Indonesia is a rather safe country (around 7 millions travellers visiting Indonesia every year half of which visit Bali!), under the condition to remain alert.
IMPORTANT: apart from the recommendations we specify below we advise you to consult on a regular basis, before and during your travel, the information provided by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade of the Australian Government, by clicking on the following link: SmartTraveller’s Indonesian section.
Warning regarding drugs
Indonesian authorities rigorously apply the regulations in force, which can lead up to death penalty in case of drug traffic. It is needless to further insist, recent events speak for themselves.
Hence, do not consume any drug nor accept to transport a bag belonging to a person you do not know or who you barely know, no matter the nationality.
The Balinese population is especially welcoming, peaceful and helpful. But as in any other place, vigilance must apply:
- Do not let any of your belongings without surveillance
- Avoid large crowd-gatherings.
- If you take the taxi, give priority to the official « Blue Bird » company.
- Be particularly careful while using your bankcard. If the interlocutor needs to take your card at any point, you should follow him and keep an eye on your card at any times.
- Motorcycles thefts are frequent and in case it happens, you could be liable for the full reimbursement of the vehicle’s purchase value. Give preference to specialised centres to rent a motorbike.
- Stay alert if going out to a nightclub, especially in Kuta. It is usual to see individuals provoking a fight in order to steal tourists’ belongings. If a stranger offers you a drink, beware of its content.
Travelling alone (or “ladies only”) in Bali
Travelling alone or as a group of women is not considered dangerous in Bali. It is even rather easy and frequent.
Men are, in majority, respectful and polite. You should not face any major issue, and, unlike the other Indonesian islands, which are Muslim, you are not required to cover your arms and legs. It is however expected of you to be decently dressed.
For a trouble-free travel, we give you a little tip: if an Indonesian man were to be insistent, pretend your friend or husband will join you in a few days. If needed, show him a picture of you with a man. This should cut him short from going further with his advances. And if travelling alone really distresses you, you should wear a fake wedding ring.
Travelling with children in Bali
Travelling with children, whatever their age, is not dangerous in Bali. The Balinese indeed enjoy children (you will be able to go everywhere with them) and the health facilities are good in the event of a problem. We recommend you to rent a car with a driver by visiting Bali with Private Sightseeing Tours and Private Shuttle between two cities. You will be far more relaxed!
Finally, to take all the necessary precautions for their well being, please read our section dedicated to Health and Vaccines.
The dangers of alcohol in Indonesia
Dead caused by consumption of locally produced adulterated alcohol (such as Arak, rice wine or palm wine) is frequent in Indonesia.
Dozens of rabies cases have been diagnosed in Bali, including one deadly case in June 2015.
Whether you are vaccinated against rabies or not, you should, in any circumstances, avoid proximity and contact with animals (especially stroking stray animals, dogs, monkeys) in order to reduce the risks of being bitten.
To learn more on dangerous animals, please refer to our section dedicated to Health and Vaccines.
Indonesian roads are not safe: poor maintenance, traffic congestion, pedestrians and animals, the Balinese’ behaviour, which is often dangerous and unpredictable, bad weather, weak lighting at night… Traffic accidents are frequent, in town and in rural areas as well. We strongly advise you not to drive at night.
Be therefore very careful on the roads, especially if renting a bike, a scooter or a car.
Indonesia is lying within the “Pacific Ring of Fire”. It is regularly subject to volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
They are part of the Indonesian attractiveness, many volcanoes are still active and may erupt at any moment.
Before you start the climb of a volcano, seek information by the local authorities on its activity and the potential alerts. It is then essential, to respect the local authorities’ instructions, especially regarding the restricted access areas.
Make sure you know how to behave in case of an earthquake by reading the advice provided by The US Federal Emergency.
Finally, when possible, chose to travel during the dry season, as it is less dangerous and more enjoyable to visit Bali then, rather than the wet season where the risks of landslides and flooding are higher.
Some useful contacts
Please find below some useful contacts, to always keep with you, in case of an emergency:
For American people: U.S Consular Agency in Bali.
Address: Jl. Hayam Wuruk 310, Denpasar 80235, Bali
Phone: (62-361) 233-605
Fax: (62-361) 222-426
Opening hours: 9 am – 12 noon and 1 pm – 3.30 pm, Monday to Friday, except for Indonesian and American holidays.
After Hours Emergencies: (081) 133-4183
For Australian and Canadian people: Australian Consulate-General in Bali.
Address: Jalan Tantular, No. 32, Renon, Denpasar, Bali 80234
Phone: +62 361 241 118
Fax: +62 361 221 195
Opening hours: 8:00am to 4:00pm, Monday to Friday, except for Indonesian and Australian holidays. Some services are by appointment only.
After Hours Emergencies: (+62 361) 2000 100 (This will connect you to the 24 hour Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra) or (+61 2) 6261 3305 (Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra directly).
For British people: Consular services in Bali of British Consulate in Jakarta.
Address: Jl. Tirta Nadi 2 No. 20, Sanur, Bali
Phone: (+62) (21) 2356 5200
Fax: (+62) (21) 3983 5538
Opening hours: Monday, Wednesday and Friday: 8.30am to 12 pm except for Indonesian and UK holidays.