The best time to come to Bali and Indonesia
It is a good time to travel to Bali throughout the year. This is because Bali offers many choices of activities and attractions. During rainy days you can visit museums and arts centers. However if you are eyeing beaches or mountain tours, then choose the dry seasons between April to September. In addition, you need to pay attention to high season or peak season of tourists. During these seasons prices will go up, especially for airfare, car rental and accommodation. The increase in price can reach up to 25 percent. The crowded season of visit is in June-August and November-January. Not only the price is going up, at this time Bali will be crowded with tourists. So get ready for the more traffic road conditions and more crowded attractions.
Before you want to find an accommodation in Bali, ask first which area in Bali you want to visit. Usually, for the tourists visiting Bali for the first time they will go directly to the southern area of Bali which is indeed the hustle and bustle of tourist attractions. The famous southern area is the Kuta area. In Kuta there are many accommodation facilities. Customise your budget. If you are looking for cheap accommodation under Rp 400,000 per night, you can look for it in the area around Gang Poppies (1 and 2), Three Brothers Street, Tuban Highway, Gang Puspa Ayu, to Jalan Bakung Sari. Getting into the small alleys of the main road such as Jalan Raya Kuta and Jalan Raya Tuban, then you will find small hotel a la guesthouse which is cheap. The hotels can be found in Jalan Kartika Plaza, Legian Street, and Jalan Raya Kuta. Villas that offer privacy can be found in Seminyak area
If you are not too happy with the hustle and bustle of Kuta, you can choose another destination in Bali. Try the quieter areas of Sanur, Jimbaran, and Nusa Dua. The three are adjacent to the beach. Only the hotels in Nusa Dua are expensive because of the resort area concept. You can also choose to stay in the area of Ubud that still feels natural. But there is no beach in the area. Only, Ubud is located in Gianyar Regency. Gianyar has many interesting attractions, such as zoos, safari parks, cultural tours, and beaches further south. Another option is the area of Lovina, Singaraja, the prices here are still cheap. They have good hotels and food. But the distance is far from the airport, about three-hour drive. In eastern Bali, the most dominant attraction is the Candidasa area in Karangasem with its still relatively uncrowded beaches. Many cheap inns as well as expensive resorts are available in the area. Another option is Nusa Lembongan. While West Bali, you can try to stay in the famous Canggu area as a surf spot or around Tanah Lot.
Public transportation or commonly called bemo in Bali is relatively difficult to find. The fleet is rare and the schedule is not fixed. If you are already familiar with Bali, riding the Bemo and Trans Sarbagita bus can indeed be an option. But if this is your first time experience to Bali, it is not recommended to take public transportation. You can find a selection of cars for rent as well as organized tours. Car rental with driver in Bali is normally only for 10 hours. If using more than 10 hours, the renter carries an hourly surcharge. Another option is renting a motorbike, but it is a hassle if you do not know the way. You can also ride a motorcycle taxi or ojek for short trip. Ojek options are suitable if you travel alone.You can also take advantage of the hotel’s shuttle car facilities.
Whether you want expensive or cheap, want a local typical Indonesian cuisine or foreign cuisine, everything you can find in Bali.
Indonesian cuisine is one of the most rich culinary traditions cuisine in the world, and is full of strong flavours. It is a mirror of the diversity of cultures and traditions of the archipelago consisting of approximately 6,000 inhabited islands. Almost all Indonesian dishes are rich with spices such as candlenuts, chili peppers, galangal, ginger, turmeric, coconut and palm sugar with the use of cooking techniques depending on the ingredients. There are also influences from India, China, the Middle East, and Europe especially the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain.
Basically there is no single form of “Indonesian cuisine”, but rather the diversity of regional cuisine that is influenced locally by Indonesian culture as well as foreign influences. For example, rice is processed into white rice, ketupat or lontong (steamed rice) as a staple food for the majority of Indonesians, but for the eastern part is more commonly consumed sago, corn, cassava, and sweet potato. The common form of Indonesian food consists mostly of staple food with meat, fish or vegetable dishes on the side of the plate.
