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First Timer Advice

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First Timer Advice

Hi :)

So I've bitten the bullet, I'm leaving the hubby & 4 kids at home (hopefully will still be alive upon my return) and my best friend and I are going to Bali for our 30ths (shhh 2yrs too late).

We are going in September, 8nights 9days. I've NEVER been OS or even on a plane, so I'm open to travel advise and the must do's in Bali. So hit me with your best hints & tips. Thanks :)

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153 posts
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1. Re: First Timer Advice

Take a power board and adaptor with you. Take copies of ur passport with you just in case you lose it.

Highly recommend: waterbom park, uluwatu temple, tanah lot temple at sunset and the monkey forrest.

Kadek from bali essential tours is a great guide, and will show you the non tourist side of bali ....go to a small village..drive through rice paddies...

For good fixed price no hassle shopping go to miss debbies and ketuts in garlic lane at legian.

Perth, Australia
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2. Re: First Timer Advice

WoW, lucky you...

There is so much to do and see cant imagine you will get it all done on your first trip, you might have to do many more after this one...

Massages are a must, go to a really nice day spa and get pampered.

Even though the beach in Kuta isnt that pretty, just to walk from Legian to Tuban and see all the activity along the way.

Shopping, you will have a field day shopping for your kids.

Try and get out of the rat race of Kuta and see some of the country side, its beautiful, do a day trip with a driver.

You can do a cooking class there a lot of fun.

Check out the list on the right hand side of this page for more tips.

enjoy your experience.

Destination Expert
for Kuta, Lovina Beach, Singaraja, Baturiti, Bali
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7,599 posts
112 reviews
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3. Re: First Timer Advice

These important tips I always give to newbies.

A few important tips :)

Money changers….don’t go to the ones that offer a higher rate. Be careful with their zeros. Not sure where you are staying but A few good ones are....

The one on Bemo corner (just to the left of) in Kuta with the security guys out the front is very good.

There is also a little step up booth at poppies lane 1 just after the entrance on the left….beach end, also a little bank next door....that is excellent.

Kodak one on the corner of poppies lane 2 and Jalan Legian.

Any Kodak one is good actually.

The Kodak one next to The Dynasty hotel is good.

The one opposite and to the right a tad of Bintang supermarket in Seminyak is excellent.

We change money daily so that we never run out or loose the lot if mugged and we keep the rest and the passports in the hotel room or reception safe.

Health tips

We take an inner health plus tablet (or equivilent) a day to keep us on top of things.

You can buy a can of drink there with a Rhino on the front. It comes in about 4 different flavors and you should aim to drink at least a couple a day It really makes you feel better if you are a bit jaded.

Stay well hydrated.

DO NOT drink their water and do not brush your teeth with their water. Use bottled, it’s only about 25c a litre and can be bought anywhere.

Call a hotel DR if sick, or go to BIMC, don’t ruin your holiday. Or this doctor is very good and cheap.

Dr Ari Sudhewa, Mob 08 123 954 567 or 081 3295 4567. Office ph 0361 225 230,

Another Cheap doctor if needed

Dr Ristie Darmawan Jl Dewi Sri 45 Kuta 80361 Bali.

Can go to their chemist (apotik) and buy anything from silver band aides to antibiotics etc. Their remedies are so much better for their ailments so don’t cart our more expensive ones.

Tourist Police.


Visa on arrival… $US25 per person, I buy here from the money changer that doesn’t charge commision/fees, That way you give correct money or you can pay in aussie dollars and get change in rupiah, most times they didle your change though.

Departure tax from Bali

you need to pay 150 000rp departure tax each person when you leave Bali. You must pay in rupiah, no other form of payment accepted. It is a good idea to pop this amount in the passports when you first change money the first couple of times....then you won't forget.


is not expected in Bali but we just round off. If meal comes to 42 000 then we give 45 000. Same as for the taxi. If the fair is 7500, we give 10 000rp.

It saves embarressing them and sending yourself broke.

On my bed I leave my coin and 1000 rp/ 2000rp notes for the room boy and tell him to please take it and leave a note so he doesn’t get into trouble.. I also give him my left over coffee and shampoo etc when i check out.

Timeshare sellers

Do be aware you will on many occasions be offered a free gift or similar (timeshare seminars). You can say 'sudah membeli' (already bought).

If you talk to them you won’t get rid of them !


The rate for a half day trip of 4 hours (even to just take you from place to place shopping from Tuban to Seminyak for example) is 250 000rp.

The rate for a full day 8 hours is 450 000rp to 500 000rp depending on how far he has actually driven.

50 000rp is added on per hour after that.

A one way trip from Kuta to Ubud is typically 200 000rp.

Pack light, get washing done every 3 days, very cheap.

Print out the rough price guide or stick to the fixed price shops mentioned in it.

Don't be afraid to eat at the little cheapie places (lot's in poppies lane 1), the food is always cooked to order and very good.

Take a power board or adaptor (or buy one there).

Have a fabulous time :)

Leeds, UK
Destination Expert
for Bali
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4. Re: First Timer Advice

Learn a little Indonesian, the basics are easy to pick up and it's appreciated. Check out learningIndonesian.com for free mp3 lessons.

