Bali is situated just below the equator and has a tropical climate. There are only 2 seasons. The wet season from November to March. This is the hottest time of the year with temperatures in the range of 30-33C during the day to 24-25C at night. The other season is the dry where temperatures are generally 4-5 degrees cooler.
The mountains are wet year round averaging 110inches of rain per year.
The Balinese use the sun as a clock. Being near the equator guarantees a fairly uniform 12 hours of daylight.
The population is almost entirely Indonesian, 95% of whom are Balinese Hindu.
The average Balinese who deals with tourists is usually conversant with one of the Balinese dialects as well as Bahasa (the official language of Indonesia) and of course English.
Bali has been called the ‘land of a thousand temples’ There are more likely to be 3 times this amount.
Passport and Visas
Visitors to Bali require a passport which is valid for a minimum 6 months. Currently nationals of certain countries are required to purchase a visa for $US25 to enter the country.
Vaccinations are generally regarded as not necessary. The water is not particularly safe for drinking. Bottled water is recommended and is widely available.
The unit of currency in Bali is the rupiah. Cash and travelers cheques are very easy to exchange in the major centres. Money changers are very competitive, but be warned to check your transaction as some operators can leave you short changed.
The telecommunications system has improved vastly in recent years. Telephone offices (wartels) are easily found. Local. long distance and international calls can be made from these offices. Internet cafes are in abundance. Mobile phone coverage is good and SMS is cheap.
Taxis are plentiful. You can generally negotiate a price, but it is usually simpler to ask for the meter to be turned on.
There is a multitude of restaurants specializing in many cuisines. Indonesian food is common and available all across the island. If there is a particular type of food you enjoy, you are sure to find here in Bali. Each month we review particular restaurants and post our comments on our news page.
Beer drinkers will feel right at home in Bali. The local Bintang beer is extremely popular and cheap!!
Balinese fruit is a real treat. The variety and quality is extraordinary. It is plentiful and quite cheap. Some local varieties to try include Rambutan, Mangosteen, Salak, Nanga and Durian (smells bad, tastes wonderful).
Shopping here is just fantastic. From large department stores like Matahari and Ramayana, Gucci and Chanel stores, right through to the hundreds of street stalls, markets and specialty shops. There is no escaping it. It is literally a shopper’s paradise.