Below is some basic information to help you ensure your trip to Bali is well planned and stress free. This information has been thoroughly researched as at April 2014, but it is subject to change.
- Your passport must have a minimum of 6 months validity from the intended date of return to Australia. It is a good idea to always carry photocopies of your passport in case you need a replacement while abroad.
- Airlines that fly direct from the east coast of Australia to Bali include Virgin, Jetstar and Garuda Indonesia.
- Airlines that fly direct from the west coast of Australia to Bali include Virgin, Jetstar, Garuda Indonesia and Air Asia.
- Don’t forget to purchase travel insurance.
- Advise your hotel accommodation of flight arrival details and confirm your airport transfers are included.
At the Airport
- As of April 2014, the duty free alcohol allowance into Indonesia is 1 litre per person. Indonesia has strict laws for illegal conduct so do not attempt to bring excessive amounts, or contraband of any kind, into the country.
- You will fill in an arrival card to be handed over to immigration. They will give you back the stub which is your departure card – make sure you keep this in a safe place as you will need it when leaving the country.
- A Visa on Arrival can be purchased at Denpasar airport for US$25 and is valid for 30 days. For longer stays, contact your nearest Indonesian embassy or consulate for further information.
- Consider a fast track arrival service for US$25-35 to bypass the queues and help you through immigration and customs www.fast-track-bali.com/
- Indonesian currency is in Rupiahs (Rp). The exchange rate is generally much better in Bali than in Australia, and you can pay for your visa on arrival with Australian dollars or credit card, so best to change your money once you are in Bali, at the airport after you have cleared customs.
- There are many money exchange booths throughout Bali. Shop around for the best rate and check whether commission is included. Do the calculations on your own device so you know how much Rupiah you should be receiving, and always count the cash yourself before leaving. This is expected and not regarded as impolite. The Balinese will also usually count out the money you’ve paid them in front of you to check.
- Most services including hotels, restaurants, activities etc will add an extra 10% tax to the price, plus a service tax of 5%-11%, often only calculated upon final payment.
- Tipping is not mandatory but is polite for good service, generally between Rp5,000-20,000 (around 50c - $2).
- Estimated travel time from Denpasar airport to Ubud is 1.5 hours.
- Estimated travel time from Kuta to Ubud is 1.5-2 hours.
- Estimated travel time from Nusa Dua to Ubud is 1.5 hours.
- Estimated travel time from Canggu to Ubud is 1 hour.
- Always allow extra time in case of traffic problems which are frequent in built up areas.
- Although Bali experiences a wet and dry season, the difference in temperature is only very minimal, just a few degrees. Generally the daytime temperature in Bali is 28-31°C all year round.
- The temperatures around Ubud are cooler and more suited to travellers who are sensitive to humid, tropical climates, so bring a cardigan or jacket for the evenings.
- Lightweight, natural fibers are recommended to keep you cool. T-shirts, singlets, shorts and sandals are common attire.
- Although the sun is less harsh than in tropical Australia because it is softened by atmospheric humidity, Bali is 8° south of the equator, so always remember sun protection: hat, sunglasses, sunscreen (reapply after swimming.)
- Keep your fluids up by drinking lots of bottled water, and only drink bottled water.
Culture & Religion
- Religion is the most important part of daily Balinese life. You will see elaborate offerings, temples and Balinese Hindu symbols everywhere you turn. Please respect these by not damaging property and try not to step on the offerings.
- The swastika you see everywhere is actually the original Hindu symbol for prosperity.
- Respect the slow pace of processions, be patient and don’t beep your horn.
- When entering a temple, remember to cover your shoulders and wear a sarong (past your knees) and a sash around your waist. Most major temples will have these available at the entrance.
- Many flights from Denpasar to Bali are late at night so double check the time and date you need to check-in. For example, a flight departing at 0:10 (10 minutes past midnight) on October 18 means that you need to check-in late at night on October 17.
- There is a departure tax of Rp200,000 (approx. $20) to be paid in Indonesian Rupiah at the airport.
- You will need your departure card but if you have misplaced it, just ask your airline check-in attendant for further advice.
Although English is widely spoken in Bali, the always friendly locals really take to tourists who attempt to talk the local language, Bahasa Indonesia. Here are a few useful terms you may like to try:
good morning (sunrise-11am) selamat pagi (pronounced sell-a-mutt pa-ghee)
good day/afternoon (11am-3pm) selamat siang (sell-a-mutt see-ung)
good evening (3pm-sunset) selamat sore (sell-a-mutt sore-eh)
good night selamat malam (sell-a-mutt ma-larm.)
how are you? apa kabar? (uppa-kah-bar)
goodbye (if leaving) selamat tinggal (sell-a-mutt-ting-gall)
goodbye (said to someone leaving) selamat jalan (sell-a-mutt jah-lan)
see you later sampai jumpa lagi (sum-pie joompa lah-ghee)
thank you terima kasih (te-ri-mah kas-ee)
you’re welcome sama sama (summa summa)
yes / no ya / tidak (ti-dak)
how much (price)? berapa harganya? (ber-a-pa har-gahn-ya)
cheap / expensive murah / mahal (moorah / ma-hahl)
only looking (if browsing shop) lihat saja (li-hut sa-ja)