Useful information : When to go, Getting around...
When to go
A trip to Bali is possible all year round, but the best time to visit is during the dry season from April to September. True the climate is still humid, but you will be spared the torrential downpour of the rainy season which runs from October to March.
Temperatures, which typically range between 24-31°C/75-88°F, are more affected by changes in altitude than changes in season. The coolest months are July and August, which is also the peak season for European holiday makers, thereby triggering a rise in prices. Australians go to Bali at Christmas and in January and the Indonesians from mid-July to the end of Ramadan, celebrated during Idul Fitri.
You will soon realise that not a day goes past without a celebration or festival on Bali. The following are only the most important: Bali Arts Festival in June-July, Bali Kite Festival in July-August at Sanur and on August 17, throughout the island, Independence Day parades and celebrations. Truly stunning!
Formalities and useful addresses
No visa required for visits up to 30 days.
Passport must be valid for 6 months beyond date of arrival.
British Embassy : www.gov.uk/government/world/organisations/british-embassy-jakarta
U.S. Embassy : https://id.usembassy.gov
Money and budget
Rupiahs can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices (best rates), airports, tourist sites and most hotels. Don't accept damaged bills and pick small bills.
The major tourist establishments accept Visa and MasterCard (and very rarely, American Express), with a 3% fee.
Car rental for 1 week (category B): Rps 2 000 000 (£115).
Bike rental for the day: Rps 50 000/75 000 (£3.15 /4.3).
1 Yogyakarta (Java)-Bali circuit via mount Bromo (2 days): Rps 385 000 (£22).
1 large bottle of mineral water: Rps 5 000 (£0.29).
1 fresh fruit juice: Rps 15 000 (£0.8).
1 beer: Rps 30 000 (£1.75).
Health and safety
220 V current is the norm but some places are still on 110 V. Plugs generally have 2 round pins. Power cuts are common outside the big cities so bring a flashlight.
January 1 - New year (Tahun Baru)
August 17 - Independence Day (Hari Proklamasi Kemerdekaan)
December 25 Christmas (Hari Natal).
Many religious festivals change their date from year to year: Muslim New Year, Chinese New Year, Hindu New Year, birth of the Prophet, Good Friday, end of Ramadan, Feast of the Sacrifice ...
There are three official types of accommodation: 1 to 5-star hotels, melatis rated from 1 to 3-stars, and losmens.
Melati – are a category that is hard to describe, but those with 3 stars often put 4 or 5-star hotels to shame.
Losmen, pondok, wisma, penginapan, wisata – All refer to inexpensive inns and guest-houses.
Becak – These three-wheeled rickshaws remain very common (except in Bali) and are often used for short distances. They are barred from the major cities (like Jakarta) and can be found on small roads in the minor cities.
Bajaj – Very common in the major Javanese cities, they are made in India and are ideal for short trips through traffic.
Dokar, andong, bendi – Horse-drawn carriage. Suntil in use in rural areas. A pictuesque way to see the sights if you're in no hurry.
Motorcycle taxis can be found at major junctions in every big city and are identified by their uniform.