Home Bali Can You Drink the Water in Bali? – Know Before You Go Bali Edition

Can You Drink the Water in Bali? – Know Before You Go Bali Edition

written by familyadhd

Santi Mandala Villa & Spa Ubud Bali

If you plan to visit Bali or you know someone who has, you’ve probably heard things here and there about the drinking water. But do you really know what to expect during your upcoming trip? If you’re unsure or you simply need someone to lay it all out for you, we’ve got some info and tips for you. Let’s talking clean drinking water in Bali!

Many of us take for granted the ability to turn on a tap and get potable water we can use for drinking, cooking, brushing our teeth, etc.

You probably wake up in the morning, turn on the faucet, brush your teeth, hop in the shower, open your mouth without thinking and everything is okay. It’s a totally different story once you’re in Bali, which is still a developing country. While some people don’t mind being a bit riskier with their choices, we tend to be pretty careful since we have kids and I personally have a weak stomach. Some pretty unpleasant things can be found in the water in Indonesia (Hepatitis A and Typhoid, according to the CDC, to name a few). Our motto has always been, there are some risks worth taking and some that simply aren’t. Messing around with the water in Bali falls into the latter for us!

 

Playing it Safe with the Water in Bali

For those that wish to err on the side of caution, these are our top tips and suggestions on dealing with the water in Bali based on our experiences traveling multiple times through the island for weeks at a time. Keep in mind, my husband grew up in Indonesia (so he’s very familiar with certain aspects of the country) and we consult our Travel Clinic prior to each visit to make sure we’re up on the latest when it comes to food, health and vaccines. We always recommend doing the same prior to traveling to any country.

Before visiting Bali it’s important to understand what you should potentially expect when it comes to dealing with anything water-related.

  1. Water from the tap is typically not okay to drink, cook with or brush your teeth with. We personally don’t even wash our faces with tap water while there.
  2. Bottled water is very easy to get in touristy areas and always available in local grocery and convenience stores, even outside the super touristy areas from our experience.
  3. Be wary that you purchase bottles that still have the seal intact. We’ve seen refilled bottles filled with everything from water to fruit juice sold by vendors. If in doubt, don’t drink it. Always listen for and feel for the “snap” of the seal when opening up your water bottle.
  4. The rules for ice are similar to that of water. Don’t drink anything with ice in your drink unless you know for certain they have their ice delivered (clean ice is often trucked in to resorts, nice restaurants, etc.).
  5. Most hotels and resort provide a couple individual size bottles of water every time they turn over your room. Often these bottles of water are left bedside and in the bathroom. This isn’t enough to survive on each day, but does help reduce what you have to buy a bit.
  6. There are a number of brands of water available, from Cleo to Danone Aqua. There’s often also Nestle and a one or two other international brands at larger stores. We tend to prefer the taste of Danone Aqua the best (it’s a mineral water and we’re used to natural spring water where we’re from), but it’s really up to you. You can also find expensive water brands in glass bottles, but they tend to be harder to travel with and less cost-effective.
  7. Water will typically cost you anywhere from 600 to 1300 rupiah per liter, depending on where you buy it. The markets in the more touristy areas obviously cost more than those in more locals-only regions, but even on the high end you’re still talking about $1 USD on the high end based on current exchange rates. Not bad at all!
  8. Keep in mind, if water isn’t safe to drink, it also won’t wash your vegetables/fruit well. It’s important to ensure that any fresh fruit and veg you eat that doesn’t have a peel (which you peel yourself) should come from a trusted restaurant or resort. The CDC suggests not eating fresh fruits and veg without peels for the most part. We have a select number of resorts we trust that we haven’t had an issue with.
  9. Don’t open your mouth in the shower! It may take some serious effort, but don’t.
  10. Pools are typically chlorinated, so from our experience they’re safe to use. While we wouldn’t necessarily suggest taking a big gulp (just typing that made me a little nauseous!), we’ve never gotten sick from swimming at well-kept resorts and villas.
  11. Make sure you purchase enough bottled water to stay hydrated in Bali’s heat and humidity. If you’re unfamiliar with the climate in Bali it is very hot and incredibly humid. If you don’t drink enough you could easily and quickly get dehydrated. We always make sure we have enough for 8 cups (65 ounces) for drinking and another 1-2 cups (8-16 ounces) for brushing teeth and washing faces for each person, each day. We do this by buying our water in 6-12 liter bottles at a time. Consider bringing a durable tote bag that easily folds in your luggage to haul around your water bottles. Otherwise, you’ll be left lugging around multiple plastic grocery bags if you move from place to place.
  12. There are often deals if you purchase a certain number of bottles of water (we mostly see this at local grocery stores). For example, sometimes if you buy 6 or a whole case you save a couple hundred rupiah per bottle. Check signage for deals like this.
  13. We don’t recommend relying on boiling your water for drinking water in Bali.

