Tips to stay safe and healthy in Bali

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Bali is a tropical islands located in Indonesia that has been a popular tourist destination for years! Bali is filled with lots to do, beautiful beaches (if you go beyond the tourist centre), great surfing, lots of resorts and beach bars, tropical jungles, waterfalls and much more! We visited in 2023, and Ky had visited a few years prior. The multiple visits has given us great insight into the destination, with blog covering off some tips to stay safe and healthy in Bali.

When considering safety overall in Bali, we have found it overall very safe. This is especially contrasted to some other countries we have visited overseas. The locals are particularly friendly, and when discussing the issue of safety with them, many locals refer to ‘karma’ as a reason that crime rates are low. While we always recommend good safe travelling practices, Bali is a lot safer than many other destinations. However, Bali is known for the infamous ‘Bali Belly’. This is typically the term given to diarrhoea and vomiting caused by consuming bacteria found in contaminated water or food. Thankfully, we avoided getting sick during our recent 2 week visit to the island. Read on for a few tips on how to limit your risk of getting Bali belly when you visit!

A few tips to say safe & healthy in Bali

Water / Ice cubes

Having been caught out on previous trips, we were adamant not to drink Bali’s tap water from the outset. Unfortunately this meant we needed to buy sealed, bottled water everywhere we went. We were also careful not do use tap water when brushing out teeth, and made sure any drinks we purchased in cafes, bars or restaurants either had no ice or were made with store bought ice (turns out many cafes and restaurants geared towards international travellers purchase their ice for this very reason).

Salads and fresh food

If you’re the kind of traveller who gets an upset tummy at the best of times it might be worth steering clear of anything fresh that has either been washed in the local water, or that’s been cooked, but left sitting around for a while. We tended to opt for for establishments with high turn over of patrons and hot meals over fresh salads. Having said that, we did we plenty of travellers enjoying dishes comprising plenty of raw ingredients. We’re sure many of them were absolutely fine, but buyer beware.

Scooter safety and warnings

We couldn’t possibly visit Bali without riding around on a scooter, however, a few words of warning based upon our experience, and things we observed.

  • Safety: The traffic in Bali is chaotic, and while locals make riding the scooters look easy in the chaos, it isn’t as easy as it seems. Be prepared for busy streets and traffic that never stops. Additionally, there are a reasonable amount of accidents that happen. We did start the trip riding a scooter, but after minor accident, decided to book the budget friendly ‘Grab’ taxi’s instead (free app like ‘Uber’ for Bali) and take lifts on other people’s scooters instead. We spoke with a number of locals about common faults causing accidents, and it turns out the ‘front brake’ is a common culprit so take care (or avoid) if using this, especially when turning.
  • Fines: Bali has taken to pulling over and fining tourists riding scooters if they 1. aren’t wearing helmets, and 2. don’t have a valid motorcycle licence. This may not stop you riding a scooter, but be prepared.
  • Travel insurance: Most travel insurance companies will only cover you if you have a valid international drivers license +/- a motorcycle license. This could mean if you have an accident, you aren’t covered.

The stray dogs & cats

Like many Asian countries, there are a multitude of stray dogs and cats that wander around. We found these quite friendly compared to other countries we have visited. However, a word of warning.. these animals haven’t had any vaccinations, and are at risk of carrying diseases, including rabies. We would urge caution when interacting with them.

A word on the Monkeys

They are cute, picturesque, and iconic to parts of Bali. However, a few warnings. Firstly, the monkeys do like to ‘steal’ items and food, so keep things in pockets or bags, and be wary if you’re around them (e.g. the Monkey forest in Ubud). Additionally, don’t start into the monkey’s eyes, as this can cause them to become aggressive. Finally, they can carry diseases (like the stray animals above). If you get bitten you need to get an urgent review at a medical clinic for a few injections.


We aren’t avid surfers, so this isn’t a long section, however just a few considerations. Many of Bali’s surf beaches sit along shallow reefs with rocks and coral. It wasn’t an unusual site to see surfers exiting the water with cuts down arms or legs. Just something to consider.

Travel insurance

We always recommend travel insurance, and Bali is one of those countries that we would highly recommend it! It is easy to get sick and have accidents in the country. While it is overall safe from crime, it can be chaotic. Better to be safe and covered in case of emergencies!


When in Bali and Indonesia, make sure you are respectful of local customs and traditions. Tourists can end up in trouble with the law when they go against traditions, particularly in relation to illicit drugs, disrespecting religious sites, and clothing (especially in more conservative parts of Indonesia).

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