Your guide around Bali

Traveling Tips : your guide around Bali, a must read things to know before you go !

Airlines Access
Bali is served by nineteen scheduled international air carriers, with Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia providing the highest frequency of service. In addition, there are three Indonesian carriers which offer international connections via domestic hubs, and a total of eleven domestic carriers which provide connections to the rest of Indonesia. Most major air carriers are only a short connecting flight away from Bali via major air hubs in Singapore, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Virtually every major international air carrier either flies to Bali direct or via one of these air hubs. Australian cities served by direct flights are Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

Ngurah Rai International Airport, referred to as Denpasar or DPS on air tickets, serves all international and domestic flights. It is centrally located in relation to the island’s main tourist areas: 30 minutes to Sanur; 15 minutes to Nusa Dua; 60 minutes to Ubud; 40- 50 minutes to Tabanan/Tanah Lot; and 15-30 minutes to Kuta.

Updated 2012: its been construction going on to make underpass around Dewa Ruci section or Simpang Siur. So expect longer time than above description.

A licensed taxi co-operative offers service to all island destinations at fixed published tariffs. Passengers arriving on inclusive tour and group programmes are typically met by DMC (Destination Management Company) representatives who coordinate transfers.

Airport Service Charge
per 2010 Rp 150,000 (the rupiah is the Indonesian currency) per passenger departing on international flights, Rp 40,000 per passenger on domestic flights.

ATM Machines
Automated Teller Machines (ATM) abound in South Bali, with many offering international withdrawals on major credit cards and bank cards linked to major banking networks.

With advanced notice, most hotels can arrange babysitting services.

Best Buys
Leather goods; batik cloth; goldthreaded songket; tie-dyed ikat textiles and garments; ready-made garments; innovative fashions; gold and silver filigree and modern jewellery; woodcarvings; handicrafts; and spices. For more information, see the guide in the Shoppers’ Paradise chapter.

Business Hours
Offices are generally open 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. Most government offices, however, are open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday, closing earlier on Friday. Visitors should target the 8 a.m.-12 p.m. period for their visits.

Unless your MICE event includes a formal business session or black-tie evening, there’s little reason to pack a jacket and tie or formal evening wear. Smart, casual attire (no jacket required) is suitable for even the island’s most fashionable restaurants and top hotels. The Balinese typically show respect for each other by dressing neatly. Sarongs, long pants or long skirts with a sash around the waist are mandatory when visiting local temples.

Email & Internet
while connecting and transmitting can be slow, reliable internet access is readily available in hotels. Internet cafés and kiosks, charging reasonable rates, are available in all areas of the island.

Telephone and Facsimile
the international dialling code for Indonesia is 62 and the area code for most of southern Bali is 361, with 362, 363, 365 and 366 used elsewhere. Except in some of the more remote corners of the island, international roaming facilities can connect cell phone users. Phone cards are widely available at wartel (public telephone kiosks) where one can also make local, long distance and international calls, as well as send and receive faxes.

The following countries offer consular services in Bali: Australia, Austria, Brazil, Canada, Chile, 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
Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels and many businesses. Note that while prices are often advertised in U.S. dollars or Indonesian rupiah, all credit card sales are transacted in rupiah. As a result, all final charges shown on your monthly statement will reflect inter-bank exchange rates and possibly even a 1-4% surcharge.

Weapons, pornography and narcotics are illegal imports. Rupiah currency in excess of five million cannot be imported or exported without written permission from Bank Indonesia. Visitors may bring in 100 grams of tobacco, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, and one litre of liquor or wine, duty free. Your DMC can facilitate the temporary importation of exhibition materials.

Dietary Matters
Most special dietary requirements can be catered for by giving advance notice to your hotel or DMC.

Self-drive car and motorcycle rentals are available for those holding an international driving permit, but Bali’s sometimes congested and unpredictable roads are not the place to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Bali’s road rules can prove frustrating for the uninitiated. Consider hiring vehicles with driver, as the rates are very reasonable. All major points of interest are within only a few hours drive.

220 volts at a 50-cycle alternating current. Most electrical outlets utilise a two-pin plug.

Foreign Exchange
The Indonesian currency is the rupiah. For best rates and service, only exchange foreign currency at licensed moneychangers or banks. New, un-creased, unstained, un-stapled US$100 bills fetch the highest rate of exchange. Always insist on a receipt and personally count your money before leaving the counter.

Bali is part of the Republic of Indonesia, the world’s largest archipelago encompassing over 17,500 islands. The island is one of Indonesia’s thirty semi-autonomous provinces with its own provincial government and legislature. The province is further divided into nine regencies.

Handicapped Facilities
Facilities for handicapped travellers, although limited, are becoming more readily available. Check with your DMC or hotel for the availability of appropriate transport and rooms.

