The Complete Guide to Bali for all first-timers.

So you want to spend some time in Bali? We’ve put together a quick guide to get you started on your journey. We’ll cover aspects from what to expect from the island, where to stay depending on your expectations, how to cover the basics and what to do to squeeze everything out of your stay on the island. Finally, we’ll talk about the bad stuff as well, so you can come prepared physically and mentally. Add the video to your favourites or get a pen and paper coz this one is going to be information dense!

One final note before we begin, this video is a starter guide and we’re sure you’ll discover many more places when you’re there.

If you’re coming from the abroad you’ll fly into the Ngurah Rai airport in Denpasar – the main city part of the island. Since Bali recently reintroduced Visa of Arrival your entry to the island will be simple. You can also arrive from the main island of Java and take a ferry to the town of GIlimanuk in the north western part of Bali. Arriving this way will however require you to arrange private transportation as the local Uber, called Gojek will not allow you to order such a long ride as these are officially limited to 100km but in reality most rides over 90km are not orderable on the app.

You can take a blue cab at the airport or install the Gojek app on your phone to arrange transport to your location of choice and pay with cash from an ATM. Here are a few major regions you might choose to stay in depending on what you’re looking for. Whilst it’s somewhat of a running joke, each region has a distinct type of personality among the expat community or a purpose why people go there.

That being said, wherever you go, if you can play a Ukulele it’s an added bonus. Canggu – As described by our favourite Bali instagram account – Overheard in Canggu – living in Canggu is doing the bare minimum and rewarding yourself with good food you don’t deserve, paid for with money you don’t have.

Check out their profile for more inspirational quotes relating to living in Bali.

Canngu is known for it’s working nomad community, frivolous lifestyles and maxed out mobile data packages used on swiping on Tinder. There are plenty of food places to choose from and the beach is not bad, as long as you don’t expect pristine clean white sands. This is also a great place to learn to surf thanks to its predictable waves and plenty of instructors and beach boys who are ready to teach you. Canggu is also famous for its shortcut – a narrow road with tons of traffic and a history of cars tipping over or bikes flying off the road into the rice fields.

Seminyak is where you go if you want a higher grade living conditions, usually in a villa and when you love shopping. It’s somewhat removed from the scene and vastly different from Canggu vibe. It’s here where you have some high end restaurants, night clubs and opportunities to spot your favorite instagramers dining or hanging out on the beach. As it’s just south of Canggu the beach is much similar and you should set your expectations accordingly. Denpasar – the capital of Bali and it’s oldest town with a huge deal of history, some of which can be explored by visiting the Bajra Sandhi Monument to watch the well described dioramas or taking a city tour with one of many operators you’ll find on Tripadvisor.

The area has nearly a million residents and boasts the most amount of shops, markets, and several temples. It’s here where you’ll come to sort out any official visa related matters or pay customs duty at the main post office if someone sends you things from abroad. Kuta – East of Denpasar and south from Seminyak, Kuta is where you’ll find some great hotels like the Mamaka by Ovolo, with great views of the beach on which you can admire gorgeous sunsets and people flying impressive kites. The beach itself is very wide and has plenty of accessory salesmen whilst the street outside of it boasts plenty of carts selling food. The nearby beachwalk mall is popular for all your shopping needs and if you want to do activities there’s a great water park called waterbombali or play golf at the nearby course.

Uluwatu – This southernmost part of the island, just under the most expensive and fancy area called Jimbaran, has a few golf clubs for so inclined The south western part of the island is where you’ll go if you enjoy a boho lifestyle, want to take first lessons in surfing, make use of some great deals on food, attend open air parties and enjoy several white sand beaches. You’ll also find a few great beach clubs and the incredible Uluwatu Temple. Uluwatu has a down to earth, relaxed vibe with much less pressure than earlier mentioned areas.

Nusa Dua To the north east of Uluwatu you’ll find Nusa Dua by Benoa Bay. This area has been one of our favorite for it’s amazing hotels, well maintained sands and availability of watersports.

