Bali is the most favorite destination for the Maruruns! Marurun got the feeling like culture shock for good meaning because of the beautiful natural rustic scenery and pure cute smiles of Balinese people when Marurun visited Bali for her first trip abroad about 19 years ago.
She felt the strong healing power and has been fascinated by the local Balinese from the bottom of her heart. Nowadays, the Maruruns are so addicted to Bali as to visit almost every year. So, I would be very happy if you could find some useful information for planning a Bali trip.
Bali is one of the many small islands of Indonesia and is located between the islands of Java which has the capital Jakarta, and Lombok.
A direct flight from Japan to Bali takes about 7 to 8 hours, and there is only a one-hour time difference between them. So, I recommend you to visit Japan before or after visiting Bali, and you can enjoy the totally different types of Asian culture.
Climate in Bali
Bali has a tropical savanna climate and is divided into the rainy season ( October – March ) blowing the northwest seasonal wind and the dry season ( April – September ) blowing the southeastern seasonal wind. In the rainy season, most of the rain showers fall strongly but stop in a short amount of time, so I think that you can somehow enjoy sightseeing or outside activities except for the three months ( December to February ) having much rainfall.
The climate is warm, the average temperature is about 27℃ and barely fluctuates throughout the year. So, the appropriate dress for travelling Bali is summer clothing, and it would be a good idea to bring a thin jacket if you will be visiting Ubud in the mountainous area, as it may be a bit cold in the mornings and evenings.
Although Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation, about 90% of the Balinese people are Balinese-Hindus. However, these days, the population of Muslim immigrants from other parts of Indonesia is increasing to seek tourism jobs in Bali.
There are some important following rules to remember, because the daily lifestyle of the people in Bali is rooted in Balinese Hinduism.
- because the left hand is considered unclean.
- because Balinese people believe that the pure and the divine dwells in their head.
- When visiting a temple for sightseeing, . However it's very hot outside in Bali, so the Maruruns usually go out wearing a sleeveless shirt and short pants and bring along a light jacket for covering our shoulders and then rent a sarong for covering our legs at the temple in the same way as most other tourists do.
- , so I think women, in particular, should pay attention to their monthly cycle.
Private Bali Tour to Temples, Antiques and Great Sunset (cocktails at Tugu)
Currency and Currency Exchange in Bali
The local currency in Bali is Indonesian Rupiah, and Bank Notes of Indonesian Rupiah come in 1,000Rp, 2,000Rp, 5,000Rp, 10,000Rp, 20,000Rp, 50,000Rp and 100,000Rp denominations.
100,000IDR = 7.5USD
100,000IDR = 6.3EUR
※ The rates shown here are just for your references as of September 4, 2017
The most commonly used Rupiah denominations for tourists are 10,000Rp, 20,000Rp, and 50,000Rp, so I recommend you to exchange your money into mainly 10,000Rp, 20,000Rp, and 50,000Rp, and add a little 100,000Rp.
Payment in foreign currency was prohibited from 2015, so it is essential to exchange your money to Rupiah. You can exchange your money at the airport, hotels, and authorized money changers in the main tourist areas. You will find two currency exchange counters just outside the airport, and they are operated by banks and have comparatively good rates.
The Maruruns always exchange only the amount necessary for cash at either of them soon after arriving. It's not necessary for us to look for the best currency rate exchanges since we pay for almost everything with credit cards.
Though tipping isn't compulsory in Bali, I think it's better to give tips to taxi drivers or the staff who provide you good service, especially in the high-class hotels or restaurants in the resort area. Even if service charges are added, the Maruruns always give tips to the staff who provide excellent services.
Denpasar International Airport ( Official name: Ngurah Rai International Airport )
Ngurah Rai International Airport is commonly known as Denpasar Airport, and the new international terminal was built in preparation for the APEC Summit held in 2013. Thanks to that event, there are no more annoying “ self-style porters ” who pick up suitcases of passengers from the baggage conveyor without leave, and demand high tips from the owners.
The new airport is a clean and modern airport, and besides, we recently haven't experienced a very long line of rows at immigration. Moreover, when you leave Bali, you'd better arrive at the airport 3 hours before departure just in case. The reason is that several times dreadful terrorist incidents have occurred in Bali in the past and the security check at the airport is very severe.
Means of Transportation in Bali
There is no train in Bali, so the means of local transportation for tourists are such as taxis, rental cars, private chartered cars, public buses and rental motorbikes.
However, the traffic on the main street is very heavy, and the local car drivers cut you off frequently, so you shouldn't drive unless you have confidence in your driving skills.
I think taking a taxi or a private chartered car instead of driving a car or motorbike are better choices for tourists. Besides, those rates are quite reasonable in Bali.
Major Areas to Stay in Bali
The major areas of Bali and each of their features are as follows:
- Nusa Dua
Nusa Dua is a resort area developed by the Indonesian government, and there are many luxury resort hotels. The security check is carried out when entering the area so that you can stay safely and securely in the area. There are a lot of five-star luxury hotels such as Mulia Resort, The St Regis Bali Resort and The Ritz-Carlton Bali located overlooking the Indian Ocean, and you can enjoy the beautiful sunrise as well.
There are some luxury hotels such as Four Seasons Resort Bali at Jimbaran Bay, Ayana Resort and Spa located overlooking the Indian Ocean and the number of new resort hotels or villas in this area has been increasing. You can see the beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean. I recommend this area to people who want to enjoy such a wonderful experience.
