Is Bali Safe?

Compared to many places in the world, Bali is fairly safe. However, the things that require your attention to ensure daily safety are different than what you would need to worry about at home. Pay attention, and exercise common sense and caution to easily have a safe and enjoyable time in Bali.

There is crime in Bali, but most of the crime is non-violent and tends to be theft of belongings or scams (such as ATM skimming). While there are occasional violent crimes, often these are sensationalized by the media.

Take care of your belongings, lock up valuables, and maintain a low profile as a tourist. Be aware of possible pickpocketing, and use ATMs at a bank with security. The Kuta and Legian areas have the highest crime rates, while Ubud is one of the safest locations.

Roadway safety is a big issue. Be very careful driving or even crossing the street. Use local taxis wherever possible. And of course, don’t drink and drive.

Bali also has a small but mentionable risk of natural disasters from volcanoes and earthquakes. We recommend you sign up for travel advisories from your country of origin before departing for Bali.

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Yes, in most cases. There are pharmacies called apoteks around Bali that have most medications available for purchase without prescriptions. The drugs are generally inexpensive. Reputable pharmacies have a General Practitioner (Doctor) on site to help you get the medications you need. If you have to see a doctor in a hospital, the hospital will have a pharmacy to dispense recommended prescriptions.

Consult with your doctor before traveling and verify that any needed medications are available in Bali. It is best to bring an ample supply of necessary medications with you. Always bring the medications in the original packaging and with a letter from your doctor.

Be aware that many pain medications and muscle relaxers are classified as illegal narcotics in Indonesia, and may require additional paperwork and procedures; or not be allowed at all. Check with the Indonesian embassy prior to traveling to make the proper arrangements.

No vaccinations are officially required to enter Bali. It’s advisable to be up to date on vaccinations for typhoid, tetanus, Hepatitis A & B, diphtheria, MMR, chickenpox, polio, and a current flu shot. Malaria is uncommon, but if you are going to be spending time in an at-risk area, get medication from your doctor and begin taking it prior to exposure as prescribed. Before traveling, consult with your physician or a travel clinic doctor on the necessary vaccinations for safe travel to Bali and other locations on your travel itinerary - especially since health conditions and recommendations are subject to change.

Malaria and Japanese Encephalitis are uncommon in Bali, and there is no risk of Yellow Fever. For more information, ask your doctor and check the CDC website.

Bali is a tropical island and has a substantial population of insects. If you stay in Ubud or any area near the forest, you will come into contact with a greater variety than what you will find at the beach or in populated areas. Most insects in Bali are harmless, although there are a few whose sting or bite is painful. Make proper use of insect repellant and common sense with insects, and you will be fine. Mosquitos are one of the most common insects and probably the most dangerous, as they can carry diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, zika, or Japanese encephalitis. Use insect repellent with DEET, cover legs and arms with long clothing, and make use of either mosquito coils or plug-ins (available at grocery stores) to keep mosquitoes away. More mosquitos are found in Bali during the rainy months.

Ants are common house guests in Bali. You’ll also commonly encounter roaches, butterflies, wasps, bees, and the shrill sounds of cicadas. Balinese accommodations are very open to the outside, so having insects within the home is normal. You will also have lizards (geckos) coming inside; this is a good thing because they eat the insects and emit a small noise of pleasure afterward.

There is crime in Bali, but most of the crime is non-violent and tends to be theft of belongings or scams (such as ATM skimming). While there are occasional violent crimes, often these are sensationalized by the media.

Take care of your belongings, lock up valuables, and maintain a low profile as a tourist. Be aware of possible pickpocketing, and use ATMs at a bank with security. Lock doors and windows when leaving your accommodations. The Kuta and Legian areas have the highest crime rates, while Ubud is one of the safest locations.

Having a bag snatched while driving on a scooter is a commonly reported crime. Try to avoid driving alone on a scooter late at night, and lock up bags in the under seat compartment.

Bali’s major medical facilities are modern and clean and have multilingual staff, medical specialists, and emergency medical capabilities. There are 6 hospitals on the island. Sanglah Hospital in Denpasar is the main public hospital and has an international wing to serve tourists. BIMC Hospital in Denpasar is a private facility catering to foreigners that accepts many insurance policies. Smaller towns like Ubud have medical clinics for minor emergencies and illnesses. Avoid going to small public clinics that cater to locals unless you are in a rural area with no other options. Prescription and non-prescription drugs can be purchased at pharmacies or apoteks throughout Bali.