It lacked local restaurants which closed due to the you know what, so you’ll mostly be stuck with resort restos for now but those are great and serve both Balinese and western foods. This is an amazing place to take romantic beach walks or enjoy a romantic candle-lit dinner. Morning strolls are highly recommended as the view of the volcano in the background with fishermen walking the shallow waters is very unique. Ubud – located north east off Denpasar is the place to be for all types of yogi practitioners, ecstatic dancers, art and history fans, aspiring cooks and those not afraid of macaque monkeys who roam the streets in packs when venturing outside the famous monkey forest. Hotels here are well priced and so is the food.

Spas and beauty salons are aplenty and 70 year old hairdresser ladies aren’t afraid to call you a handsome boy after you get a haircut from them.

Amed – Located in the east of the island, Amed is a divers paradise with several great diving spots and an absolute tonne of diving schools. You’ll be able to enjoy wrecks and astounding fall off shelves even if you have a basic open water license. Fish and coral are incredibly abundant, accommodation varies depending on your budget and once everything opens up again there will also be a good variety of places to eat. Lovina – located at the opposite side of the island from all the hustle and bustle of Denpasar, Lovina is most known for almost guaranteed sightings of dolphins and boasts several operators who will gladly take you onboard, treat you to a banana sandwich and tea before getting you into the water to test your arm strength whilst chasing pods of dolphins.

That’s not all Lovina has to offer as you can also go snorkeling and diving over the coral reefs, hike to waterfalls and dip in the Banjar hot springs nearby. It’s also a place where you can see a beautiful Buddhist monastery, the Brahmavihara – Arama which is a replica of an ancient Javanese archeological site called Borobudur which is 330 miles east.

(530km) You can watch a full tour of this monastery on our second YouTube channel, linked in the description and in the tab above. Accommodation The island boasts a full breadth of accommodation types from shared guest houses and hostels, through garage style single rooms, to hotels, apartments and villas. Naturally prices will vary greatly but to lead a comfortable lifestyle we recommend preparing 5-10mil rupiah for accommodation per month which will allow you to stay at a 4 star level place or share a villa with other nomads.

That being said, some of our friends have managed to secure good rooms in Uluwatu for as low as 2 mil per month, whilst others preferred their own villa for 30 mil. Hotels: Our top 3 favourite hotels in Bali were Lovina Life in the north of Bali for its styling, cleanliness, overall quality and food. Only downside is that it’s far north and the internet wasn’t very fast. Conrad Bali – for it’s top quality, exceptional service, beautiful outdoors, huge swimming pools and beach cleaned every morning. The only thing we liked less was the breakfast experience being a mix of a buffet and restaurant which made it a very confusing scenario for folks who are yet to have coffee.

Last but not least, our overall favorite – Amnaya – for it’s serenity, incredible customer service, decent pricing, beautiful rooms and suites cleaned to perfection, local spa, gym and yoga space, and availability to arrange romantic dining by the pool. Only downside for us were internet speeds on the general access password so make sure to ask for the fast login at check-in if you’re planning to upload large files to the net.

Guest Houses These don’t differ much from a smaller hotel room and occasionally have a separate bathroom but often have access to a shared kitchen where you can make your own food. These are a great place to meet other people thanks to these often having communal areas to hang out, work and be eaten alive by mosquitoes. Apartments and villas: There are plenty of apartments and villas available on the island.

These range from one bedroom apartments, like this one in Seminyak, which had a large lounge, outdoor space, Jacuzzi and a roof terrace. The owner responded to a post on facebook so it’s worth asking on the main few groups for what you’re looking for and sifting through what you get in response. Villas are a similar deal but these are often accessible through local brokers, who are very active on the Bali facebook groups. The best way to afford a villa is to rent with a few of your friends.

A budget of 7-10 mil per person will get you a good villa with cleaning and laundry services and quality amenities, though this can be done much more budget friendly if needed.

It all depends on standards that you expect from the place you want to stay at. Take your time visiting properties and assess your options. A few basics also worth mentioning are: Electricity is 220-240 volts and sockets are two-pronged European standard.

If you have American equipment, check that your charger is self-switching between the two standards. If they do, then all you need is a plug converter.

