Bali, Indonesia

10 Things To Know Before You Visit Bali

. January 24, 2020 .


Bonjour my angels. Happy 2020, it's been a minute. And an even longer minute since I've blogged about my beloved Bali land. I think I've avoided delving into it so thoroughly before because the amount of content and things I have to say about Bali is so overwhelming I didn't know where to start. Long-time followers may remember my love letter to Bali I wrote before my first stint living there in 2018, which is still my most read post to date.

And now, as if history is repeating itself, I'm off again next month – solo. Except this time I'm a little older, a lot wiser and this time I think I'm in it for the long hall. Stay tuned for more of a personal post on my plans for the year ahead, but for now I wanted to kick off my highly-requested Bali series. Yep, series. Like I said, I have SO much to share and I'm SO passionate about it all it's about time I do this properly. Place by place, topic by topic, I'm getting into the nitty gritty of all things Bali and I'm so excited to finally share all the good stuff with you. I already have a lot drafted and planned, but it will hopefully be a great ongoing source for you to keep coming back to! I'll be doing area guides of the best places you HAVE to see and stay, but also covering topics like digital nomad life, cost of living and staying safe as a solo female traveler in Bali/Asia. Any more ideas – shoot me a DM.

So, after that bloody lengthy introduction and without further adieu, I'm kicking off the Bali series with 10 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Bali. These are the basics I go through when giving the low-down to friends or followers that message me asking for Bali advice.

1. BEFORE YOU FLY

Whether you're off on holiday or doing some solo backpacking or digital nomad-ing it's important you understand the do's and don'ts when coming to Indonesia. Bali is an incredible slice of the world and your trip will be amazing – but you don't want any last minute issues or hiccups at the airport stopping you from having the best trip. Indonesia can be strict when it comes to things like passport condition and how long you're planning on staying in the country. 

When entering Bali you'll need and outward flight leaving the country in under 30 days (the Visa exemption period) or 60 days if you're getting a Visa on Arrival (more on this next). Most airlines won't let you board the flight without this. If you're just visiting for a holiday then you'll naturally already have your return so no dramas here. But if your trip is open ended you will still need your outward flight, if you're unsure of your next destination I recommend searching SkyScanner for the cheapest flight leaving Indonesia (there will usually be one to Singapore or KL for around £30) and purchasing so you have no nasty surprises at the airport – like I did and had to panic book an expensive flight to Aus, oops.


2. VISAS

As mentioned, all trips under 30 days for most passport-holders are covered under a free, 30-day visa exemption you get on arrival so no need to worry about visas there – but remember if you do over-stay the penalty is 1,000,000 IDR (£50-60) a day so make sure you count your days correctly! You can find more info on visas and entry here.

For trips longer than 30 days you can get a Visa On Arrival which will allow you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days but requires visit(s) to immigration to extend from 30 days to 60. This is purchased at a desk (just before immigration) at the airport for $30USD and paid for in IDR cash. You will then need to extend this yourself by either visiting Bali Immigration Office 3 times for photos, fingerprints and passport assessment or, you hiring a local agent to do this for you but you will still need to visit immigration once. This is correct to the best of my knowledge but please make sure to do your own research to make sure you have the right visa you need! Read this article for some useful info on visa extensions.



3. INSURANCE + MEDICAL

Most general medicines and even antibiotics you can buy over the counter in Bali but I'd recommend coming out with everything you need just incase, especially for longer trips. I usually stock up on things like painkillers, Immodium and senna tablets (Bali belly can happen), cystitis sachets and antibiotics, contraception etc. Also ladies, tampons and pads are one of the few things that can be expensive here for some reason! So make sure you bring enough tampons or even better (for less waste) a menstrual cup from home.

Insurance – this is a biggy. I know most people are smart enough to never travel without it but one thing I've learned through travelling in Bali is that it's SO important to have but also SO important to choose a quality provider. World Nomads Insurance is what I will be using these for my upcoming venture. It's 100% worth spending a little more.

