Bali, the famous “Island of the Gods”, is blessed with an interesting landscape of hills and mountains, long sandy beaches, turquoise seas rich in marine life, rugged coastlines, lush rice terraces, swift rivers, unique culture, colorful festivals and hospitable people, making this island a virtual paradise on earth.
This is one of the world’s most popular island destinations which has consistently won travel awards for its charm and beauty.
Most visitors come to Bali for its stunning beaches, world-class surfing and diving, white water rafting on the mighty Ayung River and the breathtaking sunset from the fabulous seaside temple of Tanah Lot.
However, there is another side to Bali that is just as fascinating – its rich culture and history, spectacular ancient temples (pura) and natural wonders.
There is also a wide range of accommodations to suit all budgets from beach huts to budget hotels and luxurious resorts and villas. With so much to offer to all market segments it is no wonder that almost 80% of visitors to Indonesia holiday in Bali.
Bali is home to about five million people. Unlike the rest of Indonesia which is predominantly Muslim, about 93% of the island’s population adheres to Hinduism as a result of the existing local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Southeast Asia and South Asia.
The local Balinese is very friendly, adding to the island’s charm.
Bali’s largest city and capital is Denpasar, located in South Bali.
It is also is the seat of government in Bali and is therefore home to the provincial governor’s office and the administration of the Regency of Badung. This is a bustling, multicultural city filled with temples (pura), palaces and museums.
Bali’s dry season spans from April to September, with days characterized by blue skies and sunshine. The months of May, June and September are arguably the best time to visit, when the weather conditions are idyllic but visitor numbers are not at their highest, meaning the popular beach resorts of Jimbaran, Sanur and Seminyak are not too crowded.
Bali’s wet season falls between October and March, but we’re talking brief tropical rainfall rather than days of monsoonal downpours. Temperatures in Bali are fairly consistent year round, ranging from 26°C – 29°C, although the central regions around Ubud and the mountains, such as Mt Batur, experience cooler temperatures and higher rainfall than the coastal regions.
Bali is located in the westernmost end of Nusa Tenggara, and is between Java to the east and Lombok to the east. It is about nine degrees south of the equator with the Java Sea in the north and the Indian Ocean in the south.
Balinese flora include majestic, holy Banyan trees, swaying palms, the versatile bamboo, acacia trees and flowers, flowers, flowers! Flowers can be seen everywhere; Balinese love beauty and their gardens, roads and temple grounds are delightfully adorned with all kinds of blooms imaginable. Hibiscus, bougainvillea, poinsettia, oleander, jasmine, water lily, roses, begonias, magnolias, orchids and hydrangeas can be found and enjoyed throughout Bali. Ubiquitous frangipani flowers with their exotic perfume blend well into the picturesque scenery.
Wildlife flourish in Bali. Inquisitive monkeys with outstretched hands forever beseeching a treat, lizards living harmoniously with humans and it is purported to be a fortuitous omen if one hears the lizard call seven times. The elusive Balinese tigers still roam the remote northwest part of the island but a sighting is indeed rare. Bats, squirrels, iguanas, civets, barking deer, mouse deer and more than 300 species of birds share Bali’s lush greenery. You will also see schools of dolphins near Lovina, Candidasa and Padangbai, and there are colorful coral and small reef fish, moray eels, crustaceans, sponges and plankton-eating whale sharks along the east coast of Menjangan island, near Gilimanuk. Of course, we must not ignore our domestic friends, who wake us up in the morn or bark at night. Roosters, chickens, ducks, pigs, buffaloes and cows form the complete picture of a Balinese farm life.
Balinese are warm and friendly people who go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. The Balinese love children…it is rare to hear a Balinese adult shout at the kids.Balinese society continues to revolve around each family’s ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Balinese society revolves around each fam-ily’s ancestral village, to which the cycle of life and religion is closely tied. Balinese and Indonesian are the main languages spoken with English as the third language.
Rice is a staple accompanied by vegetables, meat and seafood. Pigs, chickens, fruit, vegetables and seafood are widely utilized. Balinese food has the influences of Indonesian, Chinese and Indian cuisines. As a popular tourist area, many westernized foods and fabulous restaurants are also available as well as other regional ethnic cuisines.
The local currency in Indonesia is the Indonesia Rupiah (IDR). USD 1 is around IDR 12,500-13,500. Major credit cards are widely accepted, and traveler’s cheques and foreign currency are accepted at most of the larger hotels and authorized moneychangers. There are local banks as well as ATM machines in all main towns
Being aware of local customs and taboos is very impor-tant when traveling in any foreign land. In Indonesia you will always be ensured of having a pleasant time if you act with decorum and dress appropriately. On greeting someone it is customary for both men and women to shake hands. This should only be done with the right hand because to shake hands, give or receive, or eat with the left hand is considered impolite. Pointing or summoning someone with your index finger is considered impolite and care should be taken not to climb over places of worship or local monuments.
There are many modes of transport to help you get around in Bali. A variety of excellent half day, full day and overnight tour packages are available from your hotel desk or any of the numerous travel agents and tour operators which abound in Bali. You can also find a car and driver who will also act as your guide. Tell the driver your desired route and negotiate a fee.
An important virtue to have while on the road in Bali is patience! Although the road system in the heavily populated areas is quite reasonable (condition wise) in comparison to other developing countries, it can be heavily congested at peak periods. Ceremonial processions often take up the entire road so if you’re caught behind a procession, enjoy the colorful experience.
With increasing number of direct flights from many parts of the world, getting to Bali is easy. Flights from Jakarta to Bali take about 1.5 hours, from Singapore and Perth (Australia) around 2.5-3 hours, from Hong Kong about 4.5 hours, and from Sydney/Melbourne about 5.5-6 hours on many national and international carriers.
Another means to reach the island is by ferry from Banyuwangi, located at the most eastern tip of East Java. It takes 30-45 minutes crossing from Banyuwangi to Ketapang on Bali. From Bali, you can also continue further by ferry to the island of Lombok, in West Nusa Tenggara. Take the ferry at Padang Bay with transit at Lembar seaport for a total of 4 hours journey.
Below are our preferred tour packages which our consultants prepared carefully and handpicked each of the destinations to make unforgettable moments when you travel to Bali.