We got this chunky guy which has a few USB ports for everything we need. Phone and sim card You most likely have a cell phone already so if you’re coming to Bali for more than 3 months and want to use a local sim card you might need to register your phone before coming over and pay tax on it upon arrival, at the airport.

That being said, we have registered it but did not go through the customs office as it was closed due to the rona and we never managed to get back there. Our passports were scanned to register our tourist sim cards with a local telephony operator Telkomsel and once the sim cards stopped working after more than 90 days we went in again and got them registered for a second time at no extra cost and they worked fine. Your mileage may vary on this one.

If you’re coming to Bali for a long time, the best solution would be to have a dual-sim phone as that will allow you to pop in a second, Indonesian sim card and have your original 2-factor authentication on your old number and your local communication through your Indonesian number. Sunscreen – if you’ve never been to a hot climate like this one make sure to bring a strong filtering cream rated to something like 90 The sun here is relentless. A tip we got from an oncologist – remember to also use cream on your ears – apparently many people lose their ear to cancer due to forgetting to put sunscreen on them.

When buying sunscreen look for one that’s not harmful to aquatic life or the coral reef. Lastly, bring a hat and a thin long sleeve top, especially if you plan on learning to surf and remember to drink enough water.

Bring your own or buy a water bottle locally. Plastic pollution is particularly evident on the western beaches of Bali and waste management on the island isn’t fully developed yet so let’s try to minimize the problem by reusing a water bottle. The use of large water jugs in coolers is very common on the island so you won’t have a problem refilling your reusable. Back up wallet – muggings are quite rare on the island but as any seasoned traveler it’s best to have a second wallet with a little bit of cash to give away in case of a mugging or when someone in a position of power wants a bribe and you want to downplay the amount of cash you have on you.

Bag or valuable snatchings have become more prevalent this year so be mindful of what’s on display.

Insurance – definitely get one. It’s not difficult to get injured on a trip like this. Foot injuries are most common but also surfing is a major source of visits to the doctor, right next to the infamous bali belly stomach infections. Depending on your length of stay you’ll get a traveler’s insurance or a nomad insurance. There’s an abundance of the former and a few options for the latter.

Being nomads, we used safety wings but as with any other insurer, reviews online are mixed so make sure to do a bit of research to find the perfect one for you and that it covers your activities. Driver’s license – you’ll likely need an international driving permit to remain motorized on the island You get these in your home country and this might take a while so check this plenty of time ahead.

Driving without a license will get you in trouble if caught and foreigners on motorbikes are rather prone to be stopped for a check by the police. If you feel the need to get a local driver’s license, that’s possible but you’ll need local help so ask your tour guide or locals who will be able to arrange this for you. Passport – make a copy of your passport and driver’s license and laminate them in case you loose your original.

Keep it safe. Sadly there is very little data protection here so your passport will be photocopied by your hotels, photographed by your phone plan provider to be uploaded onto a Google sheet and god knows what happens with the phone they used to capture your passport. We haven’t’ heard of cases of identity fraud and a quick Google also doesn’t reveal any cases so perhaps this is a non-issue. Cards – Use cash where you can to minimize fraud but don’t flash large amounts of cash. Consider getting a Revolut account or similar provider like Wise, which lets you get a virtual card easily through the app.

Use that virtual or even a one time use card number for hotels if you want to protect your money further. Providers such as Revolut also give you the added benefit of an app that immediately tells you of a transaction or asks you if you’re making a transaction before allowing it to proceed.

If you’re renting a villa for longer you’ll likely need to make a bank transfer. This is also easy to do on the spot with a provider like Revolut. We used cash in shops and kept the card for larger purchases in established shops, hotels and restaurants, but it was always a Revolut card.

Keep your cards safe from salt water as it will degrade the chip surface and your card will stop working unless you deoxidize it or carefully scratch the patina off. Tax and service charge – these are usually added to the bill. Tipping is appreciated but not compulsory. Bali has a service culture and you will come across people (fixers, to be exact) who help you get to places or arrange things for you – those guys will expect a tip even if they say otherwise. In places like Jakarta you’ll even come across street hustlers who help guide traffic for tips.

