Bali is the most popular and the most developed in terms of tourism Indonesian resort. Island Bali attracts tourists with its pristine landscapes, tropical forests, impressive volcanoes, Mount Batur and Gunung Agung, ancient temples, ocean, surfing and endless beaches. Due to all of that the amount of tourists from all over the world has increased significantly.
How to get to Bali
Flight to Bali
There are several options (depending on your budget and plans to see other countries on the way to Bali).
Very good service and great offers can be found in «Etihad Airways», «Qatar Airways», «Emirates».
If you are planning to have stop in Singapore – then you should check the site «Singapore Airlines». The airline has an offer that allows you to stay in town for a day or two and get more additional benefits (eg. overnight at the hotel for 1 euro, discounts in restaurants / museums, free travel around, and much more ).
More options to get to Bali Indonesia are with the «Korean Airlines», «Japan Airlines», «Cathay Pacific».
Visa in Bali
Here are the rules for citizens from most countries (do check if your country is on the list at immigration office website).
Since 06/11/15 you are able to buy a tourist visa upon arrival in Bali airport (Denpasar – Ngurah Rai) for a period of staying for 30 days is no longer necessary. Just get a stamp in the passport for a period of 30 days, with no right to renew.
You can still get the paid Indonesian tourist visa VOA. Paid VOA tourist visa for 30 days is $ 35. The difference from the free visa fee is that can be paid to extend the visa for another 30 days for the same $35 with the presence of a return ticket. You can pay in US dollars or in the Indonesian rupiah. Better if you have the exact amount for the visa otherwise you will get the change in one-dollar notes.
Mind that expired visa will be charged IDR 300,000 per day of delay.
If you are planning a longer trip in Bali contact the Indonesian consulate in your country of residence to issue a social visa. The validity of such visa is up to 60 days, the cost is $50. The validity of this visa can be renewed 4 times for 30 days, without leaving the country.
The cost of extending the social visa is about $65.
Insurance in Bali
Do not forget to get the travel insurance. Medical care is very expensive in Bali. Vaccinations when traveling in Bali are not necessary in case if you are not going to visit the nearby, less tourist islands.
Import restrictions: 200 cigarettes (or 50 cigars or 100 grams of tobacco); 1 liter of alcohol.
Life in Bali
Money in Bali
Currency in Indonesia – Indonesian Rupiah (IDR). The current exchange rate can be checked here. There are features of exchange US dollars. For each denomination banknotes there is its own exchange rate, characterized by 10-200 rupees (highest for a 100-dollar notes). Also, the course may be slightly lower than for banknotes series DH, DB, or ones released in 2001 and older.
Exchange offices are everywhere. Rate is often very different. If you see an obviously high rate, it is possible that you will be charged a commission or simply cheated.
International payment system cards American Express, Visa, MasterCard are accepted at airports, major hotels and shopping centers. The ATMs of various banks are everywhere including international ones.
Internet in Bali.
The good thing in Bali about internet is that wi-fi is almost everywhere. If not in this restaurant then in the other one nearby. In tourist areas you can easily find Internet cafes. The connection speed is low.
Mobile 3G and 4G internet works perfectly. You can get a local sim-card with 3G and 4G internet in almost every store.
Food in Bali
To explore the cooking culture of Bali you should go to a Warung – tables or a bar set with dishes and bamboo curtains limiting the space. The food is served on a plate with the cutlery. The food is delicious in the markets and stalls where the locals eat. So feel free to try the bakso soup 6000 IDR ($ 0.5) and the mi goreng (fried noodles with different ingredients) for 8000-10000 IDR.
The main component in Balinese and Indonesian cuisine is rice. Traditional Balinese dishes are difficult to cook, so you can enjoy them only during the holidays, but the typical dishes are served in almost every restaurant: chicken soup (soto ayam), steamed vegetables with peanut sauce (gado-gado). Some dishes here are related to the Chinese, but less spicy: mixed vegetables, fried noodles. Unlike Muslim areas of Indonesia in Bali people eat pork and suckling pig is a festival meal, as well as a duck cooked in banana leaves.
For dessert, you can choose from tropical fruits: Salak, rambutan,jackfruit and durian the fruit that has “a hellish smell and taste of paradise.”
A very full lunch at a Warung can cost about $7 for two people. So as you are already in Bali must see places of local menus.
Time in Bali
The time zone is GMT +8. Time is not divided into winter and summer. From Jakarta, Indonesia Bali time differs by one hour (GMT +7).
Transport in Bali
The most convenient way to travel around the island is by scooters (motorbikes) which are easily rented. The cost is pretty low. The longer the rent the cheaper. For example, if you get a bike for a few days, the price for one day will be about $5. For a month it is about $50.
Also you can rent a car. Suzuki APV Minivan for aday will cost you about $30.
Or use a taxi. We recommend Bluebird Taxi, as most of the drivers speak English and always have a taximeter. You can also use the cheap taxi through an application for smartphones such as Uber Black or GoJek.
Phone calls in Bali
Local SIM-card costs 20 000 IDR ($ 3).
Sending SMS-messages abroad costs about 600 IDR. Calls abroad – 7 000 IDR.
The center of night life, a place with a large variety of clubs is certainly Kuta a favorite resort of surfers from around the world. For sure in Bali must see and do thing is to go out to Legian in the evening and choose from all the clubs the one which you like best. Here’s the route: Sky Garden – 3 dance floors a good electronic music, Green Box – not a club but a great place for all vacationers in Bali. Apache – reggae bar, Bounty – perhaps most youth of the public places. Finally visit the Espresso bar with live music of different genres and karaoke. The good thing is that all of these places are very close to each other.
Population in Bali.
The caste system has been established in Bali due to invasion of Javanese. At the top of the hierarchy are Brahmins (priests), then Satra (highest nobility) and vesya (warriors). To these three castes belong 3% of Balinese Hindus, with the general title of Triwangsa, other names are Sudras or Jabas (commoners). Island Bali is home to a small Chinese population. Bali Aga live in some villages (the indigenous inhabitants of the island) trying to keep their foundations.
Bali is a stronghold of Hinduism. The local Hindu community here is the largest outside India. 94% of the Balinese consider themselves as adherents of this religion.
Climate in Bali.
Two periods are strongly pronounced in Bali. The rainy season (November-April) and dry season (May-October).The close location to the equator provides the only temperature of 30 ° C all year round, and in the mountains can be colder than 10 ° C. Water temperature is 25 ° C (a bit cooler during the dry season, a bit warmer during the rainy season). During the rainy season it almost never happens that the rain pours down all day or several days in a raw. Usually it rains at night maximum one of every three days.
Language in Bali.
The official language in Bali is Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia). Mother tongue of inhabitants is Balinese.
In the resort areas almost every Balinese can speak English. If you travel further to the middle of the island, it will be much harder to talk with the local population. But the Balinese are very friendly and will never refuse to help you.