Zully's useful Bali information

For enquiries or help in Bali call me at  (mobile) 08133 753 4097

The prices shown here are accurate at the time of writing but with inflation running at a brisk rate price rises are inevitable. Most goods and services are cheaper here than in our home countries, and our dollars go a long way in Bali. A source of great information is the Bali travel forum. http://www.balitravelforum.com If you want to find something Ė search this site or ask a question. Many people who have spent time in Bali are willing to share their knowledge here.

Driver

We use Pak Eko or Pak Made. If you need any Driver (or Car- or Bike-rental), just let me know.

LOTTE (ex Makro)

If you like a large wholesale outlet selling goods ranging from groceries, beer by the crate, hardware, clothing, electrical goods, and much more - go to Makro at Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai number 222X. Itís about 20 minutes by taxi from Kuta. Note that daily membership costs Rp 5,000. In Oct 2006 we bought a DVD player (Rp 230,000) and a fridge (Rp 1,000,000) for bargain prices here. Beer, fruit juice and water can be purchased by the crate. Note they do take some credit cards at Lotte (including Diners Club) Thereís a small surcharge if you use a card, but there is an ATM handy if you want to get cash. Note that the Makro website has details of their specials. A taxi from Jayakarta Hotel to Makro is about Rp 30,000.

Carrefour the large French department store chain has now opened in Sunset Road. Itís a 12 minute taxi ride from Jayakarta. Its probably the biggest single store in Bali and sells everything from clothing, electrical goods, food etc. Carrefour group is the second largest retailer in the world so itís worth a visit. Their website can be found here http://www.carrefour.co.id/

If you want to do a bit of shopping we always look at the department stores at Denpasar. Take a 20 minute taxi ride to Ramayana Department Store (Jl Diponegoro) -DVDs, PS2 and Xbox games are at the Sakurashop on the top floor, clothing and shoes on floors 1 and 2. There is a good little Sportswear factory outlet on the top floor of Ramayana. The 50% off rack is a good source of Nike, Adidas and other branded sportswear. The supermarket ison the 3rd floor and the small food hall next to it has (amongst other things) great Sop Buntut and ice creams.

Matahari and Robinsons stores are a 10 minute walk from Ramayana. Also within walking distance is Millennia (Jl Teuku Umar) which sells many US branded men's, women's and children's clothes at bargain prices. Its good for jeans, shorts, T shirts etc. Brand name jeans were Rp 110,000, Gap separates Rp 49,500, Abercrombie & Fitch T shirts Rp 49,000, Mossimo cargo shorts Rp 79.000, OP swim shorts Rp 29,000.  They had Victoria's Secret garments there also! (Tell your husband that and he will let you go there!) The sizes are all US sizing which means they fit and XL means XL.

 

More good shops are at the Bali Mal Galeria at Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai. (Next to the big statue/water fountain.) There is a Matahari Department store there; the upstairs food court has some tasty local treats.

 

There is a good surf outlet shop selling Billabong, Rip Curl, Quicksilver, Volcom etc at Jl Bypass Ngurah Rai about 1 km from the big statue/fountain heading South. If you rummage through the bargain and seconds racks you can find a bargain. I got some genuine cool Mossimo dark glasses for Rp 95,000.

The  Discovery Shopping Mall is situated next to the Kartika Hotel on Kartika Plaza which is a 5 minute walk from Kuta Square. They have a good department store - Centro, which more like a NZ or Australian department store than Matahari. The menswear and footwear is especially good and the discounts are often 70%There is also a huge electronics store, a hardware store and on the top floor, many food outlets. One of the outside shops is the Bintang shop where you can buy all sorts of Bintang branded clothes such as shirts, caps, towels and more at reasonable prices. Inside the main entrance is a great bakery called ďBreadtalk

A good hardware store is Ace Hardware, situated at Istana Kuta Galleria, has most hardware and electrical stuff you will need including a range of better quality items that don't fall apart on you or blow up if inserted into a wall socket! Much of their stuff is imported. Last time we visited they had a range of furniture including leather lounge suits on sale.

