Bali was inhabited by Austronesian peoples by about 2000 BCE who migrated originally from Taiwan through Maritime Southeast Asia. Culturally and linguistically, the Balinese are thus closely related to the peoples of the Indonesian archipelago, the Philippines, and Oceania.
Location & Area
Bali is an Indonesian island located at, the westernmost of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country’s 33 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.
GMT +8 hours
You can expect pleasant day temperatures between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius or 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. From December to March, the West monsoon can bring heavy showers and high humidity, but usually days are sunny and the rains start during the night and pass quickly. From June to September the humidity is low, and it can be quite cool in the evenings. During this time of the year, you’ll have hardly any rain in the coastal areas.
Even when it rains in most parts of Bali you can often enjoy sunny days on the “Bukit”, the hill south of Jimbaran Beach. On the other hand, in Ubud and the mountains you must expect cloudy skies and showers throughout the year (this is why the international weather reports for “Denpasar” or “Bali” mention showers and rain storms during all times of the year). In higher regions such as in Bedugul or Kintamani you’ll also need either a sweater or jacket after the sun sets.
Passports & Visas
Bali Visa. Important change to Indonesia’s Visa Policy for Tourists.
Please read carefully as there have been changes to Indonesia visa policy.
[updated December 1st 2006]
Countries that do not require a Visa to enter Bali.
Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Macao Special Administrative Region, Malaysia, Morocco, Peru, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam
Countries that require and are eligible for Visa-On Arrivals – cost for these visas are US$10 for a stay of up to 7 days, US$25 for a stay of up to 30 days.
[updated June 18th 2007]
Algeria, Arab Emirates, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Bahrain, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Canada, China, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Laos, Latvia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Maldives, Malta, Mexico, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Oman, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Suriname, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Tunisia, United Kingdom, United States America
It is important to also note the following:
* The Visa on Arrival is non-extendable and cannot be converted into a different visa.
* The Visa purchasing system will take approximately 3-5 minutes per applicant.
* There are 6 payment counters, a bank and a money changer set up to process payments.
* Once you have paid for and received your visa you will need to proceed to Immigration where your visa will be processed.
Citizens of countries not on the visa on arrival or visa free lists will be required to apply for a visa before entering Indonesia.
Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date of entry into Indonesia, and you must have proof of onward passage (either return or through tickets). If you cannot fulfill both of these requirements, you may not be allowed to enter the country.
In general people wear clothes that are similar to western style. In many rural areas and on celebrations (special occasions) people wear traditional dress. But normally traditional dress is not worn on a daily basis. Batik is considered a formal dress. Each regional area in Indonesia has its own traditional dress.
Many men wear ties when they go to work. But, most of them do not wear tie. Just regular shirt and pants. For informal occasion, people wear jeans. Women wear dress just like ordinary people in the west. Of course, even if it is hot, no bikinis (except in beaches).
Bahasa Indonesia is the official Indonesian language. Balinese languages are also widely spoken by the local population. English is widely spoken, especially in popular tourist areas. Dutch, German, Swedish and Japanese languages are spoken in some places catering primarily to the tourist trade.
Islam is Indonesia’s main religion, with almost 88% of Indonesians declared Muslim according to the 2000 census, making Indonesia the most populous Muslim-majority nation in the world. The remaining population is 9% Christian (of which roughly two-thirds are Protestant with the remainder mainly Catholic, and a large minority Charismatic), 2% Hindu and 1% Buddhist.
The currency used in Indonesia is the Rupiah and to get the best exchange rates, it is best to stick to US dollars or sterling traveller’s cheques rather than cash and stick to banks and credit cards are widely accepted in major destinations such as Jakarta and Bali, there are also many ATMs in the territory and if need be, you can usually get a cash advance in a bank – at a small charge.
Tipping is not common practice, but there are always little charges to pay, people who help you park, people who carry your bag, cab drivers, and waiters will all expect a few thousand Rupiah for their service – for meals, you may well pay around 10% of the bill in upmarket restaurants – a few pence everywhere else, unless a service charge has already been added to the bill, and gentle bargaining over prices is the norm in almost all markets, shops and hotels.
Bali is magical; it offers unique combination of spectacular mountain scenery and beautiful beaches, with warm and friendly people. A trip to Bali can be filled with culture, nature, art, and shopping.
The Island – Only 2,136 square miles (5,633 square kilometers) and located eight degrees south of the equator, Bali is one of the islands of the more than 17,000 that make up the Indonesian archipelago. Bali offers a landscape of great contrasts: majestic mountains and coastal lowlands, limestone fringes and soft sand beaches. Bali’s beaches benefit from coastal winds, strong swells and warm waters year round, making them a popular destination for swimmers and surfers alike.
The People – Balinese; a gentle people renowned for their genuine smiles, warm hospitality and strong cultural identity. Most Balinese practice a form of Hinduism dating to the 7th century. These beliefs meld Hindu and Buddhist principles with a basis in pre-Hindu religious customs. Balinese society is highly structured and communal. The powerful village unit, or banjar, determines most community affairs.
The Culture – The Balinese are fastidious and sincere in their devotion. Gods, ancestors and even demons are treated as honored guests and dutifully presented with daily offerings. Religious holidays and celebrations fill the 210-day Balinese calendar plus there are marriages and cremations, tooth filings and temple festivals. The Balinese welcome visitors to these rituals and rites of passage as long as a few simple rules of dress (sarong and sash) and behavior are observed.
The Art – For the Balinese, art, music and dance are means to entertain the Gods. Virtually every Balinese man, woman and child masters some art form passed down through the generations. Authentic cultural exhibits, music and dance performances take place throughout the day and into the night at several venues throughout Bali. The Balinese ensemble known as Gamelan produces highly developed and varied indigenous music. It typically features a variety of instruments to accompany other arts, such as dance, wayang (shadow puppet performances), and rituals. Popular Balinese dances include pendet, legong, baris, topeng tua, barong and kecak.
The Balinese take pride in craftsmanship. A small knife can become a powerful tool to carve detailed masterpieces out of wood.
Things To Do in Bali
Visitors who would like to explore the great outdoors will find many options in Bali. Certified scuba diving training and tours include wreck, reef and night dives. White water rafting, kayaking, bicycle tours, hiking through the mountains, trekking through rice fields or water skiing on the waters of a volcanic lake. Nature enthusiasts can wander through game reserves, bird sanctuaries or horticultural gardens.
Those who consider shopping their sport of choice can amass treasures on any budget. Locally designed fashions decorated with intricate bead work or catwalk cool leather outfits displays in chic boutiques. Original glassware and ceramics are sold in trendy shops and factory outlets. Bespoke jewelry crafted in gold or silver will be delighting too.
Bali is served by Ngurah Rai International Airport, just 20 minutes away from The Ritz-Carlton, Bali. As of September 2013, Ngurah Rai Airport has expanded to cater more domestic and international flights. It is served by a number of airlines including Singapore Airlines, Cathay Pacific, KLM, Garuda Indonesia, Air Asia, Qatar Airways, etc.
Explore our Destinations in Asia:
- Beijing, China
- Hangzhou, China
- Hong Kong, China
- Shanghai, China
- Tibet, China
- Andaman Islands, India
- Ladakh, India
- Bintan Island, Indonesia
- Jakarta, Indonesia
- Lombok, India
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Langkawi, Malaysia
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- Bangkok, Thailand
- Chiang Mai, Thailand
- Chiang Rai, Thailand
- Hua Hin, Thailand
- Koh Chang, Thailand
- Koh Lanta, Thailand
- Koh Samui, Thailand
- Phuket, Thailand
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