Bali – Basics Information, Guide, Insights, Reviews.
Hi, I’m from Bali and hope to share and promote more regarding Bali. If you have any questions, do ask me and I’ll try my best to give you best answer. I hope this _ Bali Basic Information _ will be useful to those heading to Bali.
For those who belong to the following 11 countries, you do not have to get any Visa to visit Bali, or Indonesia. You’ll be entitled to a visa-free 30days permit free-of-charge (note: your passport have to be valid for a minimum of 6months at the time of entry)
Visa-free: Singapore, Vietnam, Philipines, Brunei, Chile, Hong Kong, Macau, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru and Thailand.
Visa On Arrival
Visa on arrival is where you’re eligible to obtain visa on your arrival to Indonesia either by sea or air. There’s 2 types of VOA, which is 7-days visa which is for US $10 or 30-days which is for US $25. The visa can’t be extended once you have chosen the type (7-day or 30-day). You’ll have to leave Indonesia and re-enter Indonesia the next day if you want to have a new valid visa. Please do note that your passport have to be at least 6-months valid and you have to prove that you’re able to fund your stay in Indonesia or Bali in particular.
Visa On Arrival:Algeria, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Libya, Lichtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, People’s Republic of China, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Switzerland, Sweden, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and the United States of America.
What if you’re not eligible for VOA or Visa-Free?
Citizens of countries neither on the VoA nor Visa-Free lists are required to apply for a visa overseas before travelling to Indonesia. Please visit the Indonesian Embassy in your country to apply for one.
DO TAKE NOTE: Nationals of ALL countries planning to stay for more than 30 days in Indonesia also have to apply for the appropriate visa (tourist, business, social-cultural, etc.) at an overseas Indonesian Consulate or Foreign Mission before departing for Indonesia.
Bali’s main currency is Rupiah (IDR) with denomination notes of Ruppiah 100,000, 50,000, 20,000, 10,000, 5,000, 2000, 1,000 denominations. USD or United States Dollar is also widely acceptable in Bali. Normal changing rate is IDR 9,000 for USD $1. Australian Dollar is also acceptable in most hotels.
PLEASE EXCHANGE YOUR MONEY IN LICENSED MONEY-CHANGERS. Although this is rare, however there have been a few reports where tourists got cheated with FAKE Ruppiah notes. It’s easy to spot a licensed money-changer, they will have a “Izin Assosiasi Pedagang Valas” license, if you do not spot any license, do ask them to show it. All the money-changers in Bali’s airport, NGURAH RAI AIRPORT, are licensed money-changers.
Where is Bali and Bali’s Timezone:
Bali’s timezone is +8 hours, same as the timezone in Singapore, Bangkok and Malaysia. Do take note that Bali is one of the few region in Indonesia where it is 1 hour ahead of Jakarta, Indonesia’s capital.
Bali Island is part of Indonesia and is located 8-9 degrees south of the equator between Java in the West and Lombok and the rest of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba and Timor Leste) in the East.
Flying to Jakarta is about 1 1/2 hours, to Singapore and Perth (Australia) 2 1/2 – 3 hours, to Hong Kong about 4 1/2 hours, and to Sydney/Melbourne about 5 1/2 – 6 hours. Unfortunately no.gif , there is no direct flight from USA to Bali. If you travel from New York the best option is to fly to Hong Kong with Cathay Pacific or American Airlines and then transfer on a flight with Hong Kong Express Airways straight to Bali. This ‘fast’ option will take approximately 22 hour.
Weather & Climate:
Bali’s temperatures are in between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius or 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit. From December to March, the “monsoon season”, Bali may rain heavily with high humidity, but usually it only rains in the early morning or early afternoon. So do not worry as you still have alot of “sunny time” to explore Bali smile.gif From June to September the humidity is low. Evenings and afternoon can be cooling.
