Is Bali safe for solo female travellers?
When I watched the famous Hollywood movie ‘Eat Pray Love,’ I knew I had to explore this beautiful island. Although I had been curious before as well, the movie played a huge part in my decision to visit Bali for my first ever solo trip! And I would be lying if I said I did not have the most memorable solo trip of my life yet!
While Bali can be perfectly described as the land of stunning waterfalls, gorgeous beaches, and mouthwatering cuisine, it is not always a paradise. Just like every other country in the world, Bali has its own downsides too. The threat of volcanoes, earthquakes, and tsunamis is real!
This blog will help you understand whether or not Bali is a safe travel destination for solo female travellers. I will also mention some tips that you can take to ensure you have a safe and memorable solo trip to Bali!
How safe is Bali for solo female travellers?
Well, Bali is definitely one of the most popular destinations in the world. Thousands of tourists visit this famous Indonesian island. Seeing the number of solo travellers, especially solo female travellers in Bali every year, one can easily say that the island is a backpacker central!
However, as a whole, Bali is surely very safe, but not 100% safe too.
Certain factors, mainly nature-related, play an integral part in deciding how safe Bali is. Now, as I mentioned earlier, Bali has threats of natural disasters, such as volcano eruptions, earthquakes, etc. Bali is a prime destination for active volcanoes. And honestly, the fact that it has no less than three active volcanoes is pretty scary! Nonetheless, this is not something that should stop you from visiting the island. These days, with technological advancements, scientists can easily predict when an eruption may occur. But with that too, it is not possible to stop them from erupting!
When I had visited the island in November 2017, I had mixed feelings about taking the solo trip as the news of volcanoes erupting in Bali were doing the rounds on the internet. Not going to lie—I was pretty scared because it was my first ever solo trip and also because the news gave me nightmares!
If you want to know more about my experience, check out my blog on my first ever solo trip to Bali!
Now comes another factor that plays an important role in determining whether Bali is safe for solo female travellers, the people. Yes, it is a legit factor! Now, this does not mean that the people of Bali are bad. In contrast, they are genuinely very welcoming and warm to tourists. However, with good comes the bad parts too. There are some people, like scammers, pickpocketers, etc., who can make your stay in Bali a disaster.
The most common incident of ‘people being bad in Bali’ is definitely the scammers. And they have a great eye when it comes to tourists, like you and me. You can find these scammers while booking a cab. They will lead you to believe that their taxis’ meters do not work and charge you a hefty amount! Or, in rare cases where the meter might work, they will take the longer route to take you to your destination.
Now, Bali is quite a budget-friendly destination, and paying a little more than usual may not seem like a big deal. But when you have a certain budget in mind, the extra expenses can mess up with it.
Yes, your own behaviour in a foreign destination can sometimes compromise your safety too. For instance, getting drunk at a nightclub in Bali and not being aware of the surroundings. Like they say, your safety is in your hands. When you are travelling solo, you should be completely responsible for yourself. If you know your drinking capacity and can take good care of yourself, you will have a lovely time in Bali. But if you decide to go all out and get drunk (just because everyone is doing it too), you may end up in trouble.
To have an amazing solo trip to Bali, just be aware of the geological activities, book your tickets and rides through genuine companies and take care of yourself. And you will be good to go!
Not-so-safe places in Bali
Bali is quite a tourist-friendly island. There is not a place that is ‘dangerous’ for you to be in. However, the basic rule is that the more people and tourists, the more chances of pickpocketers and scammers.
Seminyak Main Road
While this is not a region as such, Seminyak Main Road can get a little dangerous if you are not careful enough. This main road has a lot of nightclubs, which means that you might come across a lot of tourists, locals, and even drunks! Now, this does not mean that you cannot go to the main road or have a great time in the nightclubs, you might have to be extra careful!
If you do decide to go to the nightclubs and it gets late at night, book a cab (a genuine one) to get back to your hotel. Even better, if you have your rented vehicle in Bali, you can get to your hotel on time and safely (only if you are not intoxicated!).
This area is located in Canggu. It is famous for one of the best nightclubs in Bali, Old Man’s Bar. That being said, Batu Balong is one of the busiest areas in Canggu, which increases your risk of getting pickpocketed. Just make sure that you keep an eye on your belongings and stay alert!
This road starts from Seminyak and leads to the airport and Sanur. Here, the roads are quite dangerous. If you decide to rent a car or bike in Bali, you may have to be extra careful here. And if you are not confident in your driving or riding skills, it is best that you do not rent a vehicle. Instead, you can take public transport.
