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Exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia overall due to security risks.

Higher levels apply in some areas.

Indonesia

Indonesia (PDF 699.19 KB)

Asia (PDF 2.21 MB)

Local emergency contacts

Fire services, ambulance and rescue services, medical emergencies.

Call 110 or 112.

Tourist Police, Bali

Call (+0361) 759 687.

Tourist Police, Jakarta

Call (+201) 526 4073.

Advice levels

Exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia overall.

Reconsider your need to travel to the provinces of Papua (Papua), Papua Highlands (Papua Pegunungan), Central Papua (Papua Tengah) and South Papua (Papua Selatan).

Reconsider your need to travel  to the provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah and Papua Selatan due to the risk of serious security incidents or demonstrations that may turn violent.

  • There's an ongoing risk of terrorist attack in Indonesia. Be alert to possible threats. Take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities. Popular tourist areas may be the target of terrorist attacks.
  • Public protests and events that draw large groups of people occur regularly and can turn violent with little notice. Expect traffic delays and restricted access to locations if there are protests. Avoid protests and demonstrations and monitor local media for the latest updates.
  • Many of Indonesia's volcanoes are active and can erupt without warning. Adhere to exclusion zones around volcanoes, which can change at short notice, and follow the advice of local authorities. Domestic and international flights can be disrupted. Monitor Indonesia's  Volcano Observatory Notice  for the latest volcanic activity (Bahasa Indonesia and English),  Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System  and the  Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre  for updates. 
  • There's been tension, including demonstrations and violence, in certain towns in the provinces of Papua,   Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah and Papua Selatan in recent years. Armed groups have stated that they're targeting foreigners, including Australians. Our ability to provide consular support in these provinces is limited. Armed groups have shot at aircraft, including commercial planes, in remote airports in Papua Pegunungan and Papua Tengah provinces.
  • Petty and violent crime occurs in Indonesia. Opportunistic crime, such as pickpocketing occurs. Drinks may be spiked or mixed with toxic substances. Crimes involving taxis and taxi drivers occur. Solo women are at higher risk. Be alert in taxis, public transport, crowds, bars and nightclubs.
  • Legal disputes over real estate are common, including in Bali. Before entering into an agreement or providing financial details, do your research and get legal advice.
  • Natural disasters such as severe weather, floods, landslides, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis occur regularly. Weather conditions can change quickly during the wet season (October – April). Regularly check weather reports, monitor media and speak to your travel provider before continuing with planned activities. Follow the advice of local authorities.
  • When undertaking adventure activities, ensure that functioning safety equipment is available, that you have travel insurance and that your policy covers you for these activities.

Full travel advice: Safety

  • The standard of medical facilities in Indonesia is generally lower than in Australia. Many regional hospitals only provide basic facilities.
  • Some medications, including prescription medications, drugs for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), all cannabis-based products including medicinal cannabis, cannabis-based oils and creams, hemp-based products, CBD, THC, hash and edibles, are illegal in Indonesia. Harsh penalties, such as arrest and jail time, can apply even if you have a prescription. Make sure your  medication is legal in Indonesia .
  • Purchasing prescription medication online or over the counter in Indonesia without an Indonesian prescription is illegal. Ensure you provide a valid prescription from an Indonesian doctor before purchasing prescription medication and confirm that it's accepted by the seller before your purchase.

Full travel advice: Health

  • Indonesia has revised its criminal code, which includes penalties for cohabitation and sex outside of marriage. These revisions will not come into force until January 2026.
  • Penalties for drug offences include heavy fines, long prison sentences and the death penalty. Police target tourist destinations. 
  • Some medications are illegal in Indonesia. Harsh penalties can apply even if you have a prescription. It is also illegal to purchase prescription medications online or over the counter without an Indonesian prescription. Ensure you have a valid Indonesian prescription. See ' Health '.

The death penalty exists for some crimes in Indonesia.

  • Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in many parts of Indonesia. Learn about local customs. Take care not to offend.
  • Aceh province upholds aspects of sharia law. Sharia law applies to everyone, including travellers. Inform yourself about the laws, and be careful not to offend or break local laws. If in doubt, seek local advice.