Bali’s population has grown to over 4 million people. The majority of them are Hindus, who are really pious. With the recent migration of Javenese and other Indonesians to seek work or do business in Bali, the number of Moslems is steadily increasing with more “Masjid” or mosque being build. Do not worry though as these group of Moslems are not fanatic and they are definitely NOT TERRORISTS! I’m a Christian though, however I must be fair and dismiss “myths” that Moslems in Indonesia are terrorists. The Moslems in Indonesia are certainly not TERRORISTS and they are very friendly and welcoming people.
Most people live in the South coastal areas, and the island’s largest town and administrative center is Denpasar with a population of over 400,000. The villages between the town of Ubud and Denpasar, Kuta which includes Legian, Tuban, Jimbaran, Seminyak, Basangkasa), Sanur, and Nusa Dua are spreading rapidly, and it won’t be long before the whole area from Ubud to Sanur, Berawa, Canggu, and Nusa Dua will be fully urbanized.
Is Bali Safe?
Yes! You can bank on that! It is even safer then your hometown . Ever since the bombings in 2005, Bali’s security level have really been beefed up. Don’t be taken aback, even you, a tourist, may be politely stopped by the police for a random check. There are frequently-held spot checks, roadblocks and more being conducted by the police to prevent terrorist activities. What about political demonstrations? Don’t worry about that. Bali is different from Jakarta. We, Balinese are fun-loving and peace-loving people and I’m proud to say there’s only a 0.01 % chance of demonstrations being held in Bali.
Contact and Communication with your friends or family:
Internet access: They are many “warnet” or cybercafes spread all over Bali, especially in Kuta. You can practically spot cybercafes all over Kuta! It cost about Rp 4000 – Rp 7000 an hour. Nowdays almost all restaurants or cafes, or even mini market provide you with free wi-fi. Most hotels in Bali also have free wifi hotspots.
Handphone: Buy yourself a “kartu perdana” or sim cards. You can find it in “counter pulsa” or small handphone shops. They are all over Bali too. Get yourself “Simpati Telkomsel”. They have the best signals. To call overseas, please use 01017 + country code + area code(if applicable) + phone number you’re calling to. International call charge to USA is Rp.3.100 per minute; to Australia is Rp. 3.500 per minute, to New Zealand is Rp. 4.980 per minute, to Europe from Rp.5.000 to Rp. 7.000 per minute. Long distance call to Jakarta is around Rp 500 a minute. For additional information, most hotels add a surcharge of 200% or more. Local calls cost Rupiah 180 per minute (most hotels charge Rupiah 1,000 and more). So skip the hotel lines and just get a local sim card which will save you alot.
Bali Travel Cost And Price Information _
Accommodation in Bali:
At the high end, the accommodation offered at the RITZ CARLTON BALI, _ Conrad Hotel Bali _ and BVLGARI BALI resort for instance can be US$100 – US$1200++ per night. At the new ST.REGIS BALI resort, 1-bedroom suites and villas are between US$950 and US$2,500++, and 2- or 3-bedroom residences can be around US$5,000 and more but the same standard of accommodation would cost you somewere else still more. And nowdays theres so many smart and budget hotels opens in Bali that cost you around Rp. 300.000-Rp. 500.000,- .
Private villa rental has become very popular in Bali because it offers MUCH more space, personal service and better value than 5-star resorts. But the prices for fully staffed villas can reach until $1500-$3000.
The bottom line is that accommodation of any kind in Bali is still a great bargain, and in every category you get more then you pay for.
Transportation in Bali is always cheap by any standard. The metered radio taxis start with a flag fall of Rp. 6.000 (plus Rp. 4.500 per kilometer), and most trips cost Rp. 20.000 to Rp. 90.000. Most reliable and polite are the drivers of the blue taxis, and you should avoid most other taxis as they often refuse to use their meter and over-charge foreigners.
If you have an International Driver’s License, you can rent bikes from Rp 55.000 to Rp 85.000 per day, and for cars therse SUVs and such like Toyota Avanza or Suzuki APV that cost from Rp. 200.000 to Rp. 400.000 Rupiah per day. Gasoline prices have been raised several times in the past, and Premium leaded gasoline is now Rp. 4.500 per liter.
