Is it safe for US citizens to travel to Bali in May since the alleged terrorist threats from March 2012?
My mom and her boyfriend and me (21) and my boyfriend (25) were planning a trip to Bali, but ever since the alleged terrorist threats back in March, my mom is apprehensive about going. Is it safe for US citizens to travel to Bali right now? Personally I am not worried but my mom is hard to convince. We would be interested in more cultural travel and walking/hiking tours and scuba diving, not so much clubbing.
Dana, no-one can guarantee there won't be another terrorist attack in Bali, or predict when it may happen. But you can take a guess at the type of target they would pick.
Terrorists want to make a big impact, so they'll go for crowded public venues - as alleged in the latest thwarted plot.
So your pan to avoid nightclubs is the safest way to visit Bali.
Is it safe? That's for you to judge for yourself, but if it helps I was there in December for a few days. My friends and I chose a hotel with good security (a boom gate and guards checking under cars with mirrors etc), with the rooms well away from the roadside. We didn't go to nightclubs, and stayed away from crowded bars (especially those on the roadside in Kuta and Legian).
I also believe the Indonesian police have done a good job of tackling terror networks in the region. Again that's no guarantee there aren't a couple of disgruntled nut jobs with a drum of fertiliser somewhere on the island.
In the end it's a calculated risk, but consider that since the last fatal terror attack in 2005 there have been literally millions of visitors to Bali who've returned home safe and sound.
Here's some further reading on the issue
Speaking of statistics - the biggest threat to your safety in Bali isn't terrorism, it's a road accident! The island has an appalling road safety record with one of the highest death tolls in the world. Take care when you're travelling around.
Phil from the safety hub over 8 years ago
I just come back from 6 weeks in Bali and I will return to Bali soon again. The Balinese takes terrorism seriously, and haven taken lots of precautions to avoid another attack. I would say that the chance of running in to some mad man in Bali isn't any bigger than it is almost anywhere else in the world.
To be honest, fear of terrorism has never struck my while in Bali and I haven't felt the need to avoid any place in particular - including the clubs.
I really hope you decide to go ahead with your plans. Bali is a lovely place with some lovely people and I am sure you will have an unforgettable trip. over 8 years ago
Dana, I am with Phil and Stru above 100%.
I too have just returned from Bali (and other parts of Indonesia) and felt extremely safe. Be mindful of your countries travel warnings and also do some research yourself (which it seems like you're doing).
There are a few precautions to take, like not going into crowded pubs and clubs, being mindful and aware of your surroundings etc etc. If you're staying at a high end resort - use the local drivers. Not to scare you, but the cars will be checked with mirrors for bombs etc. At other places I have stayed (like private villas and smaller hotels) - they dont check for these things as they are less of a target, but nonetheless I was aware of which car I was getting into etc. At times I was travelling with various consulates in armoured vehicles and to be honest, I felt more scared doing this than driving in a flagged down taxi! (bemo)
Bali is a beautiful island and relies heavily on tourism. The Balinese take the terrorism threat seriously because it impacts on their livelihoods. I sincerely hope you still decide to go and experience this magical place, and if you do - consider heading north west toward Pemuteran which is pure paradise! over 8 years ago
I am from Indonesia, I just want to inform how about Bali after terrorist threat. For Information, our government has been seriously to handle this issue. It proves from our condition to day. I wish not only to day but also in future there is no terrorist again. You can show our condition especially in Bali form TV. There are so many people visited to Bali after this issue, even Some movie from Hollywood such as Eat Pray Love was taken in Bali. So, don't be afraid to visit to Indonesia, such as Bali. We are not terrorism country.
Regard , Ziah :) over 8 years ago
There are more bombs and guns in the US, you are more likely to get shot at home over 8 years agoAnswered by Rob K via WorldNomads.com
Hello, I am American and have been in Bali for nearly a month. I feel much safer here than I do in the states. Staying at a high security resort may make you feel safe, but you will not be experiencing Bali. Stay at a small villa, and you will feel safe and cozy. I have not had the desire to go clubbing in Kuta, but if you're worried about it. Don't do stuff like that. Don't miss out on Bali because you are scared. It is generally a safe and wonderfully magical place! over 8 years agoAnswered by Putu via WorldNomads.com
Thanks guys! I saw that they have lifted the warning, even from the UK and Australian embassies. Wish me luck convincing my mom that Bali is THE place to visit after we visit family in the Philippines! It is probably safer in Bali than it is in the Philippines anyway, haha. over 8 years ago
I'm here right now, and everything seems really calm for Americans, and anyone else traveling. Besides any terrorist threats, you should just look out for scams when you get off ferries or at airports. Everywhere else, people are very nice and have always the best of intentions in helping you out! :) over 8 years ago