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About BaliGeography | Climate | Economy | Internet Access | Bali After Dark | Flights to Bali | Tour Packages

About Bali

In spite of many changes caused by the rapid development of Bali's economy, local and international tourism, and communications (television, fax, pagers, GSM hand phones, Internet), the influx of people from other Indonesian islands, and the strong influence of the government and "big business" in Jakarta, the island of Bali in Indonesia is year after year voted by the readers of all major travel magazines the most enchanting travel destination in the whole world.

Bali's wide variety of attractions and facilities, the physical beauty of the island, and the year-round pleasant climate make Bali a place regarded by many visitors as the "Ultimate Island". The friendly people and the absence of any security problems (even during the recent dangerous times in other parts of Indonesia) guarantee visitors a totally relaxing stay – which is a very pleasant surprise for guests who repeatedly felt threatened in Barbados, Jamaica, and other "dream islands" in the Caribbean. Back to Top

The island of Bali is part of the Republic of Indonesia and is located 8 to 9 degrees south of the equator between Java in the West and Lombok and the rest of the Lesser Sunda Islands (Sumbawa, Flores, Sumba and Timor) in the East. Flying time to Jakarta is about 1.5 hours, to Singapore and Perth (Australia) 2.5 and 3 hours, and to Hong Kong about 4 hours.

The island of Bali has an area of only 5,632 square kilometers (2,175 square miles) and measures just 55 miles (90 kilometers) along the north-south axis and less than about 90 miles (140 kilometers) from East to West. Because of this it's no problem to explore the island on day tours. You can go wherever you want on the island and return to your hotel or villa in the evening.

Located only two kilometers east of Jawa, Bali's climate, flora and fauna are quite similar to its much larger neighbour. The island is famous for its beautiful landscape. A chain of six volcanoes, between 1,350 meters and 3,014 meters high, stretches from west to east. There are lush tropical forests, pristine crater lakes, fast flowing rivers and deep ravines, pictoresque rice terraces, and fertile vegetable and fruit gardens. The beaches in the South consist of white sand, beaches in other parts of the island are covered with grey or black volcanic sand. Back to Top

You can expect pleasant day temperatures between 20 to 33 degrees Celsius or 68 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit year-round. From December to March, the west monsoon can bring heavy showers and high humidity, but usually days are sunny and the rains start during the night and pass quickly.

From June to September the humidity is low, and it is pleasantly cool in the evenings. During this time of the year, you'll have hardly any rain in the coastal areas. However, in Ubud and the mountains you must expect cloudy skies and showers throughout the year (this is why the international weather reports for Bali mention showers and rain storms year-round). In higher regions such as in Bedugul or Kintamani you'll also need either a sweater or jacket after the sun sets. Back to Top

This southern part of Bali is where most jobs are to be found, either in the hotel and tourist industry, the textile and garment industry, and in many small scale and home industries producing handicrafts and souvernirs. Textiles, garments, and handicrafts have become the backbone of Bali's economy providing 300,000 jobs, and exports have been increasing by around 15% per year to US$400 million in 1998. Textiles and garments contribute about 45%, and wood products including statues, furniture and other handicrafts 22% to the province's total income from exports. Silver work is ranked third (4.65%) with 5,000 workers employed. Main buyers are the US and Europe with 38% each, and Japan with 9%.

Important agricultural products besides rice are tea, coffee, tobacco, cacao, copra, vanilla, soy beans, chillies, fruit, and vegetable (there are now even vineyards near the northwest coast). Bali's fishing industry and seaweed farming provide other products which are important exports.

The new free-trade regulations will create some problems for Bali's exporters as they do not allow to employ children. Most children here work for their parents, and this is part of the process of acquiring professional skills and kind of an informal education which has been very important in the Balinese society for centuries. Back to Top

Nowadays there is a large number of commercial service offices and Cyber Cafes in all parts of Bali which provide hardware, software and connections for visitors to access the Internet at very reasonable rates.

All rooms in better hotels throughout Indonesia and most vacation villas in Bali have direct IDD telephone lines. Therefore, it is usually no problem to dial up your home service provider at any time.

Long distance telephone charges from Indonesia are 7,500 Rupiah per minute to North America and Australia/New Zealand, Rupiah 9,500 to Europe, and between 525 and 2,100 Rupiah (depending on the time) per minute to Jakarta, and most hotels add a surcharge of 200% or more. Local calls cost Rupiah 180 per minute (most hotels charge Rupiah 1,000 and more).

Local Internet Access:
Several Indonesian service providers maintain local telephone access numbers in Bali. However, it is difficult for non-residents to open their own account. One reason is that the Indonesian ISPs are not interested in having clients for only one or two weeks, others are that their customer service staff does hardly speak any English, and all documentation including system configuration details is written in Bahasa Indonesia only.

Visitors to Bali staying at a vacation villa who have reserved their hotel accommodation through the Bali resorts and hotels under TravelSmart.NET enjoy FREE Internet access and can even obtain a temporary personal e-mail account. Call the Reservation & Service Center in Jimbaran at 703-060 for dial-up numbers, password, etc.
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Bali After Dark
Night life in Bali starts late, which means around midnight. Many visitors wonder where crowds of expats suddenly come from around 1:00 in the morning – even when all of Kuta has been very quiet during the whole evening, the IN-places often become crowded after midnight.

There's a simple explanation: during the early evenings many of Bali's night owls either still work, visit friends at home, or simply sleep. Most of them visit pubs, bars, or discos only in the early morning hours. Therefore, if you plan a night out don't start your dinner too early. Between 9:00 p.m. and midnight there are not many places we can recommend.

Visitors looking for company don't need to worry. Wherever you go in Sanur and the Kuta area, there are many other single travellers with the same problem around – day and night. In Bali's discos you'll meet also many "kupu kupu malams" ("night butterflies", or working girls) and young boys who compete with the females and service all sexes. All taxi drivers also know the more popular karaoke bars and massage parlours in Kuta and Denpasar, and the various "Houses of Ill Repute" in Sanur's narrow back lanes.

As reported in our BALI travel FORUM: Prostitution is illegal in Bali. However, like in many countries, everyone turns a blind eye. Many girls can be found in nightclubs and bars in most areas. Back to Top

Don't look for "Bali" in airline time tables. It's listed as "Denpasar" (DPS) which is the name of the island's capital. However, from Bali's modern international airport it takes you just 15 to 30 minutes by car to Kuta, Legian, Sanur and Nusa Dua, and in about 50 to 60 minutes you can be in Ubud.

Today there is an increasing number of direct connections between Bali and Adelaide, Amsterdam, Auckland, Bangkok, Brunei, Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guam, Honolulu, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Munich, Nagoya, Osaka, Paris, Perth, Rome, Seoul, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei, Tokyo, Vienna, and Zurich. Back to Top

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