Basically, bottled water is your best friend when you’re in Bali and something you’re going to have to find relatively quickly once you land. We always bring 1 case of water with us (a frequent topic of conversation by those that follow us on social media) to give us a day or so to meander down to our favorite markets, but it’s a good idea to look up a local grocery store before you visit so you know where to stock up on water. Asking at your hotel, if you forget to research ahead of time, should prove helpful as well.

 

How do you brush your teeth with bottled water in Bali?

We’ve gotten quite skilled in brushing with bottled water and unless you’ve camped or visited a country that didn’t have potable water in the taps you may wonder how you go about brushing your teeth without using water from the sink.

This is how we get it done:

  1. We leave the sink off until we’re done brushing so nobody forgets not to use the water.
  2. We pour a small amount of water on the toothbrush from the bottle to wet the toothbrush.
  3. Apply toothpaste.
  4. Brush
  5. Rinse our mouths out by taking sips off the bottle, swishing around, then spitting into the sink a few times.
  6. Pour a small stream out over the toothbrush head to rinse it, then put it away.
  7. Then once we’re totally done brushing our teeth, we turn the sink on to rinse out the sink.

 

How do you wash your face with bottled water in Bali?

This is a little trickier than brushing your teeth, but totally doable. This is how we personally do it:

  1. We leave the sink off until we’re totally done washing our faces so nobody forgets not to use the water.
  2. Pour a small handful of water into one hand and wet our faces.
  3. Use our normal face wash (careful not to overdo it and use excess soap as that’s just more to try to remove) and lather.
  4. Using either a disposable toilette or large cotton pad, we soak it in bottled water and begin wiping off all the soap.
  5. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Using one last little handful of water, we do a final rinse of our faces.
  7. Once we’re completely done, we turn on the sink and rinse it out, careful not to use the water on our faces.

We have tried multiple cotton pads and towelettes for face washing and our favorite by far was one we mentioned last time we were in Indonesia called Pack-n-Wipes. I can’t tell you how excited we got over these! They were insanely absorbent, soft and could even be used a few times if rinsed between uses (we typically didn’t do this, but we did experiment based on the brand’s claims). They’re really awesome!!! If you’d prefer cotton pads or something you can grab at the store in the U.S. before heading to Indonesia, Swisspers makes some large, rectangular cotton pads I’ve used as well. While they’re not quite as easy to use or as helpful in conserving water in my opinion, they get the job done as well.

Before going to Bali, try experimenting at home and see what works for you if you have a chance! You’ll want to make sure you’re able to wash your face thoroughly (especially at the end of a long day), so as silly as it may seem, it’s actually going to be a comfort you’ll really appreciate once there!

That about covers it! If you have any other questions regarding water in Bali feel free to comment them below or comment on our Instagram account. We’re always willing to give advice on topics we have experience with!

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35 comments

Candy May 25, 2018 at 12:55 pm

When in doubt drink bottled water. Better to be safe than sorry.

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familyadhd May 25, 2018 at 4:24 pm

We agree!

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Jeanette May 25, 2018 at 1:08 pm

Whenever I travel internationally I never drink the water. I always buy bottled water. It might be safe it might not be but I do not need to take the chance. This is definitely a great post and it’s informative to me. Eventually I would love to go to Bali and if I can this is definitely something to keep in mind.

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familyadhd May 25, 2018 at 4:25 pm

Thanks so much! Very true, even if the water is “clean” the bacteria in different areas can affect you simply because you’re not used to it 🙂

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Melissa Chapman May 25, 2018 at 1:20 pm

Such a beautiful place but you have to be careful even though it seems like paradise. I think this probably applies to a lot of the countries outside the US so it is better to play it safe in those instances.

