Bali is served by seventeen scheduled international air
carriers, with Singapore Airlines and Garuda Indonesia
providing the highest frequency of service. In addition,
there are three Indonesian carriers which offer international
connections via domestic hubs, and a total of eleven domestic
carriers which provide connections to the rest of Indonesia.
Most major air carriers are only a short connecting flight
away from Bali via major air hubs in Singapore, Jakarta,
Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, Hong Kong, and Taipei. Virtually
every major international air carrier either flies to
Bali direct or via one of these air hubs. Australian cities
served by direct flights are Adelaide, Brisbane, Darwin,
Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.
Ngurah Rai International Airport, referred to as ‘Denpasar’
or ‘DPS’ on air tickets, serves all international
and domestic flights. It is centrally located in relation
to the island’s main tourist areas: 30 minutes to
Sanur; 15 minutes to Nusa Dua; 60 minutes to Ubud; 40-50
minutes to Tabanan/Tanah Lot; and 15-30 minutes to Kuta.
A licensed taxi co-operative offers service to all island
destinations at fixed published tariffs. Passengers arriving
on inclusive tour and group programmes are typically met
by DMC (Destination Management Company) representatives
who coordinate transfers.
Airport Service Charge
Rp100,000 (the rupiah is the Indonesian currency) per
passenger departing on international flights, Rp30,000
per passenger on domestic flights.
Automated Teller Machines (ATM) abound in South Bali,
with many offering international withdrawals on major
credit cards and bank cards linked to major banking networks.
With advanced notice, most hotels can arrange babysitting
Leather goods; batik cloth; gold-threaded songket;
tie-dyed ikat textiles and garments; ready-made
garments; innovative fashions; gold and silver filigree
and modern jewellery; woodcarvings; handicrafts; and spices.
For more information, see the guide in the Shoppers’
Offices are generally open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Most government
offices, however, are open 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday-Friday,
closing earlier on Friday. Visitors should target the
8 a.m.-12 p.m. period for their visits.
Unless your MICE event includes a formal business session
or black-tie evening, there’s little reason to pack
a jacket and tie or formal evening wear. Smart, casual
attire (no jacket required) is suitable for even the island’s
most fashionable restaurants and top hotels. The Balinese
typically show respect for each other by dressing neatly.
Sarongs, long pants or long skirts with a sash around
the waist are mandatory when visiting local temples.
Email & Internet
While connecting and transmitting can be slow, reliable
internet access is readily available in hotels. Internet
cafés and kiosks, charging reasonable rates, are
available in all areas of the island.
Telephone and Facsimile
The international dialling code for Indonesia is 62 and
the area code for most of southern Bali is 361, with 362,
363, 365 and 366 used elsewhere. Except in some of the
more remote corners of the island, international roaming
facilities can connect cell phone users. Phone cards are
widely available at wartel (public telephone kiosks)
where one can also make local, long distance and international
calls, as well as send and receive faxes.
The following countries offer consular services in Bali:
Australia, Austria, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark,
Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Mexico,
the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland,
the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels and many
businesses. Note that while prices are often advertised
in U.S. dollars or Indonesian rupiah, all credit card
sales are transacted in rupiah. As a result, all final
charges shown on your monthly statement will reflect inter-bank
exchange rates and possibly even a 1-4% surcharge.
Weapons, pornography and narcotics are illegal imports.
Rupiah currency in excess of five million cannot be imported
or exported without written permission from Bank Indonesia.
Visitors may bring in 100 grams of tobacco, 200 cigarettes
or 50 cigars, and one litre of liquor or wine, duty free.
Your DMC can facilitate the temporary importation of exhibition
Most special dietary requirements can be catered for by
giving advance notice to your hotel or DMC.
Self-drive car and motorcycle rentals are available for
those holding an international driving permit, but Bali’s
sometimes congested and unpredictable roads are not the
place to learn how to ride a motorcycle. Bali’s
road rules can prove frustrating for the uninitiated.
Consider hiring vehicles with driver, as the rates are
very reasonable. All major points of interest are within
only a few hours drive.
220 volts at a 50-cycle alternating current. Most electrical
outlets utilise a two-pin plug.
