is getting better in terms of hygiene and medical facilities
but it still has a way to go. You do not want to have a
medical emergency here. Play safe and make sure you have
medical insurance before you come. Best to have insurance
that will evacuate you if you get terribly sick or have
a serious injury and need airlifted to Singapore or home.
Here are a couple of other common sense points that should
keep you in good shape and enjoying your visit.
plenty of fluids (water and fruit juices) to avoid dehydration.
Drink bottled water ONLY - ice in drinks, however, is not
a problem. Use common sense when choosing a place to eat.
Eat in established restaurants that are clean and well patronized.
If you are dead set on trying the hawkers in the street
stick to those not serving meats unless your system is already
you are using prescription drugs bring a sufficient supply.
Pharmacies (Apotiks) often can fill a prescription but the
dosage may not be quite the same as your doctor has prescribed.
Take prompt care of any cuts or burns - do not risk infection
in this heat and humidity. If you are sleeping in the open
air, use mosquito repellent and a mosquito net. Malaria
is not a problem in Bali. For additional information there's
a list of hospitals and clinics in the Emergency
Info section. Additional information on health matters
may be obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention. Telephone the CDC international travelers hotline
at (404) 332-4559 or visit the CDC home page on the Internet
you are coming here for a week or so, you might be tempted
to rent a car and go out driving yourself around to explore
Bali. Our advice: Don't - especially if you are coming from
a country where driving on the right is the norm. When you
put together pedestrians, bicycles, tour buses, trucks,
livestock and assorted immovable objects in the middle of
roads that are not well marked with traffic controls are
often ignored and little - if any - enforcement of rules
that may exist - you have yourself one of the most creative
driving environments imaginable.
forget about getting lost - that's the least of your concerns.
If you have an accident and there is an injury to a local
person you will not be able to leave until the matter is
cleared up. Better to hire a car with a driver, enjoy the
scenery and arrive at your destination relaxed. It usually
costs only about US$ 10.00 more per day to hire a driver
with your rental vehicle than without - so you be the judge.
we have not convinced you and for some reason you still
want to drive yourself, you will need to have either an
International Driving License (see your local automobile
club) or a Tourist Driving License. A Tourist Driving License
can be obtained Jl. Cokorde Agung Tresna 14, Renon. You
will need to bring a copy of your passport and the driving
license from your home country. Cost is Rp. 75.000 and the
license is valid for 30 days. The office is open Monday
- Saturday 8.30am - 1.00pm. Tel. 243939.
For shorter trips, i.e. back and forth between Kuta and
Nusa Dua, metered taxis are available. The Best is Bali
Taxi - the BLUE cabs. Clean, reliable, safe and honest.
The meters run at approximately Rp.1,500 per kilometer (an
unbelievable bargain) If you are out on the street and can't
get a blue cab, next best are the green and orange cabs
- also clean, reliable, safe and honest but fares are a
bit (10%) higher. There are other white cabs but often the
meters "don't work". If you choose to stay in
such a cab, negotiate the fare First (the key words here
are Negotiate and First).
Taxi Telephone is: 701-111
Taxi Telephone is: 289-090
As well, the more really adventurous visitor may want to
explore Bali by motorcycle. If you do be advised that you
will need a motorcycle driver's license - if you don't have
one you may get Temporary Permit - valid for 6 months on
Bali only - a simple enough procedeure but make sure to
take 3 passport size photos, your passport, and a valid
driver's license to the Police station in Denpasar - and
by law you need to wear a helmet. Check the condition of
the machine before you pay.
interesting way to discover Bali is by Bemo (the small covered
carry vans careening about). No better way to mix with the
locals - Very cheap but there's no air-conditioning and
the bemos can get very, very crowded. Last but not least
are Dokars (2 wheeled horse drawn buggies). More a tourist
thing in Kuta at night but a staple of transportation for
locals in Denpasar during the day.
can exchange most major world currencies (cash or travelers
checks) easily into the local coin, the Indonesian Rupiah.
Hotels generally give less favorable exchange rates (the
price of convenience). Or - and this our choice - go to
a branch office of one of the local banks. However that
being said, there are a squillion "authorized"
money changers available. If you choose to deal with an
money changer BE CAREFUL - The number of stories we hear
about people being cheated are shameful and the authorities
are seemingly helpless to shut these despicable characters
down. Nonetheless here are a couple of points worth remembering
First, the rate posted on the door usually is for amounts
in notes of US $100. - lesser denominated notes (i.e. $50.00)
will be given a less favorable rate. Next verify the exchange
calculation (ask to use the calculator or - better yet -
bring your own) and count your change before you leave the
window. Lastly, be prepared, if you are cashing travelers
checks you will need to present your passport for identification
and many money changers do not accept cash notes that have
been defaced - or are in less than near mint condition.
The official exchange rate posted is daily in all major
come in paper and coins. Paper denominations are 100, 500,
1,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 and 100,000; coin denominations
are 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000. Just a word of caution
there are many styles of the same denomination and together
with all the "zeroes" even we who live here become
are quite common and the ones with VISA / Cirrus logos dispense
local currency at the bank's then current exchange rate.
Some have the rate on the screen. (Our guess is that this
is still far better than going to a money changer considering
the high probability of being short changed.) A note of
caution though - you must be absolutely sure to take your
card - if not and the card remains in some machines additional
withdrawals may be made WITHOUT having to re-enter the PIN
Credit cards are accepted at better restaurants and retailers.
