Travel Essentials

THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GO


Airlines Access 

Bali’s sole airport is served by a large number of international and domestic Indonesian. Major international air hubs in the region offering direct flight connection to Bali are: Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, Dili, Bangkok, Johore Baru, Hong Kong, Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, Darwin, Taipei, Tokyo, Fukuoda, Shanghai, Beijing, Dili and Ho Chi Minh City. Direct domestic connections are available to Surabaya, Yogyakarta, Jakarta,Bandung, Semarang, Mataram (Lombok), Sumbawa Besar, Bima, Labuan Bajo, Maumere, Ende, Waingapu, Kupang, Makassar, and Bandung. 

 

Airport 

Ngurah Rai International Airport is referred to as “Denpasar” or DPS on air tickets. This is Bali’s only commercial airport serving all international and domestic flights. The traveling time from the airport to Desa Vises Ubud is approximately one hour. The hotel can provide transfer service between the Airport and the Resort. Please request this service at the time of booking.

 

ATM Machines 

Automated Teller Machines (ATM) abound in Bali with many offering international withdrawals on major credit cards.

 

Baby and Childcare

Desa Visesa Ubud does all it can to make traveling with children a pleasure. 

  • Babysitters – If you need a babysitter during your stay we will do our best to secure one for you. Please advise your requirements at the time of booking.
  • Bike Tours – When booking a bike tour let us know if you require a bike with a baby’s seat.
  • Baby Clothing – Bali has a number of outstanding companies specializing in clothing for toddlers.  Let us know if you’d like to arrange a tour to some of the island’s best baby clothiers
  • Baby Food – Supermarkets in Bali stock a very complete range of baby foods and baby formulas. Again, please let us know your baby’s dietary requirement at the time of booking.
  • Baby Massage – Baby massage can be provided if booked in advance. Thought to aid the healthy development of a child, a baby spa day gives a whole new meaning to baby pampering.
  • Car Seats – When booking rental vehicles, tours and transfers let us know if you require a baby car seat which can usually be provided without additional charge.
  • Cots – When making your hotel booking please let us know if you need a baby cot.
  • Disposable Diapers – Disposable diapers are readily available in Bali. If you’d like us to purchase a supply of diapers in advance and have them waiting at the Desa Visesa, let us know when making a booking.
  • Kids Menu – All our food outlets provide special children’s menus. 
  • Toys – A favorite brand name toy, a hygienic teddy bear or your child’s favorites bed time story – if you’re saving space in your luggage or you forgot to pack one of these items, we’ll do our best to purchase these items on your behalf.

 

Bargaining

While restaurants, shopping centers and major stores operate on a fixed-price system, bargaining is still very much a way of life at small shops, local markets and the galleries of local artisans.

How do you to tell the difference? Fixed-price shops will usually have the price attached to items on sales. When in doubt, ask the attendant whether or not you are in a “fixed priced” store – this term is generally understood regardless of any language limitations. 

When bargaining it is essential to maintain good humor. Bargaining is both a social and an economic way of life in Indonesia. An Indonesian woman may go to the same market and buy the same item from the same lady trader year after year, but will repeat the ritual of bargaining over the price each morning. If you do not know the current fair market price for an item, a good rule of thumb is to offer half the price being asked and then wait for a counter offer. Smile. Laugh. Feign shock and express overwhelming surprise at the price being asked. Remember: Bargains is largely a charm offensive. Traders often give the best price to people they enjoy negotiating with.

 

Best Buys 

Bali is a shoppers’ paradise: some locally produced items include woodcarvings, stone carvings, batik cloth, handmade jewelry, handicrafts, original art, tailored clothing, and innovative fashions by world famous designers based in Bali, home accessories, leather clothing, spices, spa products, coffee, and tea. 

Bali is also home to counterfeit “branded” bags, clothing and watches. Pirated CDs and DVDs are also available. Make sure you shop at established businesses and obtain a detailed receipt mentioning the brand.  If you’re planning to buy “counterfeit” or pirated goods during your trip it’s a good idea to check on the rules regarding the importation of such purchases into your home country. 

 

Business Hours 

Shopping centers, like elsewhere in the world, open early and close late.  Office-based businesses generally follow the 9-to-5 format of the western world. Most government offices, however, are open from 7:00 am until 3:00 pm and visitors should target 8:00 am to 12 noon for their visits. Government offices are open Monday to Saturday, closing earlier on Friday and Saturday

 

Communications 

Internet & WiFi Connections

Desa Visesa provide WiFi in most areas of the hotel at no additional charge. 

Coffee shops, many restaurants and even a Bali chain of convenience stores also offer free WiFi to customers.  Keep an eye out for free WiFi signs – they’re everywhere.

