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 well adjusted.
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. (Also, while
traveling keep your vital medication with you or in your carry
on - in case your luggage is lost).
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 & Prevention.
Telephone the CDC international travelers hotline at (404) 332-4559
or visit the CDC home page on the Internet at http://www.cdc.gov
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.
First, 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. 100.000 and the license is valid for 30 days. The
office is open Monday - Saturday 8.00am - 3.00pm. 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
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.
Another 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 (see
sidebar). 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 newspapers.
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 confused sometimes.
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.
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
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.
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
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 : telkom.
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. on Fridays.
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 world.
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) unattended in your car,
on the beach or by the pool, use the hotel safety deposit box,
dont go down dark deserted gangs (alleys) and dont
count money in the open. Not so hard...
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.
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.100,000. 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.20,000) though most of the time this has already
been included in the ticket price - but every so often you are
surprised... (and even if you're not you can always make a donation
to the local Red Cross or charity du jour).
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:
You 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.
Now 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.
Rule No. 1 Don't let the money you are changing out of sight or
out of reach in case you want to walk.
Rule 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
money and walk to the nearest bank.