Travel advice & practical information for travelogue:
'Street vendors come out of the woodworks in Bali'
The Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia
5 East 68th Street
New York, NY 10021 USA
Telephone: 1 212 879 0600
Fax: 1 212 570 6206
Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia
38, Grosvenor Square
London WIX 91D
Telephone: 0171-499 7661
47-49 Rue Cortambert
Telephone: 45 03 07 60
Fax: 45 04 50 32
Bali is a Hindu island. We saw many processions, sacrifices in temples and religious rituals.The Balinese are very friendly and greet you with a smile and a nod. Their English is reasonably good. In crowded tourist centers like Kuta the street vendors tend to be extremely pushy.
Always pick up things with your right hand, never with the left, which is considered unclean in Bali.
Balinese consider the head the most sacred part of the body, so never pat a child on the head!
If you're visiting a temple, cover your shoulders and knees.
You can buy colorful sarongs everywhere in Bali.
Food and drink
Indonesian food is tasty and cheap. You can get fried rice ("nasi goreng") and "sateh" everywhere, but don't get food at a "warung" (street vendor).
Don't drink tapwater, buy bottled water.
For current information about health risks, go to your country's Foreign Office/Department of State web site; they usually have health information for travelers.
The Indonesian monetary unit is the Rupiah (Rp.).
Lots of old bills are still in circulation and you have to watch out for extremely dirty or damaged bills. Shortchanging is also not unheard of.
Climate and best time to travel
The best time to visit Bali is from May to September. The monsoon rains fall between October and March. The rainiest months are December and January.
The cheapest way to make international phone calls is in the so-called "Wartells"; from hotels it is much more expensive.
Safety and traveling
In some countries or areas traveling can be a risk. That shouldn't always stop you, but when you're preparing for your trip, you should get information about the risks.
Most Foreign Affairs Departments of governments have travel advice on their web sites about risks in war-struck regions, petty crime, availability of fuel, quality of tap water, medical facilities, etc.
Plan your trip to Indonesia online
Through online reservation systems like À la Carte Vacations you can book airline tickets, hotels, rental cars and holiday houses. You can build a fly-drive itinerary with maximum flexibility, book a flight plus a hotel hotel for a night or weekend. Without the limitations of package deals from travel organisations and most times for a much better price.