Getting ready for Bali (Updated)

Special thank you to Garrett Kam who resides in Bali and provided the following information.

Indonesian electric current is 220 volts, so make sure you bring a transformer for any electrical equipment. The sockets here have two round plugs, so you should bring an adaptor as well. The hotel may have a few, but with so many people coming they may be in short supply so better to bring your own. CEE_7-17_plug_and_socket.png.

It will be the hottest time of the year here; the rains start falling in December. So you’ll still be able to go around without fear of getting wet, although global weather patterns are out of whack so be prepared. While shorts and singlets and strapless tops are fine in the hotel, if you go outside on tours beyond the beach then more modest clothing is better. This is more the case if you go to temples, where modest wear is required. You can buy sarongs or similar material and a temple sash here rather than rent from temples at sometimes pirate rates, and use them at all temples and even on the beach.

Sandals are probably better than shoes, as they are easier to put on and remove especially if going into someone’s home. You don’t need to remove them in going into temples (there are a few exceptions, and any Buddhist one or Islamic mosque will require removal of footwear). Even rubber zori are fine, but can be a bit slippery in wet places.

In other words, dress comfortably in light cotton clothing, You can buy lots of it in Bali, and not so expensive. Even extra large sizes are available these days, especially for the BIG American tourists.

Bring a sunhat and sunglasses, and if sun-sensitive your favorite sunscreen with a high sunblock factor. The light and heat can be merciless this time of the year.

Bottled water is widely available, so do not drink any tap water (unless it’s been boiled for tea or coffee). Bottled drinks are also for sale even at small roadside refreshment stalls.

UPDATE: Another note, regarding money: Those bringing US dollars, only very new currency bills from 2003 and 2007 are accepted, and they must be in very crisp and clean condition with no marks or excessive folding on them. The best rate is for $50 and $100 bills; much less for other denominations. If you don’t want to convert too much money at one time, then $50 bills are the best bet. Most other international currencies are accepted: Singapore dollar, Malaysian ringgit, Japanese yen, Australian dollar, New Zealand dollar, Korean won, Thai baht, Taiwanese dollar, Hongkong dollar, Euro, UK pound.

If you have any more questions about getting ready for Bali or would like to add your own suggestions please feel free to leave it as a comment.

5 thoughts on “Getting ready for Bali (Updated)

  1. A request to Garrett Kam for additional information:

    1.Some of the registered participants (alumni from Bangladesh) have made accommodation arrangement at Hotel Sanur Beach Bali.
    i. How far is this Hotel Sanur Beach Bali from the conference venue (Hotel Sanur Paradise) ?

    ii. Is it in walking distance or they need to take taxi to cover this distance.

    iii. How much is the taxi fare (one way), if relevant ?

    2. When I tried to arrange tours in Bali through Tour Desk at Hotel Sanur Paradise I got several packages (half day and full day tours) from the website. Some where tyhe price is mentioned in IDR and it mentioned that this is for KIM/Kitas holders. What does this mean ? I requested the tour desk at Hotel Sanur Paradise several times but received no response.

    Will appreciate replies to these questions Thanks.

    Chapter Leader, Bangladesh

  2. The information provided by Kam is useful. I remember my pleasant experience in Bali in the early part of this century. I was surprised to find that a taxi engaged for a day of eight hours for me and my wife to see the island had a fixed fare of US$10 only! Can you believe it? It was at a time when the production and supply of petroleum in Indonesia were good and there was a government subsidy to the oil sector. The position may be entirely different now due to the oil crisis facing the world. Can Kam give the current (fixed) taxi fare for a day? It will help conference delegates in deciding whether to take the conducted tour or have their own transport arrangements. Another amazing experience was that I could rent a double-storied villa for $50 per day. It had a bath room without a roof for the sake of novelty! Vegetarians (including vegans), those strange species from India, need not worry about food. I found a couple of Indian restaurants serving satisfactory vegetarian lunch and dinner.

  3. A reply to Abu Ekramul Ahsan:

    1.the two hotels are about 6km apart, taxi fare as we all know is subject to variation, but Rupiah 15,000 (USD1.60)

    2.”IDR” is abbreviation for Indonesian Rupiah. “KIM/Kitas” are identity cards identifying foreigners with Resident Visas, so you wont be able to avail yourself of those rates, but it might a starting point for negotiations.

    On Garrett Kam’s excellent points above, I would amend the Update on money to highlight the word “new” – both in the date of issue, and in condition. Preferred US currency is completely unused, no marks, no little ink stamps, no writing, and not even the hint or whisper of a fold or crease (fold in half ? -no.), you probably should carry them in envelopes, which is what I do. There are money changers who will accept less than mint quality, but they offer a discounted rate-if you have to bring used bills so be it; but banks flatly refuse-they inspect every note front and back and disqualify for the slightest imperfection.

  4. Rates for drivers with cars vary considerably, depending on the type of vehicle, age (of vehicle, not driver, but that may make rates differ, too), distance traveled (to calculate the amount of petrol used), time on the road, time spent waiting, terrain (uphill and more remote areas are more difficult), what shops you go to (some give commissions to drivers so their rates may be lower but you pay more at the shop to cover their costs to the driver), etc. So there really is no fixed rate, but as a guesstimate maybe around US$50 for a full 8-hour day which includes petrol. This may be more or less according to all the things noted above.

    By the way, a number of vegetarian restaurants have opened in many places as the Hare Krishna and Sai Baba movements are popular among young Balinese.


  5. Bali is great for sightseeing, the friendly people, and for shopping. I recommend spending more time there before or after the EWC conference, and leaving space in your luggage (or purchase an inexpensive extra piece) for the beautiful things available inexpensively in Bali.

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