DVD's - we have found  over 90% of the DVD's work well although some of the newer titles are made by people in the audience using handicam's - its a bit of a laugh when the person in front coughs or stands up - or the battery dies halfway though. We get most of our DVDs at Sakura (Kartika Plaza & top floor Ramayana in Denpasar) However the DVD shops near the Jayakarta Hotel in Legian are also good - just remember the more you buy the cheaper they get. Ask the shopkeeper if you come back can you purchase more for the same rate, and try and get the best bulk rate (Rp 10,000 at the time of writing). Despite your best intentions you will buy more later in the trip! Sakura is also the best place for playstation 2 or Xbox games. Remember your playstation  or Xbox needs to be mod chipped to be able to play these games. In NZ a playstation modchip is about Aud$50 and an Xbox chip around $60 not sure about Oz. As at Dec 2006 we paid Rp10,000 for DVDs and audio CDs and Rp15,000 for PS2 games. If you get 10 DVDs you get a further 3 free or if you get 100 DVDs (God help you with your luggage!) you get another 50 for free at some outlets. Cheap!!!!  A good idea is to leave the DVD cases behind and buy a zip up holder. These cost about Rp 50,000 and can contain up to 75 DVDs. The shop assistants will help you to do this. Computer based Windows software is also cheap in Bali. Software titles like Windows XP cost about Rp 20.000  for the CD version or Rp 50,000 if on DVD. Famous graphics utilities like Adobe Photoshop or Autocad cost thousands back home but are only Rp 20,000 in Bali - just don't expect any warranties or support from their help desk!

 

Supermarkets

We like the Bintang Supermarket at Jl Seminyak  - about 15 minutes walk or 5 minutes taxi from our Jayakarta apartment at Legian - a good place to get your groceries plus a good selection of local and imported wines, beers and spirits at reasonable prices. Pick up the latest copy of the free Bali Advertiser newspaper from here - it contains useful information. It also stocks vegemite, a good range of cheeses and other essentials! Take home some of the Balinese Arabica coffee beans. We find Bintang is cheaper and has more variety than the Matahari Supermarket at Kuta Square. If you are going to the Bintang Supermarket at Seminyak try the little coffee shop and deli beside it Ė Cafť Seminyak. It makes wonderful espresso, pastries and croissants. We really recommend the French Farmer breakfast with homemade sour dough bread. One more thing, if you do go to Bintang check upstairs as there is another department up there!

There is also an even cheaper and bigger supermarket called Alfa at Jl Imam Bonjol that many locals use and has a good range. We bought our 2 Kawasaki table tennis bats from Alfa for 11,000 each and a case of 24 small coke bottles for Rp 41,200 including the crate. Couldn't find any table tennis balls there which I found hard to understand, since they had everything else, including electrical equipment and clothing. Alfa is  a Rp 15,000 cab ride from Jayakarta or a 10 minute cycle ride. There's even a BCA ATM machine right outside the door.

Another supermarket Ė Tiara, is situated at Istana Kuta Galleria near Ace Hardware. (7 minute taxi ride) and is fairly cheap.

As mentioned above the Carrefour Department store has a huge range of goods.

Beach massages are cool. You may need to shoo away the carved wooden bow and arrow salesmen to get some peace :-) Bargaining is expected - I normally pay around Rp 20-25,000 for 30 minutes of massage - if a manicure is desired as well - an extra Rp 10,000 is needed. If you find a good one, stick with them and you don't need to go through the bargaining process again next day! I like Nyoman (with 10 on her hat) outside Jayakarta Hotel beach entrance.

                                                                              

Remember that people in Bali expect you to bargain. If unsure ask someone who has bought a similar item you want, how much they paid. It gives you some idea of where to start. I usually don't buy anything on the first day so I get and idea what the going rate is as the trip unfolds. A starting bid of 25% of the asking rate is a normal start point in negotiations. Be prepared to walk away if you aren't happy with the asking price as you will often get called back!! Ok Ok Ok they will call!

If you don't get recalled it means that they aren't making any profit on the transaction.

 

 

Eating & Liquor

 

Our current favourite restaurants are:

Enhay between Poppies 2 and JL Benesari. Very cheap but delicious. Total bill for 2 including beers (2) is about Rp 70,000.

Brasil Bali Jl Benasari is a good warung not far from Enhay. Itís a great cheap place that has been operating for years. Avocado prawns (May 07 Rp 9,000) and their mixed juice Rp 8,000 are my favorites.

