Bali is one of more than 17.000 islands of Indonesia, which makes up the largest archipelago in the world. A Volcanic chain of mountains stretching across the island with deep ravines and rivers. The mountains with their considerable cooler climate to the plains are the heart of farming for fruit and vegetables and many rice terraces flourish. View the spectacular rice fields which are exquisitely carved into hills and valleys sparkling with water vividly green or golden brown.
Almost 85% of Balinese are Hindus with Christian, Buddhists and Moslem making up the remaining 15%. Bali Hinduism is at least 3,000 years old and is an interpretation of religious ideas from China, India and Java. The Balinese have strong animist belief and spirits dominate their daily life which included daily offering of fruits and flowers to appease angry deities. Every village has big temple dedicated to three main manifestation of the almighty God, those are The God of Preserver, The God of Destroyer. Numerous colorful temple ceremonies take place throughout the year.
Balinese have their own Language “ Bahasa Bali “ which be used in their life. Bahasa Indonesia is their National Language; English is mostly understood in tourist areas.
The daily temperature ranges between 23 C to 30 C, depending on the time year. Similar to the rest of Indonesia, there are two seasons in Bali. The rainy season from October to March and the dry season from April to September. The lowest humidity is around 60% from July to September. The best rate of exchange is from the bank, although money changers are very competitive. Money can be also changed at your hotel reception desk but the rates are often lower than money changers. Normal banking hours are 8.30 am to 03.00 pm from Monday to Friday. Money changers are usually open until 06.00 pm or later.
Personal cheques are almost never accepted. The major credit cards (American Express, Dinner Club, Visa, Master Card ) are generally accepted by hotels, large restaurants and shops. Restaurants and shops may ask you to pay a 3% surcharge if you want to pay by credit card.
Leave your valuable belonging, tickets, passport, and money in the hotel. Safety deposit boxes are available in your room or in the front desk.
Metered taxis can be found in or just outside your hotel, you should always ensure the meter will used before getting into the taxi. The local public buses are called Bemo, there are no designated bus stops, and you simply wave a bemo down on the street. Shout “stop “when you want to get off! Please remember that bemo vehicles and taxis in Bali do not have passenger liability insurance.
Most hotels and restaurant add 21% tax and service charge, additional tipping is not always expected but is always appreciated.