Bali on the whole is very safe and I've never had an accident personally in my 7+ months of being there, but accidents do occasionally happen and no one really talks about this stuff – I want to encourage you to be as sensible as possible! If you ever do need to visit a hospital, ask them to take you to BIMC, this is an amazing private hospital (I spent a lot of time visiting a friend in) and they will work with your quality insurance company and handle everything properly. 


4. GETTING AROUND

Okay, thats enough of the official heavy facts! Time to get into the good stuff. Getting around Bali is super easy and I'm going to split this point into 3 sections for clarity.

- HIRING A SCOOTER
This is my favourite way to get around. You can hire a scooter for around 50k (£3) a day, it's fun (traffic willing) and will give you a great sense of freedom. Of course, safety is key, ALWAYS wear a helmet and only ride if you're confident enough to do so. If you'd like to learn, my local friend Dio runs some great lessons at Bali Motor Bike Lessons (send them a DM on insta here) – most people are confident and riding within a couple of hours. I've had some great adventures with Dio and he's a super lovely trustworthy guy! Of course, make sure your insurance covers you for riding a scooter.

Also, you need to hold an International driving licence to ride in Indonesia, worth remembering as a lot of scooter rental places don't ask for it even though it's required! If you are planning on long distances and travelling on the main roads it's likely you'll be stopped by police and potentially fined if you don't have one. But for just riding around quieter neighbourhoods and smaller roads (like in Uluwatu or Canggu) it's very unlikely you'll ever get asked for it. I personally don't do long journeys or ride after dark alone, but for getting around shorter distances during the day it's perfect.

- GOJEK IS LIFE
So, getting a scooter may not be for you and that's TOTALLY fine. There's lots of other ways to get around, the best being Go-Jek app (especially for shorter distances). Go-jek is essentially like an Indo-Uber, but you can order anything from regular taxis, to cars or bike taxis (the cheapest and most effective way to get around) to ordering food from incredible restaurants and even groceries, medicine or a massage! It's the one app you MUST download upon arrival. I always use this in the evenings incase I'd like a sunset drink and it's great. Ordering a bike taxi will bring a local right up to your location and you can jump on the back to your destination, most 10 minute journeys in and around Canggu for example are around 15k (85p!). You might have to barter a bit for longer trips but that's where I'd recommend finding a trustworthy driver.

- PRIVATE DRIVER
I'd avoid the blue taxis and everyone hassling you at the airport if possible because chances are, you'll get ripped off. You can find local drivers via Facebook groups or ask a friend who's travelled there if they have a recommendation. My driver is called Pasta and he's an absolute diamond, super lovely and trust worthy and always offers a fair price. If you'd like his number please send me a DM I'd be happy to share! You can expect to pay a private driver 250k (£12) from the airport to Canggu, Uluwatu, Seminyak areas and maybe a little more for Ubud areas. For a full day tour or day trips (recommend for visiting temples, waterfalls etc in Ubud) you can expect to pay anywhere from 500k-800k depending on the hours needed.

- BOATS TO ISLANDS
There's loads of boats to the neighbouring islands such as Gili, Lombok and the Nusa Islands (which I 100% recommend doing if you have the time!) but it can get a bit overwhelming. You definitely want to get a fast boat ticket so you're not at sea for hours, I've tried a few but the best of the mid-priced bunch is Eka Jaya. You can get tickets either at the harbour (Padang Bai) or via ticket sellers either on the street (you'll see little boat tickets huts everywhere in the main hubs) or from your hotel and they should usually include transfers. A fair price for a return is anywhere between 400k-800k (£20-£40) depending on provider and transfer options. A word of warning Padang Bai harbour is pretty hectic and you may be approached by sellers and people wanting to carry your bags – just say a firm but polite no thank you or 'tidak makasih' in Indonesian.

For more of a stress-free experience I really, really recommend a company called Blue Water Express. Departing to the islands from the much quieter Serangan harbour, everything is seamless and organised from a stress-free transfer pick up, to a comfortable cafe waiting area to organised and comfortable boarding on a premium fast boat. They even give everyone a sea-sickness tablet! If you can spare the extra £ (starting around 1mil (£60) for a return) I'd always go with them.