Mykonos This is situated JL Laksmana and specializes in Greek food. The standard is high and the prices very reasonable. Cost for 2 persons including beers is around Rp 180,000. Ask for pita bread even though not shown on the menu. Last time we ate here it was not as good. The owner was away on business so that may be the reason.

Ryoshi Japanese Jl Raya Seninyak

Situated next door to Bintang Supermarket this is a real treat. Their sashimi and sushi are excellent. Prices are reasonable given the quality of the food. Many locals and expats eat here.

Queens Tandoor JL Raya Seminyak no 73 about Rp 20,000 taxi from Jayakarta. This is top class Indian food thatís a little expensive by Bali standards but still less than half what we pay back home.

We paid Rp 180,000 for 2 people including beers. (May 2007)

You must try the Dosa Ė a southern Indian treat.

The Royal Palace Chinese Restaurant, at Istana Kuta Galleria upstairs above Tiara Supermarket has great Dim Sum all you can eat lunches everyday. On Sundays they bring around the trolleys so you choose what you want. Itís a fixed price of Rp 40,000 per person including Chinese Tea and desert.

Warung 96 - off Poppies 2. Wood fired pizzas and Pasta are specialties here. A pizza is around Rp 38,000. Chilli Con Carne is our favourite.

Bamboo Corner on Poppies 1 is great value and has good juices and food at ridiculously cheap prices. Lunch for 2 people is about Rp 35,000.

Rainbow Cafe on Poppies 2 opposite Bounty Hotel is also a good value place to eat.

Halfway down Poppies 1 is Nusa Indah which is good for a few bintangs and has cheap and very good food. The staff are always friendly. A three course meal and 3 bintangs cost less than Rp 150,000 for both of us.

A bit dearer (still cheap by our standards) is Made's Warung Jl Pantai Kuta (Turn right at Bemo Corner.)

Eating places near Jayakarta:

We think the breakfasts at the Jayakarta are good but expensive. We prefer a 3 or 4 minute walk to Blue Ocean, Zanzibar or one of the places near there to have breakfast. It shouldnít cost more than Rp 35,000 for a full American breakfast with all the trimmings!

Go out to the beachfront from the Jayakarta Hotel and turn right and you will find Blue Ocean about 200 metres along the road. (Jl Double 6 -Great location and good food.) We often have the American Breakfast (big) at Blue Ocean, cost in May 2010 Rp 35, 000. Note that Blue Ocean has free wireless internet access so take your laptop.

Lanai

Next door to Blue Ocean and just as good. We had many breakfasts there. The full breakfast is aboutRp 40,000. Their dinners are equally well made and good value. (Big burger and fries Rp 48,000, Caesar salad 40,000,largepizza 48,000. They also have free wireless internet. If you sit upstairs you get a great sea view as well for free!!

About 50 metres past Zanzibar is Tekor Bali which was excellent for all meals (but is not soooo good anymore L. Their Sop Buntut Rp23,000(Oxtail soup) is still a good choice. We have had Tekor Bali-Special breakfast there a number of times.

If you are staying at the Legian end of Kuta as we do there are several good value restaurants including:

Yut's Place which has good steaks from around Rp 40,000 as well as Indonesian foods and salads. I liked their Caesar salad and veal Cordon Blue (Gordon Blue Ė as many Balinese call it). If you tire of Indonesian food they will fit the bill with a good range of mainly Swiss and Western style food. Itís a 5 minute walk from the Jayakarta Hotel.

Unfortunately Marco the Original Owner & Chef left and itís now up to his (ex?) wife to fill the gap, but Ö. Itís not what it was when Marco was still in charge.

Left out of Jayakarta Hotel and when you get to JL Doublesix  go 30 metres to the left and across the road is Warung Murah. It serves great local food and juices at cheap prices.

Also left outside the Jayakarta security gate and about 500m walk is Warung Asia which specializes in Thai food. This is left outside Jayakarta main entrance gate and about 50 metres before Double Six intersection. Excellent Thai cuisine. This place is popular with locals and expats and we recommend it. It was busy each time we ate there so that it a good sign for a restaurant. We recommended it to guests when in Bali and they found it great.

