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Thursday, 3 June 2010

Bali Know Before You Go: Arrival & transport



Hi there - have been living in Bali for the past few years and I thought I'd write about things I found very helpful knowing before coming / things I've learnt the hard way! I'll keep to short, simple points and will try to update as I go on here.



- You can get a visa on arrival no probs (max 30 days) - just make sure your passport has AT LEAST 6 months left on it AFTER your planned departure date. People I know have been screwed on that one.

- When arriving at the airport, the going rate for a taxi to Kuta is around 80,000 rupiah ($8 US). As you come out of departures, immediately to your right there is a taxi booth with all the set prices (and you can't bargain) to the various destinations. Book from there to avoid getting ripped off by an opportunistic taxi driver.



- A good rate for a rental motorbike with a helmet is around 500,000 Rupiah/month (about $50 US) - if they don't offer to give you a helmet, find someone who will!! To rent a motorbike all you really need is money - they don't want to see a passport or even driving licence - cold, hard cash is enough! Just be aware - driving a motorbike in Bali is definitely not for the faint of heart!

- Be careful with Honda Vario rental motorbikes - they are classic rental bikes and run well but are VERY EASY to break into - I had my stuff ripped off at the beach twice before. Just try putting your hand in the compartment under the seat when it is locked - you will see what I mean! Try to avoid leaving any valuables inside as it is an easy target.


- Rental cars are also an option but I think most people would want to see the roads here before deciding on renting a car - they are manic!! You can get a Suzuki Jimny (old one) for about $8/day but more likely $10, a Toyota Avanza for around $15/day. Shop around in Kuta and find out! Insurance is rarely offered and if it is, don't expect to be of much use to you - remember, you are in Indonesia!

- You can hire a driver for around 300,000 Rupiah ($30 US) per day - they will normally wait for you and can be a good idea at the start of your trip while you deal with jetlag, heat, culture shock and generally getting used to the chaos that is an average road in Bali.

- Most bank cards work in ATMs over here without problems but make sure to tell your bank before coming how long you will be here. I have not had to do this when leaving the UK to go to other places in Europe but in Asia the ATMs need to be forewarned of your presence!!


100,000 Rupiah note
10,000 Rupiah note
- Be careful with 100,000 Rupiah notes (see image to the right) and 10,000 Rupiah notes (see image to the left)- they look very similar and have been known to confuse the unsuspecting tourist before!! 100,000 is red while 10,000 is light purple - try to get some cash before you come so you know what to expect!!




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