But be aware most retailers add an extra 3 - 5 % on your
bill for the privilege of using plastic. You do not have
to accept this: You're not going to get anywhere arguing
with the shopkeeper but if you want to get this back make
sure the retailer or restaurant writes this surcharge down
as an extra charge for using the card and then claim it
from your month end billing.
is relatively new in Bali. Most large hotels and restaurants
will automatically add a service charge of between 5 &
10 percent to your bill which is quite sufficient. Smaller
restaurants generally don't add anything extra but considering
that the waiter's wage may well be less than $1.00 a day
- a tip of 10 percent is very much appreciated.
Other. Bellmen generally get Rp.1,000 - Rp.1,500 for a small
to medium sized luggage and at least Rp.2,000 for those
house trailers some people carry around. For taxi drivers,
rounding up to the nearest Rp.5,000 or depending on the
length of trip is the norm. If you hire a car for an entire
day it is good form to give the driver Rp.5,000 - 10,000
for each meal and tip (say Rp.20,000) at the end of the
day. With tour guides and the like tipping is up to you
- just remember that chances are your driver/guide has most
likely already received a commission from anything you purchased
during the day.
Home All telephone numbers listed herein are
local numbers. To reach any number in Bali dial: International
access code + 62 + 361+ (local number). Wherein "62"
is Indonesia country code and "361" is the most
common area code for Bali. Be advised most Bali telephone
numbers are 6 digits some are still 5. Cellular service
in Indonesia is GSM. If you bring your own handphone you
may purchase a prepaid calling chip from any Satelindo distributor
(cheaper than using your home country service).
Telecommunication capabilities have improved greatly over
the last few years but patience is the keyword when trying
to dial overseas from Indonesia - especially during office
hours. Most better hotels offer International Direct Dialing
(IDD) and Home Country Direct (HCD) services. Overseas calls
can also be made at state-run telephone offices known as
a wartel (warung telephone).
Need to get online ? Both AT&T Globalnet & AOL have
local access numbers on Bali. AT&T is 256-737 / AOL
is 289-652. If you plan to be on Bali for a while and need
to be connected there are several ISPs. The local phone
company allows anyone access to its network without having
to establish an user account or pay any set fees (the telco
makes its money by adding a 50% surcharge to its normal
per minute tariff) making it easy to check your internet
email (ie.Yahoo mail) on your laptop. To access dial 0809-
89999 / username: telkomnet@instan / password
famous temple ceremonies can wreak havoc on retail hours.
Though most shops in the major tourist areas are open from
10 am till 8 p.m., six days a week (seven in shopping centers
and hotels) - sometimes a shop is closed for no apparent
reason BUT there is a reason, the shopkeeper has a ceremony
to attend. Restaurants start serving from 7 a.m. or so until
midnight. Government offices and banks operate from 8 a.m.
till 3 p.m., Monday to Thursday, and 8 a.m. till 12 p.m.
for many first timers but once you get the hang of it youll
never pay retail again! However, not everybody wants to
bargain anymore. Many of Bali's finer retailers now refuse
(price tags generally signify a fixed price) but bargaining
is still the norm in the art markets, trinket and T-shirt
shops. But dont get cheesy. Nothing is more irritating
nowadays than watching a well clad tourist trying to squeeze
the last 1,000 Rupiah (about 10 US cents) out of a shopkeeper.
Just remember how much it cost to get to Bali. So what is
the value in not taking home that beautiful wood statue?
Negotiate a good price and take home a good story.
Balinese have a reputation as extremely honest people. Unfortunately,
not everyone on Bali is Balinese and there has been an increase
in petty crimes - especially in Kuta. Nonetheless Bali is
still far, far safer than most large cities in this
car break-ins and drive by bag snatching seem to be the
most common complaints. To reduce your risk, use plain common
sense and take the same basic precautions you would if you
were visiting any big city. So, keep a tight grip on your
purse or camera, Never leave any bags (whether valuable
or not) in your car, use the hotel safety deposit box, dont
go down dark deserted gangs (alleys) and dont count
money in the open. Not so hard...
the flip side don't even think of committing a crime in
Indonesia. You are a long way from home with far fewer rights
than you think. Behave yourself and be a gracious guest.
Bound On the way out of the hotel, keep a little
extra money handy. All tourists leaving Indonesia from Ngurah
Rai International Airport are required to pay an airport
tax of Rp.75,000. That said be advised that it is against
the law to leave Indonesia with more than Rp.10,000,000.
Departure for domestic travel is also taxed (Rp.11,000)
though most of the time this has already been included in
the ticket price - but every so often you are surprised...
careful when changing money. Sorry to say but we hear too many
stories of tourists being cheated at one money changer or another.
One of the more popular current scams goes something like this:
see an exchange rate that seems to good to pass up - so you give
it a go. The money changer calculates how much Rupiah you will
receive and proceeds to count it out in front of you. After this
he/she will ask you to count it again - so far so good. You agree
and the amount is correct. You're happy and ready to leave until
the changer asks to count it again - Just to make sure. How thoughtful
you think and you let the changer count it again. The amount is
right and you're asked to count it yet one more time - you do
and everything seems fine.
you're ready to leave - but wait, the changer wants to count it
- yes - one more time. You're thinking these people
are sooo careful. Well this recounting goes on until the changer
feels you're not paying attention and money literally falls off
the table. At some point you won't count it the last time and
after you're long gone you realize you've been short changed.
No. 1 Don't let the money you are changing out of sight or out
of reach in case you want to walk.
No. 2 Pay attention. You don't need to count 6 times. If you find
yourself in this situation refer to Rule No. 1 - Pick up your
moeny and walk to the nearest bank.