Remember that many restaurants sell large beer at happy hour prices for a few hours in early evening to attract customers. Prices like Rp 10,000  - Rp13,000 for a large Bintang or Bali Hai beer are common and often work out cheaper than what you can get in the supermarket! Cocktails with the local 'Arak' spirit are cheap but keep a few panadol handy for next morning.

 On the subject of alcohol we found the Hatten's Rose wine made in Bali, good to drink. Especially if chilled well. At last visit it was Rp 90,000 a bottle or Rp 190,000 per cask from the supermarket. It makes you laugh when you read the label though, it says "to be drunk now, DO NOT CELLAR"  There is local copy spirits available called Robinsons which tastes like Bacardi etc. When used to make banana daiquiris and the like you wouldn't know the difference.

Half way down Poppies Lane 1 next door to the Secret Garden Bar & Restaurant there is a little outdoor cocktail bar that sells jugs of cocktails for Rp 35,000, large Bintangs Rp 12,000 and soft drinks Rp 3,500 at happy hour (6 to 9 pm). They make a special one called "fall over juice" and it does seem to work quite well after number 3. Their pina colada and frozen margarita is also worth a shot. They also have small Guinness beer for Rp 10,000 each. A Scottish lady (Heather) owns the place and is very knowledgeable about soccer. The old Scottish guy near the end of the bar is Jimmy, I think he is welded onto the bar!

If you are going past a KFC and want a cheap snack we often order KFC chicken and corn or chicken and vegetable soup - its yummy and costs about Rp 9500. McDonalds sell snow freeze type ice creams dipped in hot chocolate. At Rp 2000 they are good on a hot day.

One of the best places, to buy fresh bread and cakes is the Bali Bakery (Corner Jl Imam Bonjol & Jl Patih Jelantik) They have good meals there too. Try the soup of the day! We often take a fresh baguettehome to eat. If you eat in try their soup of the day Rp 30,000.

The Bali Deli - you can get your order delivered to you if you want a snack or browse their wonderful selection of breads, meats and cheeses. Many imported items at a reasonable prices. The garden area outside is a nice place to have lunch.

Don't forget to check the Beatmag to find the location of the popular restaurants. Pick up a copy of HelloBali magazine - they are based at Seminyak but arrange hotel/home delivery for around 30 local restaurants for Rp 10,000 to 30,000 as far a field as Sanur. We haven't tried it out yet but you get to check out the menus for a number of restaurants.

Money

We have found it better to take our local banknotes (NZ) for conversion into Rupiahs.Australian notes are fine but take $50 and $100 notes and you sometimes get a slightly better rate. Damaged notes will be rejected, so check there are no tears. ATMs work ok - I think most banks charge about $5 per transaction for ATM use - so you may as well get a decent amount of cash out in one transaction. I cant see the point of changing NZ or OZ dollars at home into US dollars, then changing them to Rupiahs in Bali as the only thing you are doing is giving the local Bank another whack of commission. The only US dollars you need is the US$25 Visa on arrival money. (As mentioned below.)

Keep valuables in the safe deposit box at Hotel reception.

Use of credit cards is fine in major department stores but many smaller retailers will add a surcharge. We have found Visa and MasterCard to be the most popular cards. Make sure you have a PIN number for your card which enables it to work in ATMs. There are heaps of ATMs around Bali. If you have an ANZ card, take it with you. Many eating establishments, including the Bali Bakery offer a 10% discount if you use it.

Tipping - usually we don't but for good service at restaurants we add an extra thousand Rupiahs or two. Remember just how little this is to us but what a difference it is to them. The average wage is around AUD $120 per month in Bali.

Money changers Ė

We use the PT Kuta Central - Money Changer which is 500m around Bemo Corner past the Kuta BCA Bank. If you donít want to travel far, we often use the Kodak store near Posers Pub, and have NEVER had any problem - remember if you see a rate that seems too good to be true - it probably is. The money changer in the Kodak shop about 10 minutes walk from the Jayakarta Ė opposite the BCA ATM machine, is a PT Central agent and has the same rates as the main office.The money changer beside Matahari in Kuta square is also good - PT Kuta Central is the biggest and best changer and where many of the other money changers change their currencies!   Remember NOT ALL MONEY CHANGERS ARE HONEST and Count your money before you leave their premises.

Many Kodak shops, which are agents for PT Central, have a good reputation for honesty, although sadly, some of these are using slight of hand and dodgy calculators to rip off unsuspecting tourist.. Don't use the hotels to change money as their rates are ratshit.