Also stay tuned for storms and weather! In June last year the harbourmaster put a 4 day halt on all fast boats – meaning we had to get a 5hr public ferry (it was an experience, but only £2.50) to make it to our lovely pre-booked resort in Lombok.

5. DON'T STAY IN ONCE PLACE

Bali is a lot bigger than most people think, and there is SO much it has to offer – it kills me when first time visitors go and stay in one place like Seminyak the whole time. I'll be doing full guides by area, but think about what things you'd like to see and experience. Bali is so unique in the fact there's so much to see on and around one island is something you should take full advantage of. Moving around might sound like a bit of a hassle but honestly, you won't regret a minute of it.

As an example, over a 2 week trip I usually recommend starting out in Canggu for 3-4 nights for cute cafes, surf vibes, great nightlife and epic sunsets. Then you could go up to Ubud for another 3 nights to try out some of the beautiful resorts and spas and then get your culture fix – think rice fields, temples and waterfalls. From there it's easy to get to the harbours so you could spend the next few nights on an island (Gili T for party and diving, Gili Air for chill and Nusa Lem for beauty). After that you could then travel down to Uluwatu (my favourite part of in Bali) for the most beautiful beaches, surf lessons, epic clifftop views and sunsets and again amazing eateries – it's quieter down here but make sure you're there on a Wednesday or Sunday for the best party night at Single Fins.


6. CHECK OUT THE FACEBOOK GROUPS

I've mentioned these a few times now but I can't recommend them enough for helpful tips, especially for solo travellers, digi nomads or if you're going to be there for a little while! There's some great communities of expats and locals who share advice, news, accommodation and plenty of amazing events. My faves are Canggu Nomad Girls, Canggu Community, Canggu Community Housing, Bali Expat Jobs & Business, Uluwatu Community, Ubud Hood and Bali Digital Nomads. I can't express how much these have helped me (Canggu Nomad Girls in particular is a beautifully supportive group), from making friends with other female travellers to amazing events and even business opportunities. If you're self-employed/freelance it's worth checking out some of the events even if you're on holiday!

7. RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT 

Bali is a wonderful destination (have I said that yet?) and you'll have an incredible time there, but it's important to help look after this special island too. Pollution and plastic in the oceans is a big problem in  Asia in general, but we can all do our bit to help. It breaks my heart to see wildlife affected or litter in the sea and on my last trip I made it through the whole time with not one bit of single-use plastic with ease, so there's no excuse to contribute to waste!

You can't drink tap water in Bali, but instead of buying lots of single-use plastic bottled water, bring or buy a reusable water bottle. Nearly every hotel, villa, hostel and restaurant will have drinking-water dispenser you can use. If you don't have a re-usable bottle purchase a glass bottled water so you can keep it and re-fill it (mine lasted months last summer!). If you see litter on the beach or in the sea pick it up and dispose of it, or even better join one of the frequent beach clean up events to help the environment and potentially make some friends! Oh and also don't flush the toilet paper, it messes with their drainage systems – use the bum gun (if you know, you know) and dry with tissue and pop it in the bin.

8. & RESPECT THE LOCAL CULTURE

There's plenty of great cafes and brands that do good in Bali. GIVE café in Canggu is one of my ultimate favourites. Owned by Kynd Community (probably the most instagrammed pink wall ever), it is 100% non-profit and serves the most incredible vegan food. Once you pay for your meal you're given a token and can choose to donate to either a Bali dogs charity, a charity helping children and those in need of prosthetics or charity supporting sustainable education and farming programs. Also my friend owns a Bali bags brand, E. Lane Traders and donates a portion of sales to Bali Street Mums and sponsors a child. There's plenty of ways to give back.

And once you meet some locals, you'll want to. Balinese people are some of the loveliest, kindest people I've met. Bali is home to a mix of religions but the most widespread is Hinduism. You'll spot daily offerings to the gods in the street and maybe even outside your door (some resorts even teach you how to make these!) so be careful not to step on them. If you're visiting a temple or religious space be sure to dress appropriately and take a sarong. Religious processions can be incredible to watch and although it occasionally may hold up some traffic, be mindful and patient.

