Bali offers a wide range of travel experiences, from the cheap guest houses of Kuta, to the enclosed luxury of Nusa Dua. Assuming you are like most of us, who visit Bali for a short period, want comforta but not luxury and also want to get around the island, here are the top 10 things you should bring to Bali (outside of the obvious money, passport, ticket etc).
1. Guidebook. There are many very informative and helpful guide books on Bali. I discover new ones all the time. Lonely Planet and Rough Guides are very nuts & bolts oriented, listing guest houses, places to eat, travel times etc. The Natural Guide to Bali and others, focus more on the culture and feel of Bali.
2. Ear plugs. You can get these at camping stores and they are useful if you wind up in a hotel on a busy street, or in a guest house with a snorer.
3. Padlock. Some of the cheaper guest houses in places like Padangbai have a small lock you can use to get into your room. I prefer my chunkier Master Lock.
4. Family photos. Indonesians are extremly family oriented and will ove to see photos of your family.
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5. Postcards. Small gifts will be readily accepted and a postcard from a foreign country will be treasured.
6. Balinese / Indonesian phrase book. A few words of the local lingo will unlock many socail encounters.
7. Notebook. I was never much of a diary writer, before I did Baliblog, but a small notebook will be very handy for recording all the special people you meet and names of cool places you encounter.
8. Sarong & sash. Armed with these you can access most Balinese temples and easily join in a celebration if invited. (You can buy the sarong and sash in Bali)
9. International driving licence. Your mode of transportation is one of the main factors that will affect your trip. Having an International Driving Licence will aloow you to rent cars and motorbikes.
10. A good attitude. Bali is a strange place when you first arrive. Common sense and logic sometimes seem like they don’t live here, and unfamiliar surroundings can make people anxious. If you can let go of the western ‘control complex’ and go with the flow, meeting strangers, spending extra time to explore and relax, you’ll probably have a better time in Bali.