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Before leaving

  • The Indonesian authorities require a validity period of at least six months from your departure date.
  • The entry visa for French, Swiss, Belgian or Canadian nationals is obtained directly at the arrival at the airport in Indonesia against the sum of 25 dollars (valid for 1 month) which can be paid in Euros, at the daily rate of the immigration services. If you want to stay more than a month in Indonesia, you can check with the Indonesian embassy before leaving.
The regulations allow each passenger to enter Indonesia with 2 liters of alcohol and 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars. However the price of cigarettes is much cheaper in Bali (9000rp = 0.80€ for American). A reasonable amount of perfume is allowed. Importing drugs, weapons, pornography and publications in Chinese characters is of course prohibited.
No specific vaccine is required to come to Bali, but the usual vaccines, DT polio, hepatitis-A, and against typhoid fever, can be recommended. For reasons of individual responsibility, you should seek advice from your doctor who will be able to advise you on vaccines against hepatitis-B, Japanese encephalitis, rabies and meningitis.
General medication for diarrhea due to change in diet (often very spicy meals) is recommended along with sunburn cream and treatment for a cold snap. Bali is not malarial. However, effective preventive treatment against mosquitoes is sometimes advised if you plan to visit other Indonesian islands. From a health point of view, the island is safe for tourists: there are a few private clinics with English-speaking doctors in the tourist area.
The dry season starts from April until the end of October. The general temperature throughout the year is 26°C at night and 32°C during the day. It is cooler in July – August during the high tourist season and increases a little at the end of the dry season in October. The sun rises at 6 a.m. and sets at 6 p.m. all year round. The rainy season usually starts in November or December until the end of March or April. However, the days remain sunny and it rains mainly in the late afternoon and at night (the rains do not correspond to a real monsoon and it is rare for it to rain for several days in a row or all day). A very beautiful day is interspersed with rain before finding the sun for a few days!
Minimum luggage with light clothing is advised. You can easily find it in Indonesia with a very attractive price, as well as wash the laundry on site. A long-sleeved shirt is sufficient for cool evenings. However, bring a sweater, a rain jacket, a light backpack for excursions and good sports shoes if you plan to take walks in the middle of the island at altitude (volcano ascent). The hat and sunscreen are important for the day because the heat is strong. Bring earplugs if you are sensitive to rooster crows at 5am.

There is a 6 hour time difference with Paris. When it is 6 a.m. in Paris, it is noon in Bali (summer time) or 1 p.m. (winter time).

There are approximately 250 languages and dialects spoken in Indonesia. From Independence Day in 1945, the official language Bahasa Indonesia is imposed, it is essentially derived from Malay also mixed with many dialectal or imported words. The Balinese have their own dialect as well as the Javanese and the other islands in Indonesia. Everyone speaks English fluently in tourist places, but not French at all.
The local currency of Indonesia is the rupiah (Rp), with banknotes of one thousand, two thousand, five thousand, ten thousand, twenty thousand, fifty thousand, and one hundred thousand… ten thousand and one hundred thousand banknotes which have a similar color!! 1€=12100 rp. (as of 03/14/11) To consult the €uro/Rp exchange rate, click here.
For your personal expenses on site, it will be practical to bring Euros. You can easily find exchange shops in tourist areas, but beware, while some offer attractive conditions, others may present the risk of scams. Travellers Checks are accepted almost everywhere, but at a slightly less favorable rate.
The international Visa or Master card are accepted in major hotels, some restaurants, shops, and ATMs which are found almost everywhere in major cities and some tourist areas. This is not the case for American Express.
It is recommended to drink plenty of mineral water to avoid dehydration. Also check if the ice cubes are clean or made with boiled water. Tap water is not drinkable.
Meals are often very spicy if one chooses to eat like the locals. Local dishes with a less spicy taste can be found in tourist restaurants.
you don’t need an adapter because the sockets are identical to the French sockets (220 Volts).
Indonesians appreciate the photo, and in general like to be taken as a subject. Of course, you have to see it on a case-by-case basis. Buying photo films is easy. The development is very cheap but the quality sometimes leaves something to be desired. Photo equipment is not necessarily cheaper than in the West.