Indonesia – Bali Travel Guide
Bali was inhabited by Austronesian peoples by about 2000 BCE who migrated originally from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, and Oceania.
Location & Area
Bali is an Indonesian island located at, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.
GMT +8 hours
You can expect pleasant day temperatures between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius or 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. From December to March, the West monsoon can bring heavy showers and high humidity, but usually days are sunny and the rains start during the night and pass quickly. From June to September the humidity is low, and it can be quite cool in the evenings. During this time of the year, you’ll have hardly any rain in the coastal areas.
Even when it rains in most parts of Bali you can often enjoy sunny days on the “Bukit”, the hill south of Jimbaran Beach. On the other hand, in Ubud and the mountains you must expect cloudy skies and showers throughout the year (this is why the international weather reports for “Denpasar” or “Bali” mention showers and rain storms during all times of the year). In higher regions such as in Bedugul or Kintamani you’ll also need either a sweater or jacket after the sun sets.
Passports & Visas
Bali Visa. Important change to Indonesia’s Visa Policy for Tourists.
Please read carefully as there have been changes to Indonesia visa policy.
[updated December 1st 2006]
Countries that do not require a Visa to enter Bali.
Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Countries that require and are eligible for Visa-On Arrivals – cost for these visas are US$10 for a stay of up to 7 days, US$25 for a stay of up to 30 days.
[updated June 18th 2007]
Algeria, Arab Emirates, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States America
It is important to also note the following:
* The Visa on Arrival is non-extendable and cannot be converted into a different visa.
* The Visa purchasing system will take approximately 3-5 minutes per applicant.
* There are 6 payment counters, a bank and a money changer set up to process payments.
* Once you have paid for and received your visa you will need to proceed to Immigration where your visa will be processed.
Citizens of countries not on the visa on arrival or visa free lists will be required to apply for a visa before entering Indonesia.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Indonesia, and you must have proof of onward passage (either return or through tickets). If you cannot fulfill both of these requirements, you may not be allowed to enter the country.
In general people wear clothes that are similar to western style. In many rural areas and on celebrations (special occasions) people wear traditional dress. But normally traditional dress is not worn on a daily basis. Batik is considered a formal dress. Each regional area in Indonesia has its own traditional dress.
Many men wear ties when they go to work. But, most of them do not wear tie. Just regular shirt and pants. For informal occasion, people wear jeans. Women wear dress just like ordinary people in the west. Of course, even if it is hot, no bikinis (except in beaches).
Bahasa Indonesia is the official Indonesian language. Balinese languages are also widely spoken by the local population. English is widely spoken, especially in popular tourist areas. Dutch, German, Swedish and Japanese languages are spoken in some places catering primarily to the tourist trade.
Islam is Indonesia’s main religion, with almost 88% of Indonesians declared Muslim according to the 2000 census, making Indonesia the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world. The remaining population is 9% Christian (of which roughly two-thirds are Protestant with the remainder mainly Catholic, and a large minority Charismatic), 2% Hindu and 1% Buddhist.
The currency used in Indonesia is the Rupiah and to get the best exchange rates, it is best to stick to US dollars or sterling traveller’s cheques rather than cash and stick to banks and credit cards are widely accepted in major destinations such as Jakarta and Bali, there are also many ATMs in the territory and if need be, you can usually get a cash advance in a bank – at a small charge.
Tipping is not common practice, but there are always little charges to pay, people who help you park, people who carry your bag, cab drivers, and waiters will all expect a few thousand Rupiah for their service – for meals, you may well pay around 10% of the bill in upmarket restaurants – a few pence everywhere else, unless a service charge has already been added to the bill, and gentle bargaining over prices is the norm in almost all markets, shops and hotels.
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