Bali, this paradise on earth, is one of the smallest islands in Indonesia but it is also an island full of wealth, filled with tropical beaches, culture and waterfalls, which everyone dreams of for a perfect vacation. Bali is also known for its spiritual connection, its tropical landscapes but also for its exotic cuisine. This little paradise is surely one of the best places to visit in Indonesia. But like everywhere else, there is a few important things to know before you get there. So let’s go!
>> BALI AIRPORT
Bali has an airport in Denpasar (DPS), Ngurah Rai International Airport, which handles international and domestic flights.
>> BALI VISA
To be able to travel to Bali, some formalities must be respected! As with most other countries, a valid passport still valid 6 months after the date of return must be presented. Regarding the Visa, 169 nations get a free visa for a period of up to 30 days for tourist purposes in Indonesia, which will be done directly at the airport (so remember to check with your local embassy).
Please note: you can be refused entry to Bali if you do not have a return ticket.
For a stay of more than 30 days, a tourist visa is compulsory! If you fail to do this and exceed your 30 days, you will have to pay a penalty of Rp 1,000,000 per day.
>> GET A SIM CARD
Wifi in Bali, in general, is not bad, many restaurants and cafes offer free internet but not always and the network can be more difficult to have in several cities in Bali. I therefore advise you to obtain a SIM card directly upon your arrival at the airport. The best-known provider remains Telkomsel which offers different packages but also an application to download in order to top up data packages directly via your phone, which is super practical!
Getting around Bali is not easy, the traffic in Bali is crazy and even outside of rush hour, a few miles of driving will take a lot longer than expected. The public transport system in Bali seemed almost nonexistent, and for the limited public transport available (buses and trains), I wouldn't recommend them. Fortunately, there are other options for getting around the island.
>> FROM AIRPORT
At the airport you will find an official taxi counter which offers prepaid taxis. You will see the counter immediately after you exit. Prices are set for different popular areas of Bali. You can also pre-arrange pick-up from the hotel you are staying at. They will be waiting for you with a sign at arrivals and they will know exactly where to take you.
>> BY TAXI
In the most touristic areas, taxis are everywhere. There are two reputable companies in Bali, the Bluebird and Grab taxis to be ordered through an app. He will often want to negotiate a fixed price with you but my advice is to refuse and tell the driver to put the speedometer on before you get on.
>> BY MOTOCYCLE
Due to the heavy traffic, many prefer to get around by motorbike or scooter in Bali. Scooters and motorcycles are relatively inexpensive and depending on the location of the rental and the number of helmets, you can expect to pay between € 3 and € 10 per day, making it an affordable mode of transportation. Driving is still difficult, however, so I advise you to practice on quiet roads first. You can also opt for apps like Grab and Gojek which offer the option of getting a motorcycle taxi which is inexpensive.Note: wearing a helmet is mandatory!
>> PRIVATE DRIVERS
For longer trips or to see waterfalls and do day tours, you can book a private driver. There are a lot of them in Bali and personally this is the means of transportation I used for my entire trip. We found a brilliant driver from the start, he spent every day with us, we just sent him our itinerary the day before and every morning at 9am he was there. We had great experiences thanks to him, and we were even able to meet his family who invited us to dine with them, even though they had nothing. I have a magical memory of it. (If you want his number just send me a message, I can't recommend him enough)
>> MONEY AND CURRENCY
The national currency is the Indonesian rupiah or rupiah (Rps).
You can easily withdraw cash from ATMs which are widely accessible. However, in more rural areas and on the Nusa Islands, they are very rare. So I advise you to plan in advance if you want to visit these areas. You can also go to exchange offices which have the advantage of being open every day, but be sure to compare exchange rates and avoid offices that charge commissions.
Warning: there are often scams in exchange offices, I advise you to recount your money at the counter before leaving.
In Bali, Bahasa Indonesia is spoken, which is the official language of the island. English is also widely spoken in tourist areas. Feel free to learn a few phrases in Balinese or Indonesian, locals appreciate the effort.
>> BEST TIME TO GO
There are two seasons in Bali: the dry season and the rainy season. The dry season lasts from May-June to September-October, while the rainy season lasts from October-November to April. Bali is most popular during months of May, September and October.
>> DO NOT DRINK TAP WATER
Bali is amazing, but Indonesian sanitation and waste disposal standards fall short of global standards. You are strongly advised to drink only bottled water in Bali, as tap water can make you sick. Make sure you bring a reusable water bottle as there is a lot of garbage in Bali, so buying multiple bottles will pollute more.
>> TIPS IN BALI
Tipping in Bali is not mandatory but is certainly appreciated. The smallest amount will always result in big smiles, so personally I often tip if the service was good.
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