- Visa and Master Card are widely accepted. Credit Card payment in hotels and most restaurants and shops is possible. A surcharge of 1 – 4% is applied when using credit cards. Street vendors: only cash and best in IDR
- You can pull money from ATM easily (remote areas not so much).
- US$, AUS$, EUR will be changed almost anywhere.
- Make sure to go to official money changers. If the place looks small and dodgy, it most certainly is dodgy.
- Payment is done in IDR (Indonesian Rupiah). Even if many hotels publish their prices in US$, the actual payment will be done in IDR and the exchange rate will usually not be very good in the hotel
- Bring some cash, your credit card and a normal bank card.
- Max amount you can withdraw in one go at an ATM is around 1.500.000 (machine with a 50.000 sticker) or 3.000.000 (machines with a 100.000 sticker)
- Traveler cheques seem to be a relic of the past
Accommodation & Going Out
- Most prices are subject to tax (10%) and service charge (6-11%)
- Value for money is incredible on Bali. Whatever you decide to go for. Streetfood or fine dining. The choice is endless. (Web:) List of places
- Ice cubes in restaurants are generally safe and government controlled
- For 3-5US$ one can have already a decent meal
- Vegetarian and healthy food on the rise, epicenter Ubud. Try the detox smoothies.
- Roof Top bars and Beach clubs are getting more popular, for good reasons.
- Don’t trust the name of the place. Always check the map. The “Kuta Hotel” might not be exactly in Kuta 🙂
- Look at the maps closely. A hotel near the coastline could still be far to the next beach, due to lack of road access.
- One can still stay for 10-15US$ per night in homestays
- New budget hotels offer clean rooms with AC in larger hotel complexes for 20US$
- Price for hotel room in 4 star hotel or resort 70-120US$ 18 (Web:) Private, serviced Villas are a great alternative offering stunning value for money
Traffic & Transport
- Left-hand traffic on Bali. Tips on handling traffic.
Scooter rental costs 5-8US$ per day. Always put safety and reliability first. Never compromise. Enough people have serious or fatal accidents. Never hire run down scooters to save a buck.
- Keep the mobile no. of the bike rental shop with you. You might need it.
- Car with driver for 8-10 hours costs 40-70US$ per day. Make sure they have a driver’s license and the permission to be a driver (izin, insurance issues) to avoid trouble with the police.
- Taxis are safe and cheap, but ask them to switch on the meter, always!
- Ubud no meter taxis available, transport is organized by licensed drivers from the village. It’s important to bargain!
- Renting a scooter or car? Bring international driving license
- Yes, there is UBER and GRAB in Bali. But in many areas drivers are afraid to go to, because the local communities are against it and create major trouble.
- Motorbike Taxis can be arranged through the app Go-Jek. Works well, although also they are restricted in some areas.
SAFETY & Manners
- When it’s raining the sidewalks can be extremely slippery
- Sidewalks can have large and deep holes, that can’t be seen at night.
- Driving a scooter. Never go too fast. Fatal accidents happen daily.
- Loose chippings are everywhere on the road. Expect cats, dogs, chicken…anything can cross your way. And any vehicle can come towards you from any direction, anytime.
- Never drink and drive if you want to leave Bali in one piece.
- Currents in the sea can be dangerous, and change depending on the weather and wind conditions; also good swimmers have drowned on Bali
- Night swimming (under the influence of alcohol and drugs) seem like fun, but will most likely lead to Bali being your last destination.
- Ocean and beach hazards. Nature is unpredictable. Watch rip currents, undertows, and waves in general. Particularly when you have kids.
- Balinese are open-minded but they don’t like: people using their streets as toilets, topless guys in restaurants and shops, disrespectful and loud behavior, somebody touching their head, overly public display of affection
- Use mosquito net and repellent when possible. Dengue fever is widespread.
- The red light district and night life areas attract criminals of all sorts – like in any other place in the world, so always stay alert and don’t drink too much, stay with friends if you can
- ATM machines: always put your hand above the keypad when typing your code. ALWAYS!
- General rule – like in any other place in the world. If a place looks dodgy and you can avoid it and go somewhere else, do so
Environment & People
- Bali is a fragile island. Trash, Water and Traffic are big problems, like in any other part of the developing world.
- Try to take short showers and avoid wasting water.
- Everything you throw away stays in Bali or will be washed into the sea. Rubbish management in this part of the world does not really exist.
- Plastic is problem no. 1. Avoid plastic bottles, straws, plastic bags when shopping.
- Most workers you will meet have a salary of around 130 to 150US$ per month and work hard for their money, travel long distances and share their income with other family members.
- Balinese are super friendly and welcoming. They are also proud and are happy if you respect their customs and island.
- Being angry and shouting is not appreciated. If you have a complaint, be polite, calm and insist on a solution in a friendly manner if you wish to get any result