We finally got to the part of our trip to Indonesia that I like best, Bali. So, we bring you our Bali travel guide. We tell you all the preparations you need to make to organize your trip to Bali, as well as several tips to make your stay incredible, like ours.
- Introduction to Bali
- Bali – The Island of the Gods
- Weather – Best time to go
- Flights to Bali
- Where To Stay in Bali
- Vaccines in Bali
- First aid kit for Bali
- International Driving License in Bali
- Tours in Bali
- Transfer from the airport in Bali
- Currency in Bali
- Internet – Wifi in Bali
- Gastronomy in Bali
- How to get around in Bali
Introduction to Bali
Bali is an island and province of Indonesia. It is only 140 km long from east to west and 90 km long from north to south. It has an area of 5,636 km2 and is wedged between Java and Lombok. In addition, it has adjacent the small islands of Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembogan and Nusa Ceningan, separated by the Strait of Badung.
It is the real jewel of Indonesia and a popular tourist destination for decades. It is well known for its delicate arts, such as dance, sculpture, painting, gold and silver work, leatherwork and a particular style of music. Also, for being the only island of Indonesia whose religion is Hinduism, being the rest of the country mostly Muslim.
The island has a lot to offer us…
Incredible temples, emerald green landscapes and rice fields, fascinating culture, friendly and smiling people, beaches, surfing, mountains, volcanoes, atmosphere, trendy places and restaurants, tranquility, peace, yoga…
It’s a really amazing island!
Bali – The Island of the Gods
One of the first things you notice in Bali when you arrive and transfer from the airport to your hotel, apart from the fact that they drive on the left and like crazy, is how religious and spiritual its inhabitants are. In every corner you breathe an incredible mystical atmosphere.
I can still remember that smell of incense that used to flood every place on the island. Even in the most unsuspected place we can find one of their small baskets of bamboo leaves intertwined with rice, flowers, fruit and incense. These are the offerings that the Balinese make every day.
It is very common to see offerings and religious acts anywhere on the island with that characteristic musical sound and that smell of incense that I love.
Bali is known as the Island of the Gods, as they are everywhere.
The Balinese make offerings to the good gods to ask them, to the bad gods to appease them, to their ancestors to protect them and to convey their respect… They spend much of their time praying through their offerings, prayers, purifying rites, ceremonies, processions, festivals, rituals and cremations. It really is amazing to experience the fascinating Hindu religion in Bali.
Weather – Best time to go
Bali, and Indonesia in general, has a tropical climate with two seasons. The dry season starts in April and lasts until October, which is the best time to travel. The monsoon season is between November and March, still good for travel. It is quieter than the high season and the rain is usually limited to a couple of hours at the end of the day.
In most of the country there is little difference between winter and summer, and we have average temperatures of 25°C to 30°C all year round. Even though it was the dry season, it rained on us in Bali for several days, one of which rained a little, but the other did not stop raining. In fact, we had several visits scheduled that we couldn’t make because of the rain.
So the weather is always a relative thing. My advice is that if you can’t go at the recommended time because of any circumstance, go when you can because you never know. Remember… After the storm the sun always comes out!
Flights to Bali
The flight is always one of the big expenses of the trip. Save on your trip with the best deals on the Skyscanner Flight Finder.
Where To Stay in Bali
Bali is an earthly paradise full of undiscovered beaches, waterfalls, natural corners to explore, rice paddies, jungle, temples lost in the middle of nature, and offers a huge amount of gastronomic and cultural experiences to experience.
It is a very complete destination that offers you much more than just sun and beach. The landscapes of the interior are a past, and its cultural heritage is very rich and with many things to visit. Every place in Bali offers something unique.
To help you choose the right place for your vacation, here you will find suggestions on the best places to stay in Bali and also what you should avoid if they don’t fit your profile.
Find the perfect hotel with the best accommodation offers in Booking.
The most popular areas in Bali are located in the southern part of the island. It is the part with more tourist development and where they are good part of the best beaches. For me the ideal thing is to choose some place of this part as Seminyak, Lembongan, Sanur, or Nusa Dua to enjoy his beaches, and to combine it with some night(s) in Ubud to know the interior.
For the more adventurous, those fleeing from tourist areas and those looking for diving areas, there are highly recommended sites on the north coast such as Tulamben, Amed. Lovina, and Singaraja.
Vaccines in Bali
Another point to keep in mind in our travel guide to Bali, is the issue of vaccines. In the case of Indonesia we were told that the following vaccinations were advisable:
Hepatitis A and B
We also took the Typhoid tablets and took the Malarone treatment for the Borneo area, although it was also recommended for Lombok and Gili. In Bali we were told that there was no high risk.
First aid kit for Bali
Like vaccinations, the first aid kit is a very important topic in our travel guide to Bali.
