When I was first traveling to Indonesia, I knew nothing about it. In fact, I only faintly suspected it was safe after hearing a bunch of Australians rave about the wonders of Bali.
Plus, I got my frequent flier ticket through Delta Sky
miles for a solid $5.80. And, 45,000 miles. This was about 15000 miles less than a ticket to Sydney, Australia.
So, if you are like me, and no nothing about Bali, here’s some basic knowledge to help you out.
Bali is insanely cheap. I spent about $150.00 USD for the entire 8 days I was there. And, if I had known what I know now, I could have spent even less. (I spent about $540,000 Rupiah on taxis, before I knew about Uber, Grabcar and that haggling was culturally acceptable.
In Bali, the currency is Rupiah. 1 Rupiah is 0.0001 USD. So, every 10,000 rupiah is equal to $1.00 USD. In context, this means that you can literally buy a meal in Bali for about fifty cents in USD. Even the most expensive places I went did not exceed $10.00 USD.
Bali is funny with transit. I assumed that I would be able to get a taxi, that roads were normal sized, and that it would be easy to navigate.
I was wrong.
In Bali, everyone drives on the left side of the road, like Australia and the United Kingdom. Roads are narrow; some are only six feet wide. Additionally, there are no sidewalks.
The only way to get around Bali effectively is by renting a motor scooter. This will enable you to access everything you need. You can rent one for an entire month for between 400,000-600,0000 Rupiahs (about $30-$45 USD) or by day for about 50,000 Rupiahs: a little less than $5.00.
Uber and Grabcar are available in certain areas; however, the taxi drivers in Bali aren’t excited about these new services, to put it mildly, so be cautious about who you ask about it.
I stayed in a small, clean and well-kept hostel called Beachbums Berawa ten minutes walk from the beach. The cost per night was $1.74-$2.10 a night. Thus, I spent about $14.00 for six days at this hostel in Canggu.
I stayed in Kuta (Captain Goose Hostel) for two nights as well; however, Kuta is more expensive, touristy and busy. My hostel in Kuta had a pool, and was located near many shops and restaurants. It wasn’t quite as clean as the first hostel, but offered a lot for activities.
If I could go back and do it again, I would spend a month, not just in Bali, but in Indonesia. There are so many things to do, and places to see. I spent my time in 3 main areas: Canggu, Kuta and Ubud.
However, there are so many places to see. The Gili Islands, Komodo Island, and Flores are supposed to be beautiful. Which brings me to my next point.
Indonesia is better if you spend extra time in the country, and plan when you get there. The thing is, it’s difficult to pre-book the boats necessary to get from place to place, and on top of that, some places deserve more time than is allotted.
Most of the places I learned about were learned about once I arrived and not before arriving.
One thought on “Bali Basics”
You are so right, one needs extra time for Indonesia. I only had 4 days when I went there and I spent the whole time in Ubud, I regret it. Thing is, it’s also a good excuse to go back. Amazing tell of your Indonesia trip!