Is Bali Safe?

I'll admit I was concerned when we first started considering a visit to Bali. I only knew two things about Bali
1) My wife always dreamed of visiting the island
2) There was a terrorist bombing there a few years ago

As I did more research into Bali, I heard over and over that it is safe to visit. It is a favorite vacation spot for Aussies, especially those from western Australia. But the bombing kept nagging at the back of my mind.

Well, I bit the bullet and went along with the plan. We landed on New Year's Eve and watched the fireworks lugging our baggage through the airport. Check out the video here.

The plan was to spend a month in Bali. So we rented a car to see the island, staying in Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Uluwatu, Amed, and more.

The island is spectacular and I am so glad we had the chance to see all that Bali has to offer. We made it out alive too!

But is Bali Safe?

Bali is definitely a third-world place. There is a high level of poverty and daily life for the Balinese is much more difficult than what we're accustomed to. From what we saw, the people were some of the friendliest, good-natured and generous we've ever met. I couldn't imagine a Balinese person becoming hostile enough to harm a tourist.

In retrospect, renting a car to drive the island was not safe. The roads are not well marked, super narrow and very windy. Motorbikes are everywhere and love to pass from all sides. Our toddlers were in booster seats, buckled (most the time). Instead of an actual carseat, we had to use a baby seat made for a  bicycle. I was white-knuckled the whole time I drove. We should have hired a driver to take us from city to city. It probably would have been cheaper too!

We made it 29 days without any significant incident. OK, I may have left some paint on a few parked cars and we had to pay off a cop in Sauur, but both are to be expected, I suppose.

On our last full day, I was walking back from dropping off laundry in the morning. I stepped out to cross the street and heard some shouts. As I was turning to see what it was, I felt a motorbike hit my ankle and saw the driver fly by! I guess I should have looked both ways before crossing the street (I only repeat it ad nauseum to our kids). For the record, he was going the wrong way down a one-way street (and pretty fast too).

He got the worst of it. But we were both fine and gave each other a thumb's up before going our separate ways.

Do you think Bali is safe? Let us know below...

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