Before traveling, check with your health and/or travel insurance providers to determine if and where your coverage is accepted. Medical care can be expensive in Bali, so be sure to have adequate funds available in cash or credit for medical emergencies.

P.S. Need to learn more about basic travel insurance and why it's important? Read "Going Abroad? This is Why Travel Insurance is A MUST!" Then, get your personalized quote here.

Yes, there are 35 species of snakes in Bali, but you will rarely encounter them unless you spend time in or near the forests, or hiking in the rice fields. There are 6 species of snake that are poisonous, so exercise caution when trekking, and if you encounter snakes. The king cobra, spitting cobra, red-tailed green rat snake, Malayan Krait, sea snake, and red-necked keelback are dangerous poisonous snakes. If bitten by any snake, seek medical treatment immediately.

To protect yourself from snakes, wear long pants and either boots or closed toe shoes while trekking. Be aware of where you're stepping, watch out around rocks and woodpiles, and carry a walking stick. Use a torch (flashlight) while walking at night. When the rice is high and ready for harvest, there are more likely to be snakes about as they come to catch the rats who eat the rice.

Tap water in Bali is of questionable quality and not considered safe for drinking. Stick to bottled or filtered water. Most restaurants have either bottled or filtered water, but be sure to ask if you are in doubt. Ice is considered safe and is quality-controlled by the local government. If you are at a small local restaurant (warung), be sure to ask about the origin of water or ice if you have concerns. Sanitation in restaurants has greatly improved in recent years, but it is best to be sure if you want to avoid a case of “Bali Belly”. Wash produce in filtered, bottled, or boiled water.

In case of emergency, the main emergency phone number is 112 (like 911). For police, dial 110. For Fire Department, dial 113. For ambulance, dial 118. In case of major emergencies, contact your embassy or consulate. Complete medical care is available in Denpasar or Kuta, and there are other reputable hospitals scattered around the island. Smaller towns will have clinics or emergency care centers. Prescription and non-prescription drugs can be purchased at pharmacies or apoteks throughout Bali.

For safety, keep a list of your personal emergency numbers, Bali’s emergency numbers, any important personal medical information, and the number and location of the closest medical providers to your accommodations handy in your phone or wallet.

Yes, Bali has delicious fruits and vegetables. You can find Bali produce at local markets and stands, grocery stores, and in restaurants. Bali’s restaurant sanitation has improved greatly over recent years, thus reducing your chance of getting the infamous “Bali Belly.” In general, raw fruits and vegetables from reputable restaurants are fine for consumption. If you purchase produce from a store or market, be sure to wash it thoroughly in fresh - not tap - water before cooking or eating. If you are unsure of the origin of a fruit or vegetable, only consume it if it has a thick peel or skin - this helps avoid any water-borne bacteria.

Bali’s beaches are one of the island's top attractions. Ocean swimming safety depends on your location, the time of year, and the conditions. Bali beaches often have very strong currents, especially at the famous surf breaks along Bukit Peninsula and at Kuta Beach. Not all beaches in Bali have lifeguards on duty. Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua, and Sanur beaches have trained lifeguards minding the beaches - at all the rest, you are on your own.

Southwest Bali beaches are known for strong riptides and undertows. If a beach has red flags, do not swim there. Use caution when surfing, and moderation when choosing which surf breaks you can handle. Be careful surfing and swimming in areas with coral reefs, which are sharp and can cause cuts with infection.

Use ample sunscreen to avoid sunburns while in the ocean and be aware of the small but potential danger of tsunami in Indonesia.

The amount of mosquitoes depends on the time of year and location. There are more mosquitoes in the rainy season and more inland than on the coast. Use mosquito nets, fans, or screened windows to minimize the annoyance of mosquitoes in the home. Mosquitos are one of the most common insects and probably the most dangerous, as they can carry diseases such as dengue fever, malaria, zika, or Japanese encephalitis. Use insect repellent with DEET, cover legs and arms with long clothing, and make use of either mosquito coils or plug-ins (available at grocery stores) to keep mosquitoes away.

Vacation days are hard to come by. We help make every single one count by tailoring experiences that are fun-filled, worry-free, and unforgettable. Expect more from your vacation.



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