Welcome to the Island of the Gods. The beautiful island of Bali is one of the world's favourite holiday destinations. Here you can climb a volcano, walk through beautiful terraced rice fields and jungles, swim and surf some of the worlds most famous beaches, visit magnificent temples and traditional villages and meet some of the world's most culturally rich and fascinating people. This tropical paradise has a unique blend of modern tourist facilities combined with wonderful shopping and a rich past and heritage.
Bali Island is a shopper's paradise particularly for casual and tailored clothing, locally made jewellery, handicrafts, antiques and artefacts. Leather ware is one of the unexpected local bargains with everything from handbags through to tailor made leather jackets and coats, all at unbelievable prices. In fact, prices are so inexpensive, you're sure to need more room in your suitcase! Try bargaining at the street markets of Kuta, Sanur or Nusa Dua or fixed price shopping at a Denpasar department store. Bali has it all.
Bali is a stunningly beautiful island, and is located on the fringe of the Pacific Ocean, just eight degrees south of the equator and roughly halfway along the island of the Indonesian archipelago.
Some of the best surfing beaches in the world can be found along the wild coastline of the west, with its black volcanic sand, while at the southern part of the island, gently sloping fertile agricultural lands are just as integral a part of the landscape as the palm-fringed white sandy beaches, tempting warm blue waters and coastal towns which prove so appealing to tourists from all over the globe.
Getting to Bali is easy from almost every major capital city in Australia with several airlines servicing the destination on an almost daily frequency. Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (also known as Denpasar International Airport) is conveniently located only about 15-20 minutes drive from the main tourist areas of Kuta and Legian and 30-35 minutes from Nusa Dua or Sanur Beach.
Bali is 7 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 7). An easier way to think of it is: Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in normal time are 2 hours ahead of Bali (during Daylight Savings this increases to 3 hours). Perth is in the same time zone.Back to Top
Bali has something to offer even the most discerning luxury traveller. With its great range of luxury resorts and villas, you'll be truly living it up in style in this tropical paradise. Can't find the luxury resort or Villa you're after? Call or email one of our Bali Specialist Consultants today!Back to Top
KUTA AREA: the capital of Bali is Denpasar City, but for tourists it is the Kuta area, a mecca for shoppers looking for a bargain (cheap DVDs, tee shirts, leather goods, casual wear) and those wanting to be where the main action of Bali is situated. Here you will also find a host of bars and restaurants, including the very popular Hard Rock Cafe. If you are looking to just chill-out with the locals or learn to ride a surfboard this is the place, famous Kuta Beach, stay late and watch the spectacular sunset truly memorable!
SOUTH KUTA (Tuban): this area is more suited to families and those looking for a more relaxed holiday and is where you will find some of Bali's best family orientated resorts, many with beach front locations. It is also home to Bali's biggest water theme park - Waterbom - with a fantastic selection of waterslides and activities to suit the thrillseeker or the little ones alike. Here you can also shop in air-conditioned comfort at the Discovery Kartika Mall, browse through the Art Markets for a souvenir or two or head to Matahari Department Store in well know Kuta Square.
LEGIAN BEACH: the area known as Legian is more an extension of the northern end of Kuta Beach and tends to be more relaxed and laid- back than Kuta. Many of the resorts are located on the long stretch of the beach and take full advantage of their setting with the restaurants, bars and swimming pools being well placed to take advantage of the seaview and stunning sunsets. The surrounding area plays home to a myriad of small designer shops and local restaurants.
SEMINYAK: this is the most recently developed area along the beach just past Legian and features some of the islands best resorts and restaurants, including the very popular and chic Ku de Ta, a wonderful beachside restaurant and bar. Seminyak is also home to many of Bali's villa resorts which cater to couples wanting that something special, a luxurious private pool villa, or to larger groups of friends or families wanting their own home away from home. Many offer 2 or 3 bedroom villas with their own kitchens and private pool. A wonderful experience is assured for all.
JIMBARAN BAY: The Bay is a long, beautiful sandy beach with the old fishing village of Jimbaran at one end. The beach is lined with small, family type restaurants offering fresh sea food with the main attraction being that you can choose your sea food, choose the cooking method and enjoy it overlooking the beach and the spectacular sunsets
NUSA DUA: The peninsula area on Nusa Dua in the south of the island plays host to many of the major international resorts in Bali. These include the Nusa Dua Beach Hotel, Melia Bali and Laguna Resort & Spa. The area is noted for is delightful resorts set in stunning manicured tropical gardens that run to the edge of the palm fringed beach, serene atmosphere and superbly attentive service. Most of the resorts are generally larger than those in other main tourist areas and take full advantage of the large grounds they are set in to provide wonderful swimming pools, beautifully designed gardens and restaurants and the very best in Spas and facilities to ensure everyone is catered to. Nusa Dua is an ideal destination for families and couples and offers a wonderful selection of restaurants and shopping opportunities for all visitors.
