Bali is an island that offers many exotic places to discover, scrumptious food to eat and rich culture to absorb. Staying in Bali can be a pleasant experience, but there are some things that you should avoid doing if you are a first timer or a frequent visitor in this island. Here are 10 rules you should follow if you want to have a safe and memorable trip.
1. DO NOT take drugs
Taking drugs into Bali is considered a very serious offence. If you are found possessing drugs, then you could be executed. I am serious. You might get offered drugs in Bali too, but you have to stay away from it if you want to stay out of trouble.
2. Avoid touching a local's head
Touching a local's head or even a child's head for that matter, is frowned upon. The head is considered a sacred part of the body and touching it is seen as disrespectful. Even if you have to pass something to someone else, avoid having your arms going over the head.
3. Dress appropriately while visiting temples
While entering a Hindu temple or while visiting an open air temple in Bali, you will need to wear a sarong and a sash that you can find at the entrance of the temples. Also, remember to dress appropriately. You must not expose too much of your upper body out of respect. While entering a temple do not point at the altar because doing so is termed disrespectful towards the gods. Remember to remove your shoes while entering a temple. Also, it is advised to leave a donation at the temple for good karma.
4. Avoid using the left hand for exchanging money or business cards
Using the left hand to give away money or a business card is considered rude. Always use the right hand for giving things, accepting things or even while doing a hand shake.
5. Don't smoke in public areas
Smoking in public is not allowed in Bali. You must avoid smoking in temples, restaurants and some hotels too. If you wish to smoke there are smoking zones that are reserved for smokers only. Smoking in public is considered disrespectful and is against the law, so be mindful of where you light up a smoke. Also, make sure the locals or people around you are not bothered by the cigarette smoke.
6. Avoid shady taxi rides
Of course, you'll need a taxi if you want to go around exploring the city. However, always remember to check whether the ride meter is on or not in your taxi. Also, make sure you have a look at the driver's ID just to be on the safer side. Just stay away from suspicious drivers, okay?
7. Avoid unauthorized money changers
There are plenty of money changers in Bali, however, not all of them are worth your time. You must avoid the unauthorized money changers if you don't want to get cheated. Always browse the internet for trustworthy money changers who are registered.
8. Avoid drinking water from the tap
Always remember to drink water from reliable sources. Drinking water from taps may give you a serious tummy ache or a stomach infection and I am sure you don't want that, right? Instead carry a bottled drinking water with you at all times because it is always better to be safe than sorry.
9. Don't show your money in public
You don't need to be excessively paranoid about this, but the sad truth is that there are quite a few burglars and pickpockets wandering around in Bali. So, you should never let your guard down. Be careful of how you handle your money in public or you might just get robbed.
10. Avoid stepping on Balinese offerings
You might see offerings placed on the sidewalks made by the Balinese for their prayers. If you do come across one, don't play around with it, or step over it. Just walk around it and move on.