Also, it helps to learn a few local bahasa phrases!
Terima kasih = 'thank you'
Selemat Paggi = 'good morning'
Selemant Sore = 'good afternoon'
Selemat Malam = 'good night'
Apa Kabar = 'how are you'
Permissi = 'excuse me'
Tidak = 'no'

9. FAIR PAYMENT (but don't be stingy either)

I touched on this with the taxi's, but it goes for everything in Bali. Ask around for what a fair price for a trip or tour ticket should be before handing over cash. Try and pre-book your airport transfer. For local markets and sellers on the beach prepared to haggle a bit (a fair price for a sarong is 20-50k (£2-3), around 20-30k for a shell bracelet and around 100-150k for a a small rattan bag. But just remember, a little to you is probably a lot to them. A Bintang (local beer) should cost you around 30k, and you can get an indonesian meal from a Warung (local restaurant) for around 30k (£1.50).



10. YOU MAY NEVER WANT TO COME HOME

This sounds a bit cringe, but for real – once mama Bali gets her hold on you it's likely you'll come back again and again or, like me and thousands of other expats, want to make a proper life out there. It's not for everyone, of course, but it is for many. The island so beautiful and full of so much amazing energy, sipping coconuts and watching sunsets on the daily becomes addictive and being around so many good vibes 24/7 is such a special thing and the lifestyle is infectious. You'll also meet amazing people – I've made some incredible friendships in Bali. And met my last two ex-boyfriends there (lol).

Not only that, there's buzzing hubs like Canggu and Ubud where new businesses, entrepreneurs, digital nomads and creatives a like are thriving. The sense of community is incredible and going out for drinks is nearly always like networking. My friend bought a sofa off another girl in Canggu Nomad Girls and she ended up being her biggest client! People are making it work out there and it's a pretty inspiring place to be – stay tuned for my post on living/working here.

I hope you found these tips helpful, please save and share if you did. I can't wait to start this next chapter and share it all with you.


Bonjour my angels. Happy 2020, it's been a minute. And an even longer minute since I've blogged about my beloved Bali land. I think I've avoided delving into it so thoroughly before because the amount of content and things I have to say about Bali is so overwhelming I didn't know where to start. Long-time followers may remember my love letter to Bali I wrote before my first stint living there in 2018, which is still my most read post to date.

And now, as if history is repeating itself, I'm off again next month – solo. Except this time I'm a little older, a lot wiser and this time I think I'm in it for the long hall. Stay tuned for more of a personal post on my plans for the year ahead, but for now I wanted to kick off my highly-requested Bali series. Yep, series. Like I said, I have SO much to share and I'm SO passionate about it all it's about time I do this properly. Place by place, topic by topic, I'm getting into the nitty gritty of all things Bali and I'm so excited to finally share all the good stuff with you. I already have a lot drafted and planned, but it will hopefully be a great ongoing source for you to keep coming back to! I'll be doing area guides of the best places you HAVE to see and stay, but also covering topics like digital nomad life, cost of living and staying safe as a solo female traveler in Bali/Asia. Any more ideas – shoot me a DM.

So, after that bloody lengthy introduction and without further adieu, I'm kicking off the Bali series with 10 Things You Need To Know Before Visiting Bali. These are the basics I go through when giving the low-down to friends or followers that message me asking for Bali advice.

1. BEFORE YOU FLY

Whether you're off on holiday or doing some solo backpacking or digital nomad-ing it's important you understand the do's and don'ts when coming to Indonesia. Bali is an incredible slice of the world and your trip will be amazing – but you don't want any last minute issues or hiccups at the airport stopping you from having the best trip. Indonesia can be strict when it comes to things like passport condition and how long you're planning on staying in the country. 