 

Telephone, Cellular and Facsimile 

The international dialing code for Indonesia is 62. 

International roaming facilities can connect cell phone users, except in some of the more remote corners of Bali. Phone cards are available everywhere that can often be inserted in your own phone.

 

Clothing 

Bali has essentially two levels of dress: very casual and smart casual. Unless you are attending a formal wedding, business session or a pre-scheduled black-tie evening, there’s little reason to pack a jacket and tie or formal evening wear. Smart casual attire is suitable for even the island’s most fashionable restaurants and top hotels. If there’s any doubt, consider purchasing a long-sleeve batik shirt from one of the many batik shops in Bali. Batik is the new “national uniform” in Indonesia and suitable for even a meeting with the President. In fact, every Thursday has been proclaimed nationally as the day to proudly wear batik. That you have noticed this and are following the tradition will be warmly noted by the locals.

Please note that very casual attire is not always appropriate. Indonesians show regard and respect for each other by dressing neatly. Flip flops, shorts and a singlets are not acceptable in every situation.

When visiting temples, shorts, singlets and sleeveless dresses are not considered correct attire. Sarongs and sashes are mandatory when visiting local religious sites. Your Tours guide can best advise you in these matters. 

 

Credit Cards 

Major credit cards are accepted at most hotels, large restaurants and many businesses. Note that while prices are sometimes advertised in U.S. dollars or Indonesian rupiah, all credit card sales are transacted as a matter of law in rupiah. That amount will be undergo another exchange rate transaction before appearing on your next billing statement in your home currency.

 

Customs 

Weapons, pornography and narcotics are illegal imports. Rupiah currency in excess of Rp100 million cannot be imported or exported without written permission from Bank Indonesia. Visitors are allowed to bring in 200 grams of tobacco, 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars, and 1 liter of liquor or wine duty free. 

Animals, fish, and plants, including their by-products, are subject to quarantine inspection. Goods obtained overseas exceeding USD250 per person or US1000 per family that will not be re-exported back out of Indonesia at the end of your stay (i.e. gifts, saleable merchandise) may be subject to import duty.

 

Driving 

Self-drive car and motorcycle rentals are readily available for those holding an international driving permit, but Bali’s congested and unpredictable roads are not the place to learn how to ride a motorcycle. 

A complete range of self-drive and chauffeur-driven vehicles are available for rent. Contact the concierge for more details.

Also, Bali’s rules of the road can prove frustrating for the uninitiated. We recommend considering hiring vehicles with drivers, available at very reasonable rates.  The island is small and all major points of interest are within only a few hours’ drive of the Desa Visesa.

 

Electricity 

220 volts at 50 cycle’s alternating current. Most local electrical outlets utilize a two-pin plug.

Handicapped Facilities 

  • Desa Visesa has a limited number of handicapped accessible rooms. Please advise us of any physical limitations at the time of booking.
  • Motorized buggies are available without charge to travel to and from the various areas within the Resort.
  • Rental of special vans fitted out for wheelchair-bound travelers with ramps and lifts are available in Bali and must be booked in advance.
  • Rental of ancillary equipment from wheelchairs, to bed lifts, to oxygen bottles and a whole range of special need medical equipment are available.
  • Qualified and well-trained medical personnel to assist with personal care and assistance throughout your stay in Bali are available.

 

Health Notice 

No vaccinations are currently required for visitors to Bali but cholera, typhoid and tetanus shots are recommended. 

Note that malaria and dengue fever infections do occur in urban areas. However, cases reported among tourists staying at hotels and resorts where pest control measures are in place are very rare. Pest control protocols are in operation at Desa Visesa Ubud.

Since late 2009, Bali has been experiencing an outbreak of rabies. No known fatalities have been reported among foreign visitors. There have been no rabies cases reported in recent times in Ubud as government measures to bring the disease under control take effect.

 

Holidays

The Public Holidays and Shared Holidays decreed for the government in 2019:

01 January 2019 (Tuesday) New Year’s Day
05 February 2019 (Tuesday) Chinese New Year (Imlek 2570 Kongzili)
07 March 2019 (Thursday) Nyepi  Hindu New Year Saka 1941
03 April  2019 (Wednesday) Ascension of the Prophet SAW
19 April 2019 (Friday)  Good Friday
01 May 2019 (Wednesday)  International Labor Day
19 May 2019 (Sunday) Hari Raya Waisak 2563 – Buddha’s Birthday
30 May 2019 (Thursday) Ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven
01 June 2019 (Saturday) Pancasila Day
03-04 June 2019 (Monday-Tuesday) Shared Holiday for Idul Fitri 1440 Hijriyah
05-06 June 2019 (Wednesday-Thursday) Idul Fitri 1440 Hijriyah
07 June 2019 (Friday)  Shared Holiday for Idul Fitri 1440 Hijriyah
11 August 2019 (Sunday) Idul Adha 1440 Hijriyah
17 August 2019 (Saturday) Indonesian Independence Day
01 September 2019 (Sunday) Islamic New Year 1441 Hijriyah
09 November 2019 (Saturday) Birthday of the Prophet Muhammad SAW
24 December 2019 (Tuesday) Shared Holiday for Christmas
25 December 2019 (Wednesday) Christmas Day

 

Insurance 

Insurance coverage against illness and accident is highly recommended whenever you travel abroad. 

