About Bali

Bali, one of the 13,000 islands that form the Republic of Indonesia, attracts thousands of tourists each year with its culture and atmosphere.
From volcanoes that dominate the landscape, to beautiful beaches, Bali offers magnificent views and endless places to explore.
As well as the breathtaking scenery, the people of Bali are steeped in culture, history and art. Ceremonies, dances and performances are regular occurrences, earning Bali it’s reputation as the “Island of the Gods.”

Weather

As Bali is located just south of the equator and has a tropical climate, conditions are hot and humid all year round. The average temperature is around 29 C or 85 F, although it can get considerably cooler in the more mountainous regions, where it can reach as low as 10 C during the early hours of the morning.
The island only has two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season normally extends from November to April, the dry season from May to October.
The dry season is categorized by the constant winds blowing over the island, referred to during earlier centuries as the trade winds. A local custom taking advantage of this fact is kite flying and visitors are able to view the Balinese skies hosting many colorful kites.
During the wet season, while there will be days that are almost completely rainy, the majority of the time showers are limited to an hour or two during the afternoon, with the rest of the day being cloudy or sunny.

Currency

Bali uses the currency of Indonesia, the Indonesian Rupiah. However, being a major tourist destination, it is easy to change any major currency (such as Australian Dollars, Japanese Yen, American Dollars, British Pounds, etc) or travelers checks at banks and authorized currency exchange centers, known as ‘Money Changers’ (of which there are many). Credit card advances (only in Indonesian Rupiah) are also available at the numerous banks, most of which are located in major tourist areas and towns.
It should be noted that the exchange rate for cash is normally a percent or so better than the rate for travelers’ checks, and that in the case of USD, one will get a better exchange rate for larger denomination bills. Major credit cards are normally accepted at up-market stores, hotels and restaurants. Outside of that, visitors to Bali will find that the bulk of their transactions will take place in cash. In the major towns and cities on the island, ATM machines dispensing Rupiah (supporting Plus® and Interact® systems that allow one to access one’s bank accounts from their home country) can be easily found. Money Changers can also be used for their ease and convenience. Some charge commission and their rates of exchange do vary, hence it is worth shopping around for the best overall exchange deal, especially if there are large sums involved.

Electricity

The island uses 220v electricity. The plug style is southern European, the one with two parallel rounded prongs. Adapters for other electric systems are provided at our villa and can be purchased locally, but if needed, it is advisable to bring them with you to avoid unnecessary annoyances.

Telecoms

A combination of new and old telecommunication systems grace the island. The local phone company service can often be very erratic, and occasional problems with phone lines are to be expected. Modern cell phone towers are dotted around Bali, and coverage is quite good. Visitors with GSM services from overseas (prevalent in most of Europe and Asia but different than those of North America and Japan) that are roaming-enabled for Indonesia, will discover that coverage is fairly good. However, the mobile networks are themselves somewhat erratic and can at times produce busy or disconnected messages when the phone is in fact operational. When the system is busy like this, the only solution is to try again.
Disposable pre-paid rechargeable GSM chips with Indonesian numbers and voicemail service are also readily available for purchase at a reasonable price in Bali. In addition, GSM model phones are available for rent from many places. This enables visitors to bring their own mobile phones or rent one locally, then purchase a chip and setup a local number within an hour.
Finally, there are numerous phone and fax outlets in Bali called ‘Wartel’ that enable you to call anywhere in the world. Most do not allow you to receive calls.
PLEASE NOTE: If people are trying to contact you from overseas it is advisable to inform them that the phone system is less than reliable and if at first they are unable to reach you, to try, try again.
Calling a Bali Number
From overseas – The country code for the Indonesia is 62 and the area code for land lines in southern Bali is (361). To call a local Bali number from overseas, one should first call the overseas access code, followed by the country code for Indonesia, and then the area code for Bali. Mobile numbers in Indonesia are all in the (81) area code.
From within Indonesia but outside of Bali – To place a domestic call to Bali, one must first place a zero in front of the area code and local number. The same applies for a mobile number. Mobile numbers always take a zero in front of them when one is calling domestically.

Calling

From overseas – The country code for the Indonesia is 62 and the area code for land lines in southern Bali is (361). To call a local Bali number from overseas, one should first call the overseas access code, followed by the country code for Indonesia, and then the area code for Bali. Mobile numbers in Indonesia are all in the (81) area code.
From within Indonesia but outside of Bali – To place a domestic call to Bali, one must first place a zero in front of the area code and local number. The same applies for a mobile number. Mobile numbers always take a zero in front of them when one is calling domestically.

