Bali travel guide is based on my travel experiences I had in Bali in late 2017. You can read about them and my Bali itinerary in this report.
Bali: an overview
- Capital of Bali – Denpasar
- Bali Airport – Denpasar (Ngurah Rai International Airport)
- Flights from India to Bali – Malaysia Airlines, Air Asia, Thai Airways, Malindo air
- Currency: Indonesian Rupiah – IDR (1 INR = 210 IDR)
- Must do activities in Bali – Snorkelling trip in Nusa Penida, Balinese massage and spa, Relax at Kuta beach
- Must visit places in Bali – Ubud, Kelingking beach, Uluwatu, Tanah lot temple, Nusa Lembongan, Kuta, Seminyak
How to get visa for Bali
Indonesia provides a visa-free entry to most of the nationals who wish to visit Indonesia for tourism purpose. This visa is available for 30 days and can’t be extended further. So, Indian citizens do not require a visa to visit Bali. Many people have asked about the documents needed to get Bali visa in the facebook group of TouristHelpline. To answer them, just arrive at the Bali airport and show your passport to the immigration officer. You will get the entry. Although its recommended to have documents like return flight tickets & hotel bookings or other accommodation proof. The visa-free movement in Bali for Indians is similar to visa-free access to Nepal and Bhutan. The only difference is, Indians don’t require a passport to visit Nepal & Bhutan, whereas you need a passport to enter Bali, Indonesia.
Hostels and budget hotels in Bali
Bali is a perfect place for budget travellers. Hostels in Bali are generally available for 250 Rupees (approx.) for one person/night. However, while writing this report I saw a few hostels were available for as low as 120 Indian Rupees. (Click this link – Bali Budget hostels). These hostels, guest houses are readily available in all over Bali. However, Ubud is a paradise for budget travellers. That is the reason lot of budget hostels are available in Ubud. You can also get cheap hostels in the most happening area of Bali, i.e. Kuta and even Denpasar, the capital of Bali.
Budget hotels in Bali
Many people have asked how to get budget hotels or hostels in Bali in the TouristHelpline facebook group. The best way is to choose the area first and then go the online travel agencies like Booking.com, MakeMyTrip, Goibibo, etc… and check the ratings given by the users, not the agency. I would advise using the filters to on such portal. For eg., you can filter the results on the basis of budget, ratings, facilities, etc.
Where did I stay in Bali? - Check my 5-day Bali itinerary
Vegetarian food in Bali
Being a vegetarian is not a problem in Bali. I am also a vegetarian and found a lot of options to eat and drink. There are a lot of local vegetarian dishes like Tipa cantok, Daluman, Veg Nasi Goreng (fried rice), etc. Check my videos and Instagram for more details and their pictures. Getting Indian food in Bali is also not a problem. As the number of Indians tourists in Bali is quite huge, there are a lot of Indian restaurants in Bali. Google will help you to find them.
Tourist sim in Bali
Getting a prepaid sim card in Bali is very easy. Just pay the cost and get the pre-activated sim from any sim card dealer. You don’t need to give any documents to get the sim as no registration is required for taking a prepaid Sim card in Bali. I used Telkomsel and I was pretty satisfied with its performance. It worked well even in Nusa Penida (island). Another popular network is ‘XL’. Generally, a prepaid sim/tourist sim will cost 200,000 IDR in Bali. One of the sim vendors was selling a Telkomsel sim for 200,000 IDR with 7GB of internet data and no talk time. One Indian Rupee (INR) equals 210 Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), as on 31 December 2017.
Internet and free WiFi in Bali
Free WiFi is available in most of the restaurants, cafes & hotels in Bali. The speed is good for sending a WhatsApp message or uploading a picture on your Instagram. So, probably you won’t even need to purchase a sim. Although, your prepaid sim can be uploaded with various Internet data packs. While booking your hotel/hostel make sure they offer WiFi range up to your bed because many of them offer free WiFi only in their lobby or dining area.
My Bali travel videos - Click here
Local transportation in Bali
Bali does not have a good public transport system. You won’t find public buses in all the areas. Bemo, the local minibuses are available on limited routes. Your hotel staff can guide you to use a Bemo.
The worst thing I experienced in Bali was the traffic jams. As it was an organised group trip, we were given a bus for the whole trip. We actually wasted a lot of time getting stuck in the traffic jams. Only two-wheeler users were at the advantage. I suggest hiring a two-wheeler to explore Bali. This way, not only you will be able to dodge the traffic jams but also experience the independence to explore places on your own.
Local transportation in Bali
- Bemo, the minibuses
- Rental cars
- Rental Bikes
How to rent a bike in Bali
A motorcycle or scooter is available for rent for 70,000 IDR for 24 hours. You just need to show your Indian driving licence, passport and pay the rent in advance. They will note down the passport and driving licence details and handover the motorbike’s key to you. Watch this video for more details.
Bike rental in Bali - 70,000 IDR for 24 hours
Do we need an International driving license to rent a bike?
Yes, a valid International driving license is recommended to hire a bike or scooter in Bali. Actually, it is mandatory to have an international driving license for driving a motor vehicle outside of your country. Some countries enforce this law very strictly whereas some don’t. According to Mr Arpan, a member of Tourist Helpline group who has spent a significant time in Bali – it is advisable not to hire a bike without a proper International driving licence or permit. There is a hefty penalty for this as per local laws. “I have seen many people made to spend hours in the police station “negotiating” their release and made to pay 200 USD because they didn’t have the International driving license.”
Bike taxis in Bali
Bike taxi is called Ojek in Bali. Ojek is probably the cheapest way to travel in Bali. They are like auto rickshaw or tuk-tuk, where anyone can approach them to travel from one place to another. There are on-demand Ojek services offered by Grab and Gojek. Both the operators have their mobile app. Download them to book a bike taxi, just like you do to call an Ola or Uber taxi in India. In this video, I have shared information about Ojek.