Good to know
On the large island of approximately 5620 square kilometers live 3 million Balinese, 300,000 people alone in its bustling capital, Denpasar. Bali has a relatively manageable size.
The east-west extension is 140 km, the north-south extension is about 80 km. The main part of the population lives in small, still traditional villages along the picturesque rice fields all over the island.
About the ‘Island of the Gods’ runs in an east-west direction an ancient volcanic chain whose highest point 3142 m, is the impressive Mount Gunung Agung .
Gunung Agung means “navel of the world”.
Bali, located in the East and separated only by a two kilometers wide waterway from Java, is characterized mainly by the Hindu culture in contrast to the neighboring island of Java, the dominant Muslim culture.
Bali Map at almost any other city in the world there is so much to see or to experience, nowhere else are blended daily life, religion, art and landscape to such a fascinating entity.
The environmental movements in developed countries on one hand and the objective afflictions of unrestrained growth on the other hand have led to a more differentiated approach to tourism: Gentle, ecological, socially responsible, future-proof travel is the answer to the development of mass tourism, which in its severe form has emerged only in the past century. The new movement means to travel with a keen eye and with consideration for a foreign country as its guest.
The prudent long-distance travelers can make a constructive contribution to a considerate nature tourism minimizing a burden to the environment. Most operators now have an open ear for appropriate questions and suggestions. The individual traveler finally comes alone through the process of reflection on certain behaviors and manners that his temporary stay will not only be negative.
Entry and exit rules
German tourists will need a passport that is still valid for six months. As of 2004 the rules for arrival in Indonesia have changed. With few exceptions, all tourists need a visa, mostly granted upon arrival. German, Austrian and Swiss citizen can do this as well upon arrival at the airport in Indonesia, some other nationals must still apply for a visa before departure.
Can be paid in USD cash (bank notes after 2002) or by credit card. The passport must be valid on departure from Indonesia for at least 6 months. All statements made here are for your information – but with no guarantee of timeliness.
Please check before departure at the consulate for the latest regulations.
When leaving on an international flight, an airport tax of 150,000 rupiah (about 12 €) per person is payable. This fee can be only paid in local currency on departure at the airport!
220 volts. At the Pondok Sari Resort all plugs are standard and there is no adapter required!
Food and Drinks
The western, international cuisine featured in the tourist areas of Bali is better represented than the indigenous. Not just in the big hotels, but also many restaurants offer endlessly rich and varied dishes. You don’t have to miss Bratwurst with Sauerkraut or Black Forest cake – but do you really have to travel to Bali to get into this pleasure? Even fast-food chains offer their specials – although during holiday a quick meal would not be necessary. At the local food stalls (warung) or from hawkers on the beach you find special offers as fried banana (pisang goreng) or meat ball soup (Bakso). But fresh fruit juice (jus) convey the diversity of fruits, and a young coconut, directly hit from the palm tree, will be a refreshment, which you can not get it in Europe. So if you don’t have to follow specific dietary needs, you will readily come to your expense in Bali.
The tropical fauna is diverse: monkeys, water buffalos, cattle, hundreds of different arts of birds and insects, snakes, lizards, pigs, and numerous dogs meet one everywhere.
Nature and the environmental topics find recently public attention, although the Balinese farmer understands economies in its uninfluenced life and works of course in an economically and environmentally appropriate manner – merely change the conditions through tourism.
Although officially the common calendar is valid, the Balinese have their own timing and their own traditional calendar, which is essential for the organization of everyday life. The Balinese calendar year records at the Wuku calendar 210 days with 30 weeks of each 7 days. The Saka calendar-counting method is based on other calculations and is down by about 80 years behind the Western Gregorian calendar, so that 2003 is considered to be 1925. In addition to these specific Balinese chronologies there are also the Muslim-Arab, the old-Javanese and Chinese calendars still valed. Thus, these differences seem to be a seen as a confusing timing, for the traveler does not affect them directly – unless he relativists its Eurocentric worldview.
However, the knowledge of the Balinese calendar holidays is helpful to be able to attend appropriate festivities. Not least because of the different calendar – and the different world view and conception of faith that stands behind it – there is in Bali a remarkable variety of holidays. Regardless of the publicly recognized dates cremations, temple festivals, teeth filing, sacrifice and prayer ceremonies are locally different occasions for celebration. Almost every day there will be a memorial somewhere, rather than a holiday. The tourists, polite should reside with the appropriate courtesy and restraint on the sidelines. Meanwhile, in particular, although literally burning ceremonies are marketed to offer tour operators ‘Cremation Tours’ to, but you should be borne in mind that there are rules which need consideration.
It is clear that in principle in Bali even strangers are welcome as observers or participants of festivals – and that, unlike to us, or who has ever seen a foreigner invited to come along to his family celebration?