However, if you are keen on getting a rented vehicle, you can hire a private driver in Bali too.
Safe places in Bali
Now, let’s take a look at some of the safe places that you can stay at or check out while in Bali.
Not only is Ubud the most popular tourist attraction in Bali, but it is also one of the safest. In addition, Ubud happens to be the yoga centre of Bali as well. You will find a lot of retreats and places to practice yoga and meditation here. This region is quite tourist-friendly, relaxed, and chill. The people of Ubud are very warm and welcoming towards the tourists too!
The only danger you might come across in Ubud is the naughty monkeys! They can steal your stuff if you are not careful enough lol. And this tends to happen quite a lot in the famous Ubud Monkey Forest!
Sanur is another of the very safe places in Bali. Partially because it is located in the far south of the central tourist attraction, and this can also turn out to be in your favour as you will have the opportunity to explore this beautiful place without having to worry about crowds! Here in Sanur, even the people are very friendly.
This region is quite close to Sanur. If you happen to stay in Sanur, you can check out Uluwatu as well. It is known as the surfers’ paradise and is famous for its stunning white sand beaches too. In addition, you will also find several cafes and restaurants in Uluwatu, most of which serve lip-smacking Balinese food items.
The best part about chilling in Uluwatu is that, since it is usually less crowded, the chances of you getting pickpocketed are quite less too!
Safety tips for solo female travellers
Based on my solo travel experiences in Bali, I have curated the following tips for you.
Do not ride or drive on the poor roads
The most popular way to explore the island is through a two-wheeled vehicle called a moped. The idea sounds amazing till you have to get on the roads of Bali. After visiting the island a couple of times, I realised that the most annoying thing about Bali is its roads. Most of the roads are in poor condition, which contributes to a huge number of road accidents that take place every year. If you are someone who has very little experience riding a two-wheeled vehicle, do not rent a moped in Bali.
Avoid drinking tap water
Drink water from a tap may seem like a normal thing to do. But trust me, it is not. Speaking from experience, I made the mistake of filling my water bottle with tap water in Bali. I drank water from that bottle throughout that day and ended up having a stomach bug the next day. Luckily, I had packed enough general medications with me!
But honestly speaking, the tap water in Bali is not safe. If you do want to fill your water bottle, make sure you do it either from your hotel or a good restaurant.
Book genuine cabs
This is one of the most common problems in Bali. Especially at the airport, you will see many taxis waiting for tourists in the airport parking space. And the thing is that a lot of fake taxis look quite similar to the genuine ones. You would not even be able to tell them apart!
To avoid getting into fake taxis and paying a huge taxi fare, I would recommend that you book your cab or taxi online. In my opinion, the most genuine cab services are Blue Bird Taxis. If you face any difficulty in finding a cab or taxi at the airport, you can speak with the airport staff to help you out.
Do not get drunk
Well, this one goes without saying. If you are someone who drinks regularly and still remains a little sober, it is alright if you get a little drunk. However, make sure that you make proper arrangements to get back safely to your hotel because drinking and driving is a strict NO in Bali!
On the other hand, if you do not have the capacity to drink too much, refrain from it.
Get your currency exchanged at genuine places
If you have travelled to a few countries, you might be aware of the currency exchange scam. It happens in a lot of countries, and unfortunately, many tourists fall for it. In Bali, this scam takes place in popular tourist regions like Kuta, Legian, etc. You will see a lot of kiosks on the sides of the road with a sign that says Foreign Currency Exchange. And these scammers are quite good at sleight of hand too. That is, they may count the notes in front of you and quietly slip one or two notes behind their desks without your knowledge!
To avoid this, the best place to get your currency exchanged is at the airport. You may find a few genuine currency exchange stores in the city too, but why take the risk?
So, is Bali really safe for solo female travellers?
In my opinion, yes, Bali is quite a safe destination for solo female travellers. To make sure that you do not feel unsafe in Bali, I would suggest that you do thorough research on the island before booking your tickets. This way, you will be prepared to visit places and do things once you have a general idea about everything!
On a positive note, Bali is definitely one of the best travel destinations, which also happens to be budget-friendly. If you have never been to Bali before, here are some tips for you that may help you have a lovely time on the island.
If you do decide to visit Bali, do let me know of your experiences in the comments section below. I would love to know about your solo trip to Bali. Till then, happy travelling, ladies!
An introverted blogger who is looking to make unforgettable solo travel memories with one short life.