Communication Whatsapp is a must have. You’ll be using it to communicate with friends, join groups, sign up to guest lists for events, and ask shops, restaurants and hotels for availability.

Some phones allow having more than one profile set up for one particular app, such as Whatsapp, so look into that if you don’t want to give out your foreign number to people you meet and instead share your Indonesian number. We suggest the latter as data is harvested heavily when signing up to events or renting out equipment like a scooter or jet ski. Instagram is the second most used means of communication and source of information for events and current affairs so you might want to get yourself an account there too.

Most road users are on scooters and you’ll likely join them at some point – especially if you plan on moving around a lot or stay for a longer time in places like Uluwatu where Gojeks, the local uber, are rarely available. If you plan on skirting the law, we recommend at least getting classes in your home country on how to ride safely. Foot and lower leg injuries are most common among riders and rarely insurance pays out if you’re unlicensed so best to minimize the risk and learning to ride on a quality bike before you get on a rickety and rusty scooter on patchy roads somewhere in Lembongan. Oh and wear a darn helmet! A lot of people trust that leaving their helmet on the bike will be ok but these do get stolen often so decide for yourself how you wish to proceed.

Scooter rentals cost between 50 and 70k a day. Longer rentals get progressively cheaper and a monthly rental shouldn’t cost you more than 6-700k for a reasonable 125cc scooter with a helmet.

Scooters such as NMAX will cost more. Car rentals are easy and there are plenty of places to get one from. A two week car rental will cost you around 4 million rupiah.

You can also get a car with a driver which, depending on the distance, will cost you between 600k and 800k for a day outside peak season. You can also use Gojeks and get a ride in a car or at the back of a scooter. The latter being much cheaper and they usually provide a helmet. Pay with cash to avoid a card payment charge. You can pay even less if you top up your gojek account and use its balance.

Local food stores Local food has a good variety and tastes amazing. We took a cooking class in Ubud and loved every minute of the experience. From the market visit, through learning about the culture, house layout and purpose of each individual shrines we made a few awesome dishes with Auntie Puspa and her husband Wayan.

We highly recommend this experience – find them in the video description. Tap water isn’t considered for drinking purposes.

Over a period of 5 months we had 3 stomach upsets even though we tried to avoid tap water and low grade food. Prepare to get Bali Belly, and when you do, drink lots of water, take medicine when necessary and ensure you replenish salts and minerals. I drank Pocari Sweat – weird name for a drink but it’s good for replenishing electrolytes. Restaurants: Here’s a brief list of the more popular restaurants Coffee shops There are more coffee shops in Bali than one can count.

Indonesia being a major player in the global area of coffee production, including coffee pre-digested by animals, you can get coffee almost on every street if not from a typical coffee place then from a cart of scooter operated by a single coffee salesman.

Coffee shops are crammed into every nook and cranny like the Monkey Cave cafe in Ubud that sits below a transformer, squeezed between two hotels.

Coffee shops are something that should be explored which you’ll likely do when heading out to meet friends and cure a hangover. Co-working Many co-working places have permanently shut down during the rona so we’ll keep this short and recommend that you give Zin in Canggu a try, otherwise work off coffee shops or beach clubs and your hotel until you learn from locals what reopens and becomes available. Beach Clubs: A large part of life in Bali happens at beach clubs.

Some of the ones we find are worth going to early on are: Finns in Canggu as well as Savaya and Palmilla in Uluwatu.

There are however a huge amount of these on the island but those will get you started nicely and set the bar at a decent height. Usually to get a table or spot at these there is a minimum spend during sunset times so arrive early or late to avoid this. Alternatively come as a group if you want to avoid having to spend a minimum of 30-60 dollars personally. Night life on the island is extremely vibrant. Our first experience of a night club was at La Favela.

Sadly it was during Covid so partying was unofficial so phones were stored with security for the duration of our stay – sorry, we don’t have any photos or videos to share for this one. We had an absolute blast there and the locals were amazing dancers (even though some say they were hired by the club) but I want to believe! we spent the new year’s eve at the famous Savaya.

The Complete Guide to Bali for all first-timers.

