By I Nengah Subadra
Located at an intersection between Java with Nusa Tenggara Islands, and between two continents, Asia Dominated by lofty volcanoes and misty highland, the highly cultivated fertile plains of Bali stretch towards the sea in an unsurpassable beautiful verdant patchwork. Complex irrigation system feed the intricately terraced rice fields and lush tropical vegetation, fills the ravines and valleys and surround the myriad of temples, ancient monuments and holy bathing places that are constant reminders of Bali’s ancient history and its living culture and religion.To the gem of a tropical island add a warm and smiling gentle brown-eye people with a mellow relaxing life-style that flows the demands of an age-old religion and tradition in a colorful rhythm of ceremony, festival, music, art and dance. It becomes obvious why Bali has been endlessly romanticized and described as a utopian paradise by visitor!
With reputation as being one of the most beautiful and diverse tourist spots in Asia, Bali attracts more than 1000,000 visitors a year, from all around the world. Geographically, Bali lies between the island of Java and Lombok and is one of more than 17.000 island that makes up the Indonesian archipelago. Bali is small stretching approximately 140 km from East to west and 80km from North to South. Slightly off center, and running East to West, are a string of volcanic mountains. The tallest is Gunung Agung, which last erupted in 1963, and is 3,142m at its highest point.
Bali lies 8o south of the equator, just North of Australia and South of Singapore. Bali enjoys a tropical climate with an average yearly temperature of 28o C during the dry season (April – October) and wet season (November – March). The rich of volcanic soil and healthy moonsoon season make this island extremely fertile and a range of crops are grown here. This wide and gently sloping Southern regions play host to Bali’s famed rice terraces, among some of the most spectacular in the world.
The Balinese people have strong spiritual roots and despite the large influx of tourist over the years, their culture is very much alive. The main religion is Hindu Dharma, Which arrived in Bali with the spread of Hinduism through Sumatra and Java during the 11th century. Although original from India Balinesse religion is a unique blend of Hindu, Budisht, Javanesse and ancient indigenous beliefs, with custom those are very different from the traditional form of Hinduism practiced in India today. Naturally creative, the Balinese have traditionally used their talents for religious purposes and most of the beautiful work to be seen here, has been inspired by stories from the Ramayana and other Hindu epics
The majority of Bali’s 3,000,000 people live, for the most part, in tight village communities with large extended families. The largest towns are the capital of Denpasar, population approximately 250,000 and Singaraja in the North. The main tourist area is Kuta. This small sleepy village became a major attraction during the tourist boom of the 70’s, because of its famed white sand beach, the surf and stunning sun set. throughout the whole journey. Medicines can be obtained from local chemist shops called “Apotik” in conformity with doctor’s prescription.
SEA WATER LOW & HIGH TIGHT SCHEDULE
• High Tide, estimated timing from 0800am to 1200noon
• Low Tide, estimated timing from 1230 to 2000hrs
There is no restriction on import or export of foreign currencies, however, it is prohibited to import or export Indonesian Currency exceeding Rp. 50.000,-.
The unit of currency is “Indonesian Rupiah” (Rp.), consists of:
• Coins: 5, 10, 25, 50, 100, 500, and 1000
• Notes: 100, 500, 1000, 5000, 10.000, 50.000, and 100.000.
Estimated Exchange Rate: US$. 1.00 is equivalent to Rp. 9.500,- to Rp. 9.900,-
VISA / PASSPORT VALIDITY
Visa requirements differ for each country, kindly check with your local embassy if you may require a visa to enter Indonesia. But please ensure that your passport has a minimum of six months validity from the date of departure.
Dress properly when entering to the Hindu Temple. It is considered disrespectful to wear brief clothing in the villages, towns, or on public transport, and it is even more unacceptable to wear miniskirt, short, thong and beachwear for visiting temples, ritual ceremonies and government offices.
SEASON & CLIMATE
Bali has such a mild and agreeable climate the whole year-round, with average temperature of the day in coastal areas varies from about 28°C (82°F) during May-July to about 30°C (86°F) in March to October, while the most pleasant weather is between May to September.
Bali lies just 8 degrees South of the Equator, hence has is particularly needed to avoid sunburn since the sun is quite fierce around the day. Therefore light and loose cotton attire is more advisable for the daytime.
MEDICAL SERVICES & SUPPLIES
Hospital and Health Centers staffed by well-trained doctors and medical-assistants are available in major tourist resorts and the Provincial Capital. However, if you are on medication, it is advisable that there are adequate supplies of medicine for you to last throughout the whole journey. Medicines can be obtained from local chemist shops called “Apotik” in conformity with doctor’s prescription.
220 volts 50 cycles throughout the country, and major hotels have only two-round plug sockets. Check your appliance for a 100V/220V switch, if not you will need a voltage converter.
Do not drink from the tap drink only bottled water.
A 10% services charge is added to the bill at restaurants but a small gratuity will be appreciated. In ordinary restaurants, tip no more than 10% as a token of appreciation for the service rendered.
It is advisable to purchase travel insurance for comprehensive protection against traveling overseas to protect of accidental/ medical expenses/ baggage losses.
On leaving Bali, every person are obliged to pay a Passenger Facility Service Charge, Rp. 100,000.00 for international flights departure and Rp. 25,000.00 for domestic flight departure.
Bali is linked via satellite to all major countries in the world and to make an International call can be made from any private house, business center, hotel telephone or Telecommunication center. How to call to your home country?
From hotel room: dial 9 + 001 + your home country code + tel. Number.
From your mobile: dial 001 + your home country code + tel. Number
Government offices open from 07.00am–14.00hrs on Monday to Thursday, while Friday open from Friday from 07.00–11.00am. Saturday & Sunday closed.
Most Shops open six days a week from 0800am to 1500hrs and in the evening from 17.00 to 22.00hrs, while department stores and shopping centers are open for 12hours from 09.00am to 21.00hrs. Same also open on Sunday.
Bali is known as a treasure house of interesting goods, splendid local hand-woven materials, silver and gold works, woodcarvings, garments and many other handicrafts in attractive displays await shoppers. It is common to bargain in markets, shops and art shops so having good price is partly depended on one’s smartness in bargaining and must be new experiences for certain buyers.