|GOING TO BALI? THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW|
Bali is a small island in Indonesia, just to the right of Java - Indonesia's main island. The island is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the country and even though the island itself is small (about 3 hours across by car both ways) all the tourism is concentrated in the southern tip of the island.
Bali has 2 main seasons: rainy (Oct.-Apr.) and dry (May- Sept.). Both seasons are comfortable, although the humidity is higher in the rainy season. The rain comes down hard and fast in that time, so traveling then is not really a problem, and you're sure to find less crowded beaches (although perhaps dirtier) and lush rice fields.
Absolutely make sure that your passport has at least 6 months validity! And 2 empty pages. Unless you want your vacation to end up like this...Your can pick up your visa on arrival, it's about US$10 for 7 days, US$25 for 30 days. There's also a departure tax, so make sure you keep 150'000rp. for that.
Speaking of money, the Indonesian currency is the rupiah. ATMs and money changers are easily found - but make sure you choose a money changer with the PVA Berzin sign, ATMs charge a fee and if you want to avoid the hassle, most shops accept major credit cards as well as US and Australian dollar, Japanese Yen and Euro bills.
Make sure you keep your money and other valuables safe. Always put them in your hotel room safe, and don't leave anything lying unattended on the beach. If locals ask where you are staying - no matter how friendly - don't answer, they are often trying to gauge how much money you have based on which hotel you are staying at.
Unless you plan to go far outside the touristy Southern area of Bali, there are no major health concerns. Just beware of mosquitoes (so bring or buy some insect repellant as soon as you get there), and tap water. Always drink bottled water - ice is regulated by the government and is safe. Wash your hands often and bring hand sanitizer. Sunscreen is also a must!
And on the topic of safety, be careful when crossing roads! Basic rule of thumb is that cars have the right of way. Traffic is crazy around Kuta, so plan on doing a lot of walking. Some people like to rent scooters, but remember that the roads are always jam packed, you have to wear a helmet and the police can stop you for no reason and require bribing to resolve the situation. Taxis can be a little unreliable, BlueBird is considered the best taxi company in Bali, but consider getting a hired driver - they are reliable and charge reasonable prices.
But, most importantly: Have a great time!
Get the full fact sheet below!
And take a look at the Bali Packing Guide and Beach Cheat Sheet!