Internet

Villa Seriska is “internet ready” with Wireless Internet services…
Telkom, the local Indonesian phone company, has an ISP providing local access numbers to connect to the Internet. Moreover, one does not need to have previously set up an account with them. Therefore, if you have a laptop, you will be able to instantly access the Internet. It should be noted that connection speeds are slow compared to developed countries (around the 14,400bps level and sometimes lower).
Most tourist areas are dotted with Internet cafes, several with broadband connections. Some are open 24 hours a day, but most open from 10am until 10pm. Usage rates vary and are dependent on type and length of computer use, but they are rarely unreasonable.

Health

One of the most important facts about Bali is that unlike many other areas in the region, it is non-malarial. Therefore any malaria prophylactics are unnecessary, unless you plan to travel into a malarial region. Bali supports a number of Western-trained health professionals along with several expatriate doctors who work in some of the local clinics and hospitals. This infrastructure suffices for the majority of any health problems. In more serious cases, Singapore’s world-class physicians and institutions are just two hours away by plane.

First time visitors to tropical locations and this part of the world are advised to first talk to their physicians about recommended immunizations before travelling. This should be done at least three weeks before your planned departure date. If you plan to bring any prescription medications with you, bring a copy of your doctor’s prescription to avoid unnecessary trouble from Indonesian customs. Traveler’s health insurance is recommended.

One key thing to remember about Bali is that it is located just 80 south of the equator and consequently, the air temperature is very hot. Visitors should be very careful in their tanning habits in order not to get burnt, especially right after arrival. Furthermore it is recommended to make an effort to drink more fluids than normal in order to avoid dehydration.

Transport

To ensure the safety of our guests, our Seriska driver will be happy to take you to your destinations for a fee.
Bali’s traffic at first view seems completely chaotic. Appearances are not deceiving, as it is essentially, a large disorganized mess. In the south end of the island, where the preponderance of the traffic is, the majority of the roads are paved. However a paved road does not always ensure that the road’s surface will be flat; maintenance in Bali leaves something to be desired. If one goes anywhere else on the island, you will discover a combination of paved and unpaved roads.
Seriska’s driver is recommended for visitors who are not accustomed to driving in developing countries or motor-derby’s. In addition, taxis are numerous and cheap in the urban areas.
Most forms of transportation such as motorcycles, cars, jeeps, and bicycles, are available for short-term and long-term hire. Villa Seriska will be able to help you organize any form of transportation you desire.

Visas

New Indonesian visa regulations were introduced in 2006, effective 1st February.
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
There are currently three different visas available for tourists visiting Indonesia:
Free Visa on Arrival
Upon arrival in Indonesia and presentation of a passport with at least 6 months validity remaining, citizens from the following countries are eligible for a free 30 day stay permit; Brunei Darussalam, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR, Chile, Peru, Morocco and Vietnam.
Purchased Visa on Arrival
Upon arrival in Bali and presentation of a passport with at least 6 months validity, citizens from the following countries can purchase either a 3 or 30 day non-extendable stay permit; Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom and United States of America.
The approximate charge for a 3 day visa is US$10 and 30 day visa is US$25.
Pre-arranged Visa
Citizens from countries not mentioned above must apply for a visa prior to arriving in Indonesia.
Tourists from any country wishing to stay in Indonesia for over 30 days must apply for a visa prior to arrival in Indonesia.
This information is correct at the time of publication, but for current and further information; please check with your local Indonesian Embassy.

Time Zones

Bali is on Central Indonesian Standard Time, the middle of Indonesia’s three time zones, which is Greenwich meantime plus 8 hours. This is the same time zone as Singapore, Hong Kong, and Western Australia.

Insurance

Holidays, like everything else in life, occasionally take a wrong turn. Villa Seriska shall under no circumstances have any liability to hirer, any other occupier, licensee, or guest on the property for any loss of or damage to the personal belongings, car and its contents of the hirer or any member of the party during the holiday. It is recommended that all visitors ensure that they are covered in terms of travel insurance.

Clothing

When packing, keep in mind that you will be in the tropics (the average year round temperature being 29 degrees centigrade) but that it can get cold if you plan to visit the elevated and mountainous regions. Generally, you will want to dress light and wear natural fibers that absorb perspiration.
For the most part, visitors to Bali dress fairly casually, with beachwear and sandals being the choice of many. At night, a lightweight sweater or light jacket can be useful if one is very temperature sensitive. For the many upscale restaurants and other aspects of the nightlife, the dress tends to be smart tropical casual. A long or short sleeved collared shirt and long pants (trousers) for men, with light dresses for the ladies. It should be noted that if you don’t bring everything you need with you, there are a variety of clothes suited to tropical climates and available for purchase in Bali’s many boutiques and shops.