Bali Diving Absolute Scuba Padang Bai SSI & PADI courses
Frequently Asked Questions
Eight degrees south of the equator, Bali enjoys a warm, tropical climate all year around, with the most pleasant weather from June until September when the trade winds blow. It can get quite cool in Bali’s extensive mountain regions between April and November. Humidity is highest between November and March, during the rainy season. Even during the heaviest rains, however, the sun is rarely out of sight for long. The average temperature is a pleasant 27.2°C (81°F).
Balinese is a complex language which takes different forms depending on social class or caste distinctions. Bahasa Indonesian is also spoken by all Balinese. With its origins in Old Malay, it has become the Indonesian archipelago’s unifying national language. English is increasingly spoken in the main tourist areas. Dutch is still understood by the older generation, while French, German and Japanese are spoken by specialists in the tourist trade.
The national currency is the Rupiah. Bank notes range from 1,000 and 100,000 rupiahs, while coins range from 100 to 500 rupiahs. US dollars are acceptable in a number of the larger tourist areas. Money changers readily change most currencies, but not always traveler’s cheques. Credit cards are accepted by most hotels and other establishments in the larger towns such as Kuta, Sanur, Ubud, Nusa and Denpasar. ATM machines are unpredictable in some towns
Visitors from certain countries require a tourist visa in advance, some can be obtain on arrival at any international airport in Indonesia and some visitors do not require a visa at all. Prices also vary. Visas are valid for up to thirty days and are non-extendable. One-week visas are also available. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date and have at least four full blank pages. Guests are advised to check with their nearest Indonesian embassy or consulate prior to travel.
In certain areas of Southeast Asia there is a chance of contracting mosquito-borne diseases. Reasonable precautions, including the use of mosquito repellent will minimise the risk. You may also wish to consult your doctor prior to travel.
Electricity is 220 volts/50 cycles. Bali’s time zone is plus eight hours GMT.
You will find a range of chauffeur driven limousines, self-drive cars, taxis and hotel courtesy cars. Many taxis are not metered so it's wise to negotiate the fare before you climb aboard. Bemos are a unique form of transport. They are a mini-van masquerading as a communal bus. You simply hail the driver and negotiate the fare that suits you both. Motorcycles can also be hired in many places but special care should be exercised at all times as road and traffic conditions can be somewhat hazardous in certain locations. Traveling around Bali is made all the easier because everywhere you go you'll find friendly people only too happy to give you advice and directions on how to get where you want to go.
Light, airy, loose casual clothes are the most practical and you'll find natural fibers like cotton or linen are the most comfortable in Bali's often humid conditions. In the dry season, April to November, a light sweater may be useful in the evenings, especially in the hill country.
Remember Bali is a land where prayer and religious festivals take center stage. When visiting a temple or attending ceremonies, make it a point to respect local customs and traditions. Always wear a sarong and sash. Do not walk in front of people praying. Do not use a flash camera or point your camera to the priest’s face. Try not to step on offerings in the street (walk around them). Women are not allowed to enter temples during menstruation.
If you wish to hire a car you must be over 18 years of age and posses an International Driver's License or license from ASEAN countries.
Dining Out & Nightlife
Wherever you are on the island there are plenty of restaurants offering good quality, reasonably priced food. To sample real, traditional Balinese food you'll have to sample the cuisine cooked at home by the people of the island or try a dish from one of the many street side food stalls called 'warungs'. This mainly consists of rice with small portions of vegetables, fishand meat and is generally very spicy ("Sambal").
The Laws of Indonesia and Bali
Every major town has a police station called Resort Polisi. The Traffic Police Office is located in Denpasar, its office hours are 8:00 am to 12:00 noon, Monday to Saturday.
All narcotics are illegal in all Indonesian countries and using, selling or buying any drugs can result in huge fines, prison or even the death penalty. If you are caught even your own government will be unlikely to help you, so stay clear of this type of recreation.
If you lose your passport, report it immediately to the local Police station and ask for a letter with the report details. Trying to get a replacement passport can be difficult if you don’t produce this letter.
When traveling to other countries it is always a sign of respect to try and learn some of the different customs of the people. Balinese people are very accommodating and will show their appreciation that you try to follow their customs even if you don’t get it right all the time.
The following matters of etiquette, should be observed especially when travelling around Bali’s rural areas and attending special occasions and festivals:
Always take off your shoes before entering a house even if you are told not to. Patting anyone on the head is considered very rude. If your baby is less than six months old, don’t let it touch the ground. Don’t use your foot to point. Don’t hang your shirt or any clothing on a temple wall. Don’t walk under a washing line that has underwear hanging on it, if is then above your head. When hanging up laundry put your underwear on the lowest rung. When at ceremonies, weddings etc, sit lower than honored guests, priests and sacred objects. Don’t step in front of someone; if you can’t avoid it, adopt a submissive posture and ask forgiveness. Never step over a sacred object or offering, be careful of this as some masks at ceremonies can be sacred. When at special events and in doubt, just don’t do it.