 

Language 

Indonesian is the common language of Bali together with Balinese, both spoken by the indigenous population. English is widely used in tourist areas. Qualified foreign language-speaking personnel including guides and simultaneous interpreters are available.

Here are some basic phrases to help you get by:

Good Morning​​​ Selamat Pagi
How are you? Apa kabar?
I’m fine. Baik baik saja
Thank you ​​​Terima Kasih
Excuse me, sorry Ma’af
You’re Welcome Kembali or sama-sama
Do you speak English?​​ Bisa bicara bahasa Inggris?
I don’t understand​​ ​​Saya tidak mengerti 
Where is…​ Dimana…
Can you help me? Bisa Bantu saya?
How much does it cost?​​ Berapa harga-nya?
Too expensive Terlalu mahal

 

Medical Services 

In the event of illness, please contact the duty manager of the Resort for assistance. Ubud has several well-equipped and professionally staffed international medical and emergency assistance outpatient facilities with Internationally  certified hospitals operating in Denpasar.

 

Money Changer

The Indonesian currency is the Rupiah. For best rates and service, exchange foreign currency only at licensed moneychangers or banks. New, uncreased, unstained, un-stapled US$100 bills get the highest rate of exchange. Never be rushed: Always insist on a receipt and be the last person to personally count your money before leaving the counter. 

 

Numbers and Information You Need to Bring Along

Write the following number down and carry them in a place that is separate from your luggage or your wallet. This information can be invaluable in emergency situation or when you lose your wallet.

  • Photocopy of your passport and driver’s license.
  • The contact telephone for your next of kin, personal physician and bank.
  • The numbers of all travelers checks your bringing on your trip.
  • Your credit card numbers in case any guest get lost.
  • The latest prescription of your eyeglasses.
  • Copies of any prescription you take regularly or need when traveling.
  • Copies of plane tickets.

NOTE: Most of the items above can be photographed and stored in your Mobile Phone.

 

 

Pharmacy 

Most pharmaceuticals are stocked at Bali’s many drug stores (Apotek). It is recommended that you bring with you copies of eyeglass and medical prescriptions. Also consider bringing details of any significant medical history should a sudden need for local medical treatment arise. 

 

Places of Worship 

Many religious denominations are represented in Bali. Schedules of services and locations are maintained at your hotel reception. The Puja Mandala complex near Nusa Dua houses Islamic, Hindu, Buddhist, Roman Catholic and Protestant places of worship in a single shared locale. 

There are weekly English language Protestant and Roman Catholic services in Bali.  Contact our guest service desk for more details.

 

Population 

Bali’s population is approximately 3 million, spread across eight regencies. The most populous are the island’s southern districts. 

 

Postal Services 

The Indonesian postal service has a complete range of mail and parcel services, including Express Mail Service (EMS). Major international courier services such as by DHL, FedEx and UPS all operate from Bali. 

 

Reading Materials

There are a few recommended reading before you travel to Bali. 

• Baum, Vicki. A Tale of Bali.
Oxford University Press, Singapore.
First published in 1937, a fictionalized account of the ritual suicide, cum massacre, which occurred in South Bali 1906. Vicki Baum was an Academy Award winning screenwriter. Her Balinese novel, inspired during a stay with Walter Spies, provides wonderful reading. 

• Cobarrubias, Miguel. Island of Bali.
Oxford University Press, Singapore.
Originally printed in 1937, this book written by a Mexican painter still represents one of the best anthropological studies of Bali and its people.

• Darling, Diana. The Painted Alphabet: a novel.
Houghton Miffin, Boston, 1992.
An enchanting story loosely based on the Dukuh Siladi folk-tale.

 Djelantik, Dr. Anak Agung Made. Balinese Painting.
Oxford University Press, Singapore, 1986.
An excellent overview of the various schools of Balinese painting

• Djelantik, Dr. Anak Agung Made. The Birthmark: Memoirs of a Balinese Prince.
Periplus Editions, Singapore, 1997.
The autobiographical account of the life of the son of the last Raja of Karangasem whose memories span early life in the palace and a carreer spent working in international health before returning home to Bali in the late 1970's.

