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Bali Travel Planning Roundup

7 June 2015

Prepping for your trip from Australia to Bali? We’ve done the research for you with our essential list of top sites for Bali travel information and inspiration.

ORIENTATION

Bali is an island and province of the Republic of Indonesia, the largest archipelagic country in the world, made up of 2,000,000 km2 of land with a chain of islands stretching over 500,000 km from Sumatra to Papua.

The province of Bail includes the island of Bali and a few smaller islands, the main spots being Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida.

Great Mountain Views Villa Jasmine

Hidden gems is what Bali is all about. Image: airbnb.com

Floating between Java to the west and Lombok to the east, Bali is located 8 to 9 degrees south of the equator with the Java Sea to the north, the Indian Ocean to the south. Bali’s capital of Denpasar, and Ngurah Rai International Airport, lies at the southern tip of the island. The island is fairly compact, measuring 90km long the north-south axis and less than about 140km from west to east.

From Australian shores, Bali lies to northeast, roughly 2705 kilometres to its closest Aussie neighbouring city of Darwin. Tourism is mainly focused in the south of the island with the most popular spots being Kuta, and its outer suburbs of Legian and Seminyak. North of Kuta the beach town of Canggu is quickly gaining popularity, while to the south, Jimbaran, Uluwatu (Pecatu) and Nusa Dua are emerging holiday haunts. To the east, Sanur – once the only tourist hub, is the place to be, while way up north it’s all about Lovina.

Travel with Jane to top yoga retreats in Bali - feature

Bali is known for its spiritual vibes and is the ideal place to practice yoga

GETTING THERE

Bali is close, like really close to Australia, especially when you’re jetting off from the west coast or Top end! Denpasar is but a casual 2h40 minute hop from Darwin, a 3h40m punt from Perth, and a 6h15m ‘stretch’ from Sydney.

The flight options are plenty, with Jetstar, Virgin Australia, Air Asia and Tiger Air, servicing the route with direct flights from most capital cities. Stop by Skyscanner to find the cheapest times to go to Bali and book that flight!
For Denpasar airport info and tips on getting to your hotel or villa from the airport, check Bali-Indonesia.com‘s quick guide.

Bali - Travel with Jane

The home of affordable villas. Image: airbnb.com

VISAS

The Aussie government’s Smartraveller site is our go-to for the really important stuff on all foreign travel, including Bali in Indonesia. On tourist visa rules for Australian’s visiting Bali on holiday, Smartraveller says:
The Indonesian Government has introduced visa-free short visits (30 days) for Australians to Indonesia. You will not be able to extend your stay if you enter Indonesia under the visa-free facility.

Travellers intending to remain in Indonesia for longer than 30 days can apply for a visa from an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia or apply for a visa on arrival (for a fee of $US35). Further details are available on the website of the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra.

The visa-free and visa on arrival facility is not available to foreigners entering Indonesia through the land border between Timor Leste (East Timor) and Indonesian West Timor or to foreigners entering Indonesian West Papua. Some airlines flying from Australia to Jakarta and Bali may offer a visa processing service on board the flight.

Because entry and exit requirements can change, contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia for the most up-to-date information.

Villa Bantes mps Hidden Paradise

Epic sunsets await. Image: airbnb.com

LANGUAGE

Bali’s local dialect is Bahasa Bali but Bahasa Indonesia is the official language of Indonesia and thus Bali. Both languages are a version of Malay with a smattering of  loan words thrown in from other languages including  Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Portuguese, Chinese, and Dutch. In fact, it’s estimated that there are some 10,000 loanwords from Dutch like  polisi (from politie = police), korupsi (from corruptie = corruption), and gratis (from gratis = free).

As you can see, a knowledge of Dutch might come in handy if you’re on official business. For general chit chat around the resort, a slow and basic English will do the job, but it’s always handy to be able to throw in a please – ‘Tolong’ [toh-long] and thanks ‘Terima’ Kasih [ter-ree-mar car-see]. For more vocab tips, have a look at this Tripadvisor article on important Indonesian phrases.

SAFETY PRECAUTIONS

Smartraveller lists hire-motorcycle accidents as a risk to watch out for. Have a read here about how you might not be covered by travel insurance in a scooter accident.
Motorbike or scooter crashes, along with rough seas and strong currents, and travel by boat or ferry are also mentioned in the list of potential Bali safety risks.

Natural disasters including earthquakes, floods and volcanic eruptions are also common throughout the region. Register your Bali travel details with Smartraveller to stay in the loop via their email service.

For on the ground emergency assistance such as police, coast guard and ambulance services, bookmark Bali.com‘s important emergency phone numbers guide.

BALI PLUGS AND ADAPTORS

You’re probably travelling with an armload of devices, so keeping those gadgets charged will be a priority. Bali.com offers a word of advice on the lay of the land, and what to bring:

In Bali and Indonesia you can expect the 2 pin socket and plug as used in larger parts of Europe. Whether you are staying in a hotel or in a private villa you should be able to get an adapter if you ask for one. The pins are round, not flat or rectangular.

Bali Beach House By The Sea

Epic sunsets await. Image: airbnb.com

THE BEST OF BALI

Sometimes you just want to cut to the chase and experience the big hitters, right? For an awesome range of top Bali lists, we love Bali-Indonesia.com for their concise recommendations and stunning photo galleries.
Here you’ll find the 10 Best Things to Do in Bali, the 10 Best Beach Clubs in Bali, the Top 5 Must-See Temples in Bali, and the 10 Best Restaurants in Bali 2015.

Bali is one of Australia’s favourite holiday spots – and there’s no need to wonder why. As our closest Asian neighbour, Bali is an easily accessible getaway. Its warm weather will entice you to swim at the beaches of Seminyak, Legian and Lombok or relax poolside at a resort or villa.

If you’re on a girls’ week away you’ll be ready for a health retreat indulgence, and those looking for a soul searching escape can bliss out at one of Bali’s many yoga retreats.

A bargain shopping splurge at the Kuta markets might be more your thing, or you could be a daredevil seeking your latest adventurous jaunt in the form of a hike or rafting trip. (And if you’re really keen, you might even do the whole lot!)

Bali will not only feast your senses – nature lovers’ eyes will pop at the lush environment from coast to volcano, while your tastebuds are sure to appreciate the platters of seafood and spices – but also stimulate your brain.

With its Hindu and Muslim culture, love of dancing and music, beautiful wooden carvings with mythological stories to tell, wildlife such as the famous monkey park and elephant safaris, and artsy Ubud region, this is excitement at its best.

Travel with Jane Interview with Katinka Somers We Are Handsome Swimwear

Bali is a favourite of swimwear label We Are Handsome. Image: We Are Handsome

WEATHER

Bali.com covers the climate and seasons basics including regional temperatures and rainfall, along with monthly averages .

Accuweather offers in depth weather updates including extended forecasts. Surfers should bookmark Magic Seaweed to see what the waves are up to.

BLOGGERS

Travel bloggers would be balmy not to include Bali in their blogging hit list. Luckily many do, with some even devoting every post to the island we can’t get enough of. Bali.com’s done a great job of listing the best Bali blogs to follow for a local and diverse view on what to do and see in Bali. Their favourites include We Like Bali and Bali Wedding Blog.

Other excellent blogs to check out are The Bali Bible and Little Miss Bali. For Bali Yoga planning we love this post by Adventurous Miriam, check it out!

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