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Bali is always a good idea. I believe everyone should at least once in his or her life experience the Island of the Gods. There are so many reasons why traveling to Bali will not disappoint you. Balinese people are almost always smiling and are such heart-warming people. You will find healthy food, experience stunning sunsets and see amazing rice fields. Here is a mini-guide that will help you plan your first trip to Bali.

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Before you go

When to go

You can travel to Bali the whole year, but if you don’t want to get wet, I recommend traveling during the dry season from May until October. For the rainy season from November until April you can be lucky and get a whole week with no rain or you can get unlucky and it rains every day. It does not usually rain the whole day and it is still warm.

During July, August and September it is high season in Bali, which means the prices for hotels are higher and it gets more crowded, but the temperatures are beautiful not too humid and you can get a real Bali tan.

Visa

From almost every country you can get a free 30 day visa on arrival. This means you can just go directly to the immigration counter and don’t need to pay for anything, but just keep in mind that you can’t extend the 30 days visa. If you are thinking about staying longer you can get a 60 day visa, but this you need to buy at the counter before immigration.

Law

If you haven’t heard it already, the law in Bali / Indonesia is really strict. It means definitely no drugs at all – otherwise you could end up in jail. Another important point is to wear your helmet while riding a motorbike. Most of the tourists don’t follow this rule, which doesn’t make it less illegal. If you drive without a helmet or an international drivers license be prepared to pay a huge fine.

Money

Become a millionaire in Bali. The currency is Indonesian Rupia (IDR) and for one US Dollar you get 13,400 IDR. That means with 100 USD you’ll get a million IDR. How much money you need in Bali depends on your lifestyle. You can get a $2 fried rice or you can get a meal for $20.

Where to go

If you are a first-time traveller to Bali I recommend visiting Canggu, Seminyak, Ubud, Uluwatu and North Bali.

Seminyak

It might be one of the most touristy places in Bali, but unlike Kuta it has way more class. It is seriously a paradise for the foodie. Book a villa on Airbnb and enjoy your vacation Bali-style. Make sure you save enough money because the shopping in Seminyak is amazing

Canggu

This place is for all the yoga-lovers, hipsters, and surfers. Nowhere else can you find so many healthy and hip cafes in one place. Go for a surf, sunset drinks or join one of the many amazing yoga classes. Canggu used to be a quiet surf spot, but lately the visitors have increased immensely so make sure to go to Canggu soon, before it get’s to crowded or looses its charm.

Ubud

This place got very popular very quick after the movie eat, pray, love and it’s now of course more touristy, but you can still feel the spiritual vibe. If you want to dig into Balinese tradition then go see a healer and you will feel how Bali can change your view on the world.
In Ubud, you also find great spas, markets for souvenirs, the monkey forest and some great yoga spots. If you want to take a yoga or wellness retreat, Ubud is the place to go.

Uluwatu

In Uluwatu you will find the excellent beaches. Unlike Canggu the beaches in Uluwatu provide white sand and depending on the season, crystal clear water. It’s also amazing for all pro-surfers. If you want to chill on the beach, be sure to go to the two popular beach clubs: Karma Kandara or Sundays Beach Club. Even though it’s filled with tourists you might want to go to Uluwatu Temple, watch the sunset and see a Balinese dance show.

Lovina

Lovina is famous for its dolphin tours and the untouched nature. It’s only a 3 hour car-ride away from Seminyak, but the difference is huge. You will experience almost no tourists and even friendlier people in north Bali. Make sure you stop in Bedugul to see the temple and of course the popular GitGit Waterfalls.

Island get-away

If you have any time spare and want to go snorkelling or scuba diving, I suggest going on a two or three day trip to the Gilis or Nusa Lembongan. The Gilis are a 3-hour boat trip away from Bali while Nusa Lembongan is only 30 minutes by boat.beach

Insider tips

Culture

Bali is great for the culture vulture with the local traditions still alive and well. Three times per day they put their offerings for the gods outside. You will see those colourful offering baskets all over the streets.offering

Balinese people are very friendly and won’t tell you if you’re being disrespectful, but it’s important to remember a few things. Never go to a temple without covering with a Sarong. You can buy them everywhere, do there is no excuse. Don’t drive you scooter in a bikini. Try to cover up, even if it’s hot.

Water

In hotels, villas or guesthouses the water is clean, but it is not drinking water. If you have a sensitive stomach then brush your teeth with filtered water and have drinks without ice. Most experience a little “Bali-Belly”, so like everywhere in the world, just be careful about what you eat.

Mosquitos

Always put on Mosquito spray with DEET in it. This is the only thing that will actually protect you from the dengue virus. During rainy season there are more mosquitoes and you should also try to wear longer cloth to protect yourself. Also, the Zika virus has arrived in Bali and it is not recommend traveling to Bali whilst pregnant or if you plan to get pregnant soon.

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