The Bali Insider Tips
One of the perks of living in a place like Bali, is the amount of friends and family who come through for visits. These are the things we tell them, and are now sharing with you. Consider us your personal Bali insider.
Buy a SIM card
If your phone is unlocked, getting a local SIM card can make your life a lot easier. Data is cheap in Indonesia (as in 6GB for ~AU$10), and while wifi is common in cafes and villas, it can still be handy not to have to rely on it and to have a local number. It also means you’ll be able to use apps like GoJek (more on that below), which is a lifesaver if you’re here for any lengthy period.
Get the apps
Those who live here swear by Gojek. You can order food, send things from place to place (anything from a document to small furniture!), order scooter rides, top up your phone, and even get a masseuse over! Last time we checked, to get Gojek you need an Indonesian phone number.
People are also often surprised to hear Uber is in Bali, and there is also a similar app called Grab. It’s good to have both since it gives you better odds of finding a driver. These apps are game-changers since they mean no more haggling over prices. Both have the option to pay cash or have it charged to a linked credit card.
My Blue Bird is the local taxi app. This can be useful especially if you’re in an area that Ubers/Grabs refuse to operate in (unfortunately the case with the local transport mafia influence in many parts of the Bukit and around Echo Beach).
BYO medicine and personal hygiene items
There is no shortage of apoteks (chemists) around, but if you have something you rely on, don’t assume it will be available. For example, Neurofen Plus is non-existent in Indonesia since codeine is regulated.
Tampons etc. are expensive in Bali, so far better to bring them with you.
Don’t get pampered before travel
Do it here! You can get any beauty service done on the island (yes, even spray tans) and it will likely be far less expensive than wherever you just came from. Plus a bit of post-travel pampering is always a treat.
Watch your travel insurance
Many people don’t realise their travel insurance does not cover them for scooters. Double and triple check this if you plan on driving one in Bali.
There are far too many road accidents (our nurses have worked in hospitals and can testify to how many tourists would come in with injuries from crashes). Also, not wearing a helmet may look cool, but it’s illegal (you risk getting pulled over by traffic police and getting fined), and it goes without saying – very unsafe.
Bring the things you love
…and make more of them! There are many fantastic tailors and leather artisans in Bali. If you’re around for more than a week, it can be fun to get items made/copied. For fabric check out Alta Moda in Kuta (aka fabric heaven), most leather places will have a wide range of leather stocked in-house which you can choose from.