How To Feel Safe When Travelling Bali
Bali has had its fair share of travel horror stories, from tourist assaults, scams and road accidents to more extreme events such as drug busts and the traumatic bombings of 2002 and 2005.
As the stories mount up, it is understandable that tourists are a little apprehensive about visiting, what can be portrayed as a volatile region.
Yet beyond the media hype, Bali is a stunning country, when compared with many other countries is reasonably safe; the dangers faced are not dissimilar from the common dangers faced at home.
While common sense will get you a long way, here is the Amazing Accom guide on how to feel safe in Bali.
Where violent crime is uncommon in Bali, petty theft can occur, but can easily be avoided. Most high end properties listed on Amazing Accom are located in secure grounds with 24 hour security. However taking these necessary precautions can make all the difference.
- Make sure to lock all outdoor doors and windows.
- Keep valuables either on you or in the in-room safe.
- When exploring the streets, carry copies of you passport and travel documents (leave the originals in a safe).
The Balinese roads are hectic and hazardous so care does need to be taken when travelling them.
Many of the properties listed on Amazing Accom either come with, or can arrange, drivers for you and your party. Using a driver is a sensible option, any stress that navigating the chaotic streets you may face is taken away because of their knowledge of the roads and traffic.
For those who seek the freedom hiring a scooter brings, these simple rules will hold you in good steed; always carry your international drivers license (including motorcycle license), always wear your helmet and be aware of your surroundings.
Pedestrians should always be aware of what is going on around them, never expect the traffic to stop for you, even when on a pedestrian crossing. There are no traffic rules, so always assume the vehicle has the right of way.
Scams, Hawkers and Touts
Like many tourist countries Bali is rife with hawkers, particularly in areas of tourist attractions. To avoid getting embroiled in a scam or buying something you don’t want, the best advice is to simply ignore them. Not making eye contact, may seem rude, but is essential if you want to avoid hawkers.
Corruption is rife in Bali, so it pays to educate yourself and know your rights before going.
If you are pulled over by the police it is important to know that a legitimate fine can be paid at any police station or the Denpasar Court House. Many police pull unsuspecting tourists over and demand payment upfront or threaten a court proceeding – going to court is not necessary. Keeping the tourist police phone number programmed in your phone, presenting this can often act as a deterrent if the police are insisting instant payment.
Strict drug laws with harsh penalties including the death penalty should be enough to warn anyone off buying or taking drugs in Bali.
It is not uncommon for tourists to be offered a variety of cheap drugs while on the beach, in nightclubs and walking the streets, these can often be stings and even if not, it is best to just walk away.
Lonely Planet notes that clubbers can be hit with random urine tests. In other words, unless you’re happy gambling with your life, stay away from illicit drugs when holidaying in Bali.
Ever since the 2002 and 2005 bombings, Bali has received bad press for its dangers including terrorism. It is important to note that while, terrorism is a serious threat throughout the world, Balinese have taken many precautions to avoid such events from happening again. Extra security measures are taken in shopping malls and clubs to maintain a certain level of safety.
While travel to Bali does come with a certain amount of risk, following these guidelines mitigates the chances of being involved in your own horror story. Remember, last year 2.8 millions tourists visited Bali in 2013, the vast majority returning with incredible stories of a stunning tropical island paradise.