Let’s plan a trip to Bali: An Island Paradise

Let’s plan a trip to Bali: An Island Paradise

 

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The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours.
      William Wordsworth

During my visit to Bali I found that these words stand true even centuries after William Wordsworth penned them. If I sound too philosophical then it’s probably the winds of Bali that are spinning their magic on me even after I’ve come home from the beautiful island, that offers beauty in its landscapes, adventure in its oceans and spirituality in its culture.

Visit Bali to relax, rejuvenate and reconnect with your soul. Here’s what you need to know to prepare for your dream:

Visas: You can get visa on arrival for Bali for a stay of up to 30 days. The fee for visa on arrival is $25. Your passport should be valid for at least 6 months from the date of your arrival and you should have a confirmed flight ticket for the return journey. Carry all travel documents with you to ensure that your visa application does not face any hold ups.

Getting There: Begin by booking your tickets; you will be able to enjoy lower air fares if you book well in advance for your travel. International travel usually involves a certain extent of planning which has helped me enjoy great flight rates when I am travelling overseas.

We booked our seats in the Air Asia flight from Bengaluru to Denpasar in Bali which was an overnight flight with a layover in Kuala Lumpur for 11 hours and 40 minutes. The flight started from Bengaluru at 11:30 pm and it reached Denpasar at 8:25 pm. It gave us the chance to enjoy a restful night’s sleep in Bali so that we could start fresh the next day.

For the return journery we booked our tickets in an Air Asia flight which started from Denpasar at 2:25 pm and reached Bengaluru at 10:45 pm after a 3 hour 45 minute layover in Kuala Lumpur. The flight timing was ideal for us to return home in time for a comfortable night’s sleep to shake off the weariness of the travel and begin the next day with our usual verve.

Stay Safe: Travel plans entail more than your itinerary. It is peremptory that you consider your safety when you travel to a new place where the food and culture is very different from what you are accustomed to. Travellers are often vulnerable because of the fact that they know so little about the place, the people and the norms of the region they are travelling to. Bali is a traveller-friendly place and you will usually be greeted with warm smiles wherever you go, but keeping these things in mind will help you stay safe during your trip.

*It is but natural for travellers to find out about the place and people they are visiting so that they can adapt themselves accordingly. One of the best ways to spend time in the flight is by reading up on the country you are travelling to.

* There is no reason to wiggle out of travel insurance especially when it can ensure peace of mind during your journey. It will make certain you and your loved ones as well as your valuables are safe should things go wrong.

*Include some background research about the place you are going to stay at when you are in the planning stage of your journey to Bali. Identify the location and find out how centrally you are located to the places you will be visiting during your stay.

* Taking the path less travelled can be adventurous, but when you are in a country where you are not aware of the people and cultures, it is best to stick to the marked pathways.

Accommodation: Before our trip to Bali I closely checked the best deals and I noticed that I could save a significant sum of money simply by bundling up my flight and hotel in a package. My advice: it is always best to make your reservations in advance to strike a good deal.

In my recent travels I have realized that the price you pay or the luxuries you want from your accommodation are almost secondary to the location and the experience. If you choose an accommodation that is centrally located then you will get more time to enjoy the place and spend less time travelling.

I will soon have a ‘Bali travel guide’ blog post up, so stay tuned.


Other Essential Information:

Time Zone Difference

Bali is 2 hours and 30 minutes ahead of India. You will find it easy to keep a track of time with the help of your smartphone but I prefer good old wristwatches since they are usually devoid of technical problems especially when you end up losing internet connectivity or when you are not using a local SIM. Tip: If your smartphone ends up showing the wrong time then you may want to head into the date and time settings and switch to manual instead of allowing the phone to automatically pick the time.

Bali time = GMT +8

When to go and Weather

Tourism in Bali never comes to a standstill. Travellers visit this beautiful island nation throughout the year. The months of July and August are hot and are considered to be the best time to be in Bali. The island experiences rainfall between October and March. This makes the months of April, May, June and September the shoulder season for a visit to Bali. These months are also the time when the western side of the island sees a rush of surfers because of the waves created during this season.

Exchange Rates: The official currency of Bali is Indonesian Rupiah (IDR)
206.63 IDR = 1 INR or 13301 IDR = 1USD {approximately}

ATMs are common in Bali and exchanging money won’t be a problem. Credit cards will be accepted in expensive establishments, but if you are shopping from the streets then it is best to carry cash.

Local Travel

The best way to get around the island is to hire a personal vehicle. You can rent a car, {or hire a driver} or bicycle. This will make sure that you get the time to visit places at your own comfort, while renting a bicycle will also give you the chance to go to places that are otherwise inaccessible. Renting a motorbike is also a preferred way of travelling in the island rather than relying on cabs.

Local Supplies

If you want to really experience Bali then live in a bungalow or pick a homestay. You can find supplies in local stores and enjoy the true Balinese way of living during your visit to the island.

Charging PCs and Gadgets

It may seem inconsequential till the time your phone runs out of juice, and that is when you may remember how important it is to know what kind of power sockets and voltage is supported in Bali. If you don’t want to worry about it after reaching the island, then make sure that you read up on electricity beforehand.

Voltage – 230V
Frequency – 50Hz

How to Call Internationally

The country code is +62. Add the area code you are dialling to and then dial the phone number. 62 + area code + phone number.

Bali’s phone numbers are being updated on an on-going basis so you may hear a recording in Bahasa Indonesia and later in English which will ask you to add a digit to the beginning of the current number.

Purchasing a Sim Card

If you are planning a short visit to Bali then you do not need to worry about SIM cards because you can go online using Wi-Fi which is easily available in restaurants, cafes, and malls. But if you are planning to stay longer then you may want to consider buying a local SIM to save hefty phone bills when you return.

SIM cards are easily available, and you will find SIM cards being sold by the reps of Telkomsel which is a popular carrier at the airport arrivals. The rates for calling other countries are fairly cheap, and you can easily top off the SIM cards with credit. My advice to you would be to be careful of vendors who sell SIM cards at IDR 50,000 or more, as they are most likely ripping you off.

Internet Connectivity

Since Wi-Fi is easily available in most of the places, you will be able to enjoy internet services on your smartphone most of the time. It will help you stay connected without having to worry about locating an internet café. But if you do need to visit one, Bali has a number of internet cafes as well. Internet speeds are fast and reliable especially in South Bali and Ubud.

End note: Bali is beautiful. It is an adventurer’s haven, a soul-searcher’s paradise and an intrepid traveller’s bliss. The loveliness of the place, the warmth of its people and the delightfulness of its culture helped me leave all my worries behind. My travel may have ended but memories of Bali linger, sweetly reminding me that the world is simply not enough!

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* I love bringing together a bunch of conflicting items and weaving my own sense of one-ness to them. *

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