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Can You Drink The Water in Bali? Guide to Avoiding Bali Belly

Picture yourself lounging on a stunning beach in Bali, the sun kissing your skin, cocktail in hand. Amidst the blissful paradise, one question might linger in your mind: can you drink the tap water in Bali? 

Staying hydrated is essential, but when it comes to tap water, it’s important to consider your health and well-being. The last thing you want is to be struck with the dreaded Bali belly on your trip.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the topic of drinking tap water in Bali, providing you with the insights and tips you need to stay healthy yet hydrated on your travels. 

As someone who has been to Bali and narrowly escaped the dreaded traveler’s diarrhea, I hope you find my tips helpful!

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Can You Drink Tap Water In Bali?

Moneky drinking tap water in Bali

So, can you drink the water in Bali? 

The short answer is no, DO NOT drink tap water in Bali. 

The tap water quality in Bali may not meet international standards, and there is a risk of contaminants and waterborne diseases. 

To stay safe and hydrated, it is recommended to opt for bottled water from reliable brands, which are widely available throughout the island. Additionally, many accommodations, restaurants, and cafes offer filtered or purified water stations where you can refill your reusable water bottles. 

This allows you to minimize plastic waste while ensuring safe drinking.

Remember, staying hydrated is crucial, so be mindful of your water choices and enjoy your Bali adventure with peace of mind.

Wondering if Bali is worth the hype? Check out my detailed guide: Is Bali overrated?

How Likely Are You To Get Sick From Consuming Bali Water?

a beautiful tap outside in a Bali villa

The likelihood of getting sick from consuming tap water in Bali varies from person to person and can depend on several factors. But in my experience, and from the stories I’ve heard, getting Bali belly from drinking the tap water is pretty much a given.

While the tap water quality has improved over the years, avoid drinking water the tap at all costs. 

Bali’s tap water may contain bacteria, parasites, or other contaminants that can cause gastrointestinal issues, such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, or nausea. 

However, it’s important to note that not everyone who consumes tap water in Bali will necessarily get sick. Some individuals have a higher tolerance or stronger immune systems, while others may be more susceptible to waterborne diseases.

To reduce the risk of illness, stick to bottled water from trusted brands with sealed lids or use filtered or purified water sources. 

Additionally, practicing good hygiene, such as washing fruits and vegetables with bottled or filtered water before consuming them, can further reduce the chances of getting sick.

It’s worth mentioning that different people may have different sensitivities, and what may cause mild discomfort for one person could lead to more severe symptoms for another. 

Therefore, it is generally recommended to err on the side of caution and prioritize safe drinking water sources during your time in Bali to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip.

Why Can’t You Drink the Water in Bali?

There are several reasons why drinking tap water is dangerous, these are the key reasons why it is not safe to drink. 

  1. Water Quality

The tap water quality in Bali can vary, and there is a risk of contaminants such as bacteria, parasites, viruses, or chemicals present in the water supply.

  1. Infrastructure

Bali’s water infrastructure may not be as developed as in some other countries. Aging pipes or inadequate treatment systems can contribute to the potential presence of contaminants in tap water.

  1. Local Practices

Even if the water is treated, it can become contaminated during its journey from the treatment plant to your tap. For example, older or improperly maintained water storage tanks or pipes in buildings can introduce contaminants into the water supply.

How to Avoid Drinking Tap Water in Bali

Cocktails with ice by the beach in Bali

These are the must-know tips for avoiding drinking tap water in Bali to ensure a safe and healthy stay.

Bottled Water

Purchase bottled water from reputable brands that are widely available in supermarkets, convenience stores, and small shops throughout Bali. Look for bottles with intact seals and avoid purchasing from street vendors to ensure the water’s authenticity.

Filtered Or Purified Water

Many accommodations, restaurants, and cafes in Bali offer filtered or purified water options. Look for water stations or water dispensers where you can refill your reusable water bottle. These filtration systems are designed to remove impurities and provide safer drinking water.

Use Boiled Water

If you have access to a kitchen or accommodation with cooking facilities, you can boil tap water to make it safe for consumption. Boiling water kills most microorganisms and makes it suitable for drinking. This is a great way to reduce buying single-use plastics and save a few bucks.

Treat Water With Purification Tablets

Purification tablets such as Aquatabs designed for water purification can be a good backup option that ensures you always have access to safe drinking water. The tablets kill microorganisms in the water to prevent cholera, typhoid, dysentery, and other waterborne diseases. Perfect to pack in your bag as a just in case, when you head off on day trips!

