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Balinese Culture and Etiquette: What Every Digital Nomad Should Know

Last Updated on 24 May 2023

Bali, Indonesia, is a popular destination for digital nomads due to its affordable cost of living, beautiful beaches, and vibrant culture. However, it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions when living in Bali. In this blog post, we’ll explore the Balinese culture and etiquette that every digital nomad should know.


Bali is predominantly Hindu, with over 80% of the population practicing Balinese Hinduism. Religion plays a significant role in daily life, with offerings and ceremonies taking place regularly. As a digital nomad, it’s important to respect the Balinese religion and customs. Avoid wearing revealing clothing or entering temples during ceremonies unless you have been invited.


In Balinese culture, greetings are an important part of daily life. When meeting someone for the first time, it’s common to shake hands and say “Om Swastiastu,” which means “May God Bless You.” When leaving, it’s customary to say “Sampai Jumpa,” which means “See you later.” It’s also important to show respect to elders and those in positions of authority by using the appropriate titles, such as “Bapak” for men and “Ibu” for women.

Dress Code

Bali is a tropical destination, and it’s tempting to wear light clothing to stay cool. However, it’s important to dress appropriately when visiting temples or attending ceremonies. Both men and women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. If you’re unsure about what to wear, ask a local or check with the temple’s dress code before visiting.


Balinese cuisine is delicious and varied, with influences from Chinese, Indian, and Indonesian cuisine. However, as a digital nomad, it’s important to be cautious when trying new foods. Stick to reputable restaurants and avoid street food, as it may not be prepared in hygienic conditions. It’s also important to respect the local customs when dining. In Balinese culture, it’s common to eat with your right hand, so avoid using your left hand to touch food or pass dishes.


The official language of Bali is Indonesian, but many locals also speak Balinese. As a digital nomad, it’s helpful to learn some basic phrases in the local language. This shows respect to the Balinese people and can help you navigate daily life. Some useful phrases to learn include “Selamat pagi” (Good morning), “Terima kasih” (Thank you), and “Tolong” (Please).


Bali has a range of transportation options, including taxis, motorbikes, and private drivers. As a digital nomad, it’s important to research the safest and most reliable transportation options. If you’re renting a motorbike, make sure you have the appropriate license and wear a helmet. When using a taxi or private driver, negotiate the price before getting in the car.


The currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). As a digital nomad, it’s important to have a good understanding of the exchange rate and the cost of living in Bali. It’s also important to carry cash, as many small businesses do not accept credit cards. Be cautious when using ATMs, as skimming is a common problem in Bali. Stick to ATMs located inside banks or shopping malls, and cover the keypad when entering your PIN.


In Balinese culture, it’s important to show respect to others. Avoid raising your voice or showing anger, as this is considered impolite. It’s also important to remove your shoes before entering someone’s home or a temple. When sitting, avoid pointing your feet towards someone, as this is considered disrespectful. Finally, it’s important to be mindful of your body language, as certain gestures may be interpreted differently in Bali.


Ceremonies are an important part of Balinese culture, and it’s not uncommon to come across one during your stay. If you’re invited to a ceremony, it’s important to dress appropriately and arrive on time. It’s also important to follow the lead of the locals, as there may be certain customs or rituals that you’re not familiar with.

Environmental Awareness

Bali is known for its beautiful beaches and natural landscapes, but it’s important to be mindful of the environment when living in Bali. Avoid littering and dispose of your waste properly. It’s also important to conserve water and electricity, as Bali experiences frequent power outages and water shortages.


As a digital nomad, it’s important to respect the local customs and traditions of the places you visit. Bali is a beautiful destination with a rich culture, and by understanding the Balinese culture and etiquette, you can make the most of your time there. Remember to show respect to the local people, dress appropriately, and be cautious when trying new foods. By following these guidelines, you can have a safe and enjoyable experience in Bali.

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