Bali safety tips

Bali safety tips, you can never be too careful.

Being that it is school holidays in Australia and Bali is Australia’s number one holiday destination. I thought it would be timely to mention a few Bali safety tips.

Note that some of these tips have been mentioned in blogs before and they may seem a little obvious. But also note that people tend to be less careful when they are on holiday in Bali.

Bali safety when you leave the hotel

Be careful with ATM’s  in Bali as a recent study has shown that there is a higher occurrence of card skimming than in most tourist locations in the world.  This is not fail safe but if you do need to use a machine then find one attached to a bank or inside a convenience store.

Convenince store Bali Safety
You would like to think that Circles K ATM’s are safer Bali Safety

Bali nightclubs and pubs also contain their share of  opportune thieves so it is never wise to carry expensive electrical equipment when going out at night.

(If your hotel has been kind enough to supply you with a safe then you should use it)

Bali safety when you use the hotel pool

Check the depth of your hotel pool before diving in as a large number of tourists are injured every year.

Bali Safety
Pool Party Bali Safety

The pools in Bali are not built to strict building standards and there are many that were built a long time ago. Think steps in weird places, increases or decreases in depth and a half wall’s where there shouldn’t be any.

(For those that like to make a splash the shallowness can become a very dangerous issue and when young children are involved there is also a risk that the pool is deeper than expected)

Bali safety when you’re feeling playful

Know who you are taking home when partying in Bali as there are plenty of working men and women trawling the nightclubs and Bali has a very high sexual disease infection rate including HIV.

Bali Safety
Careful who you go home with in Bali

Condoms are available in Bali but they tend to be of a substandard quality and they have a propensity break easily. It is always wise to have a sufficient supply whether you think you will be involved in this type of activity.

(If you are on the island seeking romance be sure that the lady/man you have fallen in love with is who you think they are)

Bali safety when you’re out on the town

Do not become involved in an altercation in a Bali Nightclub and remember that any foreign tourist that gets involved in a physical exchange with an Indonesian will always come off second best.

Malcolm Scott Books
Java gangs often travel to Bali, a few of the boys on Legian Street

This cannot be said enough, you will either be set upon by other Indonesians or you will find yourself arrested and this is where the real trouble will start. Do not expect sympathy even if you didn’t start the altercation. You are in a foreign land and the police will be inclined to favor the local’s version event’s.

(The maximum penalty for assault in Indonesia is six years jail and anyone arrested is considered guilty until they can prove their innocence)

Bali safety when you’re out on the town- Part 2

Do not drink the rocket-fuel and avoid cheap drinks and cocktails. There have been a number of tourist deaths attributed to the drinking of methanol based alcohol drinks in Bali.

Bali Safety
Photo Credit Jalbum Bali Moonshine

Cheap alcohol otherwise known as Arak is often brewed in backyard distilleries around Bali and throughout Indonesia. Unfortunately there is no real way for the Indonesian authorities to completely stamp out this practice.

Bali Saftey
Photo Credit: Jalbum Bali Moonshine

(This is a dangerous chemical that can cause blindness coma and death if consumed in large amounts)

Bali safety when you’re riding a scooter

Be sure to wear a Western Standard motorbike helmet. The motorbike helmets sold and supplied in Bali are cheap copies and they will not save a person’s life if they come off a bike at speed. If you intend hiring a scooter in Bali then please pack a western standard motorbike helmet with your luggage.

Bali Safety
Australian Standard Stickers

Brand new helmets may attract an import tax at customs so bring something second hand if possible.

(Cover the small standard sticker on the back of the helmet and scuff it up a little to avoid questions at customs)

Bali safety when you’re getting a tattoo

Bali is renowned for being an island full of artisans and plenty of great tattooists can be found on the island.

Bali Saftey
Bali tattoo safety

Nowadays the shops are very clean and safe but it is always good practice to make sure that a packet of clean and sterilized needles is opened in front of you.

(Places like Kuta in Bali still utilize ground water tanks for their sewerage and their water supply. If you are the kind of person who likes to take regular showers then another good idea is to have your work done as close to your departure date as possible)

Bali safety number one tip

Please make sure you have travel insurance as tourists are injured during their Bali Holidays every day.  Recently a tourist had to be medevac’d back to Australia from Bali and he was charged over one hundred thousand dollars for the service.


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Self Promotion Post – Bali Undercover

When you see the Bali Undercover jacket on the internet and you run for cover

Bule Hunter, the blog author’s book I’m sure its great, Malcolm-Scott-Books

I was just cruising across the internet with a beer in my hand when I came across the featured image above this picture and it stopped me in my tracks. My book was on the internet and I had no idea what it was doing there.

“Oh shit,” I said to myself, “not another book review.”

Writing is a very personal endeavor and unless the author gets a rave assessment praising their work. Book reviews are generally cruel and inhuman excuses to publicly tear strips off a person and what they have slaved to produce.

