12 travel tips for South Africans heading to Bali
For someone who is on their first ever solo travel trip I googled a S**t ton of tips before I left South Africa and somehow missed a few essentials. Here are some of my top tips and FYIs for anyone planning to come to Bali who is new to solo travel or South East Asia:
1- First and foremost, get a scooter. The island is extremely accessible if you have one and they are super cheap to rent. Unfortunately riding a scooter is not a skillset I currently possess so I have to rely on taxis and hoping on the back of other peoples scooters.
2- Taxis luckily are not to expensive and you can rent some for a whole day if you’re going further out! You’ll easily find a taxi driver about every 10 Metres.
3- Pack light and bring cash to buy clothes here. I promise you anything you packed will be discarded as it will most likely overheat you completely. The humidity is insane and most of the clothes I bought are made from stupid fabrics. I have already bought 5 things for the same price as 2 back home!
4- Do not flush your toilet paper down the toilet. This is a totally new concept for me. South Africa is third world but at least our plumbing is on par. Here the plumbing is not so great so you have to dispose of your toilet paper in bins in the bathroom.
5- Be prepared for the most chilled service you have ever received. If you order more then one course almost guaranteed you will not get in the right order. So just sit back and get into relax mode, your on holiday in any case right?
6- Bug spray. I am a hypochondriac when it comes to getting sick. I get serious over the top anxiety so getting dengue fever is high up on my list of things not to get haha! There are tons of mosquitos and I’ve now come to terms that i’m going to be bitten a ton no matter what I try but having the spray is comforting in any case.
7- Do not attempt to drink any water. Tap water is not drinkable at all so try buy a bottle you can refill in the mornings at your hotel if they have water coolers and save cash on not having to buy water.
8- There are soooo many stray dogs, some are super friendly and cute, others are not big fans of people in general so if you do want to pet them approach with caution as the lasting you want is to get rabies.
9- South African currency goes further here in some cases but not all. I'm staying with a lot of people from the USA and for them everything is insanely cheap but for us South Africans not so much. Coffee for example is the same but then you can also get meals for like R40. So its a push and pull sliding scale.
10- Interact with the locals. I come from South Africa, a place where friendly locals are in abundance but I have never met a friendlier people. Yuda our driver come extraordinaire who also works at the Villa is one of the most helpful, upbeat people I’ve met. He literally radiates happiness and positivity. The locals here have a sense of calm. Not once have I heard anyone shout, get angry or be rude.
11- Factor in some downtime. Travelling can be exhausting if your trying to run from place to place to sight see so take time to meditate, lie in with a book or get a massage. Recommendations coming soon.
12- Watch where you walk. The pavement is not a safe place haha, it is lined with man sized holes where you could literally be swallowed up. If you want to look around, stop, look and then continue on. There are also offerings (Little baskets with flowers an fruit) all over the pavement, do not stand on them, just step over.
Ill be posting a lot more about my trip over the next few weeks including places to go and things to do in Ubud and Canggu so keep your eyes peeled!