• Haer, Debbie Guthrie and Juliette Morillot, and Irene Toh, (editors). BALI: Knopf Guides.
Alfred A, Knopf, Inc., New York, 1996.
Balinese specialists and academics combine to provide the most thoughtful guide on Bali yet to be produced.

• Hauser-Schaublin, Brigitta and Marie-Louise Nabholz-Kartschoff and Urs Ramseyer. Balinese Textiles.
Periplus Editions, Singapore, 1991.
A comprehensive overview of the various Balinese textile traditions found in Bali.

• McPhee, Colin. A House in Bali.
Oxford University Press, Singapore.
First published in 1944 the story of a young American musicologist who made his home on the Sayan Ridge area near Ubud.

• McPhee, Colin. Music in Bali: A Study in Form and Instrumental Organization in Balinese Orchestral Music.
Da Capo Press, New York .First published in 1976. A comprehensive study of Balinese musical forms.

 

 

Religion 

Hinduism is the predominant religion of Bali with minorities of Moslems, Christians and Buddhists. 

 

Sea Access 

Regular car and passenger ferry service operates between Ketapang (East Java) and Gilimanuk (West Bali). Travel from Bali to adjacent Lombok Island is available on car and passenger ships from the ports of Padangbai and Benoa on Bali’s east coast. Lombok is also serviced by fast passenger ships and catamarans. Cruise ships also call at Padangbai or Benoa, depending on their size. 

Scuba Diving

Bali has a number of excellent diving and snorkeling locations - many of them offering world-class explorations below sea level. Bring your diving certificate or take a course and earn certification in Bali.

Size and Topography 

The Island of Bali covers an area of 5,623 square kilometers. At its widest points the island measures 90 kilometers by 150 kilometers. The highest point on the island is Mount Agung at 3,142 meters. 

Smoking 

Public smoking is widely accepted and many Indonesians enjoy smoking despite efforts by the government to limit smoking in public places. Smoking is not allowed in enclosed air-conditioned spaces, on air flights, and in airports where special smoking rooms provided. There’s a growing awareness of the dangers of passive smoke and it’s common sense and polite to always check before you light up in any public setting. 

Smoking in guest rooms at Desa Visesa is not allowed.

Major brands of imported tobacco products are available. Those who enjoy smoking should not leave Bali without sampling the aromatic clove cigarettes or kretek loved by Indonesian smokers or buying a supply of the fine cigars produced in Lombok or Central Java. 

Special Diets

Desa Visesa endeavors to accommodate every dietary requirement. Please specify special requirements when booking your accommodation.

Tax and Service Charges 

An 11% development tax (plus a 10% service charge) is added hotel and restaurant bills.

 

Television 

Indonesia has numerous national television networks, many broadcasting some entertainment and news programs in English. Desa Visesa Ubud offers cable or satellite delivered international TV broadcasts in a number of languages. 


Temple Etiquettes

Unlike many oriental temples found in South East Asia, Balinese temple is more of an open air affair with one, two, or three open courtyards surrounded by wall with each court leading into the next through more or less elaborate stone gates, and with a number of empty sheds, pavilions, and shrines in varied styles. Here are some rules to be observed when visiting a temple:

  • Proper dress is needed. If you wear long pants or long skirt, a sash will be required. If you wear shorts, a sarong will be needed, The sash must be tied around the waist.
  • Do not climb onto walls or temple buildings
  • Do not sit or stand higher than the priest.
  • If people are praying, avoid getting between them and the direction in which they are praying.
  • Use camera with discretion. Do not use flash when there are people praying. 
  • Women who are menstruating are not permitted to enter the temples. 

Time Zone 

Bali time is +8 hours from Greenwich Mean time/UTC. 

Tipping 

Most hotel and restaurant bills include a 10% service charge. An additional gratuity for excellent service and a 10-15% tip to drivers and guides is always appreciated. Airport porters are entitled to Rp 2,500 for each bag carried. 

Water 

Water is generally not potable in Bali. Most hotels provide bottled water in each room, often at no additional charge. Bottled water is available everywhere in Bali. 

 

Weather 

Bali enjoys a warm tropical climate averaging 25-34 degrees Celsius (77-91 degrees Fahrenheit), depending on the season and altitude. Due to its proximity to the equator, Bali escapes the monsoons and typhoons found either 15 degrees north or south of the equator. A rainy season from approximately November to April often brings late afternoon showers of brief duration, not likely to disrupt scheduled tour programs. 

 

Desa Visesa is situated some 700 meters above sea level in the mountainous foothills of Bali. As such, it is somewhat cooler, particularly in the evenings, that the warmer coastal areas of Bali