First Timers Guide to Bali, Indonesia

First Time Visiting Bali?
Well you have come to the right place! 

Is it your first trip to Bali? Maybe your first ever Asia destination ?
Well let me guide you in your plans!

Right – Lets get started. 

When is the best month to visit Bali?
There is no particular “best month” to visit in my opinion.
I have been to Bali in both the wet and dry seasons – so in hindsight it just depends on when you can get the time to travel (or when flights are cheap)
Direct flights are definitely the way to go!

May, June and July are generally considered to be the best time to travel to Bali in terms of the weather. However, depending on whether you are a keen surfer or explorer, preferences may change. Rainy season which is typically from October to March – Bali becomes more quiet, which could also be your preference ! ( I have been in January so right in the peak of the wet season and it only rained at night…sooooo I guess you never know your luck!)


Bali uses IDR – Indonesian Rupiah as the currency.
Take cash, and try to get some small notes ( 10,000rp – 50,000rp)  if you can.
These are great for haggling and everyday purchases etc.

Click here to see current conversion rates $100 NZD to IDR

Recommended Budget… that depends on whether you have pre-booked accommodation etc..
I would budget maybe $100 a day for your first ever trip – this allows you to see and do everything on a luxury scale! Massages, food, exploring and shopping.

Do I need a Visa to visit Bali? 

Do your research on this!
Every passport is different , and different circumstances i.e length of stay can change this too.

I am not going to write any direct advise on here and have someone hold the information against me, so either go online or speak to your airline directly.

Message me if you have any questions!

Roaming in Bali

After chatting to a lovely reader , Bali does offer the $5 roaming like many other countries do. However when I was there I didn’t really recieve the $5 roaming txt ?? 
My recommendation is either – switch off during the days, and just use the hotel wifi when you are back in the rooms at night…

Or alternatively, if you are going to be out and about exploring on your own get a sim card!
We brought sim cards with TELKOMSEL for approx. 150,000rp ($15NZD) for 8gb of data!
*don’t buy from the airport – far cheaper in town.

Getting Around Bali

To avoid the traffic of Bali renting a scooter is the best way to get around.
Renting a scooter is the “done thing” in Bali and is very cheap. But can also be very dangerous and I highly recommend checking to see if your travel insurance covers scooter hire!

Taxis are considered “expensive” (but nothing compared to home) , only use the BLUE BIRD Taxis and make sure they run the metre.

Uber is somewhat banned by the monopoly on taxi service.
Download the “GRAB” app, which is the new South East Asia version of UBER.
You can still use Grab, but need to be aware that some Grab drivers won’t come into over populated areas due to the “mafia” on the taxis.

Alternate option – Hire a driver!
This is by far my favourite way to explore. We have made an amazing friend with Wayan, who runs his own business driving for the day.
For about $60 NZD for the whole day you have a private driver who will take you pretty much anywhere you would like to go, and if you don’t know then he will plan a day to see the best attractions too!

CLICK HERE and message Wayan directly!
It’s his facebook page and he will respond very promptly! Tell him I sent you 🙂

Other things I wish I had known on my first trip to Bali!

* Pack tissues in your bags, some local toilets have no paper so when you are out and about during the day you will thank me!
– And following on from above, pack a hand sanitiser!

* Insect repellent is a must, especially if you are going up to Ubud.

* Don’t drink the water, brush your teeth with bottled water and be conscious of the ice in your drinks!! Ask for No Ice just to be safe.

* Pack a small umbrella that fits in your bag, when it rains it absolutely BUCKETS down!

Okay so thats the nitty gritty over and done with!

Now the fun part – Areas of Bali to Stay and Top things to See and Do!

Deciding where to stay in any new country can make or break your trip.
Let me explain the main areas to you, and let you make the decision from there!

**Bali Traffic can be a nightmare, so getting around can sometimes take a lot longer than anticipated, therefore if you have a particular type of holiday in mind – try to stay in one or two spots that suit your needs.

Choosing your Area: 

KUTA – Close to the airport, known for being more of the party central of the island.
Personally, I haven’t stayed in Kuta – just come in and out during the day for shopping etc.

SEMINYAK – Think Private Pool Villas, Beach Clubs, Good Food, Luxury Hotels, and some of the more famous nightlife you may have heard of – Potato Head/Mrs Sippy etc.
A great location central, and again with good shops, markets etc.

CANGGU – Slightly further up the coast from Seminyak you will find the digital nomad expats. Think chilled surf vibes, amazing açai bowl spots, good coffee and just an overall feel good vibe.

ULUWATU – Famous for its beautiful clifftop temples and accommodation. Amazing day beach clubs (you have to get down to SUNDAYS), and all round good vibes in Uluwatu. Home to the surfers, but equally as great for the spectators! Grab a drink at single fin and watch the sun go down whilst the surfers enjoy the evening ocean.

NUSA DUA – Good for families, more resort style accommodation . Great watersports and the beaches tend to be directly out front of your resort. Quieter than most other parts of Bali. Nightlife seems non existent, but enjoy good food and multiple massage places!

UBUD – Eat, Pray, Love Vibes! Ubud is more of a tranquil rainforest feel. Complete with monkeys roaming the streets, rice terraces and yoga spots to get your zen on. Don’t be fooled though, this isn’t a sleepy quiet town – full of tourists and shops etc along the way! Recommend looking at staying on “monkey forest road” if you don’t want to get a taxi every time you want to go for food/massage/shopping etc!

SANUR – Great for families with a mix of quiet beaches and nightlife too. If you are going to head out to any of the outer islands, Sanur is a great base as many of the boats leave from Sanur Harbour!


These will be typical touristy things to do, but hey! That’s why we go on holidays right?!
In no particular order, here goes..

1. Visit the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Ubud
* Tip, go early early morning to avoid the crowds, and take small change to pay the fees to the farmers around the terraces.

2. After a visit to Uluwatu Temple, choose a spot nearby and Watch the sun go down in Uluwatu  Bali has some of the best Sunsets I have ever seen!

3. Spend your days/nights at some of the many beach clubs.
    ( I will write a seperate post about some of the very best)

4. Have a tasting paddle of Local coffee and tea’s, and if you are feeling adventurous
– try the 
Luwak CatPooCino, its not too bad!

5. Go Chasing Waterfalls!
In particular, Kanto Lampo, one of my faves!

6. Try an Acai bowl at some of the best cafes around Seminyak!

7. Hike up Mt Batur Volcano for Sunrise.
I can promise you the views are worth it!

8. If you aren’t too scared, pop in to the Ubud Monkey Forest
... just be careful, they may look friendly but I got bitten when one tried to steal my ring!

9. Tanah Lot – the famous temple perched on a rock and surrounded by the ocean!
Go at hightide to see it in all its glory!

10. Visit the Ubud Art Markets to find some beautiful handcrafted goods for your home

Bonus… #11 – if you have loads of time in Bali, you simply cannot miss heading over to Gili Trawangan Island for a few days, and Nusa Penida needs more than a day to get the most out of this beautiful place!

Kelingking Beach
















And the rest I shall leave up to you!
I hope this blog post has been informative, let me know if you have any further questions, and spread the word to friends or family who may be heading to Bali too.
Xo Cayla