What You Need To Know
Bali is an Indonesian island known for its forested volcanic mountains, iconic rice paddies, beaches and coral reefs. The island is home to religious sites such as cliffside Uluwatu Temple. To the south, the beachside city of Kuta has lively bars, while Seminyak, Sanur and Nusa Dua are popular resort towns. The island is also known for its yoga and meditation retreats.
Area: 2,232 mi²
Max length: 90.1 miles
Population: 4.225 million (2014)
- The Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) is the local currency, commonly also abbreviated to Rp
- Foreign currency, whether in banknotes or traveler’s checks, should be exchanged at major banks or authorized money changers (PT. Central Kuta is highly recommended).
- The US dollar and nowadays the EURO are the preferred foreign currency in Bali; the Australian dollar is also no problem. Bring always new, clean US$ bank notes which are not damaged in any way. Yes new, even in perfect condition a dollar bill from 2006 might not be accepted. But for any currency watchout that the condition is good.
The island of Bali sits at between 5 and 10 degrees south latitude below the equator. The weather is generally calm for most of the year. Daytime temperatures are in the 80’s (Fahrenheit) throughout the year with the rains traditionally falling between November and April. Bali is spared a monsoonal season and rains, when they do come, generally last only several hours, lowering the temperatures slightly and making for greener scenery all around. Bali Time Zone is GMT + 8 hours or WITA (Indonesian Central Time).
Balinese culture and clues
In Bali, religion is a way of life. At temples and during ceremonial services, you’ll see the Balinese dressed in traditional clothing. Religious rituals occur daily by every household and shop owner and temples are many. The prayers and offerings are beautifully crafted and unique.
Health and security
Bali has several well-equipped international hospitals providing emergency and outpatient services to cater to the needs of foreign visitors. However, it is essential to have a travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems. Some companies offer a range of medical expense options, but the small print must be scrutinized. Check that the policy covers ambulances and emergency flights home. Numerous policies also specify exclusion of dangerous activities such as scuba diving, renting a local motorbike on Bali and even trekking. Take note that locally acquired motorbikes are not valid under certain policies.
- Take drugs. This carry the death penalty according to Indonesian laws.
- Step on offerings in the street – walk around them.
- Attempt to swim outside designated areas on the beach.
- Touch people’s heads. It’s very offensive to Balinese Hindus.
- Enter temples during menstruation.
- Use your left hand in sacking or handing over something to someone as it is considered impolite. If there is no other option then express your apology.
- Consider to put salt on your food and drink water – you will probably
sweat a lot.
- Convert money at a reputable looking money changer shop and independently calculate before changing. Shop around as the rate may vary, check whether the commission is added or not.
- Put on loads of high factor waterproof Sun Cream especially if you intend to spend a lot of time in the water.
- Drink a lot of bottled water and eat a lot of fresh fruits – do your body a favor.
- Be careful with your belonging at all times. Leave your important documents in your hotel safe and wander around with the copies.
- Respect the slow pace of processions – don’t honk.
- Haggle when buying, except on price-tagged goods.
- Reconfirm your outbound flight.
- Show your respect by wearing sarong when entering temples.