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Carmen_Man Mar 9th, 2012 04:44 PM

Is Bali dangerous?
Hi, as we've been planning our trip to Bali in September a friend of ours kept going on how dangerous Bali is and how we would be better off to go to Thailand as Thailand beaches are nicer and is much more of a relaxing holiday compared to Bali. In other words, she was extolling the virtues of Thailand and how it is superior to Bali. Noted that she herself have never been to Bali, only Thailand.

As we have never been to both, I wonder the merit of her comments. Anyone been to both, can you please advise how seriously should we take her "advice"?


MichaelBKK Mar 9th, 2012 06:28 PM

Well, there's crime everywhere. I get daily updates on all sorts of nasty things happening to people in Phuket *and* Bali, but when you look at how many tourists are in both those destinations, the percentage affected by crime is quite low.

It really depends on specifically *where* you're talking about. Bali is really a very big island. It's not a single destination. There are dozens of different places to choose from. I find the Kuta and Legian areas annoying in the extreme, and that is where most of the crime happens. But if you get away from those areas, like up the same coast to Canggu, or over to Sanur, or up to Pemuteran, you'll enjoy a lot of peace and quiet (and better beaches, IMO).

The thing about Bali I think a lot of people miss is that it's not just a beach destination. Going to Bali and not spending a few days up in the mountains around Ubud or other areas kind of misses the whole point of the place, IMO.

marmot Mar 9th, 2012 07:15 PM

Dangerous is a relative term. There is crime in Bali -- mostly non-violent theft related variety. There are also the occasional worse variety, but instances are rare, especially in proportion to the size of the tourist population and the economic disparity (plus the amount of alcohol consumed in some areas).

As an American long time resident of Indonesia lately moved to Bali, what's surprising is how little crime there is. To me, the most dangerous element in Bali are motorcycles, both to riders and pedestrians.

If you're looking for a picture perfect, sparkling white sand, clear turquoise water beach, go to Thailand. Bali has some good beaches -- long, sandy, some with gentle surf for swimming, some with big waves for surfing -- but they are lively and well traveled, not pristine. I like the beaches at Sanur and Seminayak a lot. They are as different as sunrise and sunset, but both offer a sophisticated beach resort ambience.

kmkrnn Mar 10th, 2012 02:15 PM

The beaches in Bali are just ok. The sand is not white and clean if that is what you are looking for. BUT, beauty is every where. As several have said above , stay out of the heavily touristed area, unless you want the club scene.

Kathie Mar 10th, 2012 03:43 PM

What is really special about Bali is how accessible the culture is to the visitor. Yes, it has some nice beaches, but if you are only looking for a beach and aren't interested in the culture, look elsewhere.

StanKase Mar 11th, 2012 03:30 PM

As a frequent visitor, last time in Sept. we duid not come upon or hear of any other than to be careful of pick-pocketing but you would find that in almost any tourist destination.

obione980 Mar 11th, 2012 06:29 PM

As a typical tourist - petty scams and minor theft are the worst you could expect. If you're into drugs (buying/trading/selling) - it's a dangerous morass of corrupt law enforcement etc etc.

Bali has long ceased to be the idyllic beach resort heaven. It's heavily 'over-touristed'. It is also the RnR centre of choice for cashed up workers from NW Australia's mineral fields. Many workers work 10 days - 10 days off, and spend their leisure time and significant sums of money in nearby Bali.

Personally I'd spend at least half my time in Ubud and surrounds - avoid Kuta totally - and consider a few days in nearby Lombok (Sengiggi Beach if you're into beaches). It's just 20 minutes by Merpati Air or a few hours by sea ferry.

Carmen_Man Mar 12th, 2012 01:22 AM

I am not particular looking for a beach holiday but a mixture of somewhere we can relax while taking in local culture. I am always open to exploring new places but she has been going on about how we will be better off in Thailand.

Davidurmann Mar 12th, 2012 02:22 AM

I think both are pretty safe. Although I would recommend you avoid Kuta beach as it has a lot of trash if you go to Bali

Bokhara2 Mar 12th, 2012 02:52 AM

We all know one Carmen_man, the expert naysayer who hasn't been there.

I've been to Bali a lot over the last 15 years & always enjoy it.

For comments & suggestions from frequent Bali travellers, many of whom will be in Bali now, have a look at

Bali is like most places if you're law abiding, keep your wits about you and don't do anything stupid, dangerous or offensive - perfectly safe. Same as Thailand, which I've also visited several rimes and like very much.

Btw you might ask your friend about the 38 people who are killed in bike accidents in Thailand every day.

travel2eat Mar 12th, 2012 08:00 AM

This is hard but I have enjoyed my time in both places.
Both also have very good values.

Ubud is stunning and serene and if you want a spa holiday with walks amongst the rice paddies and a serene atmosphere this is where it is at! It is green and lush and you can do a lot of cultural things as well, such as watch the shows on local dances.
I like to go there for Ayurveda cleanses.

The beaches were great if you are a surfer and if you have access to your own villa well what a plus!

Thailand is different. A nice serene resort in Krabi is absolutely stunning as is the chaos (the good kind) in Bangkok!
The water is gorgeous!

Let us know what you decide. Either way what a splendid holiday!

rhkkmk Mar 12th, 2012 10:21 AM


babymocca Apr 2nd, 2012 10:52 PM

you will enjoy bali, no doubt

i dont think phuket and bangkok are safer than bali...i believe they are about the same

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