Be careful not to confuse 10,000 notes with 100,000 notes - its a bit confusing with all those noughts.

If you need a Bank we use the BCA in Kuta, 200 metres around Bemo Corner on the road to Denpasar.

Taxi

Taxis are cheap in Bali. If you have the choice always get a light blue, Bluebird  TAXI. There are many of them. Just hail them from the side of the road. Their phone number is (0362) 70 11 11 if you want to book one. They wont rip you off like some (read MOST) of the other taxi firms will. As a matter of interest we always take a light blue Taxi to Denpasar from Kuta and its typically around Rp 45,000 each way. I always round the fare up to the nearest thousand.  On the way back it may be difficult to get a blue cab so negotiate a fixed rate with another taxi. Usually 45-60,000 is OK from Denpasar to Kuta/Legian area. If using another taxi firm, insist they use a meter or at least agree a price first.

Remember that all taxis have a meter, even the non-Blue Bali Taxi's. During 2005 the Indonesian Government removed most of the subsidies on fuel with the result petrol prices more than doubled. This is the reason taxi fares are somewhat higher than they were.

Airport taxis

When arriving in Bali go to the right outside the airport and get a voucher for a taxi. The set cost is around Rp 60,000 to Legian and Kuta. If you are brave you can go out into the car park and negotiate with a van driver, often better for a large group or if you have many bags. The price from airport to Kuta/Legian is around Rp 60,000 to Rp 65,000 for a van. From the hotels at Legian to the airport the light blue taxi should cost around Rp 50,000.

When using the taxi to get from Legian to restaurants and bars in Poppies Lane we often get out on Jl Legian opposite Poppies 2  and walk - quicker than taking the taxi all the way around. Fare approx Rp 25,000.

Going from Kuta back to Jayakarta we usually go to the beach end of Poppies 1 and get a taxi to the sharp 90 degree corner where Jl Melasti starts then take the 10 minute walk back along the cobbled walkway to the Jayakarta Apartment at Legian. Its a pleasant walk and good shortcut if you want to walk all the way from Legian to Kuta and it takes about 25 minutes. At night you can see the bright lights of hundreds of fishing boats in a line, 20km or more out from the beach. I think they catch squid and tuna.

Places you should go

For day trips we like the Bali bird park.  There is a reptile park next door if you are up to it. Itís an hourís drive north of Legian. 

Ubud is an interesting place where many artists hang out. It has a more relaxed feel than Kuta and has good markets - art, carving and sculpting etc. There is plenty to see on the way.

Nusa Lembongan is an island off the east coast of Bali that has good snorkeling and surfing. Accommodation is cheap and itís a good way to break your trip.

Lombok. 40km across the sea from Bali, is an Island a little smaller than Bali and home to about 2 million people. Its a 90% Muslim country compared to Bali, which is 90% Hindu. The scenery on Lombok is stunning. Prices are cheaper and its much quieter than Bali. The Gili Islands, renowned for diving and partying, are a short distance from Lombok and worth a visit. The Lombok surf is amongst the worlds best. A recent surf magazine rated a surf break near Kuta beach (Lombok) the best left hand break in the world! You can go by air (Rp 500,000 return) or sea  (Rp 40,000 return) from Bali.

 

 Other tips

Don't drink the tap water. We have found it good value to buy large 3 gallon water at the Supermarket and take it to the apartment in the taxi - you need to purchase the bottle first. There is a shop outside the Jayakarta Hotel that will swap empties over and carry them up to the apartment for you. We paid Rp 10,000 for the refill including freight! If you are out and about its a good idea to take a small bottle of water with you. Dehydration is easy if you don't drink water often. Fruit juices cost very little and taste delicious.

Electrical Appliances Itís rare to find a light bulb over 25 watts Ė perhaps thatís a reason many of the rooms are dark! Toasters that never toast and jugs that never boil are common because their wattage (or power) is about 33% of what we use back home. We have our own jugs in all our apartments after guests complained about the 45 minute time to boil a Bali kettle. Bali customs often ask why our suitcases are filled up with various electrical appliances from home.

