Automated Teller Machines (ATM)
Widespread and can easily be found in town and tourist areas, with many offering international withdrawals on major credit cards and bank cards linked to major banking networks. Traveling out of Southern Bali you may expect to find at least some at the regency or district centers.
Travel as light as possible. There is a maximum 20 kilos weight for traveling on economy class flight, while the business class normally allowed until maximum 30 kilos. There will be charge for exceeding this allowable weight. For safety reason, make sure you bring all valuable things handy in your daypack, and large pack should be well locked
Bali tends to have an even climate throughout the year, pleasantly warm, averaging between 77-91 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the height and season. It is little cooler in the mountain areas and in the certain months of wet season (between Nov-Apr) when a light sweater may sometimes be needed. Rainy season doesn’t meant rain all days, often only a brief late afternoon or evening shower, and day times pleasant again
Casual and light clothing is advisable due to warm and humid climate. A light sweater is recommended only for travel to the high or mountainous areas. Sarong and sash are mandatory for a temple visit, so make sure you have it should you plan your own temple visit. A tour organized by travel agent usually been included sarong, sash arrangement.
Communications and Internet connection
Most hotels provide long-distance call service from the room, or if not at least possible from Hotel’s front office line. International call with mobile phone is possible from nearly all parts of the island, exception only for some remote corners where blank-spot might happen.
More and more hotels now provide internet access in the room as part of hotel’s facilities, or at least at hotel business centre. Internet cafes and kiosks charge sensible price normally per hour and are available in nearly all areas of the island. High traffic at certain times may affect the connection, slowing down.
The following are the countries that have their consular services in Bali: Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Credit cards payments are widely acceptable at hotels, major restaurants, art galleries and many other businesses. While, prices are often offered in US Dollars or Indonesian Rupiah, all the credit card sales are transacted in Indonesian Rupiah. The final charge on your monthly statement will reflect inter-bank exchange rate which possibly up to 4 % surcharge.
Currency and Foreign Exchange
The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the currency of Indonesia, often written only as Rp. Coins of 100, 200, 500 and 1.000 are circulating, while the notes come in 1.000, 5.000, 10.000, 20.000, 50.000 and 100.000 denominations. The exchange rate fluctuates a lot following macro economic situation. There are abound of street side places offering money changing services, some offer high rate but charge a commission, therefore it is best to change it only at the bank or licensed moneychangers. Be sure you get the amount that you due for, count carefully before leaving the counter and insist to get a receipt. The old-looking, marked, torn and folded banknotes are not accepted, so bring only new, unmarked bills.
Free import and export permitted (by adults only); tobacco products (50 cigars or 200 cigarettes or 100 grams of tobacco), 1 liter of liquor; a reasonable quantity of perfume (import), personal goods up to a value of USD 250.- per passenger or USD 1,000.- per family (import), and up to a value of IDR 1,000,000 (export). (Video) cameras, portable radio cassette recorder, binoculars and sport equipment may also be imported by tourists, provided also exported upon departure. Chinese medicines and printings, narcotics, firearms and ammunition, pornography, fresh fruit, cordless telephone are not permitted except for those holding license.
Cars and motorbikes rental for self-drive are available in Bali, especially for those holding a valid International driving license, but you may need times to get used to Bali’s traffic before deciding a self-drive rental, and it is necessary to have an update and detail map of Bali roads which readily available at Bali’s major book stores. If you wish to freely decide your visit, you may consider hiring car with driver, as price is reasonable.
Plug power is mostly 220 Volt (50 cycles), and adapt for a two-pin plug. Make sure to check it with hotel staff before using your appliance to avoid unwanted failure, as you may need a transformer or adaptor.
Even though still limited, some of Bali hotels have access and facilities for wheel-chaired traveler.
No vaccinations are currently required for visitors to Bali, but cholera, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis shots are recommended for travelers to Bali, as to most of Asia. Malaria is of high risk in rural areas but the main cities and tourist areas, such as Bali, are generally risk free. Dengue fever cases can occur in heavily populated areas, however, cases are extremely rare among tourists staying at hotels and resorts with regular pest control measures.
We recommend you to purchase your travel insurance, cover illness and accident, the more comprehensive the policies the better with covering includes medical evacuation and repatriation, travel accident and outpatient expenses insurance. Insurance provided by local travel agent and most of adventure companies only with local and limited coverage.
