WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW WHEN TRAVELLING TO BALI, INDONESIA
• Although the climate varies throughout Bali - Indonesia, you can visit all year round.
• The best time to travel is during the cool and dry season between June and October.
• The rainy season in Bali varies from region to region and is largely dominated by the monsoon. Very broadly speaking, Indonesia rainy season can be classified as November to March, where you’ll find great deals. For most of Indonesia the wettest months are usually January-February.
• Indonesia’s average climate ranges from 30°C at its lowest in July and August
WHAT TO PACK
Comfortable, casual, lightweight clothing in natural fabrics are suitable for travelling in Indonesia. Bring warmer clothes if travelling to higher altitudes. Dress modestly and don’t wear shorts or tank tops when visiting religious buildings. Shoes should be removed before entering a private home. Wear a sarong and waist sashes when visiting temples.
Shopping malls typically open between 10:00 -10:30 and close between 21:00 – 22:00. They're open seven days a week. Supermarkets are open by 09:30 and close between 21:00 -22:00)
• The local currency in Indonesia is the Indonesia Rupiah (IDR). ZAR 1 is around IDR 1,000 (as at July 2019).
• Major credit cards are accepted by hotels and large shops, but "hard cash" is the preferred tender almost everywhere.
• Bureau de Change can be found at the airport offering the best exchange rates, but it is also possible to change money at the hotel reception.
• ATMs can find in shopping outlets.
POPULAR SHOPPING OUTLETS in Bali
Kuta Area, Legian Area, Seminyak area and Nusa Dua area
• It is recommended not to drink tap water in Indonesia, but to buy bottled water.
TIPPING / PORTERAGE
It is generally accepted to tip local restaurant staff, luggage porters, drivers and guides. It is however not mandatory. Recommended tipping for guides is between IDR 50,000 to 100,000 (ZAR50 – ZAR 80) per day and for driver it is IDR 50,000 (ZAR50) per day.
• Learn a few words of the local language so you know what’s considered polite in terms of eating, greeting and local values.
• Appropriate behaviour by travellers helps ensure local communities continue to be hospitable and friendly.
• Respect other people’s cultures and avoid imposing your beliefs.
• Adhere to the hotel’s water or energy conservation policies.
• Buy locally made crafts and support local skills. Buy them preferably from the craftsman himself to ensure your money goes to the artist and not the middle man.
The national language, Bahasa Indonesia, is taught in all schools. At home and in the markets, the local people speak their local dialect, e.g. Javanese in Central and East Java, Balinese in Bali. English is increasingly spoken in the main tourist centres and Dutch is understood by the older generation.
• Lock valuables away while travelling and always be vigilant of your belongings. Never leave them unattended.
• South African passport holders do not require a visa.
• Time is 6 hours ahead of South Africa.
• Smoking is allowed in designated outdoor areas; however it is prohibited in indoor public areas.
• Indonesia uses 220V AC electricity. Power outlets most commonly feature two-prong round (like much of Europe), or flat (like in the U.S.) sockets.
WHAT THINGS COST
Costs vary from Local Supermarkets / Street Food Stores and Local Restaurants. The below is an average of local costs
• Bottle of water IDR 5,000; Soft Drink IDR 3,500; Beer IDR 30,000; Bottle of wine local IDR 300,000; Light lunch IDR 150,000; Dinner IDR 200,000
• Beware of pick pockets in markets.
• Don’t trust beach hawkers selling excursions; these vendors don’t always follow the required safety procedures and rarely have the required insurances. It is recommended to rather arrange sightseeing through your hotel or from Thompsons.