Travel Guide: What to know if you're going to Bali in 2023

Hi everyone! So I've been to Bali 3x last year and once this February and has become somewhat of a seasoned traveller to Bali, so if you are thinking of going there from Singapore here are just some of my tips for what to pack, what to prepare for landing at the airport, getting to your accommodations and getting around. I've also done a Canggu/Pererenan itinerary if you are going to that area here. Hope you guys found this useful!

Before flight: Essentials to bring

  1. Cash (IDR). They are still quite cash reliant in some places and its always good to have some on hand before you get there. However most restaurants and grocery shops will accept credit or debit card, and I always use YouTrip to save on overseas fees.
  2. Rain gear, if you can, because the weather there is quite unpredictable. So a waterproof jacket and pants will be great especially if you don't want to be caught on a GoBike in the rain, or an umbrella at the least.
  3. Medication for motion sickness, pains and stomachaches. In case you fall ill, though they have pharmacy gobike delivery and medication is very easy to get from pharmacies like Guardian, it is always handy to have something you can take especially if you are not going to urban areas (PS: bring mozzie repellant if you are going somewhere remote, otherwise you can easily buy it in Guardian when you get there).
Before flight: At Changi Airport
  1. There are no entry restrictions or visa required for Singaporeans/PR for 30 days travel. Nor do you need to download any app, buy COVID insurance or show proof of vaccination. The only thing you should do before you land is to fill out the e-Customs Declaration form.
  2. I would also activate my mobile 4G roaming on my Gomo plan there (or any other telco. You can buy a SIM card using your passport in Bali, but I don't recommend it unless you are there for long and your telco doesn't have a good roaming plan). For Singtel/Gomo subscribers, remember to set your mobile network setting to hicard when you land to get reception. 
Landing after flight: At Ngurah International Airport
  1. When you land, go straight to the Immigration counter as fast as you can, do not be distracted by different queues for other Visa-On-Arrival folks. Immigration can be as fast as 15m to one hour.
  2. After you clear immigration, wait for your check-in baggage if you have any, and then go to the customs counter. You will need to scan the QR code you save from the e-CD and put your luggage and bags through the scanner before exiting.
  3. Next, once you exit and go through the duty-free shop and Starbucks, you will find a row of drivers holding up signs for their passengers. If you have booked Klook rides or an airport transfer from the hotel (I don't recommend), then look for your driver here. Otherwise, it's time to whip out your phone and open up GoJek (or Grab, which is usually more expensive, but available there). Enter the address of where you want to go, and select the Carpark pickup. It is around 160k IDR on a normal weeknight from airport to Canggu. You can go to Ubud this way from airport but note that within Ubud itself private hire cars are not allowed, only bluebird taxis. 
  4. Behind the airport is a multi-storey carpark that you have to walk towards. There's a Circle K convenience store that too. This is how it looks like.

You have to cross a big zebra crossing to get to the carpark building, where there is a pick-up point and everyone is waiting there. Tell your driver where you are, or send a photo of your location. This is when the Balinese humidity will hit you like a tonne of bricks and you might feel a bit overwhelmed with other drivers asking you taxi? taxi?

Once you get in the car, that's it, enjoy the ride to your accommodations, which can take as fast as 20m to 1.5h depending on where. I would give the driver a small cash tip too by the way if you have, but don't feel bad if you don't have any.

Getting around
  1. It is super easy to get around in Bali using GoBike from the GoJek app. I will recommend using a motorbike if it isn't raining and its a short distance because you won't get stuck in traffic jams and cost you $1 per trip, and a GoCar if you are going from Seminyak to Ubud, for example. Wearing shorts/pants are a good idea if you are on GoBikes! 
  2. In Ubud and around certain beach clubs in Canggu and Seminyak, private hire cars are not allowed so you have to take official Bluebird taxi by the meter. They should be plentiful but sometimes when it rains the driver might charge you a flat rate. Think of it as surge pricing and decide if you want to wait it out or just go with it.
  3. Book a full day driver if you want to go further out on day tours or hikes! 

Other notes

  1. Book your beach club, spa or massage ahead by WhatsApp because most places won't be able to do walk-ins. WA is the main messaging app for anything in Bali.
  2. Remember to apply sunscreen or wear a cap and sunnies too because the sun there is very aggressive and getting burnt is a real thing.
  3. You need to cover up if you are visiting any temples, so bring a sarong or long pants and covered top.
  4. Bali Belly is a real thing if you drink from tap water, because every place draws water from the ground to you instead of piping it unless it is in Kuta, so don't do it. If you are especially sensitive, brush your teeth with a bottle of tap water. The water there is also very hard so your hair will be in bad shape especially if you just dyed it, so bring hair oil or conditioner if you need to.
  5. Try not to drink cocktails from bars and clubs if you are not a big fan and its a random or dodgy place, because you never know what type of alcohol is in there - just drink local Bintang, locally made craft Kura Kura beer, or bring your own booze from DFS to drink in the villa!
Hope this helps, share it with others if you think it is good!

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