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familyadhd May 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Especially being a developing country, it’s important to be aware 😉

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Sarah Bailey May 25, 2018 at 1:40 pm

Wow I would never have thought people would refill bottles and sell them again! Definitely a good practice to be wary of before going to Bali.

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familyadhd May 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm

Oh yes! You see some very inventive things in developing countries 😉

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Alli Smith May 25, 2018 at 1:41 pm

I never drink the water when I’m traveling outside the US. It’s a thing with me and I’m pretty good at brushing my teeth with bottled water.

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familyadhd May 25, 2018 at 4:26 pm

That’s good!

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Amber Myers May 25, 2018 at 2:19 pm

This is good to know! I’d probably use bottled water to be safe. I’d rather not get sick while on vacation!

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familyadhd May 25, 2018 at 4:27 pm

Totally with you 😉

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Lisa Favre May 25, 2018 at 10:19 pm

When traveling, I usually always opt for bottled water. I also try to avoid fresh, uncooked vegetables unless I know it was cleaned with bottled water.

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familyadhd May 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm

Yep! Definitely important to stay vigilant 😉

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Sue Reddel May 26, 2018 at 12:41 pm

As I always say, better safe than sorry. Remembering NOT to turn on the water in the bathroom is key. I but one of the hotel cups or mugs over the faucet that helps me remember.

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familyadhd May 26, 2018 at 4:53 pm

I once watched a feature in the U.S. on what they found going undercover and testing the mugs and cups in glasses and I can’t look at them the same way since lol

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Marysa May 26, 2018 at 9:49 pm

These are good tips to know. When we travel to Mexico, we always hear mixed things about whether or not to drink the water. It can’t hurt to stick with bottled water and be prepared with stomach remedies just in case, too!

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familyadhd May 28, 2018 at 10:42 pm

Very true! We agree 😉

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Heather May 26, 2018 at 10:04 pm

Oh wow these are great tips! I definitely would just avoid altogether if I didn’t really know and definitely go the bottled water route even though I hate purchasing bottled water because of the plastic waste it creates. But your health in a foreign country is more important.

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familyadhd May 28, 2018 at 10:42 pm

So true! We really hate to contribute to more waste, but the possible health issues are far worse in our opinions when it comes down to it.

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Pam May 26, 2018 at 11:07 pm

I’ve been wanting to visit Bali but I never thought of if the water was safe to drink or not. This is good to know.

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familyadhd May 28, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Definitely very important to know ahead of time!

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Ricci May 27, 2018 at 3:35 am

These are all great tips for when traveling out of the country and drinking water!! Thanks!

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familyadhd May 28, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Thank you!

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Sara Welch May 27, 2018 at 3:29 pm

Bali looks like a very lovely place to visit. Glad to know where the water is!

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familyadhd May 28, 2018 at 10:43 pm

Hope it was helpful!

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Tomi C May 28, 2018 at 3:14 pm

Our international travel has been restricted to resorts and the like so I am pretty sure the water is safe. However, I never order water at restaurants and we try to take bottled water from the resort when leaving so we don’t have to order water. These are really great tips that I never really thought of

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familyadhd May 28, 2018 at 10:44 pm

Definitely good to know! Even in Bali you can’t drink the water at most (if any) resorts, but as a developing country it isn’t entirely surprising 😉

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Nita Okoye May 30, 2018 at 6:20 am

I really want to go to Bali someday I never knew the water there wasn’t clean.

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familyadhd July 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

A lot of developing countries don’t have potable drinking water still, unfortunately!

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Bethel Esmillarin June 1, 2018 at 8:48 am

Wow, this is something very useful especially to those who have sensitive stomach. And it is not enough that you know about it, so I appreciate your tips too!

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familyadhd July 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Thanks!

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Debra June 5, 2018 at 12:55 pm

This is such good information! I have always wanted to travel here and now I know what to be on the lookout for!

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familyadhd July 30, 2018 at 4:22 pm

Awesome!

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Agness of eTramping August 8, 2018 at 7:21 am

This is an exceptional and ultimate guide for Bali which everyone should read before going there. You provided some very valuable information. I found the face washing tips very useful. 😉

Reply

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