Its a large multi platform club where you can chill by a table, sit on a chair half inside a swimming pool, hang around the bars or hit the dance floor. Music style is a bit of a hit and miss in some of the clubs but from what we gather, few go clubbing in Bali to focus on dancing (know what I’m saying?

). Last but not least, we had an incredible time at the Surfers Bar in Kuta in south of Lombok. The music there was great and you could dance barefoot in the sand if you didn’t care that your flip flops were going to be stolen by the 10 year old kids who peddle string bracelets. Exercise: There is ample opportunities to stay fit on the island. If you’re not hiking mount Batur or run on the beach you can get your workout fix surfing, swimming or hit the local gym.

These vary in size and are usually in hotels but if you choose to go to a full size gym one we would recommend is Louis and Friends for its good machine availability, air conditioning and reasonable pricing between 500k and 1 mil depending on the current deal they run. Tech stores: Located mostly in the Denpasar region of Bali, has plenty of stores with photography, Smartphone and laptop equipment but much like in the west, availability of products is better online. So you’ll likely want to use Tokopedia which is similar to Amazon and has both official brand stores and third party sellers. Ordering through it is easy but requires a local bank card so you might need some help from a local friend or head to BCA bank with a local friend who can help with setting up a bank account for a foreigner. If none of that works, ask on a related Facebook group or the general nomad one as a last resort.

Trips off-Bali Bali is so much more than only the main island.

Excursions to neighbouring lands is a great way to expand on your experience and see some truly wonderful places. Our first trip was to Nusa Lembongan where we checked out local beaches, viewing spots, went snorkelling and diving. Nusa Lembongan is a perfect opportunity to admire the stunning coral reef, a huge variety of fish and if you’re lucky, even turtles and rays. Check out our full video on Nusa Lembongan on the channel.

Link in the description. Gili islands – the three most known Gilis are Trawangan, Meno and Aii. They’re located just off Lombok, or a 2 hour boat trip from Sanur harbor in Bali (unless you take the fast one for more money). Trawangan being the largest of the three features some great hotels such as Aston on the Western side and the Pondok Santi in the south with their amazing pizzeria by the beach are highly recommended by us.

The first one also has outdoor movie nights which we enjoyed very much.

The island is known for partying on the east site and if you like flying high, you won’t have a problem finding that here. There’s some good wind on the eastern side too, if you’re into kite-surfing. The sand is amazing for walks on the beach, waters mostly calm and great for snorkelling. Plenty opportunities to find turtles in the north east and even sharks in the north. The main modes of transport on the gillis are cycling and by horse drawn carriages.

Gili Meno is the quieter, middle island and it’s where you can snorkel by the underwater statues.

It has a turtle sanctuary on the south eastern side and a saltwater lake on the east. Gili Air is the smallest of the three but is no worse whatsoever. Snorkel, enjoy cinema nights, go shopping do yoga or learn to cook. It’s all on the Gilis.

Oh and obviously Gilis are amazing for diving. If you need a dive school and hotel, check out Oceans 5 on Gili Air. Komodo National Park is where you’ll see Komodo dragons. You can go the night before and stay on the island nearby or embark on a 3 night 2 day trip on one of the many Phisini boats. Whichever option you choose be ready to pay a fair amount as this trip can range from 400 dollars for the hotel only option to 700 dollars per person for the Phinisi boat trip with flights from Denpasar.

Tour operators Our tour operator came highly recommended and we quickly learned why. We used Made’s services several times and were always happy. You can throw suggestions at him on what you want to see or have him take you around on daily or multi-day trips.

We saw several waterfalls, lakes, rice fields, temples and a volcano all with Made who also runs a coconut farm in the west of the island and is happy to show you around it. You’ll find his details in the description below.

That being said, there are many driver-tour-operators on the island and thanks to how everyone is connected every hotel and most restaurant owners will be able to point you towards one if you ask. Water sports Jet-ski, parasailing, snorkeling, diving, fishing you name it – it’s here.

Granted during our time in Bali, towards the end of the rona all this was barely available but our local friends tell us it’s picking up quickly and the more tourist return to the island these services are quickly becoming available. A great area for overwater sports is Nusa Dua but if you have a specific itch you want to scratch it’s never further than a 2 or 3 hour tip either to Lembongan, the Gilis or the north of Bali. Surf spots Uluwatu, in the south of Bali is famous for both new starters and seasoned surfers.

