Bali is one of the most popular holiday destinations every year, both for local and international tourists. Every year, 6 million people visit the island, which is nicknamed the Island of the Gods. With the large number of visitors, especially the increasing interest in visitors after the COVID-19 pandemic, tourists’ concerns about Bali’s security will also increase. So that raises the question, “Is Bali safe?”
Table of Contents
- Is Bali Safe? Yes, Bali is safe
- 1. Watch out for pickpocketing and drink-spiking
- 2. Navigating healthcare in Bali
- 3. A Little Guide to Transportation Safety
- 4. Bali is safe, but still beware of scam
- 5. Natural disasters and weather in Bali
- 6. Specific laws and customs in Bali that travellers should be aware of
- 7. But, No need to worry, Bali is Safe
- Safeguarding Your Bali Adventure: Embracing Safety in Bali for a Memorable Experience
Is Bali Safe? Yes, Bali is safe
Indeed, Bali is considered one of the safest vacation spots in both Asia and Southeast Asia overall. Based on global statistical information, the crime rate in Bali was 60 incidents per 100,000 residents in the year 2020, which is quite low.
Besides considering the crime rate, tourists visiting Bali should be mindful of various health issues to guarantee a secure and pleasant journey. Common health risks include instances of food and beverage-related illnesses, insect bites, and sunburn caused by the intense tropical sun.
Even tho Bali is considered a safe place for travelling, you still have to be aware of some things to make sure you’ll have a worry-free holiday. Here are some things that you have to be aware of.
1. Watch out for pickpocketing and drink-spiking
When considering the various types of crimes commonly occurring in Bali, there are several factors to be cautious about, including:
- Pickpocketing is the most prevalent type of crime in Bali, especially at busy tourist attractions. Tourists who are careless about safeguarding their belongings create an opportune situation for pickpockets.
- How to avoid: Take diligent care of your belongings in public places. Avoid leaving personal items unattended and refrain from placing important items where others can easily access them, such as in trouser pockets. It’s advisable to use a secure and easily carried bag placed at the front of the body. While enjoying the friendliness of residents (as Balinese people are generally friendly), exercise extra caution regarding your belongings.
- Drink Spiking
- Drink-spiking is a crime that can occur in Bali, and with numerous bars and clubs, enjoying the nightlife often involves consuming alcohol. The hot weather may lead people to become intoxicated more quickly, presenting an opportunity for those with malicious intentions.
- How to avoid: Never leave your drink unattended, and remain vigilant at all times. If possible, take your drink with you, even when going to the bathroom. Be cautious about accepting drinks from strangers, even if the offer seems tempting.
Although Bali is safe, you still have to be mindful about getting sick while you are there. Therefore, you still need to have some knowledge about Bali’s healthcare.
Bali has a mix of health and medical facilities, ranging from basic clinics to more advanced hospitals. However, the quality of healthcare services may vary across different regions of Bali. Here are some key points regarding health and medical facilities in Bali:
- Bali has several hospitals that provide a range of medical services. Some hospitals are located in popular tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak, and Denpasar.
- BIMC Hospital and Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar are among the larger and more well-known hospitals in Bali.
- Clinics and Medical Centres:
There are numerous clinics and medical centres, particularly in tourist areas, offering general medical services, consultations, and basic treatments.
Pharmacies (apotek) are widely available, and you can find both local and international chain pharmacies in popular tourist regions.
- Medical Professionals
Bali has a mix of local and expatriate medical professionals, including doctors and specialists. Some healthcare providers may speak English, especially in tourist-centric areas.
- Emergency Services
Emergency services are available, and in cases of serious medical issues, evacuation to a more advanced facility may be arranged.
- Travel Insurance
You should have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, including evacuation if necessary.
Before travelling to Bali, it’s recommended to check for any updates on the healthcare situation, especially considering that conditions and services can change. Also, consider consulting with your healthcare provider for travel health advice and vaccinations before your trip.
3. A Little Guide to Transportation Safety
Transportation safety in Bali varies depending on the mode of transportation and the conditions on the road. Here are some key points to consider:
- Choose reputable transportation providers
- Opt for licenced taxis or use ride-hailing apps like GoJek and Grab. Avoid unregistered taxis or unlicensed drivers.
- When renting a vehicle, choose a reputable rental company that provides well-maintained vehicles and proper insurance coverage.
- If you plan to rent a scooter, ensure you have the proper driving licence and experience. Be aware of the local traffic rules and road conditions.
