Visiting Bali is an enriching and unique experience, as it provides you with a glimpse into a culture that still clings fast to ancient rituals and practices. While there are many things you definitely should do in Bali, let’s instead talk about what not to do in Bali, Indonesia so as to keep yourself protected and to be a respectful tourist that does not offend the locals. This list may not totally comprehensive though, so on your trip, be sure to clarify with your local guide if you are unsure of whether it is okay to do something.

1. Don’t Haggle Excessively Without Serious Intent to Buy

Haggling isn’t in the list of “what to avoid in Bali”, because you definitely should haggle a little bit to get the best price for your purchases. However, there is still a certain etiquette to haggling to stay respectful to the sellers you are buying from; it’s definitely not okay to spend half an hour haggling with a seller when you’re not really serious about buying something. Also, don’t ask for an absurdly low price; many of the local sellers are just trying to make a living after all.

2. Don’t Travel in Bali Without Travel Insurance

Being in Bali, you’ll likely be engaging in a variety of adventure-driven activities. Therefore, what to avoid in Bali is not having travel insurance. With the risk of injury in transit or in the water or even from animal attacks (though these are very isolated incidences), it’s best to cover yourself with travel insurance in case something untoward happens. Does this mean that you should avoid coming to Bali? No, it just means that you should err on the side of caution.

3. Don’t Drive Without a License

You may be tempted to rent a car/scooter and drive yourself around, but by law, you are required to have an international driving license or a local driving license before you can do so. If you don’t have the said license types, it’s best to include renting a car, scooter, or motorbike in your “what not to do in Bali, Indonesia” list. In fact, this rule applies for anywhere you may visit in Indonesia. If caught without a license, you may have a pay a hefty fine, so stick to more legal transport options.

4. Don’t Dress Inappropriately When Entering Temples

If you came to Bali for a beach holiday, you may be tempted to dress as comfortably as possible especially to face the hot and humid weather. However, while Bali’s temples are tourist attractions, they are still places of worship, so be sure that when you go visit one, you are appropriately dressed. Clothing that covers your arms and legs are best, but if you forgot, at least get a sarong to put on from the temple management office.

5. Don’t Disrespect Religious Practices

In line with the previous tip, this one is a hard “what not to do in Bali, Indonesia” entry. The Balinese people highly regard their religious practices, and because of that, you should be respectful of this. Some things to note to do this is:
Don’t enter temples with your shoes on
Don’t enter a temple shrine if you are menstruating
Do leave a donation at the temples if you can afford it (it’s said to be good karma)
Maintain silence if you are there during “Nyepi”, a religious festival where the Balinese stay in and fast all day, alongside performing various religious rituals.
Be silent and respectful if you encounter a funeral procession or any kind of religious procession; do not mock it in any way.

6. Don’t Buy or Do Drugs

When going around Bali enjoying your vacation, you may come across drug peddlers offering you various types of goods. You may even be considering bringing drugs along to make your vacation more “fun”. If you’re thinking of this, it’s best to scrape the idea. Indonesia’s drug laws are unforgiving toward those caught with drugs, so unless you want to know how it is like to spend half your life in an Indonesian prison, just don’t do it.

We hope these tips on what not to do in Bali, Indonesia is helpful to you during your trip here. If you’re looking for accommodation still, and the most convenient option at that, definitely consider staying with us at Club Med Bali. We look forward to your visit!