Where is Bali?
Everyone talks about Bali, particularly after the Eat, Pray, Love phenomenon but where is it?
Bali is a small island which is part of the province of Indonesia, a group of islands in the Pacific which sits above Australia, just north of the city of Perth and below Malaysia. It is part of the West side of the group of islands very close to Jakarta.
It has become a hot tourist destination due to its climate, beaches, and beauty.
If you are an Eat, Pray, Love fan you should look out for Ubud and Padang-Padang.
When to go?
The best times to travel to Bali is during the ‘dry season’ from July to August. The Christmas and Easter breaks are also popular.
The monsoon (rain season) is from aproximately October through to April, particularly October to March.
Compared to many island destinations, Bali is highly cost effective which
makes it a huge drawing card for many Americans, Australians, Germans. It is a great place to get away, experience some Indonesian culture or relax at one of the many resorts on offer.
Airbnb offers an amazing range of houses and bungalows scattered around the island, check out the top 20 here with rooms ranging from $18.00 through to around $150.00 a night and they are BEAUTIFUL. For the best resorts take a look at the TripAdvisor ratings here.
Bali is part of the ‘Coral Triangle’, which has the largest biodiversity of marine life. If you love diving and snorkeling this is definitely something to check out. To give you an idea, the Coral Triangle hosts 7 times the amount of wildlife than the Caribbean! Some of the top species to spot are whales, dugong, and marine turtles.
How long is the flight?
It takes around 16 hours to fly to Bali from LA. There are very few direct flights which is why the time is a little longer than expected. If you are traveling from the U.S., consider connecting through Manila, Hong Kong or Singapore.
Flights from Australia run frequently from most major airports such as Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin among others.
If you are looking for the connecting airport, try Bali Airport (BAJ) to check connecting flights.
What to know before you go?
If you go in the high season, do expect crowds in the tourist locations in South Bali and Ubud. Head for the north and West coast for a more relaxed and less tourist focused trip.
‘Bali belly’, is less of a problem due to heightened dietry standards. You no longer need to avoid cut salads or ice in hotels.
Some restaurants and hotels require a dress code for entry so bring something a little smarter than just your resort wear.
The rules for visas in Bali have recently changed but it is always smart to check your personal visa situation before you go.
Check if you need a visa. In 2015, visa regulation changed it now includes thirty countries on the ‘free visa’ entry program.
If you are from any of the following countries, you can enter Bali. Note, Australians, you still need an official visa and are not included on this list.
- People’s Republic of China
- South Korean
- New Zealand
- Great Britain
- The Netherlands
- South Africa
To get the ‘visa free entry’
- Jakarta – Soekarno-Hatta Airport
- Bali – Ngurah Rai Airport in Denpasar
- North Sumatra –
KualuNamu Airport in Medan
- East Java – Juanda Airport in Surabaya
- Batam – Hang Nadim Airport
- Bintan – Port of Sri Bintan
- Batam – Port of Sekupang
- Batam – Port of Batam Center
- Riau – Port of Tanjung Uban
Do not take risks with the rules
Indonesia has strict rules! Keep an eye out for the signs, the police are strict with fines. If you get a fine, do not argue, just pay it.
Feature photo credit Clem Onojeghuo – https://unsplash.com/@clemono2
Patric Schöpfilin – https://unsplash.com/@patrickschoepflin