People love to talk about Bali. The good, the bad and the ugly. It’s just as easy to find people who praise this island as it is to find others who have nothing nice to say about the place at all.
But Bali is much like any other place in the world, with a mix of positive and negative influences, and there are a few common myths about Bali that are simply untrue.
Dispelling the myths about Bali
- Bali is that the entire island is overrun by tourists (namely Australian tourists) who are constantly drunk, trashy and rude.
- Public transport is the best way to get around the island,
- Never have ice in your drinks
- You can’t get a good Wifi signal
- Everyone is out to scam or steal from you – these are all myths that here and now I would like to blow out of the water.
First and foremost Bali is not a haven for trashy Australians. Let’s be honest, I could tell you that this is a complete lie. I could, and I would be being very wishful… but it is true Kuta is often overrun by drunk, disorderly Australians, particularly during schoolies week when all the under-agers fly over to Bali to misbehave and drink themselves into a stupor. However to avoid Bali because of this is like avoiding exploring the vast and spectacular wonders under the sea… just because once in a while, a person has been chomped by a great white. Bali is a spectacular wonder that truly shouldn”t be missed and there are still hundreds if not thousands of villages and areas of the island that have been mostly untouched by tourists and you with your fair hair and white skin will still be a novelty. If you want to avoid the trash and the cheap trinkets and thumping music that is all designed to keep the drunken tourists entertained and spending their cash – then stay away from Kuta, particularly during high season. Kuta isn”t Bali and when you holiday in Bali no one is going to force you to stay in Kuta any longer than you want to. I’d suggest Kuta for a night or two, have some fun, have a dance, buy some cheap souvenir t-shirts then rent a bike and get out of there!
Yes, rent a bike. I said it. Now, many tour websites go on and on about cheap public transport in Bali. It might be cheap compared to public transport in your home country but if you”ve been travelling in other parts of South East Asia, it’s going to be a shock to your system… in fact in Bali to get a public bus to the other side of the island, with all of the authenticity that this experience may offer – it’s not really going to save you and your back packing buddies any money… but if sweat, discomfort and seats that seem to have been made for miniature people is your cup of tea, by all means… go ahead! Renting a car or a couple of motor bikes is going to cost you the same price. In fact if there is a group of you renting a car with a driver (and A/C) will be more cost efficient and SO much more comfortable!
I have lived in Indonesia for two years, I have travelled up and down the bumpy coast roads of Bali and I have stopped in many a warung for a cold drink – and I have never, ever been sick. Don’t stress too much about the ice. The locals aren’t going to serve you ‘dirty ice’ in your coke or fresh juice, they won’t drink it themselves and there is no way that they would expect you to. Locals don’t drink the tap water… they don’t eat it and they won’t prepare food with it unless it is boiled (and thus completely safe to drink). Relax, trust me the fresh juices taste MUCH better on ice!
The internet is reliable in Bali, if you are a working traveler (like myself) you can get a good Wifi signal in lots of café’s, restaurants and hotels… or if you are heading out of the centre pick up an inexpensive internet dongle which can pick up a signal surprisingly enough from even remote villages out near the mountains. Bad internet in Bali is a thing of the past!
The amount of blogs I have read personally online that go on and on about the dangers in Bali and I’m honestly shocked. Sure, like any other busy place in the world (your own home town included) there are thefts, robberies and unsavory types and Bali is no different. But to assume this as the norm is to grossly underestimate the wonderful, kind and hospitable Balinese locals. Like traveling anywhere else in the world look after your belongings and trust your instincts… but at the end of the day put a little trust back into people, there is so much more good out there than there is bad!
It is no secret that Bali has taken some kicks over the years. With terrorist bombs going off and killing tourists and locals alike Bali tourism suffered from the world alert and warnings for travelers planning to bask on these tropical shores. Bali is as safe (or unsafe) as anywhere else in the world… it is as beautiful as it is touristy and it is as serene as it is pumping at night. Whatever you want, you can find it here… you just have to be willing to step away from the norm… finding the perfection you seek truly isn’t that difficult at all.