No vaccinations are currently required for visitors to Bali, but cholera, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis shots are recommended for travellers to Bali, as to most of Asia. Note that malaria and dengue fever infections can occur in densely populated areas such as South Bali. However, cases are extremely rare among tourists staying at hotels and resorts where pest control measures are in place.

Insurance coverage against illness and accident is highly recommended. Several reputable providers offer medical evacuation and repatriation, travel accident and outpatient expenses insurance.

Indonesian and Balinese are the common languages of Bali. English is widely used in tourist areas. Qualified foreign-language-speaking personnel including guides and simultaneous interpreters are available.

Medical Facilities
Many hotels maintain clinics and offer the services of in-house doctors. Several well-equipped and professionally staffed international medical and emergency assistance outpatient facilities, such as BIMC, operate on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis. Bali also has a number of privately run hospitals in addition to Denpasar’s main general public hospital (RSUP) at Sanglah in Denpasar with its modern trauma and blood donor facilities.

Meeting & Conference Permits
Hotels and DMCs can readily arrange any required permits.

The English-language dailies, Jakarta Post and International Herald Tribune, are both printed in Bali. International magazines and newspapers are also available at many hotels, bookstores and newsstands. Hotel and villa guests now have the option of realtime satellite printing of more than 200 newspapers from around the world.

Most pharmaceuticals are stocked in Bali’s many pharmacies. It is recommended that you bring with you copies of optical and medical prescriptions. Also consider bringing details of any significant medical history should a sudden need for local medical treatment arise.

Places of Worship
Many religious denominations are represented in Bali. Schedules of services and locations are maintained at your hotel reception. The Puja Mandala complex near Nusa Dua houses Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Roman Catholic, and Protestant places of worship in a single shared locale.

Bali’s population of over three and a half million is concentrated in the island’s southern regencies.

Postal Services
The Indonesian postal service has a complete range of mail and parcel services, including Express Mail Service (EMS). Major national and international courier services, such as DHL, operate in Bali.

Pre- and Post- Programmes
Lombok – only 30 minutes by air or a two-hour ferry ride from Bali, this sister island, with its different flora, fauna and culture, is well worth a visit.
Yogyakarta – a 45-minute flight from Bali, the cultural hub of Java’s royal court society with easy access to the fabled Borobudur Buddhist temple complex.
MT. Bromo – the haunting volcanic moonscapes of eastern Java are accessible via Surabaya, a 30-minute flight from Bali.
Komodo National Park – this world heritage site, and home to the world’s largest lizard, is accessible by charter flight or several days’ voyage via a number of affordable, small passenger yachts based in Bali.

Hinduism is the predominant religionof Bali with minorities of Moslems,Christians and Buddhists. In Bali, as in all of Indonesia, the practice of religion is free and open.

Sea Access
Regular car and passenger ferry services operate between Ketapang (East Java) and Gilimanuk (West Bali), as well as to adjacent Lombok Island from Padangbai on Bali’s east coast. Cruise ships call at Padangbai or Benoa, depending on their size.

Size and Topography
The Island of Bali covers an area of 5,623 square kilometres. At its widest point, the island measures 90 by 150 kilometres. The highest point on the island is Mount Agung at 3,142 metres.

Public smoking is widely accepted and many Indonesians enjoy smoking. There is, however, a growing sensitivity to the dangers of passive smoke and it’s polite to always check before you light up in public. Major brands of imported tobacco products are available. Many hotels also offer non-smoking rooms. Those who enjoy smoking should not leave Bali without sampling the aromatic clove cigarettes (kretek) loved by Indonesian smokers or the fine cigars produced in Lombok and Central Java.

Tax and Service Charges
An 11% development tax plus a 10% service charge is added to most hotel and restaurant bills.

Taxis and Transportation
Public transportation is widely available, including several reputable metered taxi companies. Insist that taxis use their meters, or be sure to agree on the fare before you get in. Public transport, in the form of small local vans (bemo) and intercity buses, operates at very reasonable rates.

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.

Time Zone
Bali time is +8 hours from Greenwich Mean Time / UTC.

Most hotel and restaurant bills include a 10% service charge. An additional gratuity for excellent service and a 10- 15% tip to drivers and guides is always appreciated.  Airport porters are entitled to Rp 5,000 for each bag carried.

Indonesia’s visa policy changed significantly in 2004 and again in 2005. Refer to the adjoining sidebar for the policy as of mid 2006.

Water is generally not potable. Most hotels provide bottled water in each room, often at no additional charge. Bottled water is available cheaply everywhere in Bali.

Bali enjoys a warm tropical climate averaging 25-34 degrees Celsius (77- 91 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the season and altitude. Due to its proximity to the equator, Bali escapes the typhoons found 15 degrees north or south of the equator. The rainy season from approximately November-April, which often brings brief late afternoon showers, is not likely to disrupt scheduled events.

Weights and Measures
Indonesia and Bali operate on the metric system.

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