Bali is a province in the country of Indonesia. The province covers a few small neighbouring islands as well as the isle of Bali. The main island is located in the westernmost end of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east. It is one of the country's 34 provinces with the provincial capital at Denpasar towards the south of the island.
Climate-wise in Bali, the rainy season is December through to March however we didn’t have any rain while we were there this February (2013). The temperature year round is between 24°C to 32°C and humidity averages between 60% - 80%. The dry season with least humidity is June to September.
Getting to Bali
Flying to Bali is a bit of an experience in itself; it can involve one, two or even three stopovers if flying from the UK. The most direct option with only just one stopover is to fly via Singapore, Hong Kong or Kuala Lumpur so to maximize your experience. What is quite often done is to package Bali as a two center destination i.e. Bali and Hong Kong, Bali and Singapore or Bali and Kuala Lumpur. With this option the flying time can be as little as 17 to 20 hours.
Other cheaper options with two or three stopovers are via Amsterdam, Paris, Dubai and Doha. Flying time can be as long as 24 to 30 hours. I would recommend you weigh up the saving that is made against the time spent traveling; sometimes the price difference is minimal.
UK Passport holders can get a Visa on arrival. There is an Arrival and Departure Tax at Bali Airport. The Arrival Tax must be in USD (USD25) and the Departure Tax is (RP1500) paid in the local currency IDR Indonesia Rupiahs. The current exchange rate (February 2013) is £1 = RP15,013.
Balinese and Indonesian are the most widely spoken languages in Bali, and the vast majority of Balinese people are bilingual or trilingual. English is widely spoken amongst the locals.
Where to Stay
Staying in Bali can be as simple and cheap or as grand and luxurious as you want it to be, it just depends on your budget. There are plenty of guesthouses and hostels to be found as well as run of the mill hotels then at the other end of the scale you can stay at the Oberio or W Hotel. Another option which you may want to look at which is great value, is to stay in a Villa. Villa’s come in all sizes 2,3, 4 and5 bedroom and differing budgets again. If there’s enough of you going, it can be more economical than staying at one of the 5-Star hotels. We stayed in the town of Semenyak one of the nicer areas of Bali at a fantastic villa called Villa Issi which came with its own full-length pool, gym, driver, chef and 24-hour butler.
What’s there to do in Bali?
In one sentence “As Little or As Much As You Want To Do”. You can laze by the pool all day and soak up the sun with a cocktail in hand or go for a Balinese or Indonesian Spa Treatment. And then to the other extreme where you can go rafting on the Telaga Waja and Ayung River, surfing the waves off the Bali Strait, there are plenty of places to go snorkeling off the coast as well or visit the Bali National Park. Tegenungan Waterfall, visit the hot springs, The Besakih Temple or a trip to Kintamani and climb the volcan. If you do this, I recommend you that you go first thing in the morning due to the high temperatures come mid-day and early afternoon.
One of our days out was as a trip inland to Ubud, which is a great little town with character and fabulous silver shops (Bali is known for silver jewelry production) and don’t forget to barter! There’s is a great restaurant just outside Ubud called Indus, which has superb views over the Rice Terraces. Eating out in Bali is so in-expensive it’s unreal, however the food is fantastic. We recommend that you always drink bottled water in both the bars, restaurants and at the hotel or villa.
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