Travel Information & Safety Tips
Bali is considered an ideal tropical holiday destination all year round. The average temperature ranges between 29-31 degrees Celsius. Rainfall occurs mostly during the monsoon months, from November to March.
Passport and Visas
Each person must carry a passport with at least six months' validity from the date of arrival in Bali. We recommend checking all visa requirements with the appropriate Embassies or Consulates before making travel arrangements. Alternatively, please ask your travel agent for more information. VOA - Visa on Arrival is available for most nationalities, some free. However, Australia is not included in the "free visa" arrangement because of refusal to offer reciprocal arrangements. So each person entering (except from excluded states) pays US$35 on entry. The former "exit tax" is now included in the price of tickets.
The national language is Bahasa Indonesia. English is widely understood in all the main tourist areas of Bali and Lombok. Balinese is spoken by the local people, but Bahasa is more useful, as many of the hotel and other staff are from other parts of Indonesia. All government documents and publications are published first in Bahasa.
Bottled water is available at local supermarkets and in your hotel. Drinking tap water is not recommended. The ice in hotels, restaurants and bars is now government-regulated and considered safe.
Metered taxis are a popular means of getting around Bali; however, the traditional "bemos" are still popular and readily available. Prices for taxis and bemos can be negotiated. See Taxi fares and Taxis in Bali.
Before traveling to Bali it is recommended that you seek qualified medical advice with regard to vaccinations or medications you may require. There are good hospitals, clinics and dentists on Bali and Lombok.
Immunization against hepatitis A is recommended for all travellers. Depending on length of stay and itinerary, vaccination for Japanese encephalitis, rabies, typhoid and hepatitis B may be needed. Malaria and dengue fever exist in many parts of the country, so take adequate protection against mosquito bites and keep anti-malarial medicine with you. Drink water only from sealed bottles, and avoid swimming in freshwater lakes or streams, as disease-causing organisms such as schistosomiasis may be present. Take precautions against heat and humidity. Wear sunscreen and a hat, and drink plenty of water.
Currency & Money Changers
The local currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah (RP). Major credit cards and traveller's cheques are widely accepted. Money can be changed at licensed currency exchanges, banks and hotels. It is not advised to change your money at roadside exchangers. Credit cards are widely accepted in department stores, hotels and restaurants, and ATM’s are widely available. Some form of identification will be required when cashing in traveller’s cheques.
Holidays and Special Days
There are a number of special days or holidays in Bali, however Nyepi Day, which falls in March, disrupts travel arrangements. Nyepi Day is a day of reflection and marks the Hindu New Year with both Hindu and non-Hindu alike, with respect to the rules of silence. It is a day of absolute silence throughout the island; no traffic is permitted on the streets for the 24-hour commemorative period beginning at 6 a.m. and continuing until 6 a.m the next day. Surcharges may apply at hotels and for certain flights during these times. Check with your travel agent for public holiday updates.
Bali Holidays 2015
|Thursday||Jan 1||New Year's Day|
|Saturday||Jan 3||The Prophet Muhammad's Birthday|
|Thursday||Feb 19||Chinese Lunar New Year's Day|
|Saturday||Mar 21||Nyepi Day of Silence, Hindu New Year|
|Friday||April 3||Good Friday|
|Sunday||April 5||Easter Sunday|
|Friday||May 1||International Labor Day|
|Thursday||May 14||Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven|
|Saturday||May 16||Ascension of Prophet Muhammed|
|Tuesday||June 2||Waisak Day (Buddha's Anniversary)|
|Thursday||July 16||Cuti Bersama-Extra holiday declared by Government|
|Friday||July 17||Hari Raya Puasa - end of Ramadan|
|Saturday||July 18||Eid al-Fitri|
|Monday||July 20||Cuti Bersama - Extra holiday|
|Tuesday||July 21||Cuti Bersama - Extra holiday|
|Monday||Aug 17||Independence Day - Merdeka|
|Thursday||Sept 24||Idul Adha|
|Wednesday||Oct 14||Islamic New Year - Muharram|
|Thursday||Dec 24||Cuti Bersama- Extra holiday decl. by Government|
|Friday||Dec 25||Christmas Day - Hari Raya Natal|
Cities run on a 220 volt, 50 cycle AC system. Rural areas may only be able to provide 110 volts. Some hotels will provide adaptors upon request, though purchasing your own is recommended. Power plugs and points in Indonesia are two-pinned and round shaped.
We highly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance and health insurance when travelling to Asia. Please discuss your insurance options with your travel agent.
The island of Lombok is just a 25-minute flight away from its larger and more developed neighbour Bali. Ferry boats also leave daily for Lombok from Benoa, Sanur and Padangbai. A car hired in Bali may be ferried to Lombok (be prepared for a 5-hour crossing) but no cars are allowed on the three Gili Islands. Lombok and the Gilis are generally quiet and a step back in time, with spectacular scenery. They have several hotel and restaurant options, plus villas which operate like private hotels, usually with staff provided.
The sand is stunningly white and the ocean a clear crystal blue. Diving to observe the vast variety of marine life is recommended - or take a glass-bottom boat trip over the beautiful coral reefs.
In business circles, wearing a suit is the norm for both men and women. For formal occasions, either a suit or a long-sleeved, good quality batik shirt are recommended for men, whilst evening or cocktail dresses are suitable for women. As Indonesia is primarily a Muslim country, modesty in dress is advised; remember to cover up if you intend visiting a mosque or temple. No bikini tops or shirtless men in these sacred places, nor shorts on men or women.Women should have their arms and head covered. At certain temples, shawls are rented, but if you intend visiting many of these landmarks of Hindu culture, buy your own and keep it handy.
Lesser clothing such as shorts and a short-sleeved shirt is acceptable in seaside restaurants and hotels. Topless men and women are frowned upon. Nude bathing is not allowed.
Most government offices are open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday. Commercial offices and businesses are open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. for Saturdays. Hours for businesses and commercial offices are staggered.
Respect - Important Don'ts
Calling people by crooking your finger is considered impolite.
Patting someone on the head is not done among adults and should even be avoided with children.
Climbing over monuments or places of worship is considered highly disrespectful. In Bali, waist sashes should be worn when visiting temples.
Take off your shoes when entering a mosque or temple.
Take off your sunglasses inside someone's house, unless you have an eye disease.
Use your right hand when receiving something from or giving something to someone.
Talking with one's hands on one's hips is considered impolite.
Displaying the soles of your feet to a holy man is impolite.