Bali is a rite of passage for every Australian yet to ride a scooter into a ditch (or so the stereotype goes).
To some it’s a paradise, to others it’s a warning of what happens when tourists get treated like gods. But whether you’re a backpacker, a digital nomad, or a short stay holidaymaker, there are certain pieces of advice you’d benefit from hearing before your next trip to Bali.
Enter: The Canggu Pole. The Canggu-based meme account regularly updates its page with hilarious, and occasionally poignant observations about what it’s like living in Bali.
We recently learned about tourists’ craziest Gojek (Indonesia’s equivalent of Uber) stories as well as their craziest Bali travel stories.
Today we came across yet another gem on the page: a series of Instagram stories in which people living in Bali share “random Bali related advice.”
One warning is particularly timely, with tourists now flocking back to the Island of Gods.
“Don’t drunk drive. Take Gojek.”
Though you shouldn’t drunk drive anywhere, it’s a particularly important reminder for Australians in Bali, given how often we seem to end up in accidents when we escape the nanny state and let loose overseas.
“Don’t be too proud to take scooter driving lessons if you’ve never driven one before,” another person advised. These were far from the only driving-related rules survey respondents sent in, with The Canggu Pole claiming over 200 people had replied with: “Wear a helmet.”
The Canggu Pole added: “You realise how stupid you look without one, right.”
Keeping in the theme of road rules, another Instagram user wrote: “Look both ways always.”
Further good (but unrelated) pieces of advice to heed from the survey were: “Always use notaris” and “[Check out] Revolver on a Friday.”
Then there was some advice which more than a few travel addicts could probably do with hearing: “Don’t get a dog if you just f**k off again and leave it behind.”
Moving on from that, there was some advice around etiquette. One survey respondent wrote: “Respect for the people, rules and culture,” to which The Canggu Pole added: “Learn Bahasa Indonesia.”
Another piece of advice that may save you from making a cringe-worthy mistake is “when someone asks ‘where are you from?’ don’t answer ‘I live here.'”
More solid advice included the recommendation that you keep a cold flannel/towels in the fridge, and that you sort your third party palaver out before coming to Bali (“INSURASNCE BABYY”).
On top of that, we enjoyed what we’re dubbing the scooter shirt rule (“use a shirt when driving a scooter, no one cares about your muscles and tatts”) and the chillax rule (“learn to let the small things go, the frustration is not worth it”).
Next we have the sage piece of going out advice “ladies use a small bag and put it inside the motor trunk at night, even with gojek they’re ok with it.”
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The conversation also included a warning about hustlers, with one respondent writing: “Beware of business people in Bali – they’re usually hiding something.”
“Bali is the end of the road for a lot of people here. Expats operate with a different mentality and lose all concept of right and wrong. Avoid loud and aggressive people.”The Canggu Pole
Finally, we have three more rules/pieces of advice which we’ll leave below for you to read.
One: “Be kind to the people serving you – their salary is your daily budget.”
Two: “Never trust a fart in Bali.”
Three: “When someone says they moved to Bali to be a coach, run.”
This article would also be remiss without adding the following Facebook comment which the meme account recently shared, which breaks down exactly where you should stay in Bali, based on your personality type…
Got it? Good. Now all you need to do is learn how to navigate the perils of Nusa Dua’s floating breakfasts and you should be sweet…