FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the weather in Bali?
Bali is generally hot, sunny and humid and typically the rainy season is between November – March. However rain usually pours heavily for a short duration in the afternoon or during the night, leaving the rest of the day warm and sunny (around 90 centigrade) and cools off at night. Basically the two definite seasons are the rainy season and dry season. The wet season begins between late October to early April and the dry season from May to September. Even though the rainy season month starts, a sunny day can still be expected.
What is the weather like in Bali in December?
Bali’s temperature is always warm, even in December which is the beginning of the rainy season. In general in late December Bali has an average temperature of 27°C (81°F). While in the beginning of December, we will experience a higher possibility of rain.

What are the hottest months in Bali?
During dry season Bali is always hot especially on the southern part of the island such as Kuta, Seminyak, Jimbaran, Uluwatu, Canggu, Sanur and Ubud. For this season, May is the hottest month with an average temperature of 28°C (82,4°F). At noon the temperature can reach up to 35°C (95°F).

When is the tourist low season and high season in Bali?
The tourist low season in Bali is at the end of January, February, March, the first week of April, and the third and fourth week of September. While the high season occurs in late June, July, August, end of December, and early January. If you have a vacation in Bali during high season, try to book airline tickets and accommodation as early as possible to get special deals.

Do I need a VISA to enter Bali?
Indonesia has a free 30-Day visa-on-arrival system (tourist visa). If you would like to stay more than 30 days, then you will need to pay $35 at the airport when you arrive at the airport for the option to extend with an Indonesian agent for up to 60-days (Read more about VISAs available in Indonesia). Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months or else Indonesia will not allow you into the country and your airline will not let you board the plane. Make sure your passport is renewed before you come to Indonesia.
 
Is Bali Safe?
Absolutely, Bali has always been a safe place, it is the only Hindu island in the Islamic Indonesian archipelago and up until the 2002 and 2005 Bali bombings, carried out by outsiders. Since the attacks, the Indonesian government has taken the threat of terrorism very seriously and use every measures to monitor and work to prevent future attacks. As for safety in the streets, there is very little violent crime in Bali but just be cautious against pickpockets in the beach areas and with handbags on motorbikes late at night. One important note to remember is not to break the Indonesian government rule especially the ones related to drugs.

How many days should I spend in Bali?
Questions about how many days should spend to have a vacation in Bali, very often we get from Indian, Philippines and Singaporean visitors who order marine water sports game and white water rafting tour in Bali. For tourists coming from Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand visiting Bali for first time, the ideal duration of your holiday should be between 5 days to one week at least. For visitors coming from Europe and American continent a two-week visit is recommended to be able to visit places of interest plus rest time after long flights. Please also consider the neighboring islands’ attractions that you can visit in a one day trip by plane while you are in Bali such as Borobudur Temple – the world’s biggest Buddhist temple in Java.

What should I wear in Bali?
Regarding clothes to wear while on vacation in Bali, it depends on your taste and liking as well as activities you would like to do. All you need to remember, Bali has high humidity and hot. Most of the tourists will wear, t-shirt and short with a slipper. Do not forget your sunscreen lotion. There is of course a dress code if you go to a certain place in Bali such as if you would like to visit Balinese temples and local ceremonies where you will be required to wear a sarong and scarf around your waist.Can I drink tap water?
No! Always drink bottled or filtered water. 99% of restaurants in Bali use bottled water for all cooking purposes and it is advisable to drink and brush teeth with bottled water to avoid ‘Bali Belly’ – a mild dysentery which can occur but passes in a few days.

How about ice cubes in Bali? If you would like to make ice, use bottled or filtered water, do not use tap water. The ice cubes that you get at the restaurants come from the ice companies that have standard quality-control and checked by the Balinese government regularly, so it is safe. The tap water in Bali is safe for shower or taking a bath, there will be no issue with it as long you do not drink it.

Do you give a tip in Bali?
If you would like to give tips in Bali for services that you get it is always welcome as long you tell the recipient it is a tip. However, there is no tipping policy in Bali. If you feel the workers give an excellent service, a small tip will be appreciated.

Can you drink alcoholic beverages in Bali and is it expensive?
Yes, you can drink alcoholic beverages in Bali. Alcoholic drink is legal to consume on the island if you are 21 years old or more.

Alcoholic beverage price in Bali will surprise most of Asian travelers, especially wine, cocktail and spirit. For those coming from Australia, European and North American countries, then they will find the alcoholic drink price in Bali reasonable, especially Bintang Beer (local beer). In Bali you can find both local and imported wines however imported wines is pricey. An average price for a bottle of imported wines is IDR 400,000 (USD 27).

Bintang is Indonesian beer and one of the most popular beer in Bali. If you have drink Heineken, then the taste of Bintang beer is quite similar. The alcohol content of Bintang beer pilsner is 4.7%. The price of Bintang beer depends on where you buy it. If you purchase it at a small shop, a small bottle of Bintang beer cost IDR 25,000/bottle.