Be Mindful Of Ice and Raw Food

When dining out, be cautious about consuming ice cubes, as they may be made from tap water. It’s also advisable to peel fruits and vegetables or wash them with bottled or purified water before eating, as they may have come into contact with tap water during preparation.

Keep Your Mouth Closed In The Shower

Something as simple as having a shower can actually make you susceptible to getting sick. Keep your lips closed shut when in the shower.

Brush Your Teeth With Bottled Water

Speaking of basic bathroom necessities, make sure to brush your teeth with bottled or filtered water only. 

Carry a Reusable Water Bottle

Bring a reusable water bottle with you and fill it with bottled or purified water. This not only helps you avoid drinking tap water but also reduces plastic waste and promotes eco-friendly travel practices.

What Happens If I Consume Tap Water In Bali?

If you go ahead and drink tap water in Bali, you might be in for some not-so-fun consequences. Your tummy could rebel and you’ll likely experience all the joys of gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea, stomach cramps, and nausea. Yikes!

There’s also a chance of picking up nasty waterborne diseases like typhoid fever or cholera, which definitely won’t make for a pleasant vacation. 

Oh, and let’s not forget the infamous traveler’s diarrhea that could put a real damper on your plans. 

So, to play it safe and avoid these unwanted surprises, it’s best to steer clear of tap water in Bali. 

Stick to bottled water from reliable brands, filtered or purified water sources, or go old school and boil that tap water before you take a sip. 

Remember, a healthy belly equals a happy trip!

What Causes Bali Belly?

Stunning coastal views of Nusa Penia

Bali Belly, also known as traveler’s diarrhea, is typically caused by consuming contaminated food or water in Bali. 

The most common culprits are bacteria, viruses, or parasites present in food or water sources. 

The unsanitary handling of food, poor hygiene practices, or inadequate water treatment systems can contribute to contamination. 

Eating raw or undercooked meats, fruits, or vegetables that have been washed with tap water can also increase the risk. 

It’s important to be cautious about what and where you eat in Bali to minimize the chances of falling victim to Bali Belly.

Opt for well-cooked foods, peel fruits and vegetables, stick to bottled water, and choose reputable restaurants and eateries to reduce the risk of getting Bali Belly and ensure a more enjoyable trip. Just because the locals are enjoying street food with no issues, doesn’t mean you can to!

Symptoms Of Bali Belly

Let’s get straight to the dirty details. If you’ve fallen victim to Bali Belly, you might experience a range of unpleasant symptoms. These can include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal Pain and Cramps
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Fever and Chills (more severe cases)
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Dehydration

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s essential to take care of yourself and seek medical attention if necessary. 

Stay hydrated by adding electrolyte tablets to your water, get loads of rest, and avoid foods that may exacerbate your symptoms (stick with bland foods). 

Over-the-counter medications for diarrhea and rehydration solutions can help alleviate some of the discomfort. 

Remember, prevention is key, so be cautious about what you eat and drink while in Bali to reduce the chances of falling victim to Bali Belly.

What To Do If You Get Bali Belly

Woman with Iv drip in bed after getting Bali belly

If you find yourself struck with the dreaded Bali Belly, there are several steps you can take to manage the situation and help yourself feel better. 

Firstly, it’s crucial to stay hydrated. Diarrhea and vomiting can lead to dehydration, so drink plenty of fluids such as water, electrolyte-rich beverages, or rehydration solutions. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as they can worsen dehydration. 

Of course, rest is key to helping your body to recuperate.

Over-the-counter medications can provide some relief for your symptoms. Consider taking loperamide (Imodium) to alleviate diarrhea. However, it’s essential to follow the recommended dosage and consult a healthcare professional if your symptoms persist or worsen. Furthermore, I highly recommend talking to a Travel Doctor or General practitioner about other medications for stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting, more on that up next!

Additionally, following a bland diet known as the BRAT diet (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) can help soothe your stomach. Gradually introduce other easily digestible foods as your condition improves. 

Probiotics can also aid in recovery by restoring the balance of good bacteria in your gut. You can take a probiotic supplement or consume probiotic-rich foods like yogurt.

In more severe cases or if your symptoms persist, seek medical attention. If you experience high fever, bloody stool, severe abdominal pain, or signs of dehydration, consulting a healthcare professional is essential. They can provide appropriate guidance, conduct necessary tests, and prescribe medications if needed.