Balinese have their own local language used mostly in daily conversation, but in formal or office communication the National language is used. English is widely spoken in tourist areas. Professional local guides speak other foreign-languages are adequately available on the island
Medications and Medical Facilities
Most pharmaceuticals are stocked in Bali’s many pharmacies, however, it is advisable to bring any of your favorite brand medicines or special medical prescription that you may need. For a minor health problem many of Bali hotels have in-house doctor facility, and if more serious treatments are needed Bali is having several well-equipped and professionally staffed International standard medical facilities stand-by around the clock.
To stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your home country and worldwide, Bali hotels and villa now have the option of real-time satellite printing of more than 200 newspapers from around the world. Some luxury villas provide it as villa facilities with no extra charge, but mostly charge it extra
Most of government offices start earlier, 7 AM – 3 PM, five days a-week, Monday-Friday, closed earlier on Friday. While private sectors generally open between 9 AM – 5 PM, Monday-Saturday, half-day working on Saturday. Should you plan a visit, better to schedule it between 9 AM – 12 AM.
Pick-up time for a morning tour usually between 8:00 AM – 09:00 AM, however, a certain tour may need earlier pick-up. Hotels could extend a wake-up call services in order to be able to ready in time.
Religion, Religious rule of conduct
Hinduism predominantly the religion in Bali, about 90 %, and the rest are Moslems, Christians and Buddhists. Here are some of rules of conducts for visiting temples, attending rituals in Bali.
* Always wear a sarong and sash when attending temple ceremonies
* Do not walk in front people praying
* Do not use a flash camera or point your camera into the priest’s face when conducting a ceremony
* Never sit higher than the priest or the offerings
* Women are not allowed to enter the temple during having period/ menstruation.
There are regular schedule of passenger ferry between Gilimanuk of West Bali and Ketapang of East Java, as well as to the neighboring island in the East, Lombok island. Traveling between Gilimanuk-Ketapang is a short distance, approximately 45 minutes, while Bali-Lombok is much greater, 4-5 hours. There are alternative of high speed catamaran serving Bali-Lombok transfer, takes about 2-2.5 hours, with departure point from Benoa at the southern coast or Padang Bai on Bali’s east coast.
Gradually people awareness of the danger of smoking and passive smoke is arising, but it’s not yet followed by a strict implementation in the field that public smoking is prohibited. Smoking in public area is still widely accepted, however, it’s courteous to check before you light up in public
Woodcarvings, gold and silver jewelries, paintings, batik cloth, tie-dyed “ikat” textiles, gold & silver threaded songket, ready-made garments, innovative fashions, handicrafts, spices, and tribal arts of the neighboring islands. Prices are often subject to intense negotiation. Bring a small calculator or small pad with pen could be a good idea to quicken rate conversion if you would like to see it in your own currency. Often, though not in all situations, end up at 60-70 % of the asked price is reasonable.
To avoid of sunburn especially for traveling during dry-season you may need to bring sunscreen lotion, sun hat and sunglasses
Swimming in the sea
Current/ undertows can be strong, please always swim between the red and yellow flags, don’t swim too far out! Do not leave your belonging unattended on the beach
Tax and Service Charges
Most of hotel and restaurant bills subject to 11% government tax and 10% service charge
Taxis & Transportation
Public transportation, in the form of small vans and intercity buses are available at reasonable prices, but not for all routes, mostly in town or along the main provincial road. Alternative mode of transportation are private car with driver and metered taxis which offer better comfort, make sure to check the meter is on, or if not to agree on the fare before you get in.
Indonesia has numerous national television networks, many broadcasting some entertainment and news programmes in English. Most hotels offer satellite-delivered, international TV broadcasts in a number of languages.
Indonesian archipelago is divided into 3 times zones, and Bali is belong to Central Indonesia time zone, make the island 8 hours ahead of GMT.
A 10% service charge is included at hotels or restaurants bills. Tipping for tour guide and driver is generally not included at Travel Agent quote, therefore for an excellent service tipping of about 10 % is appreciated. Airport porter tipping is counted per each baggage carried, of about USD 50 cents.
Make sure you keep all your travel documents (air tickets, passport, traveler check and credit cards) separately and safely and consider making copy of these documents so that will ease you in the event of lost or stolen.
Tap water is generally not drinkable with exception only for some Green Globe certified hotels. Bottled water provided in each room of most hotels, which often with no extra charge. It can be bought inexpensively everywhere when wandering around or touring the island
Weights and Measures
Indonesia and Bali operate on the metric system.