The Indonesian currency is the rupiah. For best rates
and service, only exchange foreign currency at licensed
moneychangers or banks. New, un-creased, unstained, un-stapled
US$100 bills fetch the highest rate of exchange. Always
insist on a receipt and personally count your money before
leaving the counter.
Bali is part of the Republic of Indonesia, the world’s
largest archipelago encompassing over 17,500 islands.
The island is one of Indonesia’s thirty semi-autonomous
provinces with its own provincial government and legislature.
The province is further divided into nine regencies.
Facilities for handicapped travellers, although limited,
are becoming more readily available. Check with your DMC
or hotel for the availability of appropriate transport
No vaccinations are currently required for visitors to
Bali, but cholera, typhoid, tetanus and hepatitis shots
are recommended for travellers to Bali, as to most of
Asia. Note that malaria and dengue fever infections can
occur in densely populated areas such as South Bali. However,
cases are extremely rare among tourists staying at hotels
and resorts where pest control measures are in place.
Local Publications & DMC Websites
Free for the taking at the airport, hotels, restaurants
and entertainment venues are a number of excellent publications
such as Bali & Beyond, Bali Plus, Hello Bali, and
the beat. Bali’s leading DMCs maintain lists
of hotels, tours and attractions together with regular
updates on island news on their websites:
Insurance coverage against illness and accident is highly
recommended. Such reputable providers as AIG offer medical
evacuation and repatriation, travel accident and outpatient
Indonesian and Balinese are the common languages of
Bali. English is widely used in tourist areas. Qualified
foreign-language-speaking personnel including guides
and simultaneous interpreters are available.
Many hotels maintain clinics and offer the services
of in-house doctors. Several well-equipped and professionally
staffed international medical and emergency assistance
outpatient facilities, such as BIMC,
operate on a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week basis. Bali also
has a number of privately run hospitals in addition
to Denpasar’s main general public hospital (RSUP)
at Sanglah in Denpasar with its modern trauma and blood
Meeting & Conference Permits
Hotels and DMCs can readily arrange any required permits.
The English-language dailies, Jakarta Post and
International Herald Tribune, are both printed
in Jakarta and delivered by air to Bali. International
magazines and newspapers are also available at many
hotels, bookstores and newsstands. Hotel and villa guests
now have the option of real-time satellite printing
of more than 200 newspapers from around the world.
Most pharmaceuticals are stocked in Bali’s many
pharmacies. It is recommended that you bring with you
copies of optical and medical prescriptions. Also consider
bringing details of any significant medical history
should a sudden need for local medical treatment arise.
Places of Worship
Many religious denominations are represented in Bali.
Schedules of services and locations are maintained at
your hotel reception. The Puja Mandala complex near
Nusa Dua houses Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Roman Catholic,
and Protestant places of worship in a single shared
Bali’s population of over three and a half million
is concentrated in the island’s southern regencies.
The Indonesian postal service has a complete range of
mail and parcel services, including Express Mail Service
(EMS). Major national and international courier services,
such as by DHL,
operate in Bali.
Pre- and Post- Programmes
Lombok – only 30 minutes by air
or a two-hour ferry ride from Bali, this sister island,
with its different flora, fauna and culture, is well
worth a visit.
Yogyakarta - a 45-minute flight from
Bali, the cultural hub of Java’s royal court society
with easy access to the fabled Borobudur Buddhist temple
MT. Bromo - the haunting volcanic moonscapes
of eastern Java are accessible via Surabaya, a 30-minute
flight from Bali.
Komodo National Park - this world heritage
site, and home to the world’s largest lizard,
is accessible by charter flight or several days’
voyage via a number of affordable, small passenger yachts
based in Bali.
Hinduism is the predominant religion of Bali with minorities
of Moslems, Christians and Buddhists. In Bali, as in
all of Indonesia, the practice of religion is free and
Regular car and passenger ferry services operate between
Ketapang (East Java) and Gilimanuk (West Bali), as well
as to adjacent Lombok Island from Padangbai on Bali’s
east coast. Cruise ships call at Padangbai or Benoa,
depending on their size.
