As a popular location for western travellers, Bali is a friendly destination for tourists seeking a home away from home. However, there are a few Bali travel tips that can make this unique island experience even more enjoyable.
As with many travel destinations, you need to ensure your vaccinations are up to date, and heed the relevant Bali travel advice issued at the time of your intended visit. Meanwhile, visas are no longer required for stays of less than 30 days, and there are few language barriers with many Balinese speaking fluent English.
Of all the beach clubs, the top pick is Komune Beach Club, fronting the black-sand Keramas Beach on Bali’s east coast. A 60-minute drive from Seminyak, it is more relaxed and less fashion-conscious than most other beach clubs. The popular surf break is lit for night surfing sessions, with sun-lounges arranged around a large circular pool, excellent well-priced food and drinks and modern comfortable accommodation.
In March 2016, the Indonesian government granted visa-free entry for Australians travelling to Bali for less than 30 days. This means Bali visas are no longer required for the majority of tourists. Free entry is granted for tourism purposes only and is not extendable beyond 30 days. If your intended stay is longer, you’ll need to apply for a visa prior to departure or seek one on arrival.
The official Bali currency is the Indonesian rupiah. However, many resorts quote and accept American dollars as well. It’s best to exchange a money prior to entering Bali, though there are some local Balinese money changers that offer decent rates for the further currency you require. Ensure any exchange you use is authorised to avoid being scammed. Credit card facilities and ATMs are also readily available.
If you’re seeking to satisfy your taste buds with authentic cuisine, Indonesian food is a vibrant blend of intense flavours and local produce. Traditional cuisine usually features rice as a staple, served with vegetables and meat or fish as a side. Savoury, hot and spicy are the best words to describe the flavours, with popular dishes including nasi goreng, gado-gado and satay.
Tipping in Bali
Generally speaking, there’s no specific custom for tipping in Bali. Instead, many restaurants and hotels incorporate a surcharge into the bill. That said, wages in Bali are low, and monetary recognition of a job well done is a welcome bonus for the staff, guides, drivers and attendants who make Bali such a welcoming and hospitable place to stay.
Indonesian Electrical Plugs and Voltage
Like most of Indonesia, Bali electrical plugs and voltage operate via two-pin, 230v sockets as found in many parts of Europe. To charge up your electrical essentials like laptops, computers and cameras, you can easily purchase an affordable adapter prior to departing Australia or from any number of retailers once you arrive.
Language in Bali
The native language of Bali is Bahasa Bali, but most Balinese are bilingual if not trilingual, speaking Indonesian as well as English. This makes communicating relatively easy, but if you’re after a more authentic experience or travelling to the more remote areas of Bali, there’s a plethora of internet and hard copy resources to brush up on a little Balinese.
The main airport of Bali is Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport, also known as Denpasar International Airport. It’s located 13km south of Denpasar and is easily accessible from Kuta via taxi or shuttle bus. As the third-busiest airport in Indonesia, it’s a modern facility fully equipped with cafes, restaurants, and gift shops.
Less hectic than Kuta and Seminyak, Sanur is like an Asian version of the south of France. A breakwater shelters the beach, leaving it clean and largely wave-free, making it perfect for children and families.