- Exercise caution when using motorbikes
- Always wear a helmet, both for the rider and any passengers.
- Ride defensively and be aware of your surroundings. Anticipate the actions of other motorists, pedestrians, and animals.
- Do not exceed the speed limits, and avoid overtaking on blind corners or in dangerous areas.
- Use headlights at night and in low-visibility conditions.
- Be mindful of road conditions and traffic rules
- Traffic in Bali can be congested and chaotic. Be patient, and avoid aggressive driving.
- Obey traffic rules, including using turn signals, stopping at red lights, and respecting lane markings.
- Be extra cautious during peak hours and in tourist hotspots.
- Plan your transportation wisely
- Avoid driving or riding in unfamiliar areas at night. If necessary, arrange for a taxi or pre-booked transportation.
- If you’re venturing into remote areas, inform someone of your itinerary and expected return time.
- Keep your valuables secure, and don’t leave them unattended in your vehicle or on your person.
- Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid carrying large amounts of cash or expensive items.
- Utilise local knowledge and recommendations
- Seek advice from your hotel or accommodation staff about safe transportation options and routes.
- Ask locals for their recommendations on reliable transportation providers or routes to avoid.
- Consider hiring a local driver or tour guide who is familiar with the area and can provide a safe and enjoyable experience.
4. Bali is safe, but still beware of scam
Scams are unfortunately a common reality for tourists in many popular destinations, and Bali is no exception. While the island is generally safe, there are several scams that travellers should be aware of to avoid being taken advantage of.
Here are some of the most common scams in Bali:
- Money exchange scams: Be sure to exchange your money at reputable banks or money changers. Avoid exchanging money on the street, as there is a high risk of being scammed.
- Taxi scams: Always use licenced taxis or ride-hailing apps. Avoid getting into unmarked taxis, as there is a risk of being overcharged or taken to the wrong destination.
- Gem scam: Some vendors may try to sell you overpriced or fake gemstones. Be sure to do your research before buying any gemstones, and only purchase them from reputable dealers.
- ATM scams: Be careful when using ATMs in Bali. Some ATMs have been fitted with skimming devices that can steal your card information. If you notice anything suspicious about an ATM, do not use it.
- Friendship scams: Some people may befriend you in order to gain your trust and then ask you for money. Be wary of people who are overly friendly or who ask you for money for any reason.
- Pet scams: Some people may try to sell you sick or injured pets. If you are considering buying a pet in Bali, be sure to have it checked by a veterinarian first.
Here are some tips to avoid scams in Bali:
- Do your research. Before you travel to Bali, be sure to do your research on common scams. This will help you be aware of the potential risks and how to avoid them.
- Be cautious. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be cautious of any deals that seem too good to be true, and don’t be afraid to walk away if you feel uncomfortable.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel uneasy about a situation, trust your instincts and don’t get involved.
- Don’t be afraid to bargain. Bargaining is a normal part of Balinese culture. However, be sure to bargain politely and respectfully.
- Report scams: If you are a victim of a scam, be sure to report it to the police. This will help prevent other people from being scammed.
5. Natural disasters and weather in Bali
Bali is safe in general, but we never know about natural disasters. Therefore, you need to know some facts about some natural disasters that could happen in Bali.
Bali is a tropical island located in the Pacific Ring of Fire, making it susceptible to natural disasters such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and floods. While these events are relatively rare, you need to be aware of the potential risks and take precautions to stay safe.
- Earthquakes: Bali is located along a major seismic fault line, and earthquakes can occur at any time. The island experiences frequent tremors, but most are minor and cause no significant damage. However, larger earthquakes can cause damage to buildings and infrastructure, and there is a small risk of tsunamis generated by underwater earthquakes.
- Tsunamis: Tsunamis are rare in Bali, but they do pose a threat. The last major tsunami to hit Bali was in 1963, and there is a small risk of another tsunami occurring in the future. You should be aware of the signs of a tsunami, such as a sudden rise or fall in sea level, and should evacuate to higher ground if you are warned of a tsunami.
- Volcanic eruptions: Bali has several active volcanoes, including Mount Agung, which erupted in 2017 and 2019. Volcanic eruptions can cause ash falls, landslides, and pyroclastic flows. You should be aware of the potential dangers of volcanic eruptions and should follow the instructions of local authorities if an eruption occurs.