Luggage allowance Be aware that excess baggage fees are often charged when you take home more than 20KG per person of checked on baggage. It can be expensive. Ways around this are: Take as much carry on stuff as you can or buy a body board or surfboard bag and stuff it with stuff. Some  airlines including Garuda allow a sports bag on without counting its weight. I guess golf clubs and bag also qualify. Shops in Poppies 2 can make such bags cheaply. You can check baggage weights by standing on scales with, then without, your bags then subtract the difference. If flying Jetstar they can be strict on baggage also take a warm jacket with you as they charge for blankets. We also take along some snacks like nuts as you pay for meals and drinks.

Carry on luggage - liquids

Lately (May 2007) most airports wonít let you take bottles containing more than 100ml with you onto the plane. Its OK to pack these items in your checked luggage, but otherwise be prepared to lose your expensive cosmetics etc. if they are in containers of more than 100ml.

Visa on arrival: Pay with undamaged US currency $25. Have the exact amount. Itís quicker and you get a better rate doing it this way. You can pay in most currencies but they give you a lousy rate and it takes longer.

You can bring wine and spirits into Bali but the quantity is restricted - think its limited to 1 litre per person. If they find more they fine you or confiscate it - be careful. We know some people who fill their water drink bottles with wine to get over the limit, which seems to work ok. Be careful about the 100ml liquid carry on rule mentioned above.

Toilets in Bali are getting better but some donít provide toilet paper. I always have some in my back pocket for emergency use! The major department stores all provide public toilets of decent quality as do most restauarants.

Departure Tax is Rp 100,000 so remember to have this available when you get to the airport. If you need a snack before you leave the McDonalds outside the airport is much cheaper than any of the food inside.

 

Hiring a motorcycle can be a fun way to get about. Remember you need an International drivers licence! I didn't bother and got fined Rp 200,000!!  (The bike rental was  Rp 35,000 per day in Dec 2006 and included the helmet but not petrol.) Car hire, if you're brave is around Rp 400,000 for 3 days hire.  I tried to get a temporary licence while in Bali, but the procedure was stressful and a miserable failure! My friend who lives in Bali says he can get a 3 month licence in Bali for Rp 200,000 and it doesnít involve any driving tests, but you have to go in the back door of the police department! Ė I havenít tried that yet but watch this space.. Remember to get an International drivers licence in your own Country before you leave. You also need to have your overseas licence with you as well as the International one. Many police are waiting to pick on and fine unlicensed foreigners. We have heard many stories about foreigners being fined for various reasons including - not tooting your horn enough! not wearing a seatbelt, stopping on the road before doing a turn, driving in the centre of the road. A friend of ours got fined Rp 50,000 for not wearing a shirt when riding a motorbike!! The fines range from Rp 50,000 to 200,000. Its a good idea to carry 2 wallets and have one with Rp 50,000 in to use for fines. If you say thatís all you have you may get away with the 50,000 fine. I have tried to study the road rules but there are none that I can find. The only rules seem to be: Small gives way to big and if you have an accident its your fault because as a tourist if you hadn't been there, then there wouldn't have been an accident.

We have our own bikes (Peddling bikes) in Bali and its a neat way to get around. It often much quicker than the taxi as you can go backwards down the one way streets - if you are careful! We ride our bikes  to Kuta, from Legian and also to Seminyak and it takes no time at all. Our bikes often beat the taxi into town. You can hire a peddling bike near the entrance of the Jayakarta Hotel - Legian. Prices are around Rp10,000 per day. Remember to wear a helmet for your safety.

If travelling around Bali get a driver and an air-conditioned van to take you. The cost for the day including driver will be in the vicinity of Rp 250,000 to 400,000 and a half day about Rp 150,000 to 200,000. Refer to the pics page on our website for a link to the driver we use. It is customary to buy the driver lunch and a drink. Be aware they often get commission from their mates if you buy something en route!  Expect to bargain with the driver prior to settling the fee for the day. The drivers outside the gate of the Jayakarta seem more willing to bargain than the drivers inside the gate Ė it often depends how busy they are. We have encountered a wide variety of drivers including some who seem to have a death wish. I tell some of them to slow down a bit. One way to engage them in conversation, even if they know virtually no English, is to ask them their opinion on the best motorbike. They all seem to know the list prices of every conceivable motorbike ever sold in Bali, including the second hand market. As at May 2007 a brand new 100 cc Honda was just over 11 million Rupiahs.

