FAQ Bali

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Passport, visa information & required documents

Your passport should be valid until minimum 6 months from the entry date. It is recommended to bring a photocopy of your passport (the page with personal data).

A visa is required and be purchase upon arrival (VOA ) at Bali's Ngurah Rai International Airport. It is valid for maximum 30 days. The VOA costs $35 USD, and can be paid in IDR, EUR, AUD, or USD. We recommend that you bring the exact amount of cash to the airport. Another option is to apply and pay online before arrival. More information: How To Get Visa On Arrival in Indonesia? - Direktorat Jenderal Imigrasi  You can show your printed approved e-VOA to the officers at the airport upon arrival.

Other requirements: a copy of a return ticket, or ticket continuing the journey to another country. A printed version of your Covid-19 vaccinations.

Insurance

When booking a vacation, you assume that your time away will be carefree and generally that is the case. However, to cover damage to your luggage or health care expenses, you need to have a travel insurance.  Please make sure that your insurance is valid for this part of the world and check coverage.  There may be circumstances that cause cancellation of your vacation or a later departure or earlier return. You can take out additional insurance to cover the cost of cancellation in case of a personal emergency (e.g., cancellation costs of air ticket/ accommodations, etc.). We leave this choice to you, but can only recommend to take out this insurance. Traveler agreed by registration that the organizer cannot be held responsible for any damages or personal injuries during the tour.

Money matters

The currency in Indonesia is the Rupiah. The value of this currency fluctuates heavily so keep a close eye on the exchange rate. Foreign banknotes and traveler's checks can be exchanged at major banks or recognized money changers.
Due to the large amount of money exchange offices in the tourist places, it seems the most natural thing to get Indonesian rupiah from a local exchange office. Unfortunately, there are many stories where tourists in Bali were scammed while exchanging money. So play it safe and don't do it.
Instead do use an ATM, which is pretty easy anywhere in Bali. Prior to your trip, set your debit card to 'world' and keep a credit card in hand in case your debit card is not accepted.
In the Netherlands we first get our debit card back and only then the money. In Bali it is the reverse. Therefore there is a risk that you walk away before the device returns your debit card. In addition: always protect your PIN very carefully. We have heard a lot that people have been skimmed in Bali. Because the skimmers hang a small camera somewhere above the keyboard, they don't stand a chance if you properly shield your code. Finally, always make sure you have enough cash with you in case there is no (working) ATM available.
Only major hotels and car rental agencies will accept VISA and MASTERCARD credit cards. To withdraw cash with your credit card is expensive and therefore it is not recommended to cash small amounts.

Tips

In the small local eateries it is not customary to tip, but it is certainly appreciated. Tipping is even expected in the more expensive restaurants and hotels. The amount of the tip depends of course on your satisfaction. You should count on 5 to 10 percent of the bill. It is also customary to tip your guide or driver. There isn't really a rule, but give it as a token of appreciation.

Prohibited items

It is forbidden to import or export pornography, and antiquities, narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances, wild life products such as human skeleton, specified sea-shells, beef, tallow, fat/oil of animal origin, exotic birds except a few specified ones, wild animals, their parts and products, specified live birds and animals. All narcotics in Indonesia are illegal. Buying or selling them can lead to long prison sentences, fines and even the death penalty. Absolutely do not accept packages from people you do not know or have only known for a while.

Safety

Bali is incredibly safe to visit, pretty much always. Nevertheless we have some practical advice. Do not bring valuable items (such as jewelry) and bring a money belt if you plan to carry cash. Most hotels don't have a safety deposit box. To store things in a suitcase which can be locked has proved to function well in the past years. We recommend that you watch out for pickpockets in crowded areas or markets. Don’t hold your phone ready to be grabbed, and avoid wandering the streets at night.

Time zone

There is a difference in time of 6 hours with The Netherlands, depending on our summer or winter schedule.

Telephone & internet

The area code for Bali is +62. The dialing number for the Netherlands from Bali is 00131. This differs from 0031, which is common in most other countries. Mobile phone coverage is generally very good in Bali and many places hafe Wifi. The advice is to buy a prepaid SIM card locally (simPATI). You can buy these for a few euros. You can add calling credit to these cards. If you put 50,000 Rupiah on it, you can convert it into 2 weeks of mobile internet via 4G. This way you are assured of good internet in case there are no good wireless internet connections available. According to residents, simPATI offers the best 4G coverage. Many restaurants and cafeteria have free Wi-Fi.

Language

Besides Bahasa Indonesia or Balinese many people speak (pidgin) English.

Health care & vaccinations

To go to Bali you must be protected against: Hepatitis A, Typhoid, D.T.P., Malaria.  Recommendations might change due to circumstances. Get advice from a (family) doctor or local health organization. are not an obligation to enter Indonesia, but are strongly recommended. Medical care is of good quality.

Food & drinks

It is not recommended to drink water from the tap. The risk of stomach flu when drinking this water is quite present. If you have a particularly weak stomach, you may not even want to brush your teeth with the tap water. A ‘Bali Belly’ can ruin your holiday and is a serious food poisoning with symptoms such as abdominal cramps, diarrhea and vomiting. You can limit the risk by drinking  only clean water and to avoid raw foods such as salads and sushi. Also be careful with meat of which you do not know how long it has been there. Wash your hands regularly, use disinfectant hand gel and eat where it is busy. If you’re particularly sensitive, don’t eat at local warungs (street food), try to ask for drinks without ice cubes, stock up on charcoal pills. Generally look for crowded or established cafes. There is a good chance that the food is fresh.

