Whilst Bali is comparatively safe compared to many other places across the world there are a number of precautions that travellers should take to ensure their health and safety when visiting.
7 Tips and Advice for Travelling to Bali
If you are taking part in activities that have risks associated with them such as diving or trekking then keep vigilant and be aware of your own well being as Indonesia does not have the same level of health and safety as the UK.
Take care when swimming. There are strong currents and heavy surf at Kuta Beach and those to the north and south of the island so make sure to swim between the flags. Even more protected beaches can be treacherous and not all have lifeguards.
Driving in Bali can be dangerous. Pedestrians are also often at risk as footpaths are frequently in poor condition and it is necessary to walk in the road. Do not expect traffic to necessarily stop at pedestrian crossings.
Travellers should be extremely cautious if consuming local liquor, particularly arak. This local rice wine can contain methanol if not brewed correctly and is potentially fatal.
Expect to be offered drugs in tourist areas, on the beach and in nightclubs. Do not be tempted. At the best the “dealer” may be in cahoots with the police and trying to elicit a fine for you, at worst you could end up with a lengthy jail sentence or even pay with your life if you are found guilty of dealing.
Beggars and hawkers
It is likely that you will be approached by beggars and hawkers whilst in Bali, particularly around tourist areas. The best thing to do is to completely ignore them, even if they give you a friendly greeting otherwise they are likely to latch on to you. Bear in mind that they are simply trying to make a living so if you’ve no intention of buying from them you’re wasting their time.
As with any area that attracts tourists there are those that try to rip them off. Common scams in Bali include a “friendly” local discovering a problem with your car or motorcycle and introducing you to a trusted mechanic who then demands a significant sum of money and moneychangers who use sleight of hand to keep back currency.
Whilst violent crime is relatively rare, petty theft such a pick pocketing and theft from parked cars is more commonplace. Lock all belongings away and carry money in money belts for extra security. Use the safe facilities that are available at your hotel.
As well as taking general precautions it is advisable to check for current advice on the Foreign and Commonwealth Offices website (www.fco.gov.uk) before travelling.
Bali is renowned for its beautiful beaches, spectacular scenery, excellent water sports and relaxed atmosphere. By taking sensible steps to protect your health and safety you will be able to ensure that you get the most out of your time there.