Dreaming of serene beaches and tranquil islands? Can’t wait for your once-in-a-lifetime scuba diving adventure? Curious about the temples and famous spa resorts? Your visit to Bali awaits! Being located eight degrees south of the equator means that Bali features a tropical climate you can enjoy throughout the year. You can look forward to warm temperatures, as well as a rainy and dry season.
If you want to avoid peak tourist season, do not plan your trip to Bali in July-August, around the Easter Holidays, and for the Christmas/New Year’s holiday season. The ideal time for travelling to Bali is between April to June and in September. At this time, the air is not as humid and you could also find that airline tickets are 30 to 50 percent cheaper than during high tourist seasons. If you do not mind the rain and wind, October to March might also be a good time for you to fly to Bali.
The best airline to fly into Bali depends on where you are coming from and flight preferences into Denpasar Airport. For direct Bali domestic flights, you can fly with JetStar, Virgin Australia, Qantas, and Garuda Indonesia. Other Bali international flights that have only one stop include Thai Airways, Royal Brunei Airlines, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysian Airlines.
Cheap flights to Bali are available, but these often do not include baggage, meals, and other essentials for a comfortable flight.
Denpasar Airport is in between Kuta and Jimbaran, which is 13 kilometres from the airport. To get to the city centre, you have various transportation options, including taxis, airport shuttles, private cars, and car or scooter rentals from the airport.
It is recommended that you look for the official taxi counter at the airport for area-wise pre-listed rates. Typically, a ride to Denpasar will cost between Rp 70,000 to Rp 90,000 while to Kuta, the cost would be Rp 40,000 to Rp 50,000 and to Ubud will be Rp 195,000. Alternately, across the airport car park, you can hail Blue Bird taxis, which are metered services.
The airport shuttle, Priority Plus, is available from the airport and takes you to larger hotels in Kuta for Rp 324,000 approximately $32 AUD. The pass is valid for five days throughout the island of Bali too, taking you everywhere from Uluwatu to Kintamani. For private transport, you must arrange it prior to arrival through an airport-approved car service. You can find great deals on car rentals at momondo.
Bali lacks public transportation, but there are easy rental options available. Rental cars are a viable option, with numerous rental car agencies at the airport for approximately Rp 500,000 per day. However, you must have an international driver’s license to use a rental car. Try to look for a fuel-efficient option due to high fuel prices (such as the Toyota Avanza or Suzuki APV). Scooter rentals are Rp 50,000 per day and do not require an international driver’s license to rent.
Shuttle services also help you get around the city. You can enjoy unlimited travel for five days, with a hop on/hop off type of service. With a shuttle ticket, you will enjoy discounts on a free Indonesian SIM card that has a balance of Rp 10,000 to use around town.
Citizens of up to 140 major countries do not need a visa before entering, and there is a 30-day free entry that cannot be extended. If you are an Australian citizen, you do not need to pay a visa fee, unless you plan to stay longer than 30 days. Certain foreign nationals must purchase a visa upon arrival, which costs approximately 46 AUD (*01/03/2017) for 30 days and can be extended once. Please check the Bali visa and immigration website.
All passports must be valid for six months when arriving or you will not be permitted access.
Bali is known as a scuba paradise, and there are more than 100 dive centres ready to teach you the undersea ways. Be sure to check out Amed, where you can explore the Japanese shipwreck underwater. Also, Bali is known for having the maximum number of spas in the world, so book your appointment for a luxury treatment.
Visit Kuta, Legian or Seminyak Beach for surfing lessons and beginner-ready waves. Some of the temples you must definitely visit include Tanah Lot, Besakih, and Uluwatu. When visiting a temple, you must wear a sarong and sash. You can hire one, and men and women must cover their legs with a sarong to respect Balinese culture.
Remember the Day of Silence
The Day of Silence may limit you on flights to Bali (or exits). Known as Nyepi, it is a Hindu celebration to commemorate the Saka New Year. On this day, there is no check-in or check-out allowed in hotels, and all major airports are shutdown.
Always Be Cautious in the Water
Bali has breathtaking beaches, but night swimming is not encouraged due to harsh rip tides and currents. Also, weather and wind conditions can make sea conditions change quickly.
Trash and Debris
Everything you throw in the garbage stays on the island or is washed into the sea. So, be cautious about what you throw away.
Always Use Bottled Water
While plastic water bottles do create waste, it is best to drink bottled water only, and brush your teeth with it too. Also, local eateries do serve bottled water, so make sure you ask for it.
Be Aware of Hawkers and Touts
Hawkers and touts often approach tourists, and hassle you to purchase their items, especially in areas like Ji Legian, Kuta Beach, and the Gunung Batur areas.
Some Areas Prone to Flooding
If you have a hotel on the beach from Tuban to Melasti (in Kuta), ask for a room that is not on the ground level. Occasionally, water will flood every one to two hours in front of the hotels, and it can reach knee-height.
USD, AUS, and EUR are accepted and can be exchanged in most locations. Traveller’s cheques are rarely accepted today, and the payments are made in IDR (Indonesian Rupiah). Even if a hotel indicates USD rates, the IDR payments are what they accept when you check-in.