Known as the Islands of the Gods, Bali is home to magnificent religious sites, abundant natural landscapes, and a peculiar culture. Thus, millions of tourists hit its shores every year to have a firsthand experience of these wonders. Here’s what you need to remember when visiting the island for the first time:
1. Be careful with stray dogs.
When you’re in Bali, the first thing that will hit you is the number of dogs on the road. It’s pretty normal to see them roaming the streets freely and scavenging for leftovers. Despite recent cullings, some of these strays are unvaccinated, so you need to be careful when approaching them.
Avoid dogs that travel in packs as there’s a chance that you’ll get chased. Do not make direct eye contact and sudden movements. Dogs might see these as a threat, which makes them aggressive. If you’re bitten by a stray, immediately seek help from a nearby Bali hospital so that you’ll receive adequate treatment.
2. Carry your medications along with their original prescriptions.
Before leaving home, make sure to pack all your medications, including vitamins, and keep them in their original packaging. While over-the-counter medicines like paracetamol are okay, some prescription drugs are considered illegal narcotics under Indonesian law. Do not forget to bring the prescription and a note from your doctor explaining why you need the meds and the dosage instructions. Drug laws in the country are super strict, so to avoid potential problems, only bring the required quantity for the duration of your trip.
3. Be cautious of long-tailed macaques.
One of the central attractions in Bali is the monkey forests. While monkeys are enjoyable to watch, you should be extra careful when meeting them. They are extremely curious and will snatch any loose item that hangs around you, such as your hat, sunglasses, or camera. Their sense of smell is also incredible, and they would know if you have food in your bag.
Do not feed a group of monkey if you don’t want to get swarmed by tons of them. If they are showing their teeth, you should immediately back off and keep your distance. It might look like they’re smiling, but showing teeth is a sign of aggression. When you visit the monkey forest, it’s best not to wear accessories and make sure to hold on to your valuables. Monkeys in Bali are like brazen thieves who swipe tourists’ belongings in any way they can.
4.Practice cultural etiquette.
Balinese people have more conservative customs than most Westerners. When exploring the island, it’s wise to dress and act as modestly as possible. Avoid public displays of affection, respect religious events, and obey the rules when visiting temples. For the locals on the island, the head is the purest part of the body as it’s where the soul lives. So if you see a cute Balinese child, never attempt to touch or pat his head.
Bali is a delightful place that will quench your thirst for nature, adventure, and rich culture. By following these pointers, your first trip to Bali can be a holiday of a lifetime.