Full travel advice: Local laws

  • The Bali Provincial Government has introduced a new tourist levy of IDR 150,000 per person to foreign tourists entering Bali. The tourist levy is separate from the e-Visa on Arrival or the Visa on Arrival. Cashless payments can be made online prior to travel or on arrival at designated payment counters at Bali's airport and seaport. See the  Bali Provincial Government's  official website and  FAQs  for further information.
  • If you're travelling to Indonesia for tourism, official government duties or business meetings, you can  apply for an e-Visa on Arrival (e-VOA)  online at least 48 hours before your travel to Indonesia. This also applies if you're transiting through Indonesia at international airports, seaports and land crossings. You can get a Visa on Arrival (VOA) at some international airports, seaports or land crossings.
  • To apply for the e-VOA or VOA, you must have an ordinary (non-emergency) passport with at least 6 months of validity from the date you plan to enter (we also recommend having at least 6 months of passport validity from the date you plan to leave Indonesia, to avoid any issues for your departure or onward travel) and a return or onward flight booking to another country.
  • You may need to apply for a visa in advance to enter Indonesia for purposes not covered by the e-VOA or VOA. Check the latest entry requirements with your travel provider or an  Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia  before travel. Entry, exit and transit conditions can change at short notice. Monitor media for the latest updates. 
  • You'll be required to complete an  e-customs declaration  for arrival. You can complete this within 3 days of departure to Indonesia.
  • Travel requirements may change at short notice, including travel to Bali and Jakarta by air, land or sea. Contact your travel provider and monitor media for up-to-date details.

Full travel advice: Travel

Local contacts

  • The Consular Services Charter tells you what the Australian Government can and can't do to help when you're overseas.
  • For consular help, contact the Australian Embassy, Jakarta , the Australian Consulate-General, Bali , the Australian Consulate-General, Makassar or the Australian Consulate-General, Surabaya .
  • To stay up to date with local information, follow the Embassy's social media accounts.

Full travel advice: Local contacts

Full advice

The terrorist threat in Indonesia is ongoing. Attacks could happen anywhere and anytime. This includes places that foreigners visit.

Be alert to possible threats. Take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities. Remain respectful of religious and local customs.

Indonesian authorities continue to investigate and disrupt terrorist groups in Indonesia, including Bali.

Terrorist attacks are motivated by extreme beliefs. Both local grievances as well as events in other parts of the world could motivate extremists in Indonesia towards violence.

Recent terrorist attacks

In December 2022, an explosion occurred at a police station in Bandung, Jawa Barat, killing 2 and injuring 11.

In March 2021, 2 suicide bombers attacked a church in Makassar, injuring dozens.

In the past, police have said that terrorist suspects remain at large and may seek Western targets.

Indonesian security agencies continue to conduct operations against terrorist groups.

Terrorists in Indonesia may carry out small-scale violent attacks with little or no warning.

Be alert in places of worship, especially during periods of religious significance.

Terrorists have targeted places of worship in:

As well as places of worship, other possible targets by terrorists include:

  • Indonesian government facilities, premises and symbols associated with the Indonesian Government
  • police stations and checkpoints
  • bars, nightclubs, cafes and restaurants
  • cinemas and theatres
  • shopping centres, public transport and transport hubs
  • airports and airlines
  • clubs, including sporting clubs
  • tourist areas and attractions, tour buses and tour groups
  • outdoor recreation events

Supporters have committed additional acts of violence in response to high-profile extremists being detained or killed.

To protect yourself during a terrorist attack:

  • leave the area as soon as it's safe
  • follow the advice of local authorities
  • don't gather in a group after an attack
  • don't gather in a group if you're evacuated from a building

Security remains at a high level at:

  • the Australian Embassy in Jakarta
  • the Consulates-General in Bali, Makassar and Surabaya

More information:

Civil unrest and political tension

Most events are announced before they happen; however, protests may occur with little or no notice.

Protests and events are often held near major government buildings and embassies in Jakarta, including the Australian Embassy.

Protests may also occur at any of Australia's Consulates-General in Surabaya, Bali and Makassar, at government buildings, or the offices of international organisations in Indonesia.

You can expect traffic delays and restricted access to locations if there are protests.

Phone or email ahead for an appointment before going to the Embassy or the Consulates-General (see  Local contacts ).

Demonstrations and acts of violence can happen when courts try and sentence extremists.

Conflict between different communities can sometimes occur, including in the provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah and Papua Selatan. Our ability to provide consular support in these provinces is limited.