In Bali, many people opt for a home doctor visit where they come to you to prescribe necessary medications or provide you with a vitamin-infused IV drip. Beats having to sit in a hospital waiting room, when you are feeling your absolute worst!

What To Pack To Prepare For Bali Belly

is bali water safe to drink? Girl drinking a drink at bar

So onto, what I recommend you should pack to prepare yourself for the risk of getting sick in Bali.

Before you head off, I am a big advocate of going to visit a Travel Doctor to ensure you are up to date with your vaccinations, educate yourself on the health risks of a country, and stock up on preventive and treatment medications.

If you can’t find a Travel Doctor near you, head toy your regular Doctor after doing some research on your destination. Smarttraveller by the Australian Government is an excellent starting point.

These are the bits I would pack if I were headed to Bali to ensure I am prepared if disaster strikes, aka the horrid Bali Belly!

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Small packs of tissues
  • Anti-diarrhea (e.g. Immodium)
  • Anti-vomiting/nausea medication 
  • Stomach cramp medication
  • Wet Wipes 
  • Hydralites 
  • Aquatabs 
  • Heat pack 
  • Paracetamol / Ibuprofen 

As someone who is extra cautious when it comes to looking after my health, this list gives me the confidence and reassurance I need.

Getting sick on a trip is a big fear of mine so if I can prevent it, or at least minimize the damage, I’m all over it!

By no means do you need to get everything. I just prefer to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it!

Common Questions about Bali Tap water

Gorgeous views of Bali templates

Before we wrap up this post, let’s cover some frequently asked questions about drinking water in Bali. 

Can You Drink Water From Cafes In Bali?

When it comes to drinking water in Bali, it’s generally advisable to avoid tap water, including water from cafes.

Most cafes and restaurants in Bali will offer bottled water for sale, which is a convenient and reliable option. 

If you prefer to reduce plastic waste, you can consider carrying a reusable water bottle with you and filling it with filtered or purified water from reputable sources. Some cafes and restaurants may have filtered water systems or provide purified water options. 

However, it’s essential to confirm the reliability of the filtration or purification methods before consuming the water.

Is It Safe To Drink Coffee In Bali?

Cup of coffee in Bali cafe brewed with filter water

When it comes to coffee in Bali, you can sip away with peace of mind. 

Coffee is usually brewed with hot water, which helps kill off any nasties that might be lurking around. 

Most cafes and restaurants, particularly those that draw loads of tourists, take precautions and use filtered or boiled water to make your brew. 

So, you can sit back, relax, and enjoy your cup of joe without stressing about water-related issues.

If you’re still feeling a bit cautious, you can always ask for your coffee to be made with bottled water. The same goes for iced coffees, it’s best to ask if the ice cubes are made using commercially filtered water. 

The bottom line is, coffee in Bali is generally safe to drink, so go ahead and get your caffeine fix!

Do Restaurants In Bali Serve Tap Water?

Purple sunset views from a restaurant in Bali

In Bali, restaurants typically do not serve tap water as drinking water. Due to concerns about water quality and safety, it is common for establishments to provide bottled water or other safe alternatives for their customers.

Restaurants understand the importance of providing safe drinking water to their customers, so you can expect to find bottled water as a standard offering.

When dining out in Bali, it’s always a good idea to ask for bottled water or other safe drinking options. 

This way, you can ensure that you’re consuming water that is known to be safe and free from potential contaminants. By being mindful of the water you consume, you can enjoy your meal without any worries and have a pleasant dining experience in Bali.

Can You Shower In Bali Water?

Girl in a bikini having a shower in an outdoor shower in Bali

You can definitely, and absolutely should, hop in the shower and enjoy the refreshing Bali water. After all Bali can get pretty hot and sweaty!

While it’s not recommended to drink tap water, showering with it is generally fine. The water is treated and filtered enough to make it safe for bathing purposes. To be extra safe, keep your mouth closed!

So, lather up, rinse off, and embrace that tropical Bali vibe while getting squeaky clean! 

Is It Safe To Trush Your Teeth With Water In Bali?

No need to take any chances, my friend! When it comes to brushing your pearly whites in Bali, it’s best to stick to bottled water.

Tap water might not be the best choice for rinsing and brushing because it could have some minerals or other stuff that could upset your stomach. 

So, keep a trusty bottle of water handy in the bathroom, squeeze that toothpaste onto your brush, and give your teeth a thorough cleaning without any worries. 