Most surf spots are in the south, from Canggu down all around Uluwatu and up to Sanur. Those wanting a change of scenery take a boat or flight to Lombok island to explore and have their skills challenged. The nearby Nusa Lembongan also has a few surf spots with very wide and long waves thanks to its flat seafloor. Dive spots Whether you’re a PADI or SSI certified diver you have great access to a full map of dive spots worldwide. If you’re looking to start your journey with Padi or just have some fun dives, some great spots on the island are located in Amed on the north east of the island, near the jetty in PadangBai and Nusa Penida island which is a 40 minute boat trip from Sanur harbor.

The variety of sea life is astounding and as long as you’re comfortable with water and are healthy, diving should absolutely be on your bucket list. Must-see places Temples – Tanah Lot near Canggu. Come at low tide and early morning. Uluwatu Temple including the famous Kecak fire dance. Expensive but well worth it.

Elephant cave temple in Ubud. Beautiful and peaceful place. Bring mosquito repellent if you want to visit the forest also. Lempuyang temple – this is the one with the famous water reflection.

Fun fact, there is no water.

It’s just a guy there that uses a mirror with your phone to make that effect. His cost is now within the entrance fee. If you ask nicely, local stewards might take you upstairs to the temple where you can undergo the holy ceremony. To reach this place, take a local tourist bus from a parking lot a mile away or go around the mountain and park outside the temple. Finally, the Brahmavihara Arama – a smaller version of a huge complex of temples mentioned earlier.

You’ll find links to 4 of the above in the description below. Volcanoes – Mt Batur including night hiking. Check out a full vlog from this awesome hike. Link also below. Waterfalls Kanto Lampo – this very known, wide waterfall, comes with a local photographer.

He’s great. Use his services. Tibbumana – second most known waterfall is a great spot for photos but the walk to it is also a great experience thanks to dense vegetation and abundance of sounds.

Tukad Cepung – reached through almost a cave-like system and having to walk through a river (make sure to bring water shoes otherwise this walk might be a bit painful) and next to a small shrine, this waterfall is most known for its tear-like shape and sun rays in the morning. Gembleng – although still a bit under construction during out visit, this place has amazing views over the jungle and little pools where you can cool down.

Getting there with a car is tricky due to a single width road with rice fields on both sides and a parking spot for one car. Good luck 🙂 Other attractions Tirta Gangga – is a water palace with koi fish you can feed and some great instagrammable spots. Towards the back there are some pools and one side is reserved for gondola trips.

Taman Ujung – this water palace is a large complex of pools, long bridges and at its center you’ll find pictures of the royals. Devastated twice after an earthquake and volcanic eruption but restored, maintains it’s splendor thanks to extensive efforts by the locals.

Ulun Danu Bratan temple – is part of a complex of features to take photos at, a fun place for kids and has a decent place to eat. Entry at 100k is a bit steep but overall worth it. Lahangan sweet – is a peaceful mountain top walk surrounded by iinstagrammable feature spots Just be careful as some have degraded over the last few years and might be a bit unstable. Ubud Market – A must do for those who like browsing for souvenirs, bags, scarves and trinkets. Make sure to haggle the prices down by 30-50{57593497a703d278312ba078f68c0ea6cf88b4e9a55b8f0888aee79856d7cbcc} otherwise you’re overpaying.

An alternative to Ubud market is the Sukawati Art Market which is considered less of a tourist hotspot.

Campuhan Ridge Walk – is a fantastic walk that spans 10 kilometers, though you don’t have to do the whole length, and also a great place for a jog. Cooking class – we went to Auntie Puspa’s cooking class and had an absolute blast. Learned the ingredients – which we bought together at the local market – and cooked several great meals. Highly recommended.

Look for links to separate videos of these places in the description.

