Food & Drink
A highlight of any holiday in Bali is dining out. Whether you go for sumptuous 5-star restaurants or are drawn in by the sweet, smoky smells of spicy meats being barbecued at a street stall.
The typical fare in hotels and resorts is Indonesian- and Chinese-style food, like the perennial favourites of satay chicken and nasi goreng (Indonesian-style fried rice). You may have to inspect the menus of several restaurants before you find some genuine Balinese cuisine. National specialties include: Babi Guling - roast suckling pig and Bebek Betutu- duck smoked in an earthen oven and wrapped in banana leaves. Most meals are accompanied by a host of colourful tropical fruits like banana, mango, rambutan, lychee, mangosteen, jack fruit and durian. As Bali is a major tourist centre, International cuisine is easily found, with an assortment of fast food outlets, takeaways and Western-style eateries available.
Bali is a treasure trove of interesting souvenirs, beautiful gifts and terrific bargains. Open-air markets, open day and night, offer the best opportunities to shop for crafts and antiques, clothing and home wares at amazingly low prices.
Some of the biggest and best markets can be found in Denpasar and Sanur, but shops and stalls can be found all over the island, especially near the main tourist hangouts. Unique souvenirs include handcrafted items like woodcarvings, stone carvings and iron and bronze works and Indonesian batik. You can get great bargains on fabrics, furniture, clothing and jewellery.
Supermarkets, speciality stores and shopping centres are usually open 7 days a week between 9am and 9pm, with shorter hours on Sundays.
Note: Bargaining is a skill worth learning and practising if you plan to do any shopping in Bali, and kids can try their hand and it too. Friendly bargaining is expected at market stalls and makes the shopping experience fun for both the buyer and the seller. When you want to negotiate a price with a seller, have the absolute maximum you're willing to pay in your mind then ask the seller what the lowest price he's willing to offer is. Offer considerably less than this (between about two-thirds and half the price is OK!) then keep haggling until you reach a happy medium.
With its warm, tropical climate, Bali can be enjoyed any time of year but the best time to hit the beaches is during the dry season, from April to October.
The rest of the year is more humid, with more overcast days and a higher chance of rainstorms.
Tipping is not widespread in Indonesia. Most hotels and restaurants add a 10% service fee to the bill so don't feel obliged to tip.
With taxis, it is usual to give the driver around 10% of the fare.
220 volts, 50 hertz AC using round, twin-prong slim plugs.
Have plenty of water on hand to avoid dehydration.
We do not recommend drinking the tap water in Bali.
See your doctor at least six weeks before your trip to check which shots you should have, and whether you need to take precautions against malaria.
Passport and Visa Requirements
Australians will need to purchase a 30 day holiday Visa on arrival in Bali. It requires that you have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of entry, a round-trip/exit airplane ticket and a minimum of 2 blank pages in your passport.