Holidays are great and Bali is one of the most popular islands in Indonesia or South East Asia. This is not surprising. It is beautiful and there are plenty of activities on offer. Bali is definitely worth a trip!
You want to go diving? Great! Then I recommend a trip from Sanur to Manta Point if the weather is fine. You will definitely never forget it when about 10 adult manta rays dance around you for 30 minutes. Or visit the Liberty wreck in Tulamben – also worth a trip!
You don’t like water that much? It’s not a problem. Ubud offers everything for the artist’s heart. From there you can visit various temples, inspect rice fields and so on. There is so much to see in and around Ubud that you can easily spend a week there. I can recommend a Kecak to you, it is a great spectacle. Don’t miss the Sacred Money Forest! But hold on to all your stuff, the holy monkeys steal! 😀
You are more the surfer type? Echo Beach in Canggu is the place for you in this case.
If you have a few weeks, don’t miss any of these places. I’ve met some digital nomads and no one has said they regretted their extended stay in Bali. Rather the opposite is the case. In fact, many of them extend their stay there. Meeting such people is of course great if you want to inform yourself about the internet connections.
The Internet connections in Bali
Most accommodation, restaurants, cafés and so on offer free Wi-Fi. The connections are not as fast as in Europe, but they are more than OK. For streaming, some connections will be a bit slow, but who wants to sit in front of the TV while on holiday? Because you never know who runs such a network, always activate VPN in foreign networks. You should do this everywhere – even in Europe!
You can also get a sim card with an internet package quickly in Bali. Since most smartphones can be used as hotspots, you’ll always have your own Internet connection with you. Compared to the landlines the data packages have of course limited data but the connections generally work fine.
The bottom line is that in Bali, Internet connections are enough to read email, do some social networking and keep in touch with family and friends. They are even fast enough to work, if I am honest.
A quick trip to Gili Island
If you are on holidays in Bali and have enough time make sure you don’t miss Gili Island. Basically they are three islands and located in between Bali and Lombok.
I saw one of the most astonishing sunsets ever there. While low tide I sat with my camera on the beach and was watching the sunset. A fisherman passed by looking into the water. I took a picture and that’s the result.
I never get tired looking at this picture. Great memories come with it.
The bad news: There is internet censorship in Indonesia
Let’s not beat around the bush, the government in Indonesia partially censors the Internet. The filters are mostly directed against pornographic websites, against terrorist propaganda and against obscene or offensive content. Of course, in some countries they also want to silence political opinions or the opposition. In any case, you never know what will be next on the list of blocked services or websites. The blocks are often well-intentioned, but there are always so-called false positives. In this case, websites would be blocked that were wrongly blacklisted.
It is also possible that spammers use the respective network and a provider in Europe or another country blocks you. In this case, entire IP address ranges are usually blocked, even if only temporarily. It is of little use to you if you are on vacation there at that exact time. The result is that you cannot reach certain websites or use certain services.
Where there is censorship, there is also a high risk that a certain amount of monitoring will occur. However, your data traffic is nobody’s business. If you want to stay anonymous and protect your privacy you better use a VPN.
The good news: VPNs work in Bali
VPNs not only work in Bali, they are also legal. If you connect to a server in Europe using a VPN, all previously blocked websites and services should work as usual. Which VPN provider should you use? That depends on the particular application. If you just want to avoid censorship and have an IP address in Europe, most providers should work. I like to use NordVPN (big discounts NOW!)* as it generally works well and everywhere.
Maybe hotels and others try to block VPN traffic. That can happen. Most of the time they only can block OpenVPN via the standard port. I happened to me, but they could not block the obfuscated servers of NordVPN. In such a case AirVPN (starting at €2)* is another great option that worked. The provider provides OpenVPN via SSH, OpenVPN via SSL and OpenVPN via Tor. OpenVPN is also provided on ports 80 TCP / UDP, 443 TCP / UDP and 53 TCP / UDP. This should defeat any attempts to block the VPN.
In the end, all VPNs that offer obfuscated servers or stealth mode should work. It masks (OpenVPN) traffic and therefore it cannot be detected.
VPNs are not expensive anymore and a great tool to protect your privacy and enhance your security a lot.
Holidays in Bali are great, you probably deserve it, but make sure you have a VPN at hand. It doesn’t weigh much, protects you from malicious hackers, prying eyes and censorship is no problem. If you feel homesick you can even watch TV from your home country. Is it the UK? Enjoy BBC iPlayer from everywhere in the world with NordVPN – it unblocks it for real! 😉
Why NordVPN on Bali?
NordVPN has a few additional benefits. First you can use 6 devices simultaneously. If you are travelling with others you can share your VPN with them.
The VPN provider has one really great function and that is called CyberSec. Basically it is an integrated ad blocker. The function also block tracker, malware and prevents phishing. It’s an incredibel handy option but you need to turn it on manually. If you use a free Wi-Fi somewhere make sure it’s activated.
NordVPN runs on all major operating systems. It doesn’t matter if you use Windows, macOS, iOS or Android – they got you covered. They even provide a client for Linux and the VPN runs really well on a Raspberry Pi. That’s great news because building your own VPN router is very simple now.
You like to download torrents and use P2P file sharing? Such activities are allowed. The provider has special servers for that matter.
Your data is safe because NordVPN has a no-logs policy. Furthermore, the company is located outside the 5/9/14.eyes alliance. If you like your privacy that is great news!