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Bali packing essentials (and the things not to take)

Bali packing essentials (and the things not to take)

Soaring temperatures, elaborate temples and some of the most moreish food Asia has to offer - it's no surprise that Bali continues to be a firm favourite for Australian travellers. Planning what to bring when exploring a country whose culture is so different from our own, however, can prove difficult.

Here we'll have a look at a few suitcase essentials for your trip to Bali that might not immediately spring to mind, as well as some items that shouldn't make the cut.

A sarong

With an average temperature of 27.5°C you'd be forgiven for thinking that shorts, t-shirts and vest tops are all you'll need for your Balinese adventure. While these garments are perfect for relaxing on the beach or drinking in the sights of fascinating towns like Kuta and Padang Bai, you might run into trouble if you're interested in visiting sacred locations.

One example is the Holy Springs at Pura Tirta Empul. This thousand-year-old site, situated just 30-minutes drive from Ubud, is of great significance to Hindu worshippers who come to bathe in the healing waters and marvel at the beauty surrounding them. Today, tourists are also welcome, but only when appropriately dressed. 

In general, Balinese temples require visitors to wear clothes that provide cover past the knee and don't leave the shoulders exposed. A quick and easy fix to this is the sarong. These versatile and lightweight items of clothing can be wrapped around the waist, or draped over your shoulders, to permit you entry into Bali's cultural must-sees.

Boots made for walking

Hiking and Bali may not be synonymous, but the minute you clap eyes on the trails up Mount Batur, you'll understand why conquering this peak is high-up the bucket list for many visitors. However, if all you have are thongs or sandals, you're going to struggle.

This is why hiking boots are next on our list of packing essentials for Bali. While there are definitely more challenging hikes out there, Mount Batur will likely take you two hours, and the last section in particular involves traversing loose rocks and gravel - not fun in thongs!

Add to this the fact that you'll likely begin the trek in the dark (as most people aim to reach the summit for sunrise), and you'll start to see why a solid, closed hiking boot, or at the very least a good sports trainer, is a sensible option. A few layers and a torch are also recommended for the start of the hike when the temperatures are cooler, and light is lacking.

Your camera

Bali offers both jaw-dropping views, as well as the chance to get up close and personal with a multitude of wildlife species. Bringing your camera is a must.

The magnificent Jatiluwih Rice Terrace, located 58 kilometres from Kuta, is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and a fantastic stop for anyone who wants to experience the beauty of rural Bali. It's also a great place to practice your photography skills - capturing the panoramic views is no mean feat.

At the other end of the scale is the Ubud Monkey Forest. The area is home to over 700 Balinese long-tailed monkeys, who are more than used to human company. Their lack of fear gives you the perfect opportunity to capture photos worthy of National Geographic - just make sure the monkeys don't make off with your lens cap! 

What not to pack

Here are just a couple of ideas for items that you can afford to leave back in Australia…

Snorkel gear

The crystal waters and abundant marine life that surround Bali means that snorkeling is a priority for many visitors. After all, who wouldn't want the opportunity to swim alongside wild sea turtles in Nusa Penida?

However, snorkeling gear is bulky, and there's no need to take up all that space in your baggage. You can easily and cheaply rent fins, masks and snorkels on an as-needed basis.

Your whole jewellery box

While you may want to bring a few favourite pieces, especially if you plan to eat at fine-dining establishments such as Metis or Sarong in Seminyak, don't go overboard. Hand-made Balinese jewellery is known across the world, and where better to pick up some stunning pieces than in the country itself? 

If silver is a particular favourite, the village of Celuk, a short drive from Denpasar, isn't to be missed. The highly skilled silversmiths that call this place home create exquisite items, drawing on the island's diverse cultural heritage for inspiration.

From browsing jewellery shops to snorkeling the reefs, Bali has something for everyone, and hopefully you now know what to bring to take advantage of all of this. The next step is booking your trip. To kick this off, get in touch with your local Travellers Choice agent today. 


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