Under pack when it comes to clothing. Laundries are cheap and your clothes smell nice when you get them back. This also leaves room in your suitcases for all that shopping you will do.

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5. Re: First Timer Advice

Thank you very much - lots of great tips! Greatly appreciated x

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6. Re: First Timer Advice

Give yourselves plenty of time to check-in for flight to Bali & return.

Exit row seats have more leg room.

Take a windcheater/cardigan/jumper for the plane as it's usually nippy especially when flying overnight/early morning.

Ask at your hotel or a tour hut/booth on the street for a map showing the tourist areas Tuban/Kuta/Legian/Seminyak & Greater Bali.

Preferred A$50 & A$100 notes to exchange for Rupiah & a small calculator is handy when shopping & exchanging money.

Keep money, passport & valuables in inroom safe, don't leave on bed/dressing table/bathroom vanity etc.

Don't wear flashy jewellery eg gold rings on every finger. (wedding ring/engagement/eternity is okay)

Wear shoulder bag across body & to shop side. (incidents of bag snatching)

May not apply: Medications take in original bottles/boxes & quantity you require for the length of trip & a letter from your Dr detailing what you are carrying, pack in hand luggage.

Travel Insurance is a must, cover yourself if you have existing medical condition/s & motor cycle riding cover as a passenger (in the case you accept a lift/take bike taxi's)

Check vaccinations are up to date especially Polio & (ADT)Tetanus & have a chat to GP or Travel Clinic Dr re Recommended vaccinations for travel to Indonesia Hep A & B, Typhoid.

Pack a good Insect repellent containing Deet or Picaridin & apply frequently when heading out (day/night)note: Dengue fever

Practice good hand hygiene

Don't overpack toiletries(think of check-in weight & 100ml liquid restrictions for carry on luggage) you can buy toothbrush/toothpaste, powder, deoderant, shampoo/conditoner, make-up etc in Bali.

Alcohol can dehydrate you so drink plenty of bottled water when out & about and alcoholic drinks more into the afternoon/evening (if possible!!).

Take more money than you think you will need (many use credit card/atm)nothing worse than "i can't do that", "i can't buy that'" "can't eat here" can always take home what you don't spend.

A small note pad to jot down names of streets/places/shops/restaurants/prices etc & diary to note what you did each day, good to look back on/read in the months following.

When you shop always ask for the business card, if you wish to return to buy from the same shop you will have a better idea of where it is located.

Carry a small torch (couple of dollars from discount shops)to light your way on dimly lit footpaths/streets & to read menu's.

Plan to walk a lot, you miss so much in a taxi eg along Jl Legian/Jl Seminyak.

Ask taxi drivers if they use their meter, if not exit taxi and flag down another.

Remember bargaining is a 'game' for the seller & buyer, don't take it too seriously & don't loose your cool, if you are happy with what you bought & the price you paid that's what matters.

Take t/shirts/dresses etc out of plastic bags and check them over before purchasing & try on where possible.

Sit on the beach with drink in hand and enjoy the atmosphere around you as you wait for sunset.

Bali, Indonesia
Destination Expert
for Ubud, Pemuteran, Yogyakarta
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7. Re: First Timer Advice

To get the most out of a trip to Bali, please consider the following:

Get out into other areas, not just where your accomodation is located. Do day trips or try to stay overnights at some locations that are not in the highly populated south beaches... eg..Ubud, Munduk or Bedugul, etc..You will see and experience a different side of Bali that is very different, more traditional, cultural, agricultural etc.

See a couple of temples at least, whether they are in the South or anywhere else on Bali. There are many good guidebooks that explain the significance of the temple layouts and iconography and how ceremonies are done, what offerings mean, and the Balinese Hindu religion. Every temple is a little different, and there are several major temples, plus every village has a couple of their own, and every family has a family temple in their compound.

See at least one gamelan and dance performance,hopefully NOT IN a hotel settting, but in a village setting. Ubud is a great place to do that, there are over 65 performances every week in various villages in Ubud. You Tube to see snippets of Legong, Kecak, Ranayana dance, Barong, Calonarang and others.

Do have some nice chats with local people, whether from other parts of Indonesia or Bali itself. You will find this very rewarding.. (and I don't mean chats just about prices or tours :)

If you hear of a local ceremony going on, do ask someone at the hotel or a driver if they will accompany you, help you find and put on the pakaian adat (traditional clothing) to go to the ceremony. If it's just a procession you can watch from the sidelines, but if you are entering the temple itself you need to dress appropriately and well.

I"m sure there are many more hints for you but these are off the top of my head for now!


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8. Re: First Timer Advice

Well everyone has posted really good advice so all I can say is ENJOY and make sure your drinks are cold. have fun and be carefull

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9. Re: First Timer Advice

The day before you leave take anything that needs washing to the laundry for washing. It'll save all that washing when you get home and smells amazing!

Like another reply mentioned take your washing every couple of days anyway.

10. Re: First Timer Advice

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