Rice fields – Bali is very known for its rice paddies. These are plenty all over the island. Some feature tourist attractions like the Alas Harum with its swings and Kopi Luwak coffee and others are simply the terrace such as the Tegalalang Rice Terrace (which is actually a stones throw south from Alas Harum), and Sidemen Rice Terraces But honestly, if you get on a scooter or in a car and drive for yourself, you’ll find several incredible rice paddies that will blow you away, which is what we did whilst aiming for a circle around the island. If instead you’re going to hire a driver with a car, they’ll be the perfect person to discuss an itinerary with and what’s best for the time of the year you’re visiting.

Beaches Nusa Dua – great sand and warm calm waters – one of the best on the island, and most importantly, very clean.

Dream Beach – deep, wide with great sand but tends to be quite windy. One of the prettiest we’ve seen. Pantai Suluban – hidden under tall cliffs lies a hidden gem with some nice sand. if you come during low tide you’ll have a large stretch of sand heading out into the sea.

You’ll also be able to turn left to another beach around the corner. Nyang Nyang a long stretch with amazing sand, a couple of warungs – local takeaways and even a bubble hotel. Get there by walking down on foot, even though it’s a long stretch. One girl did it on a scooter and lost her breaks which resulted in her falling over the edge and stopping on a tree. Ride a scooter down only if you trust your equipment and skills.

Overhead on the cliff you’ll find the famous airplane, one of 4 on the island. What negatives to expect when living on the island Internet speeds are usually fairly slow.

If you don’t live in a place with a fast landline internet then the best thing you can do is test the speed of your phone data plan and if it’s good enough for you, buying a large data plan. We found Telkomsel to have good signal, customer service and an app to add funds and data plans. Being youtubers we often upload files that are anywhere between 2 and 5 gigabytes.

Usually we had to leave our laptop overnight to upload videos onto YouTube and across our 5 month stay in Bali we had fast internet in only in two places we stayed at. A private apartment in Seminyak and Amnaya – a hotel in Nusa Dua but only after requesting the fast login details. Lack of ergonomic chairs Since we both worked in companies which delivered ergonomic solutions to offices we were very badly surprised by the lack of ergonomic workstations in places that advertise themselves nomad friendly. Some of our friends, despite staying in 4 or 5 star hotels had to buy their own desk and chair to not affect their posture negatively. This naturally will apply to nomads who work longer than an hour each day and since editing a 30 minute video with 430 scenes takes around 7 full days, a good chair is a must have but sadly, we never found a quality workstation where the chair was ergonomic AND the desk was an actual desk and not a piece of furniture that is not the right height.

Animals and insects – Living in Bali has really made us realize how few animals we have in the west around us. There are sooo many small animals in the tropics that they will inevitably come into your home many times. We’ve had small and large lizards, roaches of all sizes, mice, rats, spiders, frogs, crickets and even a freaking civet once that walked on our terrace 3 stories up. Our friend also had a cobra once in their home. This might seem obvious to many but we cannot stress it enough how likely it is that you’ll share accommodation with any of the above, multiple times.

Just make sure to come prepared mentally if you’re coming from an area of the planet that’s largely devoid of small animals surrounding your place of rest. Some might like it, some will hate it. You’ve been informed. Smell of sewer – More prevalent in large cities like Jakarta but often also in Bali – the smells are often different from what you’ll know from the west. This is mostly due to 2 things – open gutters or barely covered up with vented concrete slabs that have a very distinct smell of anything they carry.

Secondly, trash burning – Bali doesn’t have an effective way to deal with waste and it’s culturally accepted that trash of any sort can be burned, regardless of what nasty toxins they release. This is usually more visible outside of cities and on satellite islands like Lombok and Gilis. Few and uneven sidewalks – The island isn’t walking friendly. Whilst there’s a big push in the west to get people off of motorized vehicles and money follows to make infrastructure accommodate that goal, Bali (and really most of Indonesia) isn’t very walking friendly. The few sidewalks tend to be uneven, affected by tree roots or not placed down correctly following some emergency repairs, or there are cables hanging over the sidewalk making it difficult to pass.