SANUR: Sanur is the birth place of tourism in the part of the world. It is recognised as the main centre for art in Bali and features a great array of small boutiques offering wonderful local art works and creative designs in handmade jewellery, wood carvings, stone work and beautifully crafted furniture. The resorts cater beautifully to those wanting to be surrounded by not only this style of shopping but those who enjoy the opportunity to fossick for a real bargain or antique or just meander to any of the myriad of local and international restaurants. A walk along the beachfront promenade is a marvellous experience. Sanur offers a wide selection of resorts that cater best to those wanting to slow down, relax and take in the peace and culture that Bali and its people exude.Back to Top
Balinese are warm and friendly people who go out of their way to make you feel comfortable. The Balinese love children & it is rare to hear a Balinese adult shout at the kids. Evidence of their care for children is seen even in restaurants, which are replete with games and colouring sheets and crayons for the kids to attempt, while food is being ordered. The people of Bali celebrate various festivals and holidays. This celebrations help people of various communities come close to each and other spread the message of peace and happiness.
These are just the tip of the iceberg. There is a host of other exciting options for the family.Back to Top
People & Customs
The Balinese are an incredibly friendly, relaxed and spiritual people who take life at a slow pace. Many travellers report the Balinese people as being some of, if not the, nicest people they have met. The Balinese Culture is one of Bali's main tourist attractions as there are not many places in the world where you can find such a rich culture of devotion to traditional values and a unique religion which in this case is an adaptation of Hinduism. Famous for the dances and performances as well as the artwork that is produced in certain villages that tend to dedicate their selves to a certain art for a certain village, such as Ubud is the village of painters and Mas is the village of carvers. Performances include the puppet shows that re-enact the legends and stories of the areas as well as costumed performances that are enchanting, beautiful and sometimes sinister.
The Shivaite part of Hinduism is the main religion followed which creates a fascinating island, the Balinese people leave many offerings of rice and incense are everyday and put their lives and business to the side entirely for the many calendar and family festivals that paint and carve their lives and are of supreme importance so that this island is also known as an island of heaven. The best places in Bali to witness the true Balinese culture is in Ubud where you can witness the performances as well as Uluwatu and to see the real Bali away from the tourists then travel to the east and north east of the island. The other religions include Moslem, Christian/Catholic and Buddhist where they live in harmony and peace,
Bahasa Indonesia is the official language in Bali, however English is widely spoken in resort areas, hotels shops and restaurants.
The Balinese are inclusive by nature and take great pride in their heritage and therefore do not mind visitors observing ceremonies and traditional dances.
Visitors should dress appropriately - smart casual is appropriate - swim wear is not appropriate.
Be quiet and respectful. Cameras and camcorders may be used - but do be unobtrusive.
When visiting temples be aware that you should wear long pants or a sarong with a sash tied around the waist. These are available at the temple to borrow for a small donation
If you do find yourself stuck in traffic for no apparent reason you may have come up on a Balinese procession on the way to temple. Be patient. No amount of honking the car's horn is going to speed things up and it's rude to try and pass.
Balinese regard the head as the highest part of the body, both literally and figuratively. Therefore, they do not appreciate anyone patting them there, even as a friendly gesture
Major hotels usually add a 10% service charge to bills. Where it is not included a tip of between 5% to 10% of the bill would be appropriate if the service is satisfactory. Airport porters and Bellmen generally get Rp.3,000 for a small carry-on sized luggage, Rp.5,000 for larger bags and Rp.10,000 for extra heavy luggage. Tipping taxi and hire-car drivers is not mandatory, but if service has been satisfactory tip is sufficient for a taxi driver, Hire-car drivers would normally expect a larger tip.Back to Top
Shopping hours in most resort areas extend from 8.00 a.m. to 8.00 p.m. from Monday to Saturday, and some open for half a day on Sunday. In the city centres some shops close for a siesta between 1.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. Most large shops, supermarkets and department stores have fixed prices, but at small stalls and in the markets it is customary to bargain, starting at half of the asking price and going up to what you want to pay. An important point to keep in mind is that Balinese admire good manners and a sense of humour and tend to be put off by a loss of temper. Providing you have the time, a good general rule is to make a survey of several shops selling the sort of items you want before coming to a final decision.
