The island of Bali in the Indonesian archipelago has been one of the world’s tourist hot spots for decades, with nearly seven million visitors arriving each year. Fascinating history, exotic landscapes, and the friendliest locals make for an inviting destination. However, traveling to Bali requires a few extra precautions, including some vaccines that you may not have already received.
This guide will share what to see and do as well as preparations to make before traveling to Bali.
What To See and Do in Bali
There’s no shortage of amazing activities to enjoy when traveling to Bali, and most of them are conveniently located near the city of Ubud, which has an extensive tourist infrastructure including taxis, hotels, and well-regarded restaurants.
Tegalalang Rice Terrace
Some of the most iconic photos of Balinese life come from the rice fields that lie just off the country's main roads. Tegalalang is an agriculture and engineering marvel of over a dozen lush terraces of this vital crop, and it’s only a short taxi ride from Ubud.
Towering Mount Agung is central to Balinese culture, with its people believing it to be the central axis of the universe. This active volcano is also one of the island's most popular hiking routes, with many visitors making the 9-mile/15-km trek in the dead of night to reach the summit at sunrise.
Ubud Traditional Art Market
Ubud is the cultural capital of Bali, and its traditional art market is one of the best places to pick up a souvenir from your travels. Everything from colorful sarongs to hard-carved wooden bowls are on sale, and the price is always negotiable. Visit at the end of the day, when sellers are motivated to sell off the day’s stock to get the best deals.
The Ubud Water Temple is the perfect way to experience traditional Balinese culture and architecture. The temple is right in the middle of Ubud, making it easy to add to any itinerary, and it’s completely free to visit. Be sure to dress modestly in respect for the sacrality of the temple.
Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary
Home to hundreds of long-tailed macaques, the Sacred Monkey Forest in Ubud is a popular and tempting attraction. However, this travel medicine specialist recommends avoiding it altogether. The monkeys are known to be very aggressive and bites are common. Monkeys can transmit various diseases, including rabies which is life threatening and could even necessitate evacuation off the island if post exposure rabies treatment is not available.
Traveling To Bali: Vaccinations, Climate, & Preparations
After two years of COVID-19 and being almost entirely cut off from international tourism, Bali is finally reopening to the world. These are a few of the important vaccines and travel risks to keep in mind while planning your visit to this tropical paradise.
Vaccinations for Bali
Bali is a visitor friendly island to visit with well-developed tourist infrastructure. However, there are some vaccine preventable diseases to be aware of and protected against. These are the most important vaccines for Bali.
COVID-19 and Influenza (the flu shot)
These two routine vaccines are recommended for everyone, and are even more important if you are traveling.
The tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis vaccine is one that you’ll need multiple times throughout your adult life to maintain protection. It’s given every ten years, but if you’re unsure of when your last shot was, it’s a good idea to get boosted before traveling.
Hepatitis A is transmitted through contaminated water and or food that comes in contact with it. No matter how careful you are with your dining choices, there’s always some risk. Travelers should complete or at least get the first dose of their Hepatitis A series before traveling to Bali.
You can reduce your chances of getting typhoid by being careful of what you eat and drink but the risk is high enough that all travelers to Bali should get a typhoid vaccination at least two weeks prior to departure
If you're traveling to Bali for an extended vacation or have an itinerary that involves wild animals, a rabies vaccine is a must. Even the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary in the center of Ubud puts you at risk of bites, making a rabies vaccine for Bali not uncommon.
Bali’s Climate and Weather
Bali is a tropical paradise with a climate to match, averaging around 88F/31C throughout the year. Seasonal variations come in the form of precipitation, with November through March being the wet season and April through October the more popular dry season. Even in the wet season, Bali is pleasant, though, with rain usually only lasting for a few hours each day.
Choosing the best time to visit Bali can sometimes be a balancing act of cost, climate, and crowds.
The shoulder seasons offer a great balance between good weather, lower tourist numbers, and cheaper rates. February to June and September to November can offer this balance, but it’s recommended to book well in advance to be safe.
Food and Water
Bali’s tap water is not safe to drink, so you’ll want to stick to bottled drinks while traveling around the island. Any produce that’s been washed with tap water is also suspect; only eat fruits and vegetables that are thoroughly cooked or have a removable peel.
Preparing for a Trip To Bali, Indonesia
While not an exhaustive list, these are a few of the things you’ll want to have sorted out before your departure:
- Get all the required vaccinations
- Book your accommodations in advance, especially during the busy season
- Purchase travel insurance that includes a clause for emergency evacuation
- Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the departure date
- Pack loose, moisture wicking and modest clothes
Prepare for Traveling To Bali With TravelBug Health
With only a few extra precautions, travel in Bali can be both very safe and enjoyable. The most important thing is to receive all of the necessary vaccinations, ideally at least 4 to 6 weeks prior to your departure.
If you live in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area, TravelBug Health offers comprehensive pre-travel health consultations. Our travel health specialists can provide you with more information about the risks and precautions necessary for your itinerary.
Contact TravelBug Health today for more information.