Bali Undercover
Critics have been around forever. Bali Raw, Bali Undercover and No Negotiation No Ransom are true stories.

You could think of a book review as a public lashing or a stoning in the street consider the following.

Imagine a brick layer finishes building a wall and then some person who has never built a wall is offered the opportunity to publicly point out why it is a terrible wall.

Book Reviews are awful things and I happen to despise them as much as I hated taking my underachieving high-school report cards home.

Luckily it wasn’t a review however and it would seem that somebody else hates book reviews as much as I do. The author was criticized for the books subject-matter and they wanted to point out that it was similar to Bali Undercover. They also paid for and read one of my books which is a bonus .

You can find the post article link here:

I’m not quite sure if the author of this post is telling people to trash my book as much as she feels hers was trashed, but I will reach out and offer this to her.

I remember reading  that Stephen King’s books often get criticized but he happens to be the best selling and highest paid author on the planet. Don’t let anyone’s opinion stop you from what you are doing, writing a book isn’t easy, and being honest in a book is harder. If people noticed your book then you are doing something right and you should keep up the good work.

Bali Raw and Bali Undercover best sellers
Bali Raw and Bali Undercover

I hope the author doesn’t mind but I have also posted a picture of her book and I recommend that you read it or her blog, honesty is a very rare commodity nowadays.

I should also add that this post wasn’t concocted and despite giving my own book a plug, it’s happened pretty much as I have explained it.

P.S. I think Bule Hunter may be written in Bhasa Indonesian so that may create a problem for some people, but I’m sure it is a great book as I know a little about the subject matter.

Oh and if you would like to read one of my books, you are welcome to check them out on this websites. The navigation link is in the top header and it reads books.

Now that last line was a plug : )



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The legend of Sri Tanjung

The legend of Bali sailing catamaran Sri Tanjung and how Banyuwangi received it’s name

You may notice on this blog that there is an advertisement for sailing tours around Bali’s Island’s on the beautiful Catamaran Sri Tanjung.

Sri Tanjung Sail Bali Islands
Sri Tanjung Sail Bali Islands

You may also notice that it states at the bottom of the page the article is a paid for advertisement.

This statement is true but in the tradition of full disclosure and with the intention of being totally honest.  I want to mention that I have had a little bit of history with this wonderful vessel.

Years ago and back when I had more hair and less of a paunch than I have now. And when the sailing catamaran Sri Tanjung was known by a different name. I was invited to spend a few days aboard on a journey from Semarang in Central Java to Banyuwangi on the Eastern tip of Java.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Somewhere in Indonesia

This short adventure took nine days and although it may sound like the journey of a lifetime it turned out a little harrowing on a couple of occasions.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Sailing along the coast of Java

At one stage of the journey we were nearly boarded by what we thought were Indonesian Pirates. About ten of these guys pulled alongside in a large fishing boat and they demanded to come aboard.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
This is a different boat but the guy in the middle is not one to mess with.

Luckily for us our mechanic was a burly guy from New Guinea and after he showed them the size of the Sid-chrome Spanner he was holding in his melon sized fist they had a sudden change of mind.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Storm blowing in somewhere off Java, few hours later I would be too busy to hold a camera.

Then one evening we were hit by a large tropical storm that blew up  around midnight and I remember being very happy that I was on a fifty foot Catamaran that was purpose built for ocean sailing.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Tropical Storm

I will not bore you with the details of how I clung to my bucket and my bunk and I screamed like a little girl with every crash of thunder or any lightening strike that nearly hit the mast.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Off the coast of Java somewhere the morning after.

Suffice to say like a lot of things in South East Asia this story does have a happy ending.

We did make it to Banyuwangi and when we were safely harbored in this small port town right on the tip of Java and just across from Bali. I was lucky enough to hear the mythological story of how Banyuwangi received its unusual name.

Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Sri Tanjung and her famously seductive wink

The stories differ but one local legend of Banyuwangi is that a young woman was accused of being unfaithful by her husband and she dove into the  river to escape his wrath.

Sail Bali Islands

The story states that moments after she hit the surface she merged with the river and the water became crystal clear and beautifully fragrant.

The young woman was never seen again and the towns people decided she had been wrongly accused by her husband.

The woman became known as Sri Tanjung and the husband was banished from the village for falsely accusing her of adultery.

The story is a mythological one and it is used to explain how Banyuwangi, which means fragrant water in Javanese, received its name. But if Sri Tanjung is christened after the woman in the story then it is a perfect name for such a stunningly beautiful vessel.

Cruising on the Sailing Catamaran Sri Tanjung Bali
Cruising somewhere off the Java coast

When we were not battling storms or pirates Sri Tanjung merged with the sparkling ocean and she cruised effortlessly like some type of mythological water princess. She was a pleasure to sail aboard and I for one could smell the warm tropical fragrance rising up from the crystal clear water as we cruised down the Java Coast.

Read More: Sail Bali Islands

Read more: Catamaran Captain Prevents Catastrophe

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