GENERAL INFO
Lombok : INDONESIA Capital: Denpasar

Min. Travel Cost/day: $10-15

$1=Rp2,365 (Jan 20, 97,Time of Research)
$1=Rp4,900(97.12.20)



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Do not use the information below

! ATTENTION since our last research trip to Indonesia severe devaluation of the Rupiah means that the prices quoted in this guide are likely to be widely inaccurate. We were planning a research trip in March but have decided to postpone it until the situation stabilises.
Bali, a small Indonesian island off the W coast of Java, attracts over 1 million tourists every year. Famed for its great natural beauty,a spectacular landscape of volcanoes, rice terraces, rain-forest and beaches. Visitors are also fascinated by Bali's unique culture & traditions, strongly influenced by Hindu, the island's main religion.

Bali, a small Indonesian island off the W coast of Java, attracts over 1 million tourists every year. Famed for its great natural beauty,a spectacular landscape of volcanoes, rice terraces, rain-forest and beaches. Visitors are also fascinated by Bali's unique culture & traditions, strongly influenced by Hindu, the island's main religion.

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LANGUAGE
Official language: Bahasa Indonesian. There is also a local Balinese language based on the Hindu cast system. Basic English is widely understood in tourist areas.

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CLIMATE
Tropical monsoon climate, Hot & humid.
Average temperature 25-30C, 5 degrees lower in high areas.
Wet season: Oct - Apr. Dry Season: May - Sep
Also rains regularly.
High Season Lebaran - end of Ramadan,
Jul-Aug - European holidays, Christmas,
New Year- Australian holidays.
Prices are more expensive. Bargaining possible outside of high season.


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BASIC TRAVELING COSTS(Rp)
$1=Rp2,365(97.1.20, Time of Research)
Room Single - Rp8,000
Rest. Indonesian. 1,500 Western 3,000
Mineral water 1.5lt - market Rp1,200, rest. Rp2,000
others:
Coffee (instant) Rp800 (local) Rp2-400
(espresso) Rp2,000
Big Mac Rp4,500 Shake Rp2,000
Coke Rp800 Beer small Rp2000
Breakfast (local.) Rp1,500 Breakfast (Am.) Rp3,000+
Toilet paper Rp900 Tooth paste (local) Rp600
Tampons x8 Rp6,500
(bring with you).
Fuji film (36x100) Rp7,500


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OPENING HOURS
Government Offices - M-Th8:00-15:00, F8:00-12:00,
Sa 8:00-14:00. Shops - 8:00-20:00
Banks - M-F 8:00-15:00, Sat 8:00-12:00

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BANKS/EXCHANGE
Current Rate $1=Rp4,200(Dec 10, 97)
Rates quoted in text are those at the time of research
EXCHANGE No commission charged.
Moneychangers rate often higher - Moneychangers in Kuta offer the best rates in Indonesia but they also try to cheat you.
Better rates often given for higher denominations.
! warning Cheating by moneychangers is common in Kuta. Know how much you should get and count your money very carefully.
Cheating techniques: 'fixed' calculators that have been pre-programmed, missing off zeros, rounding numbers down, etc.
Rate at Airport: $1 = Rp 2,330 (cash), Rp2,250 (T/C)
Traveling Money: Generally a mix of options is best - T/C's, some cash in foreign currency (US$ is most popular) and/or a credit/cash card. If you are planning to stay in rural areas you may not be able to change T/C's or find an ATM facility.
T/C US$ is the standard, but checks in all major currencies can be changed. American Express & Visa are the most common. Generally no com. charged. Bank rates are higher for T/c's than cash, moneychangers generally give higher rates for cash. Rates are higher in Kuta.
Cash US$ is most widely accepted. Cash is useful when leaving/entering a country or when banks & moneychangers are closed.
Moneychangers rates are higher for cash than T/c's, they're also give better rates for larger notes - 100's & 50's.
Credit/Cash Cards ATM's can be found in all big cities and many tourist areas. (Listed in local info)
Cash advances against a card can be made in many banks, usually there is a service charge of around Rp5,000 or 5%. Credit cards can be used in some hotels, shops, restaurants & travel agents, sometimes charge - up to 3%.
! Warning Credit card fraud occurs, particularly in tourist areas.
! Warning Visa - Delta system in operation at some ATM'S.


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IMMIGRATION/VISA
Passport: must be valid for at least 6 months from date of entry.
Visa Requirements Most nationals receive free 60 day visa (no extensions) on entry. Should have an onward ticket but this rule is not strictly enforced.
! Warning Bribing is common practice in Indonesia.
If you arrive at immigration without an onward ticket you may be asked for money, particularly late night and early morning when there are few people around.
One woman arrived in Bali without an onward ticket.
She was interviewed, alone in a room with a (male) immigration officer. He asked her for US$50, she gave him Aust. $40, then he tried to kiss her and arrange a date!