When swimming always swim in a patrolled area. The surf is fun but can be dangerous at times so if you are not experienced be careful. For a good day trip go to Dreamland beach (20km from Legian) - the beach is wonderful. The swimming opposite the Jayakarta, at Legian is excellent and 4 minutes walk from our apartment. Remember to swim between the flags.

 

Phone/Internet

Mobile phone calls are cheap in Bali, so take your cell phone. You will need a Bali simcard. If you go to the stalls outside Matahari in Kuta Square one of the sales girls will insert it. We paid Rp 55,000 for a Rp 50,000 prepay sim card from the Pro XL shop around the corner from Kuta BCA Bank.  We keep our card in Bali and a friend tops them up at 10,000 per month so we can keep the same number. If you are staying at the Jayakarta get a Pro XL card as their coverage is strongest.

Local calls cost about Rp 2,500 per minute and texts  (SMS) were about Rp 500  each to NZ/Oz or Rp 350 to another Bali phone. International calls to Australia are about Rp7,000/minute - but check first. If calling overseas on Pro XL you need to dial the prefix 01000 then the number. Eg 01000613xxxxxxxxx as this gives you a cheaper rate.

Bali uses 240 volt power so Australian/NZ devices work in both places - just remember to buy an adapter to enable the appliance to be plugged in. Supermarkets sell power adapters cheaply. Some of the wiring is suspect in Bali. Reinhold has been known to wear rubber sandals (thongs) when turning on some hotel electrical switches!

There are many internet cafes and a growing number of wireless hot spots in Bali, find one you like but remember some are faster and cheaper than others. We now have internet available in all our apartments but you can also use the little internet shop, left outside the Jayakarta gate, about 100 metres down the road and is Rp 250 per minute. You get free small water and a plate of peanuts thrown in. They also do laundry, and their neighbor next door is a restaurant so its a kind of one stop shop. Note that more restaurants are providing free wireless internet access. Zanzibar and Lanai which is on the beachfront, a short walk from the Jayakarta both have this. Why not enjoy a juice (or bintang) while you surf the net for free!

Before you travel to Bali make sure you have insurance including medical cover just to be sure. I am unsure if it works in other countries but here in NZ if you pay for at least 50% of your travel cost with a gold MasterCard then your insurance is free. Contact your card issuer to check.

Laundry

A good laundry, and the one we use is The Family Laundry ph 08164701988, if you ring about 8am and give your Jayakarta apartment number they collect about 9am then deliver about same time next day. Their English is about as good as my Indonesian so persevere!

Another laundry service for Jayakarta guests is Nyoman's Laundry. If you turn left outside the gate and walk 2 minutes to the alley on the right you will see laundry 15 metres down the alley. As at May 2007 undershorts were Rp 500 shorts Rp1500, socks Rp500 per pair and shirts Rp1500. The tailor next door can do repairs and alterations to garments if required.

Printing

We get our business cards printed at Bali Graphic Design at Jl Raya Legian no 472. Cost per 100 business cards is Rp 25,000  (Dec 2006) including the setup and design cost! They also do posters and other printing.

Bali Dentist

As luck would have it, I stumbled on to a great dentist in Bali. Dr Retno Agung has a dental practice opposite the McDonalds sign at Sanur. After an initial consultation it was decided I needed major work including 4 crowns, various fillings plus other sundry stuff. Served me right for not going to the dentist back home for 11 years! After 8 visits to the dentist the end result was brilliant. Total cost Aud$1400 which is way less than back home. If you see Dr Retno, tell her Zully & Isti says hi. Dr Retno, her staff and me!

 

 Good Links

Pics of our apartments and a link to our driver. www.puketoki.com/pics.htm

Bali Travel Forumwww.balitravelforum.com

Bali Advertiser www.baliadvertizer.biz

Zuji a good place to find cheap fares. www.zuji.com

Hallo Restaurants Ė Places to eat and they will arrange delivery to your hotel. Pick up a booklet at the Bintang Supermarket. www.hallorestaurants.com

Currency converter. www.oanda.com/convert

Bali Bliss.

Indonesia Post Newspaper www.indonesiapost.com

Bali.co nzNZ travel agent. www.bali.co.nz

Makro Wholesalewww.makro.co.id

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