DO'S AND DON'TS
- DO pack as little as possible, because the shopping-bags, shoes, clothes, jewellery, homewares-is great.
- DON'T bring travellers' cheques: these are a hassle and most places accept credit cards. Bring only pristine notes to exchange. Old, torn or dirty ones will not be acceptes by either banks or moneychangers.
- DO ceck that your passport is valid for at least six months after your arrival in Indonesia. Immigration can bung you home on the next plane.
- DON'T bring the Jimmy Choos. Pavements are practically non-existent, so wearing even the hardiest Birkenstocks in the trendiest areas at night can be ankle-twisting.
- DO remember to bring all your medical-insurance details and contacts, just in case. Good services are available.
- DON'T even consider taking malaria pills. These are more unhealthy than helpful and unnecessary for Bali. Buy a few bottlesof cheap, local anti-mozzieSoffel, which is available everywhere.
- DO make sure to have $25 per person in cash ready for your visa on arrival. In the peak season, ask your hotel or travel specialist to arrange a VIP greeting service for a reasonable fee- it's worth it not to queue for hours.
- DON'T change money at the airport. The many booths say "No Commission" but offer a miserable rate of exchange to compensate. When you do change money, check your rupiahs carefully. Because of the bewildering number of zeroes, most tourists can never be bothered to check so moneychangers tend to take advantage.
- DO ask your taxi driver to put on the meter. If he says it's broken, find another of the many taxis available.
- DON'T be careless when walking around. In Kuta and Ubud keep your bag close to you. Zebra crossings are purely for decoration, even if you are heavily pregnant and have a small child clinging to each hand.
- DO get the Luxe guide to Bali (www.luxecityguides.com) for all the latest restaurants, gossip, fun.
- DON'T hire a motorbike unless you have a death wish. One Exception: engage a smiling local "jockey" to transport you around the island on a Harley-Davidson, not entirely quietly or peacefully but certainly in style (www.harley-davidson-bali.com).
- DO hire a driver. Foreigners involved in accidents are always held responsible and expected to pay huge sums of money, so sit back, enjoy the scenery and let a driver cope with the mayhem. Prices can be reasonable, but haggle.
- DON'T think about hiring a bicycle down south. There is no such thing as right of way.
- DO discover more about the local environmentally responsible movements. Walk through the rice fields to Sari Organic or visit the Botanic Garden, both in Ubud, and think about supporting one of the many charities represented to offset the carbon footprint you left en route to Bali.
- DON'T step on offerings anywhere.
- DO find the best places to learn about and buy different textiles and antiques from all over the Indonesian archipelago (www.threadsoflife.com ; www.macantidur.com).
- DON'T get stuck in the south. Think about taking a spiritual pilgrimage to visit the most important temples on the island, or snorkel and dive the pristine sites in the Bali Barat National Park (www.well-keptsecrets.com).
- DO have 200,000 rupiahs ready in cash per person to pay the airport tax when leaving Indonesia.
*COURTESY OF VANITY FAIR, UK
See Two Of Bali’s Most Interesting Temples, Visit A Secret Waterfall And An Old Mountain Village
Leave early in the morning for the waterfall. Climb down the many steps and enjoy a swim in the natural pool. Enjoy a simple Balinese lunch in the bamboo groves at a mountain retreat in an ancient village. Visit two of Bali’s most interesting temples in the afternoon. Full day tour with lunch - Per Person Rp1,250,000 minimum 2 persons
Ancient Weaving Techniques Of North Bali
Take a peaceful day out to see three different North Bali weaving techniques used by local women for centuries. Firstly visit a small country co-operative that uses only naturally dyed, locally grown cotton to produce coarse bebed and fine endek fabrics on old back-strap looms. Then we visit a weaver who makes ceremonial gold and silver songket borders, then finally we see the way that traditional, tie-dye endek using fast modern dyes is woven on old wooden looms in downtown Singaraja. There are so many other interesting things to see on the way that you might not like to miss too….it’s up to you when you’re on the road to decide, my drivers know exactly where to take you. Full day tour with lunch in Singaraja. Per person Rp 1,250,000 minimum 2 persons
Visit One Of The Last Remaining Dutch Colonial Coffee & Rubber Plantations In East Java
After an early breakfast, take the ferry across the Java Strait to East Java with the amazing volcanic scenery in the background. Follow a mountain road through the lush scenery to the Plantation, established in the early 1900’s. See rubber being hand made for such illustrious brands as Ferrari, drive through fields of coffee to a lookout post at the plantation. Have a picnic lunch overlooking the sea and views all the way to Pemuteran and beyond! Full day tour with picnic lunch* Per Person: Rp 1,750,000 minimum 2 persons
*please try to book two days in advance
Ijen Volcano By Night
Take a very exciting night trip to the Ijen volcano with a guide to see how liquid sulphur bubbles out of the earth from 60 miles below into the volcano’s crater. Leave Puri Ganesha at midnight and return the next morning. Midnight Feast Picnic & Breakfast Per person Rp 1,950,000 minimum 2 persons.
Desert Island Breakfast With Snorkelling
Take a boat and guide to a tiny uninhabited island in the middle of the Java Strait. Have breakfast on the white sandy beach and snorkel in peace and solitude! Half day tour with breakfast picnic. Per person Rp 850,000 minimum 2 persons
West Bali Adventure
Visit Rambut Siwi, one of Bali’s nine most important temples overlooking the Java Strait and Bali’s only Catholic cathedral built a small village. Take small mountain roads through the peaceful Balinese landscape to enjoy the rice terraces, coffee, clove and spice plantations along the way. Day tour with picnic. Per person Rp 950,000 minimum 2 persons