What to bring in the first aid kit?
Extra-strong mosquito repellent
Ibuprofen and Paracetamol
Oral serum for gastroenteritis and dehydration
Omeprazole as a stomach protector
Fortasec in case of diarrhea
Gauze, plaster, bandages and betadine
International Driving License in Bali
If you are planning to rent a motorcycle, it is better to take your international driving license with you. Especially in Bali, we had read that the police often stop tourists and ask for their license. Even if you wear a helmet and your international driving licence you get a fine for the sake of it. The best thing is to pay and avoid a trip to the police station.
The police in Bali work like this, they are pirates. We were lucky and they didn’t stop us. We had the international license still in force because it had not been a year since our trip to Route 66, so we didn’t have to go through it again.
Tours in Bali
In Bali we went for a couple of days with a driver-guide to tour the temples and the rest of the days we rented a motorbike for 70,000 rupiahs a day (it does not reach 5 Euros).
You can hire your private driver in Bali and organize with him the visits of each day.
Transfer from the airport in Bali
You can hire a taxi at the airport.
Currency in Bali
The currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah. There are many exchange offices so you will not have problems, just look at a few to compare. Try to avoid changing at the airport because that’s usually where the worst change happens.
The only bad thing is that the lowest bills are 10,000 which is equivalent to 70 cents so we will carry a lot of bills in our wallets when the real value is very small. We had to distribute the bundles of bills among the backpacks and even the money from the luxury village we had to put in a bag because it was several million in 50 thousand bills.
To give you an idea, 1 million rupees is 70 Euros and if you had them in 100,000, 50,000, 20,000 rupees bills, that’s a lot of bills for such a small amount of money.
We were changing little by little and when we ran out of euros we would withdraw money from the ATMs.
But if you want to take some money with you from home, we recommend you to change your currency at Exact Change, because they offer you the best exchange without commissions and they send and collect the currency at your own home.
One of the biggest concerns when traveling is currency exchange. Exact Change offers you the best exchange rate with no commission and delivery and collection from your home.
Card payment in Bali
Most things we’ve paid for in cash. Card payment is not widely used in Bali and in Indonesia in general. We have not paid by card nor in the hotels, we could only pay by card in one.
Most restaurants, warungs and hotels only accepted cash payment, at least in 2016 that was us. Although in the international restaurants normally yes that you can pay. We had euros with us and we were changing money in the infinite exchange offices that there are and when we ran out of cash, we took out money in the ATMs that you will also find many.
If your bank charges you an exchange commission when you pay with a card or when you withdraw money from cash machines, it might be a good idea to take almost everything in cash.
In countries where the currency is different from ours, conventional banks charge us an exchange commission when paying and a commission when withdrawing from an ATM.
Internet – Wifi in Bali
We did not buy internet cards on this trip and we work with the wifi of the hotels. Overall, the wifi in all the hotels worked great and we had no problems. More western cafes and restaurants usually have wifi as well.
Gastronomy in Bali
Both Bali and Indonesia in general, is full of warungs (shop or local) where to eat local food. We have all types, from the most streetwise to the most sophisticated. The gastronomy in Indonesia has enchanted to us, usually we like the Asian food.
It is also true that it has little variety and in the end you may be tired of always eating the same thing. There is no problem because there are restaurants with western food and you can change.
Eating is very cheap especially if you eat local food. We have eaten for 5 and 6 euros both and without being a dirty warung of the street. My favourites are nasi and mie goreng (fried rice and noodles) and kebabs or satay. Special mention to the breakfasts. I’m missing the fruit, the natural fruit juices and the banana pancakes.
How to get around in Bali
Although it seems that the places to visit are close, the state of roads and traffic, make it take much longer than you thought.
Motorcycle in Bali
It’s an option that many people use. We rented motorcycles in Ubud and Uluwatu to move around the area. But we did not move around the island by motorcycle because the distances are long, from one place to another it takes a long time to get there and we did not feel like going by motorcycle.
Another option that is widely used is to hire a taxi driver on the island. The best thing is to negotiate the price and the route before you start. You can always hire the same one or look for different options every day.
This way we go by car and more comfortable than by motorcycle, although it is more expensive than the bike, I would pay for the comfort.
Other Asia Destinations:
Bangkok Travel Guide
Beijing Travel Guide
Chiang Mai Travel Guide
Ho Chi Minh City Travel Guide
Hong Kong Travel Guide
Koh Samui Travel Guide
Krabi Travel Guide
Kuala Lumpur Travel Guide
Kyoto Travel Guide
Pattaya Travel Guide
Phuket Travel Guide
Shanghai Travel Guide
Singapore Travel Guide
Tokyo Travel Guide