Weather and Customs in Bali – What To Wear: Wet Season
Let’s start with the trouble-maker: the monsoon (wet) season. It begins at the end of October and lasts until April. You can read more about it HERE.What to expect? The unexpected. Even though the weather report might forecast clear skies and sunshine, the conditions can change quickly and often heavy rain appears from nowhere.
We recommend not to wear your best attire out and about but rather invest in some rain-friendly stuff:
Disposable rain jackets and umbrellas can be purchased very cheaply in Bali so save the space in your suitcase and just stock up in the local market. If you happen to be sitting down in a restaurant or at a warung when the rain starts, you will notice opportunistic locals selling umbrellas and rain jackets — they will arrive just in the nick of time. These will be a little pricier than those sold at the markets but when you need an umbrella… you need an umbrella.
Pack light clothes in breathable fabrics. We suggest bringing clothes made out of cotton, linen or silk (fancy!) as they are cool and suitable for Bali’s humid conditions. On top of this, they also dry quickly which is always helpful during the wet season. Avoid wearing tight clothing that will make you sweat.
Slippery surface. With the wet season comes slippery roads and trekking conditions, obscured views and poor visibility on the streets. It is advisable to practice extra caution when driving (especially on a scooter) and while doing recreational activities. We recommend to swap flip-flops (‘thongs’ for Aussies) for more stable sandals.
Weather and Customs in Bali – What To Wear: Dry Season
The dry season occurs between May and September — with August being the driest month. Read more about it HERE.
Surprisingly, it can get quite cold during the evenings (yes, for real!) so we recommend to pack at least one jacket or a jumper, and a pair of socks. You’ll be happy you did, especially if you’re staying on higher ground or in the mountain areas.
Another thing to remember — the days are long and the sunrays are unforgiving, making it is very easy to get burnt. If you’re spending lots of time outdoors, be sure to bring a hat and apply sunscreen.
And if you’re a surfer, make sure you get a wetsuit, as the water temperatures can get quite low.
Weather and Customs in Bali – What To Wear: General suggestions
As a tourist it is important to dress as respectively as possible throughout the year, no matter what season you’re visiting in. The island might seem quite westernised and locals are very friendly and welcoming — but Balinese people maintain a very honourable grip on their culture… and are often far more conservative than the party atmosphere of Kuta might lead you to believe.
Public displays of affection are usually frowned upon and while it might be ok on the streets of Legian, wearing a bikini to the mall is NOT appreciated by the locals.
T-shirts and flip flops (‘thongs’ for Aussies) are fine to wear on the streets and around most tourist areas but if you intend on visiting a sacred temple, attending a local religious ceremony or visiting a Balinese family, it is important you dress modestly and follow local customs.
If you’re taking a day trip to a temple, sarongs and scarves can usually be purchased or rented for a small charge — but we recommend to find out beforehand as every temple is different. It is important to cover up your body particularly your shoulders and chest area, and you will usually be required to remove your shoes.
As a general rule of thumb, the more respectful and well-groomed you are, the better you will be treated by the Balinese people.
Now, we want to hear from YOU! What are your recommendations? Share your tips, experiences, and insights with other travellers. The comment section below is all yours.
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