Bali is located south of the equator in the tropics and there is a subtropical climate. The bulk of the agricultural land is used for rice cultivation. The soil is volcanic and therefore particularly fruitful. To the west lies a national park with rainforests, in the southwestern parts stretches of palm forests, some of them pass into swampy mangrove forests. In the east, mountains extend to the coast and in the north, there are several lakes and a flatter landscape than in the middle of the island. This region is dominated by the large volcano, whose slopes don’t show any vegetation. The Banyan or Waringin tree with its aerial roots is of a distinctive feature of each village. The flora is dominated by crops, which include the food supply: fruit, vegetables, coffee, cocoa, tobacco, and always and everywhere bamboo and palms. Flowers, like the hibiscus Kamboja flower (frangipani), or the bougainvillea are blossoming all the time – they are of an indispensable part of many ceremonies and decorations for ritual purposes. In North Bali are growing grapes that are used to produce wine.
The Indonesian currency is the Rupiah (as of August 2017 : 1 Euro = 15.760 Rupiah), coins from the smaller values to 500, – Rp, and otherwise notes (1000, – to 100.000, – Rp)are in circulation. Traveler’s checks in U.S. dollars and Euro and credit cards are widely accepted, but you should always have sufficient cash with you.
Traveler’s checks and cash can be exchanged on the spot, usually worthwhile to compare the exchange rates of different banks and money-changers.
NOTE: For credit card payment a surcharge of a few percent is partly required.
Officially, no vaccinations are required at time. A malaria prophylaxis is recommended – the ‘standby’ is the preferred method ( taking medication only when needed).
We recommend to refresh (if necessary) tetanus and polio protection.
When entering from Europe , no vaccinations are required. Bali is free from malaria, but malaria is widespread in Irian Jaya, on the lesser Sunda islands and especially in the rainforests of Kalimantan . You will get information on the current status from your GP, the German Society for Tropical Medicine or the Center for Travel Medicine.
Tetanus, polio, hepatitis A and B vaccinations are highly recommended. We recommend as well to purchasing any travel insurance.
Broad band antibiotic, antibiotic ear drops, cream or fluid against mosquito bites. In case a doctor has to be visited you have to pay cash.
Climate / Weather
Indonesia has a tropical climate with high humidity. Temperatures range between 26 ° C and 32 ° C. At night it is only slightly cooler. The seasons are determined by monsoon winds and are divided into a rainy- and dry season.
The Northwest of Bali has less rain as the south or the Central of Bali. The rain falls almost only in heavy showers, and then the sun is shining again. Depending on the part of the country, the climate can be very different.
Light summer/beach clothes; in the evening casual or shirt/trousers combination, depending of the hotel category. For sight seeing trips a light outdoor jacket and sport shoes are recommended; for the ladies shoulders and knees have to be covered for entering the temples, sarongs can be hired. During the rainy season which is mostly in form of rain showers most of the hotels will provide umbrellas to their guests.
The metric system is officially launched is being widely used, apart from some traditional figures.
Shorts and miniskirts are not allowed in and around temples. In temples, on fairgrounds and in private, it is also customary to take off his shoes. Although there is no direct coercion, we advise you to follow these customs as possible, to show respect for religious customs. Avoid to touch the head (from children etc), if possible. Never use your index finger to show to something or someone, as this is perceived as rude. For the same reason you should not stand higher as your conversation partner. When in doubt, squat or sit down. Shaking hands is not common, except for long farewells or congratulations. Intimate touching or hugging in public are frowned on. The nude or “topless” bath is prohibited.
When Balinese take a bath in the rivers along the road, you should discreetly overlook this as a passer and resist the allure of pulling the trigger. During give and take only the right hand is used because the left is responsible for personal care.
And a useful reminder: The Balinese love to bargain. Especially in markets it is still custom, prices have to be bargained. The best way is to explore the price of the item before and to determine for itself a value, and then you will not be disappointed.
In Indonesia , Bahasa Indonesia is spoken, a Malay language, and Indonesian in Bali is an official language. English is so widespread in the tourist centers, that you can easily communicate. The mother tongue of the inhabitants, however, Balinese, comes from Sanskrit, with its own script. As a traveler, you will most likely encounter it in the context of ritual celebrations.
A little tip:
Bahasa Indonesia is the easiest language on earth, with a small language guide (eg Indonesian for globetrotters of Gunda Urban) you can learn some words in a very short time.
Phone / Internet
Apart from the call options from major hotels, there is a reliable infrastructure of public telephone and fax facilities: WARTEL. For the mobile service consider to purchase a local SIM card.
Internet connection possible in a few hotels and restaurant around Bali. The quality and speed is mostly not on a high level.
The accommodation industry can satisfy all needs:
From luxury hotels to simple huts, you find everything on Bali . Those who booked a package will in any case not have to worry about their accommodation. And individual travelers will always still find a roof over their heads.
However, tourists usually prefer hotels near the beach. In Kuta, the smaller houses and boarding houses dominate, in Sanur hotels are mainly run by major international hotel chains, including Nusa Dua area, where the number of stars compete with each other. Ubud and surrounding area offer a wide range of accommodation, the same is true for developed regions along the coast in the north and east of the island.
Recommended are trip cancellation-, baggage- and travel insurance. For divers we recommend a membership with DAN or the German Air Ambulance.
Indonesia is divided into three time zones. Depending on summer or winter season, the difference to west-indonesischen-time are +5 or +6 hours, and between Java and Bali, a time limit runs from +1 hours (mittel-indonesische time), including an extra hour difference from Germany (+6 or + 7 hours). Thus, for Bali , plus 6 hours (in summer time) or 7 hours (in winter time)!