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A Travel Guide to Bali for First Timers

Bali is one of the most popular destinations in the world, attracting 4.4 million people in 2017 for the adventure and relaxation travel experiences it offers.

While it seems like there is so much to do and know before you go to Bali, just relax. We’ve got you covered with this mini-guide for first-time travelers.

Know where to go

There are a variety of amazing areas to visit in Bali. If you love to party and lay by a beach, book a stay in Kuta. For those who enjoy a traditional Balinese city experience, go to Ubud and explore museums and cultural activities. Denpasar is the capital of the country that offers a modern city experience, while South Bali near Uluwatu Temple is popular for its surfing and small town, localized experiences.

Most travelers never make it to the north, far west or far east of the country, however, these areas will offer a more local experience among nature with fewer tourists.

Wide range of budget-friendly and luxury properties

PHOTO: The Villas at AYANA, Bali (photo courtesy of Villas at AYANA, Bali)

Bali offers accommodations that range from budget-friendly hostels to Airbnbs, B&Bs, and luxurious five-star resorts.

When it comes to budget-friendly properties, keep in mind that they may not have air-conditioning, private bathrooms or even hot water for showers. Airbnb is popular in Bali and you can find rooms to rent for less than $30 per night. In cities like Denpasar and Ubud, you can find mid-range chain hotel properties, while along the coasts, you’ll find plenty of beach resorts with popular bars and pool areas.

Take tours away from the city

Don’t be content with visiting just the popular areas like Kuta and Ubud. Get away from the cities and explore the natural wonders of Bali like hidden temples, waterfalls only accessible through hikes, stunning canyons, and glorious beaches. It’s not hard to hire a driver for the day once you arrive and explore a variety of attractions on your own. However, if you prefer to plan a trip before you go, contact Teman Travel Bali, a local guide named Rahmat with insider knowledge on the best places to visit throughout the country.

Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali
Tukad Cepung Waterfall, Bali. (Photo by Lauren Breedlove)

Be careful with mo-peds

Mo-peds and motorbikes are the most popular ways to get around the country. However, plenty of tourists are not familiar with driving these types of vehicles, especially not on the winding roads of Bali. If you decide to rent one of these bikes, be sure you have an international license as you could get a ticket for driving without one.

Secondly, consider taking out travel health insurance before visiting Bali. A lot of visitors crash and fall off the mo-peds and injure themselves. You don’t want to be in Bali with a broken leg and lots of hospital bills.

If mo-peds and motorbikes are not for you, don’t be afraid to hire a driver or book a taxi. Just know that the in some remote places they may be harder to find.

Dress appropriately

Bali is hot and humid and you’ll want to dress appropriately when visiting. Choose clothes that are made of thin, breathable material. If you’re planning on visiting any of the temples, be sure to bring conservative wear that will cover shoulders and legs, especially if you’re a woman. While Bali is one of the most open-minded Indonesian destinations, it is still important to show respect in terms of dress when visiting Hindu temples.

While many people wear sandals at the beach, Bali is a mountainous place and it helps to have a pair of tennis shoes for hiking or exploring temples (which often have lots of stairs).

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