When you're traveling to a new place, staying hydrated is essential. But for many travelers, the question of whether or not to drink the tap water can be a tricky one to answer. Bali, with its beautiful beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture, is a popular destination for travelers from around the world. However, when it comes to tap water, the term "Bali Belly" comes to mind.
What Is Bali Belly?
Bali Belly is the local term for traveler’s diarrhea. Traveler’s Diarrhea is the general diagnosis when someone becomes sick after they consume bacteria found in foreign food or contaminated water.
Is Bali's Tap Water Safe to Drink?
If you're wondering whether you can drink the tap water in Bali, the short answer is no, it's not recommended. While Bali has made significant progress in recent years in terms of its water treatment facilities and infrastructure, there are still a few potential risks associated with drinking tap water.
First and foremost, Bali's tap water is not guaranteed to be free of harmful bacteria, viruses, or other contaminants that could make you sick. The water supply can also be affected by environmental factors such as heavy rainfall or flooding, which can cause waterborne diseases like typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A.
Basically, avoid drinking tap water unless it has been properly filtered or purified.
Alternatives to tap water
While tap water in Bali may not be safe for drinking, there are several alternatives available to ensure that you stay hydrated and healthy during your trip.
One of the most convenient options is to use a travel water purifier or filter. These devices are designed to remove bacteria, viruses, and other contaminants from water, making it safe to drink. There are several types of travel water purifiers available, including portable water filters, UV water purifiers, and water bottle filters.
- Portable water filters,such as the Saywer Mini are small, lightweight devices that can be carried with you on the go. They work by physically filtering out impurities from the water, using materials like ceramic or activated carbon.
- UV water purifiers, such as the steriPEN adventurer on the other hand, use ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses in the water.
- Water bottle filters, such as the Grayl GeoPress are perhaps the most convenient option for travelers, as they allow you to filter water directly from the source into your water bottle. These filters use a combination of physical filtration and activated carbon to remove contaminants from the water.
If you're planning on using a travel water purifier or filter in Bali, it's important to do your research beforehand and choose a device that is well-suited to the local conditions. Some filters may be more effective than others at removing specific contaminants, so it's important to choose one that meets your needs.
Note: The popular "Life Straw" does NOT remove viruses from the water. While the company doesn’t actually claim it will, it seems that this is a crucial bit of information that lots of people seem to have missed for a water filter bottle so regularly recommended to backpackers.
Read a full independent review of the best water filters for travel in 3rd world countries including SE Asia here:
Grayl UltraPress purifying water on the go.
Tips for Staying Hydrated in Bali
Staying hydrated is crucial when you're traveling in Bali, especially in the hot and humid weather. Here are some tips to help you stay hydrated and healthy during your trip:
Carry a reusable water bottle: Invest in a sturdy and reusable water bottle with a filter for travel. This will allow you to fill up with tap water and filter it on the go. Hint: Grayl Water bottles are filters and reusable water bottles in one.
Drink plenty of fluids: In addition to water, consider drinking coconut water, fresh juices, or herbal tea to keep your body hydrated.
Avoid ice cubes: Ice cubes are often made from tap water, so it's best to avoid them unless you know they've been made from filtered water.
Check bottled water: If you do not have a portable water filter and you've opt for bottled water instead. Just be sure to check the seal and expiration date before purchasing.
Eat water-rich foods: Fruits and vegetables such as watermelon, cucumber, and oranges are great sources of hydration.
Take breaks in the shade: When exploring Bali, take breaks in shaded areas or air-conditioned spaces to prevent dehydration.
By following these tips, you can stay hydrated and healthy during your trip to Bali, regardless of the type of water you're drinking.
While tap water in Bali may not be safe for drinking, there are several alternatives available to ensure that you stay hydrated and healthy during your trip. Whether you choose to use a travel water purifier or filter, or stick to bottled water and water-rich foods, it's important to make hydration a priority when traveling in Bali. By taking the necessary precautions and staying informed, you can have a safe and enjoyable trip to this beautiful island destination.