Safety is a topic of concern for many tourists and expats visiting Bali. This is especially important for solo travellers, women, and those relocating to the island on their own. The good news is that Bali remains a relatively safe place. However, here is the thing: you still need to take precautions to protect yourself from troubles and incidents.
- What types of crimes are most common in Bali?
- Are women more likely to be targets of criminal activity in Bali?
- Health insurance
- Frequently asked questions
While violent crimes in Bali are quite rare, tourists should be aware of minor offences like pickpocketing and various scams.
Let’s take a closer look at the risks.
Pickpocketing and bag thefts are quite common in Bali, especially in crowded tourist areas. Criminals often ride motorcycles to target pedestrians or discreetly approach shoppers in shopping malls. They often work in pairs or groups, attacking when tourists are distracted.
To avoid falling victim to pickpocketing in Bali, avoid wearing overly expensive jewellery on the street and refrain from carrying valuable items that make you stand out as a target. Keep your bag close, never leave it unattended, and exercise caution in crowded places.
Scams targeting tourists are also widespread in Bali, ranging from fake ATMs to fraudulent taxi drivers, and more. In fact, there is a whole system built around scamming money out of foreigners, sometimes involving organised criminal groups.
Let’s look at some common types of scams in the island and ways to avoid them.
Fraudulent ATMs. Use ATMs only at reputable banks or other well-known locations to avoid fraudulent ATMs equipped with card skimmers. These devices read your card details, which a fraudster will be able to use to their advantage. Cover the keypad with your hand when entering the PIN code if there are bystanders nearby.
Unofficial money exchange. Do not let yourself be fooled into exchanging currency at a favourable rate that seems too good to be true. It is now very common in Bali to exchange money through expat chats, but it is better to opt for a verified organisation.
Unreliable visa agents. If you decide to live in Bali as a digital nomad, be cautious of scammers posing as visa agents. They may claim to assist you with paperwork but could ultimately swindle you out of money or personal information for their own purposes.
Unlicensed taxis. To ensure the driver’s reliability, use only licensed taxis. Also, ask the driver to turn on the metre when you get in the car, ensuring you pay the correct fare for your journey.
Fake monks. You may encounter scammers posing as devout Buddhist monks offering blessings in exchange for money. In such cases, it is best to be polite but firmly decline.
Bali is relatively safe for female travellers, including those journeying solo. However, there are still incidents of alcohol-related crime and sexual assault in the island. Special caution should be exercised around intoxicated tourists, and suspicious places, especially after dark, should be avoided. Maintain self-control, avoid overly provocative behaviour, and refrain from excessive consumption of hard liquor.
Here are some additional safety tips for women travelling in Bali:
- Dress modestly to avoid drawing undue attention to yourself, especially when visiting temples and other cultural sites that require discreet clothing.
- Avoid public displays of affection, such as kissing or hugging, as it is considered taboo in Balinese culture and might send the wrong signal to observers.
- Stay aware of your surroundings and trust your intuition if it signals that something is amiss.
- Limit alcohol consumption and never leave your drink unattended.
- Before choosing accommodation, research its safety by reading reviews.
Another way to ensure a comfortable stay in Bali is to purchase health insurance, guaranteeing access to the best medical care in case of illness or accidents.
— Why is Bali a popular tourist destination?
Bali is a sought-after destination as it is home to stunning beaches and mystical temples. The island boasts mountain peaks, lush greenery, serene lakes, rushing rivers, breathtaking waterfalls, and authentic rice fields.
— When is the high season in Bali?
The high season in Bali falls between April and October. However, the island attracts visitors year-round, as the temperature and climate are always comfortable.
— Is it possible to travel in Bali on the cheap?
Since accommodation, transportation, and food costs in Bali are relatively low, it is possible to travel around the island cheaply. At the same time, there are quite a few luxury properties and premium amenities for those willing to spend money.
— Are there any drawbacks to visiting Bali?
As with any other popular destination, some of Bali’s natural landscape has suffered as a result of over-tourism. For instance, you may see more resorts than rice fields, especially in the southern part of the island. Other drawbacks include heavy traffic.
To sum it up, we can say that Bali is one of the safest places in Southeast Asia, and the crimes that do happen in the island are standard occurrences in any tourist destination. Taking basic precautions will ensure your safety while holidaying or living in Bali.