When entering Bali you'll need and outward flight leaving the country in under 30 days (the Visa exemption period) or 60 days if you're getting a Visa on Arrival (more on this next). Most airlines won't let you board the flight without this. If you're just visiting for a holiday then you'll naturally already have your return so no dramas here. But if your trip is open ended you will still need your outward flight, if you're unsure of your next destination I recommend searching SkyScanner for the cheapest flight leaving Indonesia (there will usually be one to Singapore or KL for around £30) and purchasing so you have no nasty surprises at the airport – like I did and had to panic book an expensive flight to Aus, oops.


2. VISAS

As mentioned, all trips under 30 days for most passport-holders are covered under a free, 30-day visa exemption you get on arrival so no need to worry about visas there – but remember if you do over-stay the penalty is 1,000,000 IDR (£50-60) a day so make sure you count your days correctly! You can find more info on visas and entry here.

For trips longer than 30 days you can get a Visa On Arrival which will allow you to stay in Indonesia for 60 days but requires visit(s) to immigration to extend from 30 days to 60. This is purchased at a desk (just before immigration) at the airport for $30USD and paid for in IDR cash. You will then need to extend this yourself by either visiting Bali Immigration Office 3 times for photos, fingerprints and passport assessment or, you hiring a local agent to do this for you but you will still need to visit immigration once. This is correct to the best of my knowledge but please make sure to do your own research to make sure you have the right visa you need! Read this article for some useful info on visa extensions.



3. INSURANCE + MEDICAL

Most general medicines and even antibiotics you can buy over the counter in Bali but I'd recommend coming out with everything you need just incase, especially for longer trips. I usually stock up on things like painkillers, Immodium and senna tablets (Bali belly can happen), cystitis sachets and antibiotics, contraception etc. Also ladies, tampons and pads are one of the few things that can be expensive here for some reason! So make sure you bring enough tampons or even better (for less waste) a menstrual cup from home.

Insurance – this is a biggy. I know most people are smart enough to never travel without it but one thing I've learned through travelling in Bali is that it's SO important to have but also SO important to choose a quality provider. World Nomads Insurance is what I will be using these for my upcoming venture. It's 100% worth spending a little more.

Bali on the whole is very safe and I've never had an accident personally in my 7+ months of being there, but accidents do occasionally happen and no one really talks about this stuff – I want to encourage you to be as sensible as possible! If you ever do need to visit a hospital, ask them to take you to BIMC, this is an amazing private hospital (I spent a lot of time visiting a friend in) and they will work with your quality insurance company and handle everything properly. 


4. GETTING AROUND

Okay, thats enough of the official heavy facts! Time to get into the good stuff. Getting around Bali is super easy and I'm going to split this point into 3 sections for clarity.

- HIRING A SCOOTER
This is my favourite way to get around. You can hire a scooter for around 50k (£3) a day, it's fun (traffic willing) and will give you a great sense of freedom. Of course, safety is key, ALWAYS wear a helmet and only ride if you're confident enough to do so. If you'd like to learn, my local friend Dio runs some great lessons at Bali Motor Bike Lessons (send them a DM on insta here) – most people are confident and riding within a couple of hours. I've had some great adventures with Dio and he's a super lovely trustworthy guy! Of course, make sure your insurance covers you for riding a scooter.

Also, you need to hold an International driving licence to ride in Indonesia, worth remembering as a lot of scooter rental places don't ask for it even though it's required! If you are planning on long distances and travelling on the main roads it's likely you'll be stopped by police and potentially fined if you don't have one. But for just riding around quieter neighbourhoods and smaller roads (like in Uluwatu or Canggu) it's very unlikely you'll ever get asked for it. I personally don't do long journeys or ride after dark alone, but for getting around shorter distances during the day it's perfect.

- GOJEK IS LIFE
So, getting a scooter may not be for you and that's TOTALLY fine. There's lots of other ways to get around, the best being Go-Jek app (especially for shorter distances). Go-jek is essentially like an Indo-Uber, but you can order anything from regular taxis, to cars or bike taxis (the cheapest and most effective way to get around) to ordering food from incredible restaurants and even groceries, medicine or a massage! It's the one app you MUST download upon arrival. I always use this in the evenings incase I'd like a sunset drink and it's great. Ordering a bike taxi will bring a local right up to your location and you can jump on the back to your destination, most 10 minute journeys in and around Canggu for example are around 15k (85p!). You might have to barter a bit for longer trips but that's where I'd recommend finding a trustworthy driver.