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BORDER CROSSING
AIR/airport Denpasar/Ngurah Rai International Airport, 3km S from Kuta.
Departure tax International Rp25,000, Domestic Rp11,000.
Facilities: Moneychangers, Tourist Info Counter, International telephone/HCD, Left luggage Rp3,300/p/day, over-priced restaurant, over-priced Dunkin Donuts, overpriced souvenir shops.
Flight Prices to: Jakarta - Rp277,000, Yogyakarta - Rp148,000, Bandung - Rp271,000, Medan - Rp579,000.
Indonesia has an extensive domestic flight service Garuda Merpati, Sempati, Bouraq & Mandala airlines are the main carriers. Prices are standard, reductions are rare. A 10% tax is usually included in prices listed at Travel Agencies. Student reduction of 25%.
transport from airport
Taxi: Kuta Rp8,000, Legian Rp11,500, Seminyak Rp12,500 Denpasar Rp15,000,
Ubung T. Rp16,000, Batubulan T. Rp21,000,
Sanur Rp17,500, Ubud Rp47,000,
?Bemo: Kuta Rp400-500, Denpasar Rp700
Wait on the road, just outside the airport complex.

SEA/Seaports
Gilimanuk - W coast. Main port for ferries to/from Java (Ketapang).
Ferry service takes 15 minutes. ?
Padangbai - E coast. Main port for ferries to/from Lombok(Lembar port).
Ferry service every 2hrs 2:00-24:00, takes about 4hrs, costs Rp5,500.
Benoa - S E coast. Mabua Express catamaran, service to/from Lombok(Lembar port) . Econ.-$20, departs from Benoa 8:00,14:30*, from Lembar 11:30, 17:30* (no afternoon service on 13th of the month)



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NATIONAL TRANSPORT
Transport from Java
Can take bus from most cities on Java through to Denpasar, Lovina and Padangbai, vis the ferry between Ketapang (Java) and Gilimanuk (Bali).
There is a bus terminal at Ketapang (Java) port and a train station 5 min. walk away with services to/from the main cities in Java.
See Bali Transport Sheet for more details.
Transport around Bali Denpasar is the bus and bemo transport center for Bali. See Bali transport sheet.
Taxi Metered taxis in Kuta, Sanur, Denpasar.
Ojeks Motorbike taxis. Bargain before getting on.
Bemo Mini-vans run on set routes in towns & inter city.
Price varies according to distance, bargain hard.

!Warning

Bemo drivers usually overcharge tourists. Getting local price is almost impossible. There are 2 payment methods: 1) Do like the locals, don't bargain, pay when you get off, - check Bali transport list for prices or ask locals.
2) Negotiate a price before getting on. Either way it will probably be a hassle. You will be asked to pay more if you have a backpack.
Shuttle Bus Regular services between main tourist centers on Bali and Lombok. Much more expensive than public bemos but very popular - convenient and hassle free.
It's possible to stopover at certain towns on a through ticket - eg Padangbai to Kuta, can stop-over in Ubud on route. Must check with office. 2 main shuttle bus operators - Perama & Nomad.
Can book at travel agencies and hotels. Pickup at hotels.
Car/bike rental Self drive is a great way to get around and explore the island. But driving in Bali is stressful and accidents are common.
Motorbike rental from Rp7,000-15,000 p/day. Prices are negotiable, especially for extra days. Check if insurance is included. Wear a helmet & protective clothing..
Bicycles Rp3,000/day,
Moterbike Rp7,000+ without insurance, Rp12,000+ incl. insurance.
Many agents on Jl M. Forest.
!Warning Check what is covered by local insurance. Be safe - wear a helmet and protective clothing.



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MAIL/TELEPHONES
Post offices open M-Sa 08:00-20:00, Su 08:00-12:00* Not everywhere, check locally.

Mail
Postage prices for postcards vary. Size was one reason given for the difference.

Price in Rupiah

Japan UK USA Aust.
Post Card (small) 600 6-900 6-900 600
Letter (10gr) 1,000 1,400 1,500 1,000
Airmail parcel 0.5kg 30,000 40,000 33,700 33,200
1kg 39,000 49,000 46,500 38,600
2kg 52,500 76,000 83,200 55,600
Sea mail parcel 1kg 36,000 33,700 19,800 27,400
3kg 42,400 44,100 36,300 33,200
5kg 49,800 55,200 53,000 40,100
Small package to anywhere: 1kg = 15,000,2kg = 25,000


