Bali Travel Tips
Best Time to Travel
Benefiting from a warm, tropical climate, there really isn’t a bad time to visit Bali – even in the rainy season, the sun still puts in a good showing. The dry season between May and September offers the most reliable weather. It’s also a favourite time of year for surfers, with some of the world’s best waves hitting the west coast, but you’ll encounter the largest tourist crowds too. If you’re planning a trip into the mountains, then pack a jumper or two, as temperatures are much cooler there.
Not to Miss
Kuta may be the go-to destination for visitors to Bali, but it’s definitely worth making a trip inland to Ubud to experience the soul of Bali. These green highlands conceal a world of ancient temples and dark green rice terraces, which capture the essence of Bali culture. It’s a place to pull on your hiking boots and go exploring, to meet the locals and to try authentic cuisine. Bali is a Hindu island in a predominantly Muslim Indonesia, and nowhere does this unique and colourful culture express itself better than in Ubud.
Bali is served by Ngurah Rai International Airport, located in the south of the island, just 3 kilometres from central Kuta. It receives flights from major airports across Asia and Autralasia, making it easily accessible. At the airport, there’s an official taxi desk, where you can arrange and pre-pay for your transfer. Car hire is also available if you fancy exploring the region yourself, while for trips to Ubud and the highlands many tours are available with pick-up and drop-off at your hotel.
From Irish bars to Italian restaurants, the diverse dining scene in Kuta says a lot about Bali's appeal to visitors from all corners of the globe. It’s ideal for family dining and casual beach snacks at the end of a hard day’s surfing, while elsewhere on the island, particularly up in the highlands, Indonesian cuisine comes to the fore. In Bali, you’ll also find non-Muslim delicacies such as suckling pig, a popular dish for festivals and celebration meals.
Customs and etiquette
In cosmopolitan Kuta, almost anything goes, but elsewhere, a little respect for Balinese culture goes a long way. The key thing is to cover up when visiting temples – sarongs and temple scarves are can be borrowed from the entrances. In traditional areas, you might see pavements covered with flowers and herbs – these are offerings to the gods, so try not to trample them. If giving or receiving something, it is polite to use both hands, but rude to use just the left. Generally, you’ll find people to be very welcoming and warm – and happy to advise about potential faux pas.
• Population: 4.22 million
• Spoken languages: Balinese, Indonesian, English
• Electrical: Indonesia runs on 230V, 50 Hz current
• Phone Calling Code: +62 36110
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