It’s a developing nation so this is to be expected, so prepare to use Gojeks, rent a car or get a scooter. Beaches are fun to walk on but be weary of the little rivers that flow from the island into the sea as these can give you a rash when walked through. Leaky buildings – Despite renting mid to high end places we never had a place that wasn’t somehow affected by the weather. Leaky ceilings and roofs, noisy aircon units, gaps that allow animals to enter, are all common so be prepared to deal with this as well as rooster noise from 4am in more rural places. We found that renting a studio in higher end hotels solves most of those issues, although it takes away from the overall feel of Bali that most come to embed themselves into so, there’s a choice you’ll need to make.

Fixes take ages to sort – if you do rent an apartment or villa for longer you will need to deal with unreliable tradesmen that often do half the job and bog off or come without any tools for the job. Often fixes are just that – patches that don’t solve the root cause of an issue. We must note that this is a very generalising statement and our opinion might be stemming from the owners of apartments we stayed at not wanting to spend the money for a proper repair so take our opinion with a grain of salt. Clothes damaged by launderettes – If you stay at a place without your own washing machine you will be forced to rely on launderettes – If that will be the case, be prepared for your clothes to get stained, turn yellow, get damaged or go missing.

We tested several places including ones that were recommended to us and not one didn’t cause some of the above.

We found that the detergents used are poor quality and clothes are often dried on a string outside or the machines are not serviced and therefore stain the fabric. There’s no real recourse for damages and since the service costs around 50k not paying the bill will hardly reimburse the garment’s cost. Again, we’re painting with a broad brush here but our experience hasn’t been a very positive one in this matter. Don’t trust the photos. – when choosing a place to stay for longer – don’t ever trust the photos.

When you arrive on the island stay at a hotel for a couple of days and go hunting for a real place to stay. Mouldy walls, broken furniture eaten by termites, limited facilities and amenities, poor cleaning quality are all real issues that will rarely be on display in the posting on facebook or booking sites.

Don’t be afraid to be picky, bargain hard and check locks on doors, windows and safe when choosing a place to stay. Street salesmen and hustlers – These come part and parcel so best is to say thank you and keep moving. You can use the word Nanti, which means Later, to politely dissuade them from continuing to pursue you though in a few places like the Sanur port nothing worked on taxi hustlers and gojeks don’t show up there.

Continue to be firm and vigilant especially the more friendly they are. It usually follows a pattern of Where are you from, how long you’ve been here or how long you’re staying as an ice-breaker before they move to either trying to entertain you a bit and asking for money in return or trying to arrange something for you. One situation we were ill prepared for was a gojek driver who upon learning that we’re going to the port, called ahead and arranged boat tickets and fixed the pricing at a 40{57593497a703d278312ba078f68c0ea6cf88b4e9a55b8f0888aee79856d7cbcc} uplift.

Another guy said he’s promoting an event at Finns where we’d get free t-shirts and later on in the convo divulged it’s actually next to Finns and has nothing to do with them. So the only thing to do is keep saying no thank you and keep moving.

Same goes for the ladies offering massage though they are gentle and don’t pursue you on the street. Dr_g de@lers and meds- we were offered both dr_gs and prescription medicine a number of times Considering these are strictly forbidden under the penalty of death, it’s quite bold of anyone to offer these on the street during the day. Facebook groups – If you need more info on any subject the best thing to do is sign up to a few local facebook groups and use the search tool there, or ask. These communities are super friendly and you’ll likely get a few responses.

Bali has a great vibe and pulls in mostly great kind-hearted people so relax and have fun.

If you want to quickly catch up on latest expat culture check out Overheard in Canggu on instagram as well as the canggu pole. Everyone loves those profiles and they’re a great source of commentary on the current affairs and memes. To summarise We spent an amazing time in Bali and it being our first ever location visited in Asia we were blessed to find a wonderful group of beautiful people who made this an even more unforgettable experience. And you will likely find one as well – in Bali it’s scarily easy to find people you’re compatible with.

If you found this video useful consider subscribing for more and share with friends if they’re travelling with you.

Any feedback or comments are welcome – we aim to respond to every single one. We also have a second channel called Audio Travels with mostly uncut material which you can check out to see how Bali really looks like. Several of the places listed above are already uploaded there or will be in the coming days and weeks.

That’s it from us for now, Until next time. take care.


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