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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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%.
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.
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
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).
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
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. Back
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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