
When in Bali you should be aware of the risk of street crime and pickpocketing, so as to be able to protect your belongings. Credit card theft is common,thus pay attention to your surrounding when paying or taking money from ATMs. Only book taxis with a reputable firm and do not use unlicensed taxis.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK : MEDIUM
By far the taxi company that is registered and safe is Bali Taxi whose cars are sky blue with a white top light. If you have to stop the taxi on the street, which is not a Bali Taxi, you should negotiate a price or insist on the meter being turned on. While traveling by train, try to avoid traveling in the economy class. If you decide to drive in Indonesia, pay attention that the traffic discipline is very poor and always wear a helmet if you are riding a motorbike.
PICKPOCKETS RISK : LOW
Theft and other petty crime is common in Bali, but violence is rarely used. Thieves are frequently on motorcycles targeting pedestrians or shopping malls targeting shoppers. This is a city with a high touristic flow, so you need to follow simple precautions during your travel. You should know that pickpockets always work in pairs or groups.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK : HIGH
There is a high risk of natural disasters in Bali, including tsunamis, earthquakes, and flooding hazards due to rough seas and strong currents during the rainy season from October to March. A high risk of contracting a water-borne disease can persist after the water recedes. The active volcanoes can erupt at any time, so you need to follow the instructions and advice of local authorities, including any evacuation orders. Take official warnings seriously. When it comes to earthquakes, there are approximately 4,000 earthquakes across the country per year.
MUGGING RISK : LOW
Violent crime is not very frequent in Bali, so mugging and kidnapping risks level is low, even though some neighborhoods are best to be avoided at night.
TERRORISM RISK : MEDIUM
Travelers are advices to exercise a high degree of caution in Bali because of the high threat of terrorist attack considering the fact that there is information indicating that terrorists may be planning attacks in Indonesia. Attacks may occur anywhere, anytime, and the types of attacks have included suicide bombings and small-arms fire, targeting public and crowded places. So, remain vigilant and take care at all times.
SCAMS RISK : MEDIUM
Scams that are related to gambling are numerous, and card game scams are run by organized gambling gangs. Be also aware of drink spiking and unauthorized money changers in Bali. Many sexual assaults were performed after the drink spiking or there have been a number of deaths and cases of serious illness due to methanol poisoning.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK : LOW
The risk level for female tourists in Bali is very low and they can freely walk the streets without too much worry. However, it can never be predicted whether you will attract unwanted attention or not, so it is advisable not to walk alone at night in order to avoid being harassed.
So... How Safe Is Bali Really?
In general, Bali can be considered as a safe destination, since very few visitors come across any real problems.
Travelers need to avoid carrying handbags, taking into account that petty scams are common. They can usually be avoided with a modicum of common sense. Bali was the scene of terrorist attacks targeting nightclubs and restaurants popular among foreign visitors, so remain vigilant and take special care since terrorism acts cannot be predicted. When it comes to beaches, if there is a red flag planted in the sand, do not swim there, since the currents can be extremely strong. In order to protect your money, use only authorized money changers and when withdrawing money from ATM use the ones that are inside the bank.
- Visas - For the United States and Australian citizens 30 days stay in the country, a visa is not required, but only a valid passport. You can prolong your stay by obtaining a visa locally. The visa can be gained at an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia or on arrival for US$35. You should know that if you have a criminal record, you may be refused entry to Indonesia, regardless of how long ago the offense took place.
- Currency - The official currency of Indonesia is the rupiah. Credit cards are accepted and ATM are available almost everywhere. Tourists need to pay attention to credit card fraud which occurs frequently in Indonesia, and thus use ATMs in banks, shops and shopping centers.
- Weather - When it comes to weather, daytime temperatures in Bali are pleasant and they vary between 20-33⁰ C during the whole year. From December to March, days are sunny but the rain starts in the late afternoon or evening and passes quickly. In central Bali, you should not be surprised by cloudy skies and showers at any time of the year. The peak season is in August.
- Airports - One of the possible ways of coming to Bali is via Ngurah Rai International Airport which has new features and modern décor and can parry Indonesia's other international airports. Another way is via the busiest airport in Indonesia and that is Soekarno–Hatta International Airport.
- Travel Insurance - Before coming to Indonesia, take out comprehensive travel insurance which will cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation since the Australian Government will not pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs which can be very expensive.