Helpful Hints for Traveling in Bali
Bali is unique place for sure and one of the best things about Bali is its people. Balinese people love to talk, interact and get to know visitors. You won’t be alone for long in Bali!
When attending a Temple Ceremony
- Always wear a sarong and sash.
- Do not walk in front of people when they are praying.
- Do not use flash or point your camera at the priest’s face!
- Never sit higher than the priest or the offerings.
- During cremation ceremonies, do not get in the way of attendees, howerver perfect that photographic moment might be…
- Women are not allowed to enter temples during their menstruation.
Locals appreciate when a visitor says “Selamat pagi” (good morning), “Selamat siang” (good afternoon) or “Selamat sore” (good evening). Learning how to say “thank you” (terima kasih) in Indonesian or even in Balinese (matur suksma) will also be appreciated.
Indonesian as well as Balinese people love family and kids, so count on those coming up fast in conversation, as well as your marital status. This isn’t nosey, just friendly. Indonesian people tend to have a group identity so if you are in a position where you want to give a small gift / tip to someone, realize that not giving the same to everyone else present will be taken a slight by them. For example if you are renting a luxury villa and want to tip your cleaner, you’d better tip the gardner, driver, cook, laundry girl and security guy too.
You will notice the multitude of offerings that are placed outside doorways and at street intersections. These are considered ‘holy’ as long as the insense is rising up towards the Gods. Try your best not to step on the offerings during this or any other time as it shows a level of respect.
In Asia the way to say something or do something is often more important than what you do. Wearing a smile is one way of showing locals you are friendly towards them. In situations of misunderstanding or even tension, a smile can help to keep the situation on a comfortable level. In exteme situations (road accident, angry / physical encounters etc.) one way to pour cold water on the situation is to say “Mau minta maaf” (basically “Please accept my apology”).
Visa-On Arrivals are US$25 for a stay of up to 30 days. A 30 day visa can now be extended for an extra 30 days. 7 day visas NO longer available.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Indonesia, and you must have proof of onward passage (either return or through tickets). If you cannot fulfill both of these requirements, you may not be allowed to enter the country.
Electricity in Indonesia is 220 volts, 50 cycles and a round, two-pronged slim plug, you may need a convertor plug, ( easy to buy at a supermarket in Bali)
Remember, drugs are illegal in Indonesia and the result is a very high price or jail term.
Some Useful Tips:
- The weather can be hot and the basic clothing to wear is light, cool and casual . On the mountain it can get cool at night so you may want to bring a sweater.
- Don’t bring too much with you, you will want to buy things to take home.
- ATM’s are the best way to get cash you can get it as you need it ( be aware, use machines near banks with security ). Best to always take cash with you when you go shopping because not all places in Bali accept credit cards.
- Its easy to get dehydrated in Bali so drink a lot of bottled water available from all mini marts. ( check the seal.) Ice in drinks is safe as it is government controlled.
- Bargaining is customary at small shops and markets, the art of which is to start at about half the asking price and going up till a compromise is reached.
Despite the terrible effects, Bali can thank the volcanoes for her civilisation. Tropical soils tend to be poor because heavy rains wash away the nutrients. Bali, however, has been spared this disadvantage. Continuous eruptions throw fertile ash over the island.
Mountains also cause rainfall. Moisture-laden air rises, cools and then rains. Rain falls on the south of the island. The northern third is in the rain shadow and so is rather arid. So, thanks to the mountains, Bali has fertile soil and good irrigation.