- Tanjung Benoa
Tanjung Benoa is the best spot for water sports in Bali. Although there is no luxury hotel like the Nusa Dua area, there are some famous high-class hotels such as Conrad Bali and Grand Mirage Resort & Thalasso Bali.
There are some luxury hotels such as BVLGARI Resort, Alila Villas and Anantara Uluwatu Bali standing on a cliff overlooking the Indian Ocean. I recommend this area to people who want to enjoy a relaxing time and superb views at a luxury hotel. Ulwatu Temple, famous for the beautiful setting sun, is also in this area.
Kuta is the busiest downtown area in Bali, and there are large shopping malls such as Discovery Shopping Mall and Beachwalk Shopping Center. There also has been an increasing number of new affordable hotels in this area. There is also Kuta Beach which is famous for a surfing mecca, so it is an area popular among young travelers who want to enjoy surfing, shopping, and nightlife. However, tourists need to be careful with safety because various crimes targeting tourists have been increasing. The local tour guide has told us that he will not take us to Kuta unless there is a good reason to go because Kuta is the most dangerous place in Bali where many crimes have been occurring recently.
Seminyak, the epicenter of the epidemic in Bali, has a large number of shops dealing with fashionable clothing and miscellaneous goods, and also many lovely cafés and retaurants, and it is a very popular area among tourists. There is The Legian Bali famous for luxury hotels standing along Seminyak Beach which is very popular as the spot where individuals can enjoy the sunset.
Ubud is located in the mountainous area in Bali surrounded by beautiful rice terraces and mountains and famous as an art village. I recommend this area to people who want to enjoy Balinese art and dance, beautiful greenery, animals and a glimpse of village life. There are a lot of luxury villas such as Four Seasons Resort Bali at Sayan, Mandapa a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, The Royal Pita Maha and Viceroy Bali.
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Toilets in Bali
Nowadays, most resort areas and tourist spots are equipped with flush toilets and also toilet paper, and some hotels have a TOTO washlet in each room. It is completely different from about 19 years ago when Marurun visited Bali for the first time. At that time, despite flush toilets, almost no water flowed and very often they clogged so there were lines for the bathroom everywhere such as restaurants and shopping malls.
However, there are still many traditional Balinese toilets except for resort areas and famous tourist spots, so you'd better carry some of your own tissue paper. Traditional toilets are the Asian style squat toilets, and you should put the used paper in the trash and then scoop water from the water tank and pour it in the toilet several times. Be careful not to carelessly put the paper into the toilet.
Internet Access in Bali
You can find free Wi-Fi hotspots in many hotels, shopping malls, saps, restaurants, and cafés in the resort area and the 4G LTE service area also is expanding lately.
Languages spoken in Bali
Although Balinese speak Indonesian or Balinese with the locals, almost all people working in the resort areas and tourist spots speak English, and some of them also speak other foreign languages.
Drinking Water in Bali
In Bali, you should't drink tap water other than boiled water. You can get some free bottled water if you are staying at a hotel or villa, and you can buy bottled water at a convenience store anytime.
The Maruruns have rinsed our mouths with tap water when brushing our teeth but have never gotten sick. However, it may be safer to use mineral water when brushing your teeth if you have a weak stomach.
Choices of Restaurant in Bali
There is a wide range of genre of the restaurant in Bali, such as Indonesian, Western, Chinese, Japanese and even McDonald's and KFC. If you want to try local food cheaply, Warung would be a good choice, and you can eat delicious local food for a local price.
The Maruruns haven't tried Warugn yet, because while travelling, we like to eat excellent dishes under the luxurious and sophisticated atmosphere even if the price is a little high, and also, we are a little worried about food poisoning.
How to Spend Time in Bali
As described below, there are various ways to spend enjoyable time in Bali for many types of tourists.
- Stay at a luxurious hotel and enjoy the time not doing anything, only indulging yourself.
- Have a lovely romantic dinner experience at a hotel or restaurant.
- Enjoy painting and sculpture of Bali Art.
- Enjoy various Balinese dances such as Barong and Kecak.
- Visit UNESCO World Heritage Sites or other tourist attractions in Bali by private chartered car.
- Enjoy shopping for Bali fashionable clothing and miscellaneous goods.
- Enjoy outdoor activities such as 1-Day Bali Nature Biking Tour through the beautiful rice terrace, and Bali rafting on the river.
- Enjoy looking at the animals at Bali Safari & Marine Park, Bali Zoo or Bali Bird Park.
- Enjoy marine sports such as surfing, snorkeling, and diving.
Things to Do in Bali: Top Tours & Activities
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1-Day Bali Nature Biking Tour
1-Day Bali Safari and Marine Park ‘Rhino’ Ticket
Private Royal Photo Shoot in Balinese Costume
Private Bali Water Temples Tour with lunch
Private Bali Tour to Temples, Antiques and Great Sunset (cocktails at Tugu)
Private Bali Tour Chasing the Waterfalls
Private Yogyakarta Adventure to the Ancient Temples Tour
Uluwatu Kecak Dance w/ Dinner at Bumbu Bali
Private Bali Experience Tour of Wellness and Harmony
1-Day Ayung White Water Rafting with Bali Sobek Tour
Balinese Cooking Class and Ibah Trekking
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