Do I need immunizations when traveling to Bali?
If you are staying at developed tourist sites such as Kuta, Nusa Dua, Denpasar, Sanur, Seminyak, Canggu, Uluwatu /Jimbaran, Ubud and Amed and staying in clean accommodation and eating in good restaurants you will be fine. A Typhoid shot is recommended, and if you are worried or will be working with animals or somewhere in the jungle and more remote, a Rabies shot is advised. If you stay in urban areas, there is no need for Malaria tablets, Japanese Encephalitis, or Polio shots.

It is a great idea to bring medicine in the case of Bali Belly like diarrhea rehydration sachets/immodium or a oral antibiotic for stomach ailments as well as plenty of water, coconut water or even electrolyte tablets. If available, spray plenty of mosquito spray in the evenings especially during rainy season to prevent bites. Dengue fever is common in Bali and there is no immunization against this. This Dengue Fever is a viral infection carried by mosquitoes with no official treatment. The symptoms can range from mild, almost unnoticeable to acute flu-like symptoms needing medical attention. It is possible to get infected 4 times and after recovery, you gain lifelong immunity. The symptoms (high fever, severe headache, nausea, vomiting, swollen glands, rash, pain behind the eyes, muscles and joints) last 2-7 days after the incubation period of 4-10 days after being bitten by an infected mosquito. We suggest avoiding getting bitten by using insect repellent and mosquito nets.
 
What about health care and insurance when travel to Bali and Indonesia?
There are many international medical clinics in Bali. If you have a minor illness you will be just fine. It is strongly advised that you have international medical insurance to cover your costs should you need to go to hospital or in a dire situation be evacuated to Singapore or Australia for specialist care or life saving surgery. Make sure you have the necessary vaccines and have purchased and read the conditions of your travel insurance before you visit Bali and Indonesia. It could save your life. Some credit cards companies also include travel insurance in their contract.

What clothing can I wear in Bali?
The hotels are mostly air-conditioned or with a fan, but outside it is hot and humid. Flip flops or comfortable walking sandals are a must with light clothing like t-shirts and shorts to keep you cool. When entering temples you must be respectful and have your shoulders covered and wear a sarong and scarf around your waist, usually sarongs are provided for you when you visit a temple.

What about money, cash, credit cards, exchange rates and money changers?
Most small shops, food stall /restaurants and tour companies run on cash only. ATM machines are rampant on the island, most having the Cirrus and Plus connection. You often get a very good exchange rate via ATM and it is convenient. For safe and fair exchange, it is recommended to visit money changers that say ‘authorized money changer’. In a dire situation, you can always do a cash advance at a local bank, but it will cost you 18-20% from your bank plus another certain % from the Indonesian Bank. As far as exchange rates go, if you have traveler’s cheque, their rates are different from cash and the smaller the bill, the less the rate. $5 is worth less to a money changer than $100, and the rate they will give you will reflect that. For US citizens, do not bring US $100 notes from the year 1996 (as in 1996 Loads of counterfeits entered Indonesia and the stigma still stands). Visa and MasterCard are the cards of choice in Indonesia. Remember to inform your credit card’s issuing bank about your intended trip or else you will risk getting your credit card accounts frozen from ‘unexpected activity’.

For any transaction, in Bali we use Rupiah, the Indonesian currency (IDR/Rp). Therefore, if you bring US dollars or Euro, you should change it at a money changer or bank, it can be done in your country or while you are in Bali. For your information, you’ll have no difficulty finding money changers in tourist areas.

As a general idea, you can see the most updated exchange rate here. There are ATM’s all over the place that take Cirrus and Plus. Asia loves Visa and Master card so nearly all tourist shops and ATMs take these cards, but very few restaurants and shops take American Express.

What’s the normal price for food in Bali?
Local Indonesian food like nasi campur and nasi goreng will cost you a lot less, around IDR 30,000 (US $2.50), a meal at a mid range restaurant will cost between IDR 100,000-250,000 ($12-20) and fine dining restaurants could cost anywhere between IDR 500,000 and 1,000,000+ ($40-$80). You can get delicious food at a local food stall in Bali for less than $3, such as mixed chicken rice.

How do you say hello in Balinese?
The Balinese use two languages; Balinese and Indonesian language. However, it is more common for tourist to say hello to Balinese with the Indonesian language. Selamat Pagi means good morning, Selamat Siang means good afternoon, Selamat Malam means good evening. For saying thank you, you can say Terima Kasih.

Do they speak English in Bali?
Most Balinese that you see in the popular tourist area can speak basic English, and some Balinese are fluent in English. However, if you go to the village side of Bali, you should ask the young people that you meet, most of the older generation of Balinese are not able to speak English.