- Floods: Bali is prone to flooding during the wet season, which runs from October to March. Floods can cause damage to property and infrastructure, and they can also lead to landslides. You should avoid travelling in areas that are prone to flooding during the wet season.
Here are some general tips for staying safe from natural disasters in Bali:
- Be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to local weather reports and warnings, and be aware of the signs of a natural disaster.
- Have a plan. Know what you would do in the event of a natural disaster, and have a safe place to go if necessary.
- Follow the instructions of local authorities. If you are caught in a natural disaster, follow the instructions of local authorities.
- Stay informed: Keep up-to-date on the latest information about natural disasters in Bali.
In addition to these general tips, here are some specific tips for tourists:
- Choose your accommodation carefully. Avoid staying in areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as coastal areas or low-lying areas.
- Pack for emergencies: Make sure you have a first-aid kit and other emergency supplies in your luggage.
- Get travel insurance: Travel insurance can help cover your costs if you are affected by a natural disaster.
By following these tips, you can minimise the risk of being affected by natural disasters in Bali and enjoy a safe and enjoyable vacation.
6. Specific laws and customs in Bali that travellers should be aware of
Bali is safe, but for your benefit, you have to know that there are several specific laws and customs in Bali that travellers should be aware of to ensure a safe and respectful visit. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Dress modestly
Bali is a Hindu island, and visitors are expected to dress modestly, especially when visiting temples or other holy places. This means covering your shoulders and knees and avoiding revealing clothing.
- Be respectful of religious ceremonies.
Balinese Hindus often hold ceremonies at temples and other holy places. If you encounter a ceremony, be respectful and avoid making noise or interrupting.
- Do not touch or climb sacred objects.
Some objects in Balinese temples and other holy places are considered sacred. Do not touch or climb on these objects, as it is considered disrespectful.
- Do not bargain too aggressively.
Bargaining is a normal part of Balinese culture, but it is important not to be too aggressive. Be polite and respectful, and be willing to walk away if you cannot reach an agreement.
- Do not litter.
Littering is a big problem in Bali, and it can hurt the environment. Please dispose of your trash properly.
- Be respectful of wildlife.
Bali is home to a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, snakes, and lizards. Do not feed or interact with wildlife, as it can be dangerous for both you and the animals.
- Learn a few Balinese phrases.
Learning a few Balinese phrases will show that you are making an effort to respect the local culture. Simple greetings such as “Selamat pagi (good morning)” or “Terima kasih (thank you)” can be a start.
- Be patient and understanding.
Balinese culture is different from Western culture, and there may be things that you do not understand. Be patient and understanding, and avoid getting frustrated.
- Have fun!
Bali is a beautiful island with a rich culture. Relax, enjoy yourself, and make the most of your time in Bali.
7. But, No need to worry, Bali is Safe
There have been several recent safety measures implemented by the local government and businesses in Bali to enhance the safety of tourists. Here are a few examples:
- Increased police presence in tourist areas: The Balinese government has increased the number of police officers patrolling tourist areas, such as beaches, temples, and shopping malls. This is to deter crime and to provide assistance to tourists if needed.
- Enhanced CCTV coverage: Businesses in Bali have also taken steps to improve safety. Many businesses have installed CCTV cameras on their premises. This footage can be used to identify and prosecute criminals.
- Tourist safety apps: Several new tourist safety apps have been developed in recent years. These apps provide you with safety information, as well as emergency contact numbers and a way to track their location.
These are just a few examples of the many safety measures implemented in Bali in recent years. The government and businesses are committed to making Bali a safe destination for tourists.
In addition to these measures, you can also take steps to stay safe in Bali. Here are a few tips:
- Be aware of your surroundings, and avoid walking alone at night.
- Do not carry large amounts of cash or valuables with you.
- Use licenced taxis or ride-hailing apps to get around.
- Be respectful of local customs and laws.
- Purchase travel insurance before you travel.
By following these tips, you can minimise their risk of being a victim of crime in Bali.
Safeguarding Your Bali Adventure: Embracing Safety in Bali for a Memorable Experience
So, is Bali Safe? In conclusion, while Bali stands out as a captivating destination, safety-conscious travel is key to unlocking its full potential. With an understanding of potential risks, informed decision-making, and adherence to safety guidelines, you can confidently explore Bali’s enchanting landscapes, vibrant culture, and warm hospitality.
Embrace the beauty of Bali responsibly, ensuring a memorable and secure experience for every traveller. Is Bali safe? With awareness and preparation, your Bali adventure can be both thrilling and safe.
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