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Bali Travel Guide

About

Bali is an Indonesian island home to many exotic temples, iconic rice paddies and infamous volcanic mountains. It is the perfect getaway destination to soak up the sun at some of the world’s best beaches or indulge in a relaxing spa treatment at one of their many luxury resorts. There’s never a dull day in Bali as the island also offers adventurous activities such as kayaking, river crafting or gliding across the sea on zip lines! As dusk sets in, experience Bali’s buzzing night scene come to life and let your hair down at some of Bali’s famous nightlife spots.

Local Custom & Slang

Terima Kasih

  • Meaning: Thank you

How to address Balinese men and women

  • Men above 30 years old or married: Bapak (or Pak), which means ‘Sir’ or ‘Mister’ in English
  • Women above 30 years old or married: Ibu (or Bu), which means ‘Mrs’ in English
  • Young man, older than yourself: Mas
  • Young woman, older than yourself: Mbak
  • Child, anyone younger than yourself: Adik

Mandatory dress code when visiting temple

  • Dress modestly: Shirts that cover shoulders and upper arms, pass that covers at least up to the knee, “Sarong” to cover your legs and “Temple scarf” that wraps around your waist. Flip flops are acceptable.

Never use your left hand to touch, give or eat

  • Balinese believe the left hand is ‘dirty’ as they use their left hands to wash up after doing ‘business’ in the toilet instead of using toilet paper. The left hand should not be used to touch or give anything unless using both hands.

Do not touch people’s heads

  • A person’s head is considered sacred in Bali as the Balinese believe that the soul resides in one’s head. Hence, touching one’s head in Bali is a no-no. This includes children as well.

Watch out for offerings (Canang sari) on the street

  • Canang sari symbolises thankfulness offered to the Hindu God. Every morning, Balinese Hindus will lay Canang sari along the streets and sidewalks. Therefore, stepping on these offerings is offensive to the Balinese.

Trip Essentials

  • Weather
  • Currency
  • Visa
  • Electricity
  • Bali has a tropical monsoon climate, with temperatures ranging from 20 to 33 degree Celsius all year round.

  • Rainy months are usually from October to March. The best time to visit Bali is during the dry season from June to September, when it has low humidity and cooling evenings.

Transportation

By Bus

  • Bemo

    • Bemo is a public minivan shuttle service that travels to the rural areas in Bali. This mode of transport is recommended for backpackers who wish to have a local experience.

    • It is hard to spot Bemos on the streets. Therefore, the nearest terminals where you are guaranteed to find Bemos is in Ubung, Tegal, Kereneng and Batubulan in Denpasar. Bemos from the different terminals travel to different parts of Bali.

    • Bemos are not metered. Prices are usually negotiated based on designated routes.

    • There is no official website for Bemos. However, visit this website for more information.

  • Kura-Kura

    • Kura-Kura is a public shuttle bus service that transports you to popular tourist attractions, covering Ubud and south Bali.

    • The main bus terminal is at DFS Bus Bay. It is easy to find Kura-Kura buses around Bali as they have designated bus stops at shopping malls, hotels and popular tourist attractions.

    • Ticket fares are charged at a flat fare for a single journey depending on the line.

    • Most of the bus routes run from 8:30am to 10:00pm.

    • For more information, visit their website.

By Taxi

  • Taxis are readily available in Bali. Drivers speak reasonable English in Bali, although it is best if you pick up basic Bahasa Indonesia or Bahasa Bali so as to negotiate prices with the driver. Taxis in Bali run on meters. Also available are private car operators such as Grab which one can also book via their app.

  • Local Operator: Blue Bird Taxi

  • Other Operators: Grab (Tip: Look for signs that allow drop off and pick up for Grab)

  • Avoid any taxis that do not use a meter as this may be a taxi scam.

Private Car Hire

  • For those who prefer comfort and convenience, you can hire a private car to pick you up from your hotel and bring you to the various attractions in Bali. Your itinerary can also be arranged with the driver.

  • There are many agencies for private car hire in Bali. These are some we recommend:

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