Telephone
Services are improving. Wartels (Telecommunication Offices) public & private, are everywhere, many are open 24hr. Check local city info.
Payphones Local calls cost Rp100 (3min.). Domestic and HCD calls only.
Cardphones Usually have IDD facility. Common in tourist areas, airports. Phone cards from 75 units - Rp11,000-14,000, available from Wartels, some kiosks, restaurants & shops with the sign 'Sedia kartu telepon'.
IDD International Direct Dialing: Access Code 001 or 008 + country code + area code + no.
Operator 101, Int Enq 102
IDD facilities are available at Wartels (Telecommunication Offices), many hotels and from most card-phones.
Cheap rate (25% reduction) for most countries 24:00-08:00, Sat/Sun all day.
Charge(3 min.) to Japan Rp15,000, UK/Canada Rp17,000, Rest of Europe Rp20,390, USA Rp15,000;
Australia Rp15,000.
Charge(Fax 1 page) to Japan Rp8,500, UK/Canada Rp9,500, Rest of Europe Rp11,000, USA Rp8,500,
Australia Rp8,500.
! Warning The price varies between companies. Check around
HCD Home Country Direct: 001-801+code:- Australia -0611 Japan -81 Uk -44 USA (AT&T)-10. Possible from any phone. Some special HCD phones with country push button facility, in tourist areas.


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ACCOMODATION
Cheap hotels are called "losmen". They have usually double rooms only and include free breakfast & tea/coffee. The costs start from 6,000Rp. The more travlers the town has, the cheaper the rooms are.
Indonesian Holidays: X-mas - new year holiday & the end of Ramadan. The price may become moer than triples
Avoid rooms near the mosques. At the time of prey, you will suffer from the incredible large sound from their speakers.


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FOOD
Rice (Nasi) is the basis of most Indonesian meals.
Noodle (Mie) is common in Chinese dishes.
There are many regional specialties.
More expensive international dishes are widely available in the tourist areas.
Street hawkers and Warungs offer the cheapest local food. Check the level of hygiene first
Balinese Specialties
Lawar - Chopped and shredded Papaya, Jackfruit, green beans, coconut and leaves, served with other dishes;
Babi Guling - Roasted pork, stuffed with herbs & rice;
Betubu bebek - Smoked duck; Bubuh Injin - Rice pudding with coconut & fruit
Indonesian Specialities
Sate- charcoal-grilled chicken or mutton pieces usually served with peanut sauce
Nasi goreng- fried rice
Nasi campur- cold rice served with meat, vegetables, tofu and fermented beans
Gado gado-salad with peanut sauce and prawn crackers
Cap cai - fried vegetables
Ayam goreng - fried chicken
Mie Bakso- noodle soup
Rijsttafel - rice with as many as 15 different side dishes.
Deserts
Pisang goreng - banana fritters
Bubur - sweet black rice with coconut milk
Es buhah & es campur - crushed ice with fruits and condensed milk.
Drinks
Kopi - Coffee, local coffee is excellent and cheap, from Rp200. More expensive nescafe and expresso is also available
Fruit juices/shakes are available in every travelers-style restaurant.
Bottled beer, & soft drinks are available everywhere.
Fruits
Rambutan: similar to a lychee, has hairy, red skin.
Durian: huge, smelly, spiky fruit
Nanka (Jack-fruit) similar to Durian, used a lot in cooking.
Manggis (Mangosteen) round, purple fruits with soft white clusters inside - delicious.
Belimbing - star fruit.
Tap Water
Not drinkable. Buy mineral water or purify/boil.
Ice
Ice is generally safe because it is government regulated, but the handling of ice may not be hygienic


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CUSTOMS
Visitors everywhere should try to observe local customs in order not to cause offense.
Listed below are some basic Indonesian customs.
See South East Asia customs page for more details.
Toilet: Squat toilets are normal. Toilet paper is not common - Locals wash with their left hand.
Left hand Considered dirty for reason above.
Always use your right hand to give/receive anything from anyone.
Tipping: Not usual except for porters and at high class hotels & restaurants.
Service tax is often added to bill.
Dress: Modest clothing is appropriate particularly when visiting temples.
Cigarette etiquette: When passing lighted cigarette to someone,Hold the lit end in your palm. It is offensive to point the lit end at other people.
At Temple: Everyone should wear a sash when entering a temple. A sarong is also necessary if legs are not covered. Sash/sarong rental is common at temples but you might as well buy a set.
Women who are menstruating & people with open wounds shouldn't enter temples.
During ceremonies: visitors should show respect, be discreet with cameras & videos.
怒る事: 他人に対して怒ることは大変な侮辱を意味する。ワイロやトラブルに巻き込まれた時は注意。怒ると事態は必ず悪化する。


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SHOPPING
Department stores and markets have fixed prices but bargaining is usual in markets, stalls and tourist shops.
! Warning Hassle from hawkers is very aggressive in places like Kuta & Kintamani.
Souvenirs
Batik, Ikat, ethnic-style clothing and sarongs, puppets, masks, jewelry, woodcarving, basket ware, paintings and ceramics. Ubud & Kuta are the main shopping centers.
Voltage/Plug type 220 volts, rounded 2 pronged.