Expenses for food/drinks

A lot of meals are included in the tour package as indicated in the tour program. According to our criteria, a lunch is relatively cheap and will vary between € 5 at a supermarket to € 15 for a more elaborate meal at a restaurant. There are several small restaurants and supermarkets in Sanur and Ubud. Drinks are not included in the tour package.  Alcohol is expensive in Bali, especially wine. Beer is more affordable.  Mark that the menu in restaurants doesn't show the price including the service fee. This will be added later to the bill and most of the times the percentage is listed in the menu. It is commonly around 5-10%. Tipping is no obligation, but is always appreciated if you are content with the service.

It is very handy to download the Gojek app not only to order transportation but also for delivery of food or shopping for daily necessities.

Electricity

Bali uses 220V/50 Hz. On some remote stretches this can be 100v. Electric outlets use European/Dutch style plugs with two round pins. North American participants should bring a converter. USA appliances designed for 110 volts require a voltage converter.

Weather

Though it is high summer the temperature is actually a little cooler in June. June is a dry season month, averaging 10 hours of sunshine per day. Bali has an average of 6 rainy days with in June. If it rains, it usually falls for a few hours in the later afternoon or evening. It is also one of the windier months, so there is mostly a refreshing breeze. The average temperature will vary between 24-31°C (75-88°F). The sea is warm and comfortable for just about everyone.

Clothing & dress code religious sites

In general it is warm in Bali in June and there hardly will be rain. In the evenings the temperature only drops a few degrees. Light summer clothes are advised. You might want to wear long sleeves against mosquito bites when going in nature, especially on hikes. Unlike many other predominantly Muslim Indonesian islands, Hindu Bali is more lenient when you dress lightly or lie on the beach in swimwear. But it is not appreciated if you are in swimwear in a beach bar or pool bar. It is also very impolite to walk without a t-shirt on public roads, for example.

There are special requirements in clothing if you visit religious sites. Both men and women are obliged to cover their legs with an ankle long sarong, skirt or a big shawl. Sarongs are for sale near any temple complex or can often be borrowed at the entrance of a temple. Tank tops can be covered with a scarf.

Practical items & medication

It is highly recommended to bring sun screen because you can easily get sunburned. Bring all the prescription drugs you believe you will need. Bring enough for the entire stay and leave them in their original marked containers. Bring some basic medication such as ibuprofen, Tylenol or aspirin and anti-diarrhea medication such as Imodium. Bring enough lens cleaning solution for your entire visit and maybe a spare set of eyeglasses. If you are prone to car sickness, please bring medication for it. It will not always be possible to claim seats in the front of the bus. At touristic locations pharmacies and supermarkets generally carry these items. Bring, apply and reapply mosquito repellent and close the windows whenever possible (especially when sleeping at night).

Since June 2019, disposable plastic is no longer welcome in Bali. It should prevent the huge mountains of plastic waste that - mainly in the rainy season - wash up from the sea onto the beach. You need to bring your own shopping bag.

Transportation

The flight to Bali is a very long journey and you will be picked up from the airport. During our tour, we will travel in an air-conditioned bus. Some distances can take longer to travel than expected. There aren't many highways and it takes time to travel the busy small roads. Driving standards can best be described as creative and unpredictable. Scooters come in large numbers and are unpredictable in their driving behavior. Foreigners cannot rent a motorbike.

Public transportation is limited, therefore the easiest choice for tourists is to use taxis. They are very inexpensive. By far the largest transport company in Bali is Blue Bird Group. They take you safely from a to b and have a taxi meter. Due to the success and transparency of this company, there are many look-a-like cars. Before you know it you are in a copied version. A good option is to rent a taxi by using the Grab or Gojek app.  These apps provide online transportation services and can be compared with Uber. You can see in advance how much you need to pay for the ride and can pay in cash.

Cultural info

There are some cultural differences that are useful to know to avoid offending someone unknowingly. For example, feet and the left hand are unclean. Pointing at something or someone with your feet is therefore out of the question, as is indicating something with your left hand. Keep that in mind when you sit on the floor in someone's house, when you point to something on a rug at the market, or when you hand over money or other things, for example.

Street dogs can be found all over Bali, and as heartbreaking as it is to watch the adorable doggies scavenge for food, they can also be territorial, aggressive, and carriers of rabies.

Religion

The enormous amount of temples and daily offerings prove how important worshipping their gods is for the Balinese. We will visit temple complexes during your holiday in Bali. First of all, you should dress appropriately. Cover your legs, shoulders and upper arms and your stomach. For example with a sarong or other kind of shawl. Sarongs can often be borrowed at the entrance of a temple. When you enter a temple, you take off your shoes. It can be polite to make a small donation. About 5,000 to 25,000 Indonesian rupiah is often enough.

Hiking

Our walks are aimed at people with a normal physical condition and can walk without restrictions. The sidewalk can often be very uneven with level differences. An walk through rice paddies on narrow sometimes oneven dikes also requires comfortable footwear.

Useful words

Good morning (6am to 10am): Selamat pagi

Good day (10am to 3am): Selamat siang

Good afternoon (3am to 6am): Selamat sore

Good evening (6am to 6am): Selamat malam

Thanks: Terima kasih

Likewise: Sama sama (response to thank you)

Not too spicy (food): Tidak pedas