Despite being an tremendous island Bali still has its threats which can make our stay unbearable. There is no a critical danger but sometimes you have to be on guard.


Little deceits are most common especially in Kuta and other touristic places. You have to carefully choose the place of money exchange. Doing it on the street is not a good idea, currency exchange or a bank is definitely much safer however, even there insecurity exists. Imposters are extremely skilful especially when a newcomer has not been accustomed to the Indonesian money yet. Moreover, banknotes are of high value which definitely doesn’t make things easier.  Next burdensome problem involves pretenders. Most of them can be met nearby temples and are self-stayed guides who even got fake IDs. At the first sight they look absolutely professional and well-educated. As soon as you hire them everything changes. They ask for money, some kind of fee, just to renovate the temple or want us to pay for a shawl women cover themselves with before entering. It is enough to mention police and they disappear. Similar situation takes place at the beach; while taking deck chairs staff demands money for a room in the sand what’s absolutely illegal. Another difficulty for a tourist are pickpockets who are throughout the Bali, especially in crowded places. So not to come into trouble one shouldn’t flaunt their money and jewellery.

Traffic jam

It is crucial to remember that Indonesia is a country with left-hand traffic, which roads’ are used by an unimaginable amount of cars, buses and motorbikes. Frankly speaking, motorbikes are omnipresent, to our distress they are all-over. Drivers are not very keen on regulations so for those who are accustomed to European roads only, it could really be hard to put up with.  While hiring a motorbike it’s essential to check its technical condition and its insurance. Very often both failed.  Another crucial detail is the fact that international driving-license is not valid in Bali. You should ask at the police station to issue a temporary local one otherwise if a police stops you the fine is around 50 000 to 100 000 IDR.


Leaving for Bali you should take all the medicines needed for everyday life. Apart from that Balinese doctors prescribe mainly antibiotics as if other forms of treatment didn’t exist. You can have an antibiotic prescribed just for a running nose or cough. So it’s important not to forget to take some extra medicines just for emergency case.


Monkeys are very popular in Bali. To our great sorrow together with motorbikes they are omnipresent. They stay nearby temples, Ulluwatu, Ubud for example, waterfalls or volcanoes. Being extremely quick and skilful, they can be quite an attraction at first just to become a great trouble very quickly. They grab glasses, caps, jewellery or belts; take small bags, pour canned and bottled drinks, eat fruit and biscuits; just to sum up monkeys ambush people to make their stay heavy – handed. Not being careful enough one can be scratched and then real problem stars. Animals can infect us with various diseases.  You should be careful with mice, rats and other rodents as well as snakes, most of which are poisonous.  Another natural treat on Bali are active volcanoes. Don’t neglect the government’s warnings concerning eruptions.


It worth remembering that throughout Bali all stimulants and even smoking weed is illegal. Meeting dealers is extremely easy in Bali. Every street is full of them. Dealers assure you that everything he got is absolutely legal, you buy it and out of sudden it occurs that the dealer is a policeman what means big trouble. You are expected to pay a kind of a fine, that is actually a bribery, if you don’t you are legally imprisoned. Keep in mind that Balinese jail is the worst in the world. It is not always easy to pay as the sum oscillates about a few thousand dollars. That’s why, for unaware person Balinese cannabis  may occur to be the most expensive in life.

So called psychedelic mushrooms  are legal and one can try it, but some problems occurs here, too. Ten years ago their quality was perfect although nowadays it worsened much. Eating them you can cause some disorders. Very popular in restaurants is so called ’ticket to the moon’ a kind of a drink, where mushrooms are mixed with coca or sprite, however trying it may be quite unsafe for health reasons.

Jam kerat

‘Time is money’ – that saying is very popular in Western countries. In Indonesia ‘jam kerat’ is used. It means that time is for being expended. It means that local people are not very keen on time, so they are often late more than an hour. Being late is a regular everyday activity, a very irritating habit for us, so to come to Bali it’s better not to have tight time.

Terrorism as a global issue

Terrorist attacks on Bali took place at the beginning of the century. The most cruel ones were carried out in 2002 and 2005. Bombings occurred on October 12th in the tourist district. Two bombs ripped through Kuta, South Bali leaving 202 people dead. Among those killed at a local Paddy’s Irish Bar and the nearby Sari Club were people from 21 countries, including 88 Australians, 38 Indonesians and 28 Britons. The explosions were so big that the victims’ families could hardly identify bodies. A great deal of people were hurt. As it soon turned out, the bombings  were a retaliation for American attacks on Afghanistan.

The bombing of October 2005 was a series of terrorist suicide attacks and car bombs. They exploded at two sides in Kuta. There were less victims but it was fraught with consequences. This bombing left 26 people dead, and 102 people hurt.

Since that time effective steps have been taken by Indonesian government to protect citizens and tourists. The attacks never happened again and the authorities assure it will never happen again. Nowadays, in the current world’s political situation, Bali is one of the most stable places, heavily guarded by special forces, being very peaceful and safe.


Negative feelings, especially anger and irritation are not well-received in Balinese culture.  These shouldn’t be expressed in public, especially nearby Hindu temples, where it’s considered to be offensive.  Balinese people are always happy, kind and satisfied, the more stressed situation the lauder they laugh. Hardly understandable for Western people.

Being aware of all the threats of Bali we can have really good time on Bali, however forgetting about them can result in many inconveniences.

About author:


Information technology architect, loving expeditions in the wilderness of Indonesia.

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