- PRIVATE DRIVER
I'd avoid the blue taxis and everyone hassling you at the airport if possible because chances are, you'll get ripped off. You can find local drivers via Facebook groups or ask a friend who's travelled there if they have a recommendation. My driver is called Pasta and he's an absolute diamond, super lovely and trust worthy and always offers a fair price. If you'd like his number please send me a DM I'd be happy to share! You can expect to pay a private driver 250k (£12) from the airport to Canggu, Uluwatu, Seminyak areas and maybe a little more for Ubud areas. For a full day tour or day trips (recommend for visiting temples, waterfalls etc in Ubud) you can expect to pay anywhere from 500k-800k depending on the hours needed.

- BOATS TO ISLANDS
There's loads of boats to the neighbouring islands such as Gili, Lombok and the Nusa Islands (which I 100% recommend doing if you have the time!) but it can get a bit overwhelming. You definitely want to get a fast boat ticket so you're not at sea for hours, I've tried a few but the best of the mid-priced bunch is Eka Jaya. You can get tickets either at the harbour (Padang Bai) or via ticket sellers either on the street (you'll see little boat tickets huts everywhere in the main hubs) or from your hotel and they should usually include transfers. A fair price for a return is anywhere between 400k-800k (£20-£40) depending on provider and transfer options. A word of warning Padang Bai harbour is pretty hectic and you may be approached by sellers and people wanting to carry your bags – just say a firm but polite no thank you or 'tidak makasih' in Indonesian.

For more of a stress-free experience I really, really recommend a company called Blue Water Express. Departing to the islands from the much quieter Serangan harbour, everything is seamless and organised from a stress-free transfer pick up, to a comfortable cafe waiting area to organised and comfortable boarding on a premium fast boat. They even give everyone a sea-sickness tablet! If you can spare the extra £ (starting around 1mil (£60) for a return) I'd always go with them.

Also stay tuned for storms and weather! In June last year the harbourmaster put a 4 day halt on all fast boats – meaning we had to get a 5hr public ferry (it was an experience, but only £2.50) to make it to our lovely pre-booked resort in Lombok.

5. DON'T STAY IN ONCE PLACE

Bali is a lot bigger than most people think, and there is SO much it has to offer – it kills me when first time visitors go and stay in one place like Seminyak the whole time. I'll be doing full guides by area, but think about what things you'd like to see and experience. Bali is so unique in the fact there's so much to see on and around one island is something you should take full advantage of. Moving around might sound like a bit of a hassle but honestly, you won't regret a minute of it.

As an example, over a 2 week trip I usually recommend starting out in Canggu for 3-4 nights for cute cafes, surf vibes, great nightlife and epic sunsets. Then you could go up to Ubud for another 3 nights to try out some of the beautiful resorts and spas and then get your culture fix – think rice fields, temples and waterfalls. From there it's easy to get to the harbours so you could spend the next few nights on an island (Gili T for party and diving, Gili Air for chill and Nusa Lem for beauty). After that you could then travel down to Uluwatu (my favourite part of in Bali) for the most beautiful beaches, surf lessons, epic clifftop views and sunsets and again amazing eateries – it's quieter down here but make sure you're there on a Wednesday or Sunday for the best party night at Single Fins.


6. CHECK OUT THE FACEBOOK GROUPS

I've mentioned these a few times now but I can't recommend them enough for helpful tips, especially for solo travellers, digi nomads or if you're going to be there for a little while! There's some great communities of expats and locals who share advice, news, accommodation and plenty of amazing events. My faves are Canggu Nomad Girls, Canggu Community, Canggu Community Housing, Bali Expat Jobs & Business, Uluwatu Community, Ubud Hood and Bali Digital Nomads. I can't express how much these have helped me (Canggu Nomad Girls in particular is a beautifully supportive group), from making friends with other female travellers to amazing events and even business opportunities. If you're self-employed/freelance it's worth checking out some of the events even if you're on holiday!