Size and Topography
The Island of Bali covers an area of 5,623 square kilometres.
At its widest point, the island measures 90 by 150 kilometres.
The highest point on the island is Mount Agung at 3,142
Public smoking is widely accepted and many Indonesians
enjoy smoking. There is, however, a growing sensitivity
to the dangers of passive smoke and it’s polite
to always check before you light up in public. Major
brands of imported tobacco products are available. Many
hotels also offer non-smoking rooms. Those who enjoy
smoking should not leave Bali without sampling the aromatic
clove cigarettes (kretek) loved by Indonesian
smokers or the fine cigars produced in Lombok and Central
Tax and Service Charges
An 11% development tax plus a 10% service charge is
added to most hotel and restaurant bills.
Taxis & Transportation
Public transportation is widely available, including
several reputable metered taxi companies. Insist that
taxis use their meters, or be sure to agree on the fare
before you get in. Public transport, in the form of
small local vans (bemo) and intercity buses,
operates at very reasonable rates.
Indonesia has numerous national television networks,
many broadcasting some entertainment and news programmes
in English. Most hotels offer satellite-delivered, international
TV broadcasts in a number of languages.
Bali time is +8 hours from Greenwich Mean Time / UTC.
Most hotel and restaurant bills include a 10% service
charge. An additional gratuity for excellent service
and a 10-15% tip to drivers and guides is always appreciated.
Airport porters are entitled to Rp3,000 for each bag
Indonesia’s visa policy changed significantly
in 2004 and again in 2005. Refer to the adjoining sidebar
for the policy as of the end of 2005. Changes are posted
as they occur.
A VISA OR FREE-STAY PERMIT IS REQUIRED OF EVERY VISITOR
ENTRY CONDITIONS - Every visitor must be in possession
of a passport which is valid for at least 6 months at
the time of arrival; be able to demonstrate sufficient
means to live during his or her stay in Indonesia; not
be prohibited from entry; and have proof of onward passage
in the form of return or onward tickets.
VISA ON ARRIVAL FACILITY (VOA)
Visitors holding valid passports from the 52
countries listed below can obtain either a 7-day or
a 30-day non-extendable visa at any Indonesian international
gateway. The fee for this visa, payable upon landing,
is US$10 for a 7-day visa and US$25 for a 30-day visa.
|| South Africa
||United Arab Emirates
||United States of America
Visas issued on arrival are non-extendable and non-convertible
to another class of visa. Overstays are charged at US$20
per day for the first 60 days. Persons overstaying more
than 60 days are liable to 5 years’ imprisonment
or face a fine of 25 million rupiah (approximately US$2500).
FREE 30-DAY STAY PERMITS
Visitors holding valid passports from the 11 countries
and territories listed below are eligible for a 30-day
non-extendable visa-free short visit permit, granted free
of charge upon arrival at an Indonesian international
||Hong Kong SAR
Persons not eligible for a free 30-day stay permit or
a VOA can apply for a tourist visa at the closest Indonesian
embassy abroad. Tourist visas are normally valid for a
A sponsoring party in Indonesia must make an application
to the Indonesian department of immigration for the issuance
of this visa by an Indonesian embassy abroad to applicants
visiting Indonesia for normal business activities (including
attending a conference/seminar) which do not involve taking
up employment or receiving any form of payment whilst
in Indonesia. This visa, valid for a stay of 60 days,
can be for a single or for multiple visits.
DMCs can arrange group desks and express immigration handling
for meetings and conferences.
CHANGES IN POLICY AND REGULATIONS
These can occur at any time with little notice. Consult
a DMC or an Indonesian embassy or consulate prior to departure.
Water is generally not potable. Most hotels provide bottled
water in each room, often at no additional charge. Bottled
water is available cheaply everywhere in Bali.
Bali enjoys a warm tropical climate averaging 25-34 degrees
Celsius (77-91 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the season
and altitude. Due to its proximity to the equator, Bali
escapes the typhoons found 15 degrees north or south of
the equator. The rainy season from approximately November-April,
which often brings brief late afternoon showers, is not
likely to disrupt scheduled events.
Weights and Measures
Indonesia and Bali operate on the metric system.