Generally business hours are Monday through Friday 9a.m to 5p.m. though some offices are open until noon on Saturday. Banking hours are Monday through Friday 9a.m. to 3p.m. Shops and restaurants in large tourist destinations are open seven days a week
Measurements, electricity and temperature
Indonesia uses the metric system. Most hotels use 220volts, 50 cycles and round, two-pronged plug. There are two climates, wet and dry, varying by region but typically the heaviest rainfalls are in December and January. Temperatures average 21-33 degrees Celsius (70-90 degrees Fahrenheit).
In cities, travelers cheques and major credit cards are widely accepted though a 3 percent surcharge may be charged for credit cards. ATM machines are widely available. However, in outlying areas, be prepared with cash in small denominations in Indonesian rupiahs.
The rupiah (Rp) is the official currency of Indonesia. Issued and controlled by the Bank of Indonesia, the ISO 4217 currency code for the Indonesian rupiah is IDR. The name “Rupiah” is derived from the Sanskrit word for silver.
Introduced in 1946 by Indonesian nationalists fighting for independence, the currency replaced a version of the Netherlands Indies gulden which had been introduced during the Japanese occupation in World War II. In its early years the rupiah was used in conjunction with other currencies, including a new version of the gulden introduced by the Dutch.
What to pack
There are many basic necessities you can buy in Indonesia, pack only the essentials; insect repellent, sunscreen and prescription medicines and plan on buying t-shirts, sarongs and tropical clothes upon arrival. If you plan to visit some destinations beyond Bali such as Sumatra and Java, modest attire is required, with women keeping their knees, midriffs and armpits covered. Comfortable footwear or walking shoes is essential. In mountain regions such as Kintamani and Bromo with cooler air, a light jacket may be needed. A light hat to protect you from the sun is also a good thing to bring.
Many hotels and public areas offer free WiFi for their customers. Check with your hotel. The public areas where there are free WiFi normally have sign.
If you bring an unlocked cellular phone, unless you are planning to move to Bali, getting a prepaid local SIM card will be your good option. SIM cards on Bali are very affordable. No need anymore to pay a crazy amount of money for roaming. For approximately US$ 10 you can be online for 30 days with a package of 4GB – to 8 GB of data depending on the service providers. Local SIM cards can be used as long as you have an unlocked phone.
How about stepping on offering?
Offering or banten in Balinese in the form of flowers and other offerings in the ordinary janur container is placed at the entrance and the areas that are often passed by people. Often there are questions about how to accidentally walk on them. It really does not matter if you accidentally step on it. When this happens simply say “Sorry “. When you visit temples or places that are considered sacred by local people. Respect and follow local customs. Wear polite clothing. If you wear shorts, wear a holster or cloth. Some places also require that you wear a sarong. Do not walk in front of people who are praying, do not take photos with flash during a ceremony. For women, do not enter a temple during your period.
Telephone & Important Contacts
Telephone numbers in Indonesia have different systems for land lines and mobile phones: land lines use area codes, while mobile phones do not. For land line area codes, the digit “0” is added in front when dialing domestic long distance from within Indonesia, but is always omitted when calling from abroad. Instead, callers would use the Indonesian country code +62, followed by the area code, without the “0”. To make a phone call to Indonesia from abroad via landlines, callers dial +62, followed by the area code and subscriber’s number, omitting the ‘0’. For calls to mobile wireless phone (GSM) from abroad, callers dial +62, followed by the subscriber’s number, omitting the ‘0’.
- Police/General Emergencies: 110 or 112(From Satellite and Mobile Phones)
- Ambulance and Medical Emergencies: 118 or 119
- Firefighter: 113
- Search and Rescue (BASARNAS): 115
- Natural Disaster Assistance: 129
- Useful Numbers:
- International Phone Number Information: 102
- Local Phone Number Information: 108
- Domestic Call Operator: 100 and 106
- International Call Operators: 101 and 107
- Bureau of Public Communication of the Ministry of Tourism: +62 21 3838899