7. RESPECT THE ENVIRONMENT 

Bali is a wonderful destination (have I said that yet?) and you'll have an incredible time there, but it's important to help look after this special island too. Pollution and plastic in the oceans is a big problem in  Asia in general, but we can all do our bit to help. It breaks my heart to see wildlife affected or litter in the sea and on my last trip I made it through the whole time with not one bit of single-use plastic with ease, so there's no excuse to contribute to waste!

You can't drink tap water in Bali, but instead of buying lots of single-use plastic bottled water, bring or buy a reusable water bottle. Nearly every hotel, villa, hostel and restaurant will have drinking-water dispenser you can use. If you don't have a re-usable bottle purchase a glass bottled water so you can keep it and re-fill it (mine lasted months last summer!). If you see litter on the beach or in the sea pick it up and dispose of it, or even better join one of the frequent beach clean up events to help the environment and potentially make some friends! Oh and also don't flush the toilet paper, it messes with their drainage systems – use the bum gun (if you know, you know) and dry with tissue and pop it in the bin.

8. & RESPECT THE LOCAL CULTURE

There's plenty of great cafes and brands that do good in Bali. GIVE café in Canggu is one of my ultimate favourites. Owned by Kynd Community (probably the most instagrammed pink wall ever), it is 100% non-profit and serves the most incredible vegan food. Once you pay for your meal you're given a token and can choose to donate to either a Bali dogs charity, a charity helping children and those in need of prosthetics or charity supporting sustainable education and farming programs. Also my friend owns a Bali bags brand, E. Lane Traders and donates a portion of sales to Bali Street Mums and sponsors a child. There's plenty of ways to give back.

And once you meet some locals, you'll want to. Balinese people are some of the loveliest, kindest people I've met. Bali is home to a mix of religions but the most widespread is Hinduism. You'll spot daily offerings to the gods in the street and maybe even outside your door (some resorts even teach you how to make these!) so be careful not to step on them. If you're visiting a temple or religious space be sure to dress appropriately and take a sarong. Religious processions can be incredible to watch and although it occasionally may hold up some traffic, be mindful and patient.

Also, it helps to learn a few local bahasa phrases!
Terima kasih = 'thank you'
Selemat Paggi = 'good morning'
Selemant Sore = 'good afternoon'
Selemat Malam = 'good night'
Apa Kabar = 'how are you'
Permissi = 'excuse me'
Tidak = 'no'

9. FAIR PAYMENT (but don't be stingy either)

I touched on this with the taxi's, but it goes for everything in Bali. Ask around for what a fair price for a trip or tour ticket should be before handing over cash. Try and pre-book your airport transfer. For local markets and sellers on the beach prepared to haggle a bit (a fair price for a sarong is 20-50k (£2-3), around 20-30k for a shell bracelet and around 100-150k for a a small rattan bag. But just remember, a little to you is probably a lot to them. A Bintang (local beer) should cost you around 30k, and you can get an indonesian meal from a Warung (local restaurant) for around 30k (£1.50).



10. YOU MAY NEVER WANT TO COME HOME

This sounds a bit cringe, but for real – once mama Bali gets her hold on you it's likely you'll come back again and again or, like me and thousands of other expats, want to make a proper life out there. It's not for everyone, of course, but it is for many. The island so beautiful and full of so much amazing energy, sipping coconuts and watching sunsets on the daily becomes addictive and being around so many good vibes 24/7 is such a special thing and the lifestyle is infectious. You'll also meet amazing people – I've made some incredible friendships in Bali. And met my last two ex-boyfriends there (lol).

Not only that, there's buzzing hubs like Canggu and Ubud where new businesses, entrepreneurs, digital nomads and creatives a like are thriving. The sense of community is incredible and going out for drinks is nearly always like networking. My friend bought a sofa off another girl in Canggu Nomad Girls and she ended up being her biggest client! People are making it work out there and it's a pretty inspiring place to be – stay tuned for my post on living/working here.

I hope you found these tips helpful, please save and share if you did. I can't wait to start this next chapter and share it all with you.

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