2nd January 2006, 02:14 PM
Bali during New year
Take it as my contribution for all the helpful answers given each time I ask from fellow Hobbyists here for help.
Was in Bali during the new year and would like to give some pointers to any visitors to bali on some gems I discovered there.
F and B
1) "Taste" and "Trattoria" on Jalan Lakamansa
These french and italian restaurant respectively serves excellent food at really cheap prices. Around 8 to 12 dollars for a main course of steak, fish or chicken.
1) Putra Ulu Wartu (south of Bali)
A temple on the cliffside, excellent view. At 6pm, there is a traditional kecak dance. My advise get to the temple by 4pm to explore the temple and also take photos. Get your ticket for the kecak dance and be seated by 545pm so as to get a seat next to the dancers if not have to get a zoom lense as you will be blocked by tourists standing up in front of the dancers.
2nd January 2006, 03:10 PM
Re: Bali during New year
A few more:
BARONG DANCE (MUST SEE!)
The world renowned Barong Dance is repeatedly performed by various troops all over the Bali, and which the most prominent in Denpasar and Kuta.
Bali uses GMT+8 & +7, but its perfectly alright to leave your GMT+8 setting untouched.
There is an art festival that invites artists and performers all over the world every July - August in Bali.
SUNSETS & SUNRISE
Sunsets are magnificent in Bali, white sands and dark sands beaches are often filled with night life with bars and shops. Beach resorts are inexpensive, and definitely worth the stay.
My sole experience of sunset is by the Jimbaran Beach; sunrise at Kuta Beach.
Sunsets are usually observed between 6:15 to 6:30pm GMT+8. Sunrises at around 5:30 to 6:00am.
Not far from Denpasar International Airport are some of the most famous seafood restaurants in Bali. For a relatively low price, you get a 6 course meal.
Street food are generally edible (), but visitors are advised to avoid them due to the lax in hygienic inspection. A bottle of soft drinks usually cost around 1500-2000 rupiah. Mineral water, or "Aqua" over in Bali, cost around 500-1000 rupiah.
DO NOT exchange your currency at roadside money exchanging stalls. They provide good rates, but tend to con tourists who are unaware of the latest currency exchange market. Most 3 stars and above hotels should have currency exchange service at their lobbies. Or alternatively, deposit lots of SGD in your bank account, and withdraw at a local ATM compatible with the Cirrus service.
Although the most preferable choice will be finding a decent rate in Singapore. I was quoted a good rate in Peninsular Plaza.
There are no regulated hired vehicle service in Bali, although pirate taxi service, which by the way, charge as they pleases, are available virtually everywhere. They are often sedans, vans or even minibuses. Check with your Concierge if you want safer hired vehicles, such as renting a vehicle from your hotel.
There is also no public bus service in Bali. There is though private bus service that actually runs on service routes. Not advisable, but worth a try.
Getting around Bali is relatively easy with tour group and a guide; after all, they are not really fond of putting up road signs. There are lots of LARGE billboards though, so most of time, they recognises the billboards than road signs.
Houses of artists and galleries often charge 300%++ than prices you can get at the DFS tax-free stores, which by the way, sells the identical hand-made art pieces which you buy at higher prices in galleries or art houses.
There are also rows of shops selling identical counterfeits at extreme low price along Kuta Beach.
GALLERIA SHOPPING MALL
I heard rumours that the Galleria shopping mall is only opened to Singaporeans and tourists from visa-waiver countries like Malaysia. So to pay safe, bring along your passport if you want to visit Galleria. The stuff is not entirely cheap compare to other shopping malls in Bali, but Galleria is definitely classy and cleaner.
When onboard a plane en route to Denpasar, you will be prompt to fill up the Arrival form, which will state that Chinese medicines are prohibited for tourists from non visa-waiver countries. So if you are a national of a non-ASEAN country, beware of this.
Some of the older hotels and places in Bali houses wall power sockets that are not identical to that of Singapore. Most of the appliances in Singapore apply the Rectangular blade plug type, or Type G. Legian Paradiso Hotel houses some Type G sockets, but mostly Type C or Type F sockets.
So bringing a universal converter will be desirable. Do not bother to get one there, they are often unregulated and potentially risky to use.
MOBILE PHONE NETWORKS
There are several roaming networks that are selectable via your home network service provider. As for me, Telkomsel seemed to have the widest coverage, even in secluded areas in the highlands.
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEOGRAPHY
Absolutely permitted! Balinese will be more than delighted to pose for you; they are a very charming group of people.
RELIGIOUS, LANGUAGE & ETHNIC ISSUES
Majority of Balinese are Hindus. There are mandatory lights off period during their “New Year” festival, which is fiercely respected by many of the devoted Hindus. So should your holiday plans coincide with the lights off period, please respect their tradition.
There should be a sole mosque and a few churches in Bali, can’t remember though.
Balinese speaks really little English, but it should be alright for basic day-to-day communication. Bahasa Indonesia sounds rather different at this part of Indonesia though, so for Bahasa Melayu users you get a few “har?” now and then. There are ethnic Chinese there, but they are often Hokkiens or Teochews and do not speak Mandarin.
Some of the senior Balinese speaks Dutch, due to the colonial past, especially the curators at the many museums in Bali (by the way, they call it Mu-si-yu-um).
If should happened to flock in groups with rather obvious ethnic diversity, such as Chinese, Malay and Caucasian, they will most likely love you, and want to charge really HIGHLY. However, if you should wonder yourself, say for a Chinese, they might just happen to despise you. My tour guide told me that PKI still lives vividly in the memory of Balinese, and communism still scares them a little, so does the PRC nationals.
If you are Caucasian, especially if you speak with a distinctive Australian or British accent, they might fear you. I heard Balinese saying Australians are really great bargainers. And they often end up losing profit. Haha.
Tap water is NOT POTABLE in Bali! Hotels should provide you with free bottles of mineral waters that are exchanged daily. Water may not entirely be safe for drinking even after boiling, especially for hotels that uses public reservoir instead of their private catchments.
TELEVISION & RADIO ENTERTAINMENT
Satellite television and radio services is available in most hotels I believe, which means, you most probably won’t miss your favourite programmes on BBC World, BBC Prime, Star World, Hallmark, CNN, Star Sports, ESPN, CNA, HBO and more.
Internet is absurdly expensive over at Bali. They charge really high for even a 56k connection. I saw a couple of broadband internet cafes though, reasonably priced but seemed to me they are often awfully crowded.
Hope this help folks here going over to Bali in 2006.
Last edited by Slivester; 2nd January 2006 at 03:19 PM.