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Travel, Teach, Live in Asia

How to Travel to Bali

Bali is a popular tourist destination in the Indonesian island chain. From sandy beaches to Hindu temples, Bali has many interesting places that attract visitors. Bali has unique cultural and religious practices that require respect. Do your homework on Bali to make your trip a great success.

Tell the agent your travel plans when renting a car. Avoid signing the contract until discussing your itinerary. Some rental contracts restrict the areas to which you can drive. Get a special permit letter from the rental agency when traveling to restricted areas.

Avoid scams on the highway. Ignore people who try to get you to pull over to "fix" problems with your car. The problems are usually fictitious, but you still will be charged for repairs. Be careful about similar warnings from car rental operators.

Expect physical contact as part of conversation. The people of Bali are very polite. Touching and smiling is the norm.

Gesture with your whole hand. Don't point with your index finger. Avoid signs of anger such as placing our hands on your hips and crossing your arms.

Avoid touching food or people with the left hand because Balinese consider it unclean.

Wear a sash when visiting Balinese Hindu temples. Rental sashes are available onsite for a fee. Avoid wearing shorts or other above-knee clothing in a temple. Either dress appropriately or take a sarong when visiting holy places.

Familiarize yourself with the types of Indonesian toilets, some of which are crude by Western standards. Most restaurants and tourist hotels have Western-style toilets. Sinks are often outside the restroom. Sometimes people are charged a small fee to use the restroom in public places. Ask for the WC "way-say" if you need to locate a restroom.

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