It’s a small step to ensure your dental hygiene is on point during your Bali adventure!

What foods to avoid in Bali?

platter of food in Bali including a Nasi Goreng

While Bali has many delicious dishes to try, Nasi Goreng anyone, it’s important to be careful and be mindful of certain foods to avoid.

Here are a few foods to steer clear of in Bali. 

  • Street Food. While Bali has a vibrant street food culture, be very careful indulging in street food. Opt for stalls or vendors with good hygiene practices, where food is cooked fresh and served hot. Be mindful of the cleanliness of the preparation area and the quality of ingredients. Food poisoning is a major risk in Bali.

  • Raw or Undercooked Foods. To reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, avoid raw or undercooked foods such as raw seafood, undercooked meat, or partially cooked eggs. Ensure that your food is thoroughly cooked to minimize any potential health risks.

  • Unpeeled or Unwashed Fruits and Vegetables. It’s best to consume fruits and vegetables that have been thoroughly washed (in clean bottled or filtered water) and peeled. This helps remove any potential contaminants and reduces the risk of ingesting harmful bacteria or parasites. It’s best to stick to fruits and veg that you can easily peel and are well protected by the skin such as bananas, papaya, oranges, pineapples, onions, sweet potatoes, carrots and cucumbers. 

  • Unpasteurized Dairy Products. Be careful when consuming dairy products such as milk, cheese, or yogurt, especially if they are not pasteurized. Look for reputable sources or opt for packaged and pasteurized dairy products.

Remember, these recommendations are meant to promote a cautious approach and reduce the chances of experiencing any food-related issues during your stay in Bali

With a little awareness and discretion, you can enjoy the vibrant culinary delights that Bali has to offer while prioritizing your well-being. 

Should You Ask For Drinks With No Ice In Bali?

One of the most frequently asked questions by travellers, besides can you drink the water in Bali, is should you order drinks with no ice?

So, should you ask for your cocktails by the pool at Finn’s to be made with no ice? It’s totally up to you!

Here’s the deal: in most well-established places like hotels, restaurants, and cafes, the ice is usually delivered by reputable manufacturers who use properly filtered water. 

You can usually tell by the look of the ice whether it is homemade or mass-produced by the shape of the ice. Ice made off-site usually has holes in the middle. Think bags of ice that you get at a service station back home.

So, if you’re feeling hot and craving that refreshing, ice-cold beverage, go ahead and enjoy it with the ice.

But hey, if you’re a bit cautious (like me) or have a sensitive tummy, it’s no biggie to ask for your drink without ice. The friendly folks at the establishment will understand and happily serve your drink without cubes. 

Remember, it’s all about finding your comfort zone. If you’re chill with the ice, go for it. If you prefer to play it safe, opt for drinks without ice or go for a cold beer.

The goal is to stay hydrated and quench your thirst while having a great time exploring Bali’s wonders. Cheers!

The Wrap-Up: Can You Drink The Water in Bali? 

Girl in a cafe pondering, can you drink the water in bali?

So can you drink the water in Bali? 

It’s a definite no from me!

While tap water is best avoided at all costs, there are plenty of safe alternatives available. Drinking bottled water, using filtered water, or boiling tap water before consuming it are all practical steps to ensure your hydration needs are met without compromising your health.

Bali is a beautiful destination with a vibrant food and beverage scene, and by following these precautions, you can fully enjoy your culinary adventures without worrying about the water quality. 

Remember to stay hydrated, use bottled water for brushing your teeth, keep your mouth closed in the shower, and err on the side of extreme caution, particularly when dining at street food stalls or local eateries. 

By taking these simple steps, you can have a safe and enjoyable time in Bali while keeping any potential health risks at bay. 

So, drink up, explore the flavors, and embrace the wonders of this enchanting island paradise!

Read more about Bali travel:

23 BEST Things To Do In Canggu 2023
Canggu or Seminyak: Where Should You Stay in Bali
Best Area to Stay in Bali for Couples – 6 Best Areas
Is Bali Overrated? An Honest 2023 Review
Goa or Bali? The Ultimate Comparison Guide
17 Best Hotels in Canggu: Where to Stay in Canggu
Where to Stay in Ubud: 17 Best Hotels & Resorts
Is There Uber in Bali? Guide to Getting Around!
11 BEST Bali Day Trips & Excursions You’ll LOVE 2023
12 Best Places like Bali: Top Alternatives to Visit
Best Place to Stay in Bali for First Timers 2024!

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