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Bali Travel Frequently Asked Questions by

Your usual questions on how and why and what in travelling to Bali

Important note

Your passport must be valid for at least 6months or else Indonesia will NOT allow you into the country and your airline will NOT let you on the plane... I've seen it happen at the check-in counter a few times. If your passport is due to expire in 6months or less, please have it renewed before you encounter problems.

Do I need to have a VISA for entering Bali?

Indonesia has a visa-on-arrival system for Aus, CAN, US & EU citizens. When you arrive at the airport in Denpasar you will enter the Visa-on-arrival line, where you will be asked for U$25.00 and then your passport will be stamped for 30 days. If you would like to stay more than 30 days, then you will have to apply for a 60-day toursit visa at the Consulate of Indonesia closest to you.

Can I stay longer?
You'll probably want to! We offer specialized tours and 3 or 7-day extension packages after the conference, in Ubud or at the beach areas. We also offer special rates for Singapore layovers. Email for more info.

Is Bali Safe?
Although The United States State Department has put out a travel warning on Indonesia, there is no such warning for the island of Bali. Bali tourism is touted by all the major US travel magazines and was recently featured in the Travel Section of the New York Times. Bali is the only Hindu island in Indonesia and has always been peaceful - up until the 2002 Kuta Beach Club bombings, planned by outsiders, which claimed many Australian lives. Since the Bali Bombings the Indonesian goverment has really taken the threat of terrorism seriously and arrested many potential criminals. As for safety in the streets, there is very little violent crime in Bali, especially in Ubud, where the conference will be held. One has to take precautions against pickpockets in the Beach areas, just as you would in any tourist resort.

Should I rent a car in Bali?
It is not necessary, nor advisable, to rent a car in Bali. Taxis costing about $20.00 will take you from the Airport at Denpasar to the Alila Hotel in UBUD (about an hours' drive). There will be complimentary transportation at the hotel which will transport you to the village of Ubud and back at convenient times. A car and driver can be had for $30-$40 per day. Inexpensive transportation is readily available.

What is Bali's weather like in December January?
Generally the Ubud area of Bali has warm, sunny days (90 degrees) and cools off at night. Rain is frequent but usually light and of short duration.

What about sanitation?
We are staying in midrange and upscale resorts where water is purified. 99% of restaurants on the island use bottled water for all cooking purposes. Nevertheless, it is advisable to drink and brush teeth with bottled water.

What about immunizations?
You will be traveling in civilized, built up areas; so even though your doctor may suggest all kinds of things for traveling in the jungle, please impress upon s/he that you are staying in nice resorts and eating at good restaurants.
*As recommended by Meghan Pappenheim, an American resident of Bali: There is no Malaria, Encephalitis or Polio on the island of Bali. A Tetanus shot is a good idea. You do not need Malaria Medication, as malaria is a rarity in Bali. You might want to bring a prescription of Keflex, or another type of oral antibiotic that can help with stomach ailments. Even though you will be eating in good restaurants, there is always a chance that you can get Bali Belly - a mild dysentery that passes in a few days.

What about health care?
There are plenty of international medical clinics in Bali - especially in Ubud and outside of Kuta. Since the Bali Bombing, the Indonesian government spent $$ on improving the local hospitals and many more private ones have opened since. If you have a minor illness or ailment, you will be just fine. These clinics usually do not accept health insurance, but they do not cost much. Should you need specialized care in a dire emergency, you would need to be evacuated to Singapore. For this trip, Its best that you buy travelers health insurance with evacuation coverage. Check out SOS international medical clinic.

What about clothing?
Your rooms and the hotel are air conditioned. But it is hot outside. Bathing suits are a good idea. There is an infinity pool at the hotel overlooking the rice fields. Good walking sandals are a must. Bermuda shorts or pedal pushers are a good idea. A light folding umbrella wouldn't hurt either. BALI IS A SHOPPING HEAVEN! Get ready!

What about money?
The exchange rate is approximately Rp.9,100 = US$1.00. Basically, things cost a lot less in Bali. There are ATM's all over the place that take Cirrus and Plus. PLEASE tell your bank and credit card companies the dates that you will be in Bali or elsewhere, as they might cut off your funds for fraud protection if they don't know it is you. Asia loves Visa or Master card.
Few restaurants and shops take American Express.

For example, checkout KAFE. A typical lunch at Kafe Ubud will cost you $15.00 and at this price, you might choose: Australian beef, a class of wine, organic vegetables, dessert and gourmet coffee.

Suggested Reading about Bali
See here for great books on Bali:

What About Credit Cards, Cash, Exchange Rates & Money Changers?
Most small shops, restaurants & tour companies run on cash. 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 its convenient. Money Changers are all over Bali, although not all over them trustworthy. Try and stay away from the small storefront Balinese money changers - the guys with hand written signs and made up rates.... The larger establishments, or those that say 'authorized money changer', will be a safer bet. In dire time, you can always do a cash advance at a local bank, but it will cost you 18-20% from your bank PLUS another % from the Bali Bank... As far as exchange rates go, if you have travelers checks, their rates are different than 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. Make sure that you do not bring US$100 notes from the year 1996. In 1996 Loads of counterfeits entered Indonesia and the stigma still stands. For Credit Cards in Bali - Diners is non-existent & American Express is rarely accepted, although there is an American Express office somewhere on the island where you can go to buy travelers checks and report stolen cards if need be. Visa and MasterCard are the cards of choice. 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 'un-expected activity'. Lastly, to see the most recent exchange rate, check here:, but realize that the online rate is rarely 100% correct and will be off by a few cents.

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