Before you go…
- Visas & Passports – must be valid for 6 months. Visas required. EU citizens are eligible for a 30-day visa on arrival in Indonesia, which can sometimes be extended for another 30 days, except nationals of Croatia, who must obtain a visa in advance. When you leave Bali to come home there is a exit tax of Indonesian 150,000 Rupiah which has to be paid in Rupiah.
- Electricity – is 220v and European plug adaptors usually work
- Health – make sure you have a good tropical strength insect repellent and spray on during the day as this is when the dengue mosquito is out. Bali has firmly resolved to be rabies-free by the year 2015, in order to maintain its reputation as the world’s most famous resort island. Most areas of Bali are malaria free.
- Currency – there are plenty of exchange facilities all over Bali’s main tourist areas, most of them accepting currencies like the US dollar, Australian dollar, and UK pound. The honest dealers operate alongside shady money changers, and it’s very hard to tell one from the other. It is best to exchange money at the banks or you can withdraw from a bank ATM using your debit or credit card (please notify your bank that you will be using your card abroad). Many hotel front desks permit currency exchange, but offer lower exchange rates compared to banks and regular money changers. Bank Indonesia-authorized money changers advertise their status as Pedagang Valuta Asing Berizin or PVA Berizin (Indonesian for “Authorized Money Changer”) with a green PVA Berizin
- Clothing – opt for light, cotton clothing(except for the mountains when an extra layer of clothes will be needed); jeans will be hot and heavy for most circumstances. You won’t need as much clothing as you would expect; keep your packing simple and purchase items locally if you run out of outfits to wear. If on an extended trip, you’ll find plenty of places that do laundry for a fee based on weight. A pair of reliable flip-flops is best for footwear.
- Driving Licence – When renting a car, you’ll need to show an international driver’s licence. If you don’t have one, you can get a tourist driving licence at the police station at Denpasar. The licence is valid for one month’s use.
While you are there
- Laws & Customs – Bali has a Hindu dominated culture and a calm attitude is highly admired. Wear a sarong and cover your arms when visiting a temple. Women menstruating are requested not to enter temples. The head is considered sacred and should never be touched. Shaking hands is common but only with the use of the right hand
Indonesia has zero tolerancy for drug using. Indonesian drug laws prescribe the death penalty for narcotics trafficking.
- Time difference – Bali’s 8 hours ahead of London during standard time, and doesn’t have daylight saving so during DST (some time in March to some time in October), Bali’s only 7 hours ahead.
- Telephone – code dial 0044 or +44 for a UK number.
- Prices – try to shop on your own rather than in a group, if possible, shop in the morning. Most shops love to make an early in the day first sale and will be more likely to give a great bargain during that time. Always ask for the “harga” (price) “pagi”, (morning) i.e. the morning price. Unless the item is tagged, which is becoming more and more common in Bali these days, try to have a price in your mind before asking the price. Remember there is nothing wrong with paying full price if in your mind it is fair and you are happy to pay the asking price.
- Dining out – there are fantastic restaurants of all different budgets and you will be absolutely spoiled by the choice. We will send a list of our recommended restaurants before your travel.
- Vegetarian food – Bali is a vegetarian’s delight. While the menus are largely meat-orientated, with pork considered a mainstay of many meals, there’s still lots to choose from.