Besides our surf camp Bali FAQ, that offers the most useful information about all needs and requirements regarding your travel, visa, customs as well as all questions about the surf camp and the surf lessons, here are some more questions that we get asked quite often. Most of them are about the daily life in Bali and easy to answer. If you have any other questions, you are invited to contact us via our contact form or in a Facebook message.
Please be aware of the time difference. If you write us an inquiry from Europe and for example its early in the day, our office is already closed over here and most likely your email can not be answered on that same day. If you have an urgent question, you better give us a call.
The ultimate Q&A for questions you may never think of:
1) Which sunblocker should I use?
- We recommend sunblockers with SPF +30 minimum. If you know you have sensitive skin, go for SPF +50. Products containing zink oxide are usually the most reliable option. Just to name a few products that have a good reputation by experience as there are: Daylong, Headhunter and … Better buy your sun blocker at home, cause they can be pretty pricey in Bali, since they are mostly imported. Never forget to put in on your feet, behind the ears, on the back of your legs and your lower back as surf jerseys tend to slide!
2) Can I use my mobile phone in Bali?
- Using your mobile phone from home is mostly too expensive, but you can buy pre paid sim cards and similar items almost everywhere, even in the smallest shops besides the road. The cost of telecommunication is very low in Bali and you can use whats app and facebook for a low rate, too.
3) Is there a lot of crime in Bali?
- The crime rate is very low around rural areas, such as Canggu, where our surf camp is located. Even though you should always be aware of some basic rules, especially you are around more touristic areas, like Kuta. We haven’t had an incident with one of our guests for a very long time, but always be cautious of pickpocketers, money changers and if you enter a taxi, make sure it is a registered official cab with a taximeter or negiotiate the price before you get in the car.
4) And the narcotics?
- Don’t even consider to buy illegal drugs. You probably won’t get what you pay for, tourists are often blackmailed and if you get caught, you face serious penalties starting from several thousand dollars to even death penalty for trafficking. Also be cautious with alcohol, regarding a few recent incidents with methanol, sold as wodka. Even if you buy a cocktail in a bar or a sealed bottle of booze, you can’t be completely sure. Better stay with beer, the stuff you brought from the duty free or ask expats for reliable sources.
5) How about insurance?
- No matter where you come from, your health insurance will probably not cover all the costs of medical treatment in Bali. There are some real good travel insurances around, for example worldnomads. If you are from Europe, a simple holiday insurance like Ergo direct will cover your trip up to 2 months for less than 10 Euros. You should definitely check before you start your travel. No matter what, you will probably have to pay for your treatment in Bali in cash or with your credit card and keep the bills for a refund as soon as you’re back home.
6) Can I come to the surf camp alone?
- Our surf camp is perfectly suitable for everybody, regardless if you travel alone, as a couple or in a group. We always arrange our rooms to fit the needs of our guests. If you come alone, a place in the dorm is usually a good option. We often have guests that travel alone, so you will find company soon enough. By the same time, the camp has various areas to hang out, so you will always find a spot on one of the terraces, where you can have a moment on your own.
7) Is it dangerous for women to travel alone in Bali?
- Bali is not an Islamic Island, even Indonesia mostly is. People are determined by Hindu culture and they are open minded, always friendly and helpful regardless your gender. You will most definitely never face rude behavior by Balinese men. Our camp is certainly very women friendly too.
8) Are there dangerous animals?
- Well, there are some wild animals that could also be harmful to humans, but in the more populated areas, they are hard to find. There are some small scorpions, snakes, sea urchins and jellyfish. The most dangerous animals around here are for sure dogs, which like to bark when you pass by their house/territory and can get aggressive if provoked. Rabies are no longer a problem along the coast. There are some sharks, but the number of shark attacks in Bali per year tends to zero. Statistically seen, your risk of having a traffic accident or food poisoning is a lot higher. Mosquitos could, but will most likely not spread dengue fever. Malaria in Bali is not a problem anymore, since vaccination and medical treatment wiped it away. If you are not travelling to other parts of Asia, there is no need for malaria prophylaxis for Bali.
9) Where can I find the best waves?
- To find good waves you still need to search, even in the most swell consistent area of the world. Depending on the swell size, wind directions and tides, we provide daily guiding to the most interesting spots for our guests. Since we are located right in the middle between the Bukit and Medewi, we minimize our time on the road, to maximize our time in the water. Our local spots around Canggu are probably the most consistent surf spots in Bali, if the swell is too big we take the action to the Bukit to less exposed spots, like Kuta or Jimbaran. With the right conditions we also like to check out the famous Bali pointbreaks like Medewi or Airport Reef.
10) How expensive are the cabs and transport in general?
- Like we mentioned before you always should negotiate the price before you begin the ride. Taksis and drivers in Bali can be hired for less than 3 $ for a short distance. The way back from Echo Beach to the camp is about 3 $, Seminyak ~8 $. From Kuta to Canggu you should reckon with something in the 12-15 $ range. A driver for a whole day including surfboards will cost 50 $.
11) When is the best time to visit Bali?
- The dry season starts in April and ends in October. The rain season is usually a bit hotter, but not as rainy as you might think. It’s not like we are having 6 months of monsoon. Normally we only have very few days during the rain season which are completely rainy. In the rest of the time, it just rains for a short while in the morning or in the evening and there are ven periods with no rain for many days in a row.
12) Is there nightlife in Canggu?
- Canggu doesn’t have a night club, but a bunch of nice bars and party venues like the famous “Deus Ex Machina”. If you want to visit night clubs and discos, we recommend to go to Seminyak, which is a little more sophisticated than the typical tourist clubs in Kuta around Poppies Lane etc.
13) Can I buy boards in Bali or should I bring my own?
- There are many places in Bali, where you can buy a used board for a reasonable price, as long as you want to buy a shortboard. Used beginner boards, Malibus or longboards are nearly impossible to find. Our board rental offers beginner and step up boards, that fit your surfing skills perfectly and the best of all, you can return it. If you have found the perfect board for you, we can certainly help you to find a board at one of the local shops. New quality boards without fins start at around 400$, as used ones go by 200 $.
14) Is the tap water drinkable?
- No. If you won’t risk an infection with streptococcus or similar bacteria, you should avoid tap water. Bottled water is available everywhere for as little as 3k – 5k IDR / liter.
15) How much does food cost in Bali?
- Eat Indo, pay Indo. Eat western, pay western. If you eat at local warungs, you need 1 - 3 $ per meal. If you order a pizza or burger meal at a typical beach restaurant you have to reckon with 6 – 15 $. Beware! Tax and service fees are not included on the menu and can double up your bill.
16) Can I rent a scooter in Bali and what does it cost?
- Scooters in Bali are the most used transport vehicles and widely used by tourists as same as locals. The rates differ from 2 $/day to 6 $/day depending on the season and the term of lease. Fuel, or “Bensin” can be bought in “Absolute Wodka” bottles at many little shops besides the road for 0,6 – 0,8 $/liter.
17) Can I walk barefoot in Bali?
- In Canggu you can, but not in Kuta. The Balinese usually do not drop many bottles, so there is not as much glass on the ground as on French parking lots or in Orange County. But in the more populated areas, there is a lot of litter beneath the road and we would not recommend walking barefoot there. In addition, the streets get insanely hot during midday and a pair of flip-flops is available for less than 1 $.
18) Can I pay with my local currency in Bali?
- The local currency is IDR (Indonesian Rupies). US Dollars are widely accepted, as long as the notes are in a very good condition. Some places accept Euros, for example at the airport, but better go for dollars or even better, just get some local currency from an ATM with your credit card.