Most hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops accept certain foreign currencies and credit cards. Diners Club and American Express, Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at hotels, department stores, shops, restaurants and nightclubs. According to the Indonesian banking regulations, payment by credit cards is charged in local currency. Some merchants apply a 3-5 percent surcharge for credit card transactions.
ATMs are everywhere. Many connect to international banking networks so you can withdraw cash in rupiah from your home account. Look for those affiliated with your own ATM network, noted by signage on your card.Back to Top
There is much that is magical about this island. Bali has been dubbed the 'Island of the Gods', but could just as easily be called the 'Island of Romance'. Couples have been honeymooning in Bali for decades now, but in recent years many couples have also chosen to hold their Destination Wedding at Bali.
Whether it is a honeymoon, romantic escape or wedding that brings you to Bali, one thing is for certain, the island will leave its mark on you. From the moment you arrive in Bali, there is a welcome assault on the senses at every turn: visions of ancient temples; majestic mountains and lurid green rice fields; the exotic sounds of foreign tongues and distant gamelan music; the heady scent of spices mingled with the perfume of a hundred types of flowers.
Bali is home to some of the world's most fabulous resorts, and boasts a large array or stunning villas. Bali is a great romantic holiday or honeymoon destination, and has even become incredibly popular with couples wanting to get married in one of the world's most beautiful, and exotic, locations.Back to Top
Top Things To Do
Sit on Kuta Beach and watch the beautiful sunset.
Hire a taxi for the day and explore the island and some of its lesser known spots.
Take the kids to Waterbom Park the whole family will have a great day
Visit Bali Safari & Marine Park where Africa comes to you - a terrific day is assured.
Have a game of golf at the Greg Norman designed Nirwana Bali Golf Club where the views alone make it an enjoyable experience no matter what you score.
Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the best restaurants in Bali & the very chic Ku De Ta in Seminyak. Wonderful ambience, great food and spectacular beachfront setting. Ideal for a romantic evening!
Head up to Ubud, the cultural and handicraft heart of Bali and explore the beautiful temple complexes and look for that special painting or carving that you just have to have.
Learn to ride a surfboard at one of the many Surf Schools on Kuta Beach. A new passion is about to start.
Sign up for a cooking school and learn the art of making delicious Indonesian cuisine.
Have a great holiday.Back to Top
Vaccinations are not required by law for entry to Bali but you may wish to consult your doctor six weeks prior to travel. Some travellers may experience minor stomach upsets or changed bowel actions while they are away from home. Commonly known as "Bali Belly" it is often the affect of an exotic diet rather than of a serious illness. It is important to be able to recognise a serious problem if one should arise. Avoid temporary 'black henna' tattoos as they often contain a dye which can cause serious skin reactions.
Avoid over-exposure to the tropical sun. Tanning oils and sun-protection oils are necessary for those who insist on obtaining a fast tan, and a hat should be worn when hiking or indulging in water-sports to avoid sunstroke.
Don't drink the local water unless it has been well boiled. It is better to drink hot drinks and bottled drinks than the local iced refreshments, as you will not have time to develop a resistance to local bacteria while travelling. All fruit should be peeled or washed before eating and raw vegetables and salads are high risk unless in the international standard hotels and restaurants.Back to Top
When To Go
With sunshine throughout the year Bali has a tropical monsoon climate with pleasant day temperatures between 20° to 33° Celsius. Rainy season starts from October to March, when the West monsoon brings heavy showers and high humidity. June to September is considered the driest season, with low humidity and it can be fairly cool in the evenings, the best time for any outdoor activities. It can get very cool up in the highlands and a warm sweater can be a good idea in mountain villages like Kintamani or Bedugul.Back to Top
What To Pack
Dress is normally informal in Bali due to the warm, humid climate and clothing of light fabrics is recommended. A Light jacket may be required for cooler evenings or travelling in highland areas. When entering a temple tourists are required to wear a sarong and sash, which are available at the temple. Legs must be covered (long pants and a sash can also be acceptable).
Make sure you only pack half a suitcase worth of clothes. You must do some serious shopping in Bali and you wouldn't want to run out of space when you return to your own country.
Bring light clothes as it gets very hot and humid during daytime but it will be a little cooler at night. Don't forget the sandals for the beach and of course swim gear is a must!
Take a good camera with you. Bring spare batteries, if you have rechargeable batteries they are better. You should have extra memory cards for digital cameras when you join tours.
Bring lots of sun screen and tanning oil. They could be quite pricey in Bali. Also, mosquitoes could be a problem too so bring insect repellents.
The voltage in Bali is 220 volts, 50 cycle AC power, they use two round pins for power plugs in Bali. Some hotels may supply adapters however you are advised to carry a plug adaptor kit for shavers, hair driers and other appliancesBack to Top