There are five "tourist seasons" known in Bali, you should pick the best one that suits you depends on your own considerations and variables such as time, money, weather conditions, and the accessibility.
The Pre-prime Season ( April – May). Hotel rooms in Bali are readily available, while the rates, the crowds and the weather are moderate
The Prime Season ( May – September ). It is usually a sunny and dry period in Bali. During this season, the school holidays that occur in Indonesia makes the domestic tourists flood the island with crowds as well as the international tourists. The month of August is usually full of offers for tourists / visitors such as promotional hotel rates and interesting tour packages, while the restaurants offer special menus with interesting pricings in conjunction with the celebration of the Indonesian Independence Day. Foreign and domestic tourists / visitors can join in on the various folk celebrations of Indonesian independence held in Bali. It is best for you to book your hotel room at least a month prior.
The Post-prime Season ( September – mid December ). Hotel rooms in Bali are readily available again as schools in Indonesia begin their new curriculums, therefore not many domestic tourists can be seen during this season.
The Holiday Season ( mid. December – early January ). Domestic and international visitors flood the island for Christmas and the New Year’s eve. Just like the prime season, many promotions and attractive prices are on offer by the hotels as well as the travel agents and the restaurants. However, it is the time when the dry season changes into the wet season.
The Wet Season ( January – April ). Just like the rain, everything else such as prices, crowds, as well as room bookings seems to come down. It is trully a refreshing period after the dry season, and many sightseeing and adventure features on the island, such as the agrarian life, majestic temples and also the royal water palaces and gardens in the central regions, are best to be enjoyed during this season,. However, the tropical rainy season will always leave plenty of sun for the coastal lovers.
The Location and Duration of Your Stay in Bali
It would be better if you stay in Bali for at least 10 - 14 days because many hotels and travel agencies in Bali provide special offers and programs for guests who stay for a considerable length of time in Bali. A month would be even better because Bali offers so many things to experience.
It would be better if you stay in the Nusa Dua or Ubud area, if you prefer a quiet atmosphere for your holiday. But if you prefer a more colorful atmosphere, yet you only have a limited budget, you can consider to stay in the Kuta or Sanur area.
If you staying in a hotel room for a longer duration (at least a month), it will help you to save more than if you staying in a villa.
How to Enjoy Travelling in Bali
Bali has so many interesting things to offer, start from beautiful beaches and hills, unique and fascinating temples, friendly and warm people, enjoyable lifestyle, up to modern night clubs. here are some travelling tips that might be useful for you ...
If this is your first time in Bali, tour agencies will be handling for your tour or you can rent a car or motorbike and ask your friend to be your guide and take you around as narrow streets in Bali may cause confusion.
Make sure you have a valid international driver's license to avoid problems. In Bali, you can obtain an international driver's license at the Polisi Kota Besar (POLTABES) office in Denpasar.
Always wear sunglasses and bring your sun cream wherever you go and do not forget to bring a bottle of water as there are no drinkable water taps around.
If you try adventure holiday packages, prepare a mosquito lotion.
Ensure you have enough fuel for your trip because petrol may be scarce in some places. Bringing cash will be helpful if you get into problems along the way or when you need to purchase some supplies. Traditional markets in Bali have high quality products at reasonable prices. Always remember to bargain.
In Bali you will encounter some ritual ceremonies held near or on the road, so wait for the procession to subside or politely ask permission before you pass.
Rice is the staple food in Bali and is often included in accompanying dishes and sometimes in soups. Chicken, beef, and seafood are either steamed, braised stir or deep fried and even grilled over coconut husks. Chilli, coconut, garlic, ginger, saffron lemon grass and several kinds of shrimp paste are just some of the ingredients that give Indonesian food its unique flavour. Lunch and dinners are served with a choice of main courses and vegetables, usually well spiced and aromatic, but not too hot.
Balinese traditional foods are mostly spicy, so be careful if you have never tried spicy foods before.
Bali Tipping Advice
A service charge of ten percent is usually added to restaurant bills. If no charge is added, a gratuity of between five and ten percent would be appreciated though not necessarily expected. Tipping taxi drivers and other service personnel is recommended. However, keep the amount at a reasonable level. As the currency of Indonesia has a tendency to be erratic, it is wise to check the relative values of the Rupiah on a daily basis.
Bali Dress Code
Bussiness dress consist of suits for both men and women. Out of bussiness, clothing should comprise lightweight, casual items. Warmer clothes are needed for cool evenings and the upland areas. In temples and goverment buildings, smarter clothing is essential.
( It is considered disrespectful to wear brief clothings in the villages, towns or on public transportations, and it is more unacceptable to wear mini skirts, shorts, thongs and beach wear for visiting temples, ritual ceremonies and government offices. )
Greeting Someone in Bali
Bussiness people should be addresses by their title along with handshake for both men and women. Bussiness cards are also considered important and should be exchanged during introductions.
( It is also prohibited to touch someone else in the head or point at someone due it is considered to be an offensive act by the locals. NEVER give or receive an object with your left hand. )
Bali Bussiness Hour and Banking
Hours of bussiness in Bali are Monday to Friday, 09:00 till 13:00 and 14:00 till 17:00. Most places of bussiness will also trade Saturday mornings 09:00 to 13:00. Government office hours usually start at 8am-3pm, except Fridays when office hours are shorter, start at 8am-1pm and on holiday twice a week on Saturday and Sunday, and some national holidays are labeled red on the Indonesian calendar. Banks will not be open on Saturday morning but will be open during the week from 09:30 to 15:00.
There is a ban on smoking on public transport in Bali and the visitor should observe this even if the locals often do not. In bussiness, it is advisable to refrain and take cues from the host.
When attending ceremonies.....
Always wear a sarong and a sash
DO NOT walk in front of the people who is praying
DO NOT use flash camera or push your camera in the priest's face
NEVER sit higher than the priest or the offerings
At cremations, DO NOT get in the way of the attendees, how ever important that photographic opportunity is
Ladies having period are kindly requested not to enter any temple or holy places.
Visitors are welcome to any ceremony held either at a family-compound or a temple provided that the are properly dressed up or at least putting on a sash around the waist as to show respect to the host or Deites of the place visited. However, to temple, any visitors are kindly requested not to enter the main-court during the worshipping time.
When to Visit - Arts and Events
There are several festivals on Bali, most involving music, dance, religion and art. All of which are held very close to the hearts of the people. Two of the major festivals are "Galungan" and "Nyepi".
"Galungan" is the major feast of the wuku calendar. For ten days the Gods are said to visit the island and mythical lion dogs prance between temples and villages in celebration.
The eve of "Nyepi" involves the noisy banishment of lingering evil by using gongs, drums and flame torches. On "Nyepi", the whole of Bali is quiet. People stay at home and do not cook, pretending they are not there in order to fool evil spirits into believing the island is uninhabited.