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CULTURAL PERFORMANCES
The highlight for many visitors are the superb, highly professional gamelan music & dance performances, based on the ancient Hindu Ramayana & Mahabarata myths.
Though local performances often last many hours, there are many shorter versions performed in the main tourist areas.
Ubud has the largest program. A calendar of performances, explanation & price list, are available from tourist offices & travel agencies.
Music:
The Gamelan orchestra plays at many temple ceremonies, dance and wayang puppet performances.
Gamelan is made up of mainly percussion based traditional instruments.
Dances:
Kecak Also known as 'monkey dance', is a very exciting, male dance.
Though it was first performed in the 30's, it has much earlier origins in Sanghyang trance chanting.
The music accompaniment is not the usual gamelan but a male choir, chanting the distinctive Ke chak-ke-chak sound that gives it its name.
Based on a Ramayana story of King Rama's attempts, with the aide of a monkey army, to rescue his wife Sita, held captive by King Rawana.
Legong An elegant, classical dance accompanied by gamelan, in which the principle dancers are girls or very young women.
Legong tells the story of the plight of Princess Rangkesari, held prisoner by King Lakesmi and Prince Daha's attempt to rescue her.
Barong & Rangda A trance dance that tells the story about the fight between good and evil, good in the form of Barong, a humorous character played by 2 men in a lion-like costume (like a pantomime horse).
Evil in the form of his opponent the Witch Rangda.



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FESTIVALS
The temple is the center of Balinese festivals and ceremonies.
Most festivals in Bali follow either the Hindu-Javanese, Waku Calendar - 210 day year divided into weeks of 10 days or the Hindu Saka Calendar of 356 days.
Many festivals are held around the full moon period in April and at end of September.
Waku-Calendar Festivals
Odalan festival Held by every temple on its anniversary, every 210th day, lasts 3 days.
With over 20,000 temples on Bali, there are many opportunities to see this festival.
1st day - Procession of the village women to the temple. The women wear traditional clothes, and carry offerings of fruits and rice cakes arranged in a pyramid, on their heads. The food is left at the temple for 3 days then eaten. Gamelan, dance and wayang puppet performances are held in the evenings. Cockfighting also takes place.
Galungan (Balinese New Year) 10 day festival. In honor of the creation of the world.
1st Day - Food offerings are taken to temples. Barong dancing takes place in the evening..
Kuninggan Last day of New Year holiday, ancestors are honored. Temples are decorated with flowers and offerings are made.
Pengerupuk Last day of Balinese Year, according to the Saka caldendar. Purification and sacrificial ceremonies at temples are carried out.Priests chant to get rid of demons. In the evening torchlit parades take place featuring monsters and demons. Best in Denpasar.

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FESTIVALS/PUBLIC HOLIDAYS ph = public holiday
Jan 1 ph New Year's Day: On New Year's Eve street festivals and carnivals are held. Paper trumpets are sold and can be heard blown everywhere.
Feb 7/8 Imlec Chinese New Year.
Feb 9/10 ph Idul Fitri End of Ramadan (Muslim period of fasting). Processions & festivals.
Mar 28 ph Wafat Isa Al Masih: Good Friday.
Apr 9 ph Nyepi: Balinese Saka New Year & day of silence. torch parade night before.You should stay in your hotel.
Apr 18 ph Idul Adha Moslem Day of Sacrifice.
Apr 21 Kartini Day Women wear national dress to commemorate birth of Raden Ajeng Kartini, founder of womens' rights movement
May 8 ph Muharram Moslem New Year.
May 22 ph Waisak Day Buddha's birth/death, Procession from Candi Mendut to Borobodor held.
Jul 17 ph Maulud Birth of Mohammad. Festivities start one week before.
Aug 17 ph Independence Day: Events held throughout the country.
Nov 28 ph Isra Mi'raj Nabi:
Prophet Mohammad's Ascension Day.
Dec 25 ph Hari Raya Natal Christmas Day.



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TOURIST CENTERS
Ubud: Bali's cultural center and its most attractive town, is an excellent base for exploring Bali, has some of the best value food and accommodation options in Indonesia.
The beaches
South Bali: Kuta, popular beach resort near the airport, overdeveloped, noisy, hassly, has excellent facilities; Sanur, an up-market resort, with limited interest to the backpacker;
East Bali: Candidasa quieter & less developed than Kuta but without much beach, backpackers are increasingly staying at the nearby small coastal towns of Padangbai & Ahmed, which are not as developed, have beautiful white sand beaches and great snorkeling.
North Bali: Lovina, a black sand beach, popular with backpackers. The place to see dolphins.

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INTERNET
Still in its early stages but there are E-mail facilities in Ubud.

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