Bali is a small, beautiful island famed for its unique arts and cultures, enchanting nature and the friendliness of its people. Most people come to Bali to experience the marvelously rich cultural heritage; some come for the beaches and the waves, others for pure relaxation. Bali is situated in Indonesia, one of the best tourist destinations in Asia.
For those who plan to visit Bali, I herewith write Ten Essential Tips for Bali Vacation for your consideration.
1. To enter Bali, or Indonesia for that matter, make sure your passport is valid for six months upon entry into Indonesia, otherwise you?ll find yourself on the next plan out. You also must have proof of onward passage (i.e. a ticket out of Indonesia). Tourist, social and business visas can be obtained from any Indonesian embassy or consulate abroad. Citizens from Asian countries comprising Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia, Philippine and Laos do not require a visa, only a valid travel document. Visitors from some thirty countries are also provided with a 60-days tourist visa issued directly upon arrival. Consult your travel agent or airlines, mention your nationality.
2. Money matters: The rupiah is the basic unit of money. Foreign currency, in bank notes and traveler?s checks is best exchanged at major banks or authorized money changers. Do change money at a reputable looking location, use your own (or the hotel?s calculator before changing), as the ones used by some places can be ?a little inaccurate?. Most important; always count your money before you leave the place. Traveler?s checks are accepted at all major hotels and large shops; some smaller shops will also accept them. Passport number is required. Do not forget to take passport (or a photocopy of your ID), with you at all time.
3. When changing large amounts of money please check each note carefully as there are a number of (noticeably) fake bills in circulation.
4. There have been a few cases of handbags being snatched after one has cashed money at banks or money changers. Put your money away in your ?bum-bag? or hold onto your handbag tightly.
5. Credit cards and charge cards: To day many hotels, shops large and small accept plastic, with the proviso that an additional 3% is added onto your bill. However, when traveling to the village, take rupiah with you. Keep small change handy when riding in public transports or buying drinks at warung.
6. Make sure you either have personal insurance or travel insurance that will cover in any accidents. If you rent a car (must be with insurance), beware of motorbikes, as there are too many on the road. When you park the car, always remember to remove all your properties. Crime is on the increase and can spoil your holiday. Be careful with your belongings at all times. Cases of handbag snatching have been reported, so leave important documents in your hotel safe (carry photocopies). Do not forget to look and listen while you cross the road. Cars may stops, motorbikes may not!
7. Going to Bali, dress casually. Take light clothes, as the weather is warm-to – hot throughout the year. Remember Bali is a land where prayer and religious festivals take center stage. When visiting a temple or attending ceremonies, make it a point to respect local customs and traditions. Always wear a sarong and sash. Do not walk in front of people praying. Do not use a flash camera or point your camera to the priest?s face. Do try not to step on offerings in the street (walk around them). Women are not allowed to enter temples during menstruation.
8. Do not drug! It can carry the death penalty, and there are enough foreigners residing in Bali courtesy of the Government prison service.
9. Do not swim outside designated swimming areas on the beach, current/undertows can be very strong. Swim between the red and yellow flags. Don?t swim too far out. Do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach.
10. Health: International health certificates of vaccination against smallpox, cholera, and yellow fever are required only from travelers comprising from infected areas. Typhoid and paratyphoid vaccinations are optional but still advisable. Drink only distilled or mineral water, or water that has been boiled and eat a lot of fresh fruit ? do your body a favor. Don?t worry too much about ice, it?s a government quality controlled in established bars and restaurants. Most people traveling through Bali get the infamous “Bali Belly” at some time or other. Taking and Imodium will stop you up. At the first time of discomfort (diarrhea and cramping), drink strong, hot tea and avoid all fruits and spicy foods. Taking charcoal tablets will help alleviate the cramping.
Bali is worth a visit, plan your vacation, go on line and book your preferred Bali hotels or contact your travel agent. Thanks you readers.