Everywhere in tourist areas you’ll be offered “transport, transport”, and the rates are negotiable. However, the cars of many of these guys are quite old. Radio, tape and even the air-conditioning are often out of order. Although most drivers initially seem to be very friendly some are real con artists and waste hours of your precious vacation by bringing you to shops you never wished to visit because they want to earn a commission on your purchases.
Shopping in Bali can be cheap and it also can be expensive. If you shop in malls, definitely it’ll be costly and around the international-standard prices. I actually recommend you guys to skip the shopping malls and visit “traditional markets” in Ubud, Denpasar, Sukawati, Tegalalang and etc. It may cost you only Rp 25.000 for a beautiful Balinese Fabric. For more information, you can read my guide on _ Shopping In Bali _.
Bali is a food heaven if i may say so myself. Because there is lots and lots of choices for you. From the fancy restaurant with the highest quality of menus and taste till the simple diner like we call it “Warung” with still tasty foods but cheaper price and more simple menus. All with good quality to serve your hungre.
Food and drink at Bali’s top hotels cost about the same as in the same category of hotel anywhere else in the world. Breakfast is US$8 to US$45, lunch and dinner US$20 to US$100 and more per person – and that does not include any wine which can be very expensive. On the other hand, restaurants outside the large hotels are often 40% or 50% cheaper, and at the open food stalls you can still get a tasty meal for a few thousand Rupiah.
If you’ve rented a private villa for your stay in Bali, your house staff will do the shopping at the local “warungs” and supermarkets and prepare delicious meals according to your instructions. Your savings on food and beverage will be about US$40 to US$60 per person per day compared to what you’d spend in a good hotel. This way you can enjoy delicious meals and all your favorite snacks and drinks – at unbelievably low prices.
I really recommend you guys to try the local Balinese food such as Babi Guling, Kambing Mekuah and Sate. Trust me, you’ll be hooked to them as much as my friends got hooked to Bali cuisine.
Bali have always been the established destination for those who want to surf in Indonesia. Bali Island boasts over 20 top quality breaks on the southwest and southeast coasts of the island and around the Bukit (Uluwatu) Peninsula. Some of beaches, like Padang Padang and * Uluwatu *, are well-known world class reef-breaks. Others range from smaller waves on the beach-breaks around Kuta and Sanur to serious heavy, sucking waves in Uluwatu.
Having so many surfing spots options available within such a short distance to the Kuta and Legian beach area means that after your surf you can return to a plush hotel and enjoy a long, lazy meal, lounge by the pool, take a nap in an air conditioned room and watch cable TV. Alternatively you can party at the discos each night, enjoy some of the local brew, all of which has definite appeal after having an exciting surfing session.
The surf in * Bali Island * is generally not huge but it is mostly in the 2-6 foot range (shoulder-high to double overhead). Larger waves can occur on some of the exposed reefs such as Padang Padang and Uluwatu, but a mellower surf break can always be found in Kuta, Sanur or * Amed * by anyone who wishes to avoid life-threatening conditions. Bali has surf breaks that are facing towards the east and west coastlines and because of this, an offshore wind can be found somewhere on the island on any given day.
If you are a serious surfer and want to have more “space” while surfing, Bali will be the right choice for you. This is because of the numerous surf breaks with the quality and consistency of the waves in Bali, it is very possible to find many spots to surf with only a small crowd of surfers around.
The peak of the surfing season for Bali is in April – October when solid swells are produced by the roaring 40′s and can be surfed on the reefs around Kuta, Uluwatu, and Nusa Dua. Unlike most other cities in Indonesia which are mostly heavy reef breaks, Bali also have a lot of beach-breaks on offer which are less likely to cause a surfer of novice or intermediate ability to get injured which can happen on the larger waves on the reef-breaks.
Surfing in Bali began in the 1930s; from then on, Bali’s top surfing spots have been a major part of Bali’s cachet as a top notch tourist destination.
Bali’s small size and unique geography means you don’t have to go far to find the surfing conditions you like. The variety of surfing conditions also promises a good time for veterans and newbies alike.
Finally, Bali’s position in the southern Indian Ocean ensures the arrival of swells all year round – a godsend to surfers who desperately need an off-season fix.