Local violence can also be directed at minority groups in other parts of Indonesia, including in Java.

If you're found to endanger security or public order, you may be prosecuted under Indonesia's Immigration laws, which may result in imprisonment or deportation.

To protect yourself from possible violence:

  • avoid protests and demonstrations
  • monitor local media for the latest security updates
  • plan your activities to avoid potential unrest on significant dates
  • be prepared to change your travel plans
  • Demonstrations and civil unrest

Armed conflict

The provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah and Papua Selatan experience regular violent clashes involving armed groups, civilians, Indonesian police, and the military. Armed groups have stated that they are targeting foreigners, including Australians. Our ability to provide consular support in these provinces is limited.

Many people have been killed and injured in clashes. This includes members of security forces, armed groups and civilians. Violent attacks have occurred in several areas of these provinces, including in and around Jayapura. There's a risk of more attacks.

On 23 February 2023, a riot broke out in Wamena, Papua Pegunungan, when a crowd attacked Indonesian security personnel following the arrest of two people accused of child kidnapping. 12 civilians and rioters were killed.

Violent attacks have occurred around the Freeport Mine in Papua Tengah.

Armed groups have:

  • taken a New Zealand pilot hostage in Paro, Papua Pegunungan
  • shot at aircraft, including commercial planes, at Beoga airport in Pupua Tengah province and Nop Goliat Dekai airport in Papua Pegunungan province. 
  • killed people in attacks, including one Australian
  • attacked vehicles using the road between Grasberg and Timika
  • killed people in violent attacks in Puncak Jaya District, Papua Tengah
  • more attacks are possible and could target infrastructure and national institutions.

A range of crimes, including violent crime, occur in Indonesia. Crimes can happen in popular tourist locations in Bali.

To protect yourself from crime:

  • be aware of your surroundings
  • be alert in crowds
  • understand the potential crime risks

Theft, robbery  and bag and phone snatching have occurred. These crimes can sometimes involve violence. Opportunistic crime such as pickpocketing occurs.

Be careful of thieves:

  • on motorcycles targeting pedestrians
  • in upmarket shopping malls
  • in crowded public transport
  • at traffic lights targeting people in stopped cars
  • at bars and nightclubs
  • when entering accommodation, including villas in Bali

Keep bags and valuables out of sight in vehicles.

If you're travelling on foot, walk:

  • on footpaths
  • away from the curb
  • with your bag held away from traffic

Sexual assault

If you're a victim of sexual assault :

  • get immediate medical assistance. If you have any doubts about seeking medical assistance after a sexual assault, contact your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate in Indonesia (see  Local contacts ) as quickly as possible.
  • make a full statement to local police, in person, so they can conduct a criminal investigation. You may wish to seek consular help before you visit the police station. Contact your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate (see  Local contacts ).

Local police can only investigate a crime after you've left Indonesia if you've reported it.

Your sworn statement, or statements by witnesses, can be used as evidence in criminal court proceedings.

You don't always need to be in Indonesia for trial. Neither do witnesses who live outside of Indonesia.

Counselling support

Should you wish to speak to a counsellor, you can call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your nearest Australian Embassy or Consulate (see  Local contacts ). They can connect you to counselling hotlines and services.

  • Reducing the risk of sexual assault

Bars and nightclubs

Be alert in bars and nightclubs. Drink-spiking and snatching of valuables may occur if you're not alert.

Drinks may be contaminated with drugs or toxic substances. See  Health .

Don't leave your food or drinks unattended.

Never accept drinks, food, gum, cigarettes, vapes or e-cigarettes from people you've just met.

  • Partying safely

Credit card and ATM fraud

Credit card, online banking and ATM fraud occurs in Indonesia.

Check your bank statements.

Make sure your bank doesn't block your cards. Tell your bank you'll be visiting Indonesia.

Never let your card out of your sight. This includes when you pay in restaurants.

Shield your PIN from sight.

Some vendors install hidden cameras and use card skimmers.

Don’t click on unknown links in WhatsApp or mobile phone text messages, particularly if your phone is linked to mobile banking.

Use ATMs at controlled and secure places, such as:

  • shopping centres

Scams and confidence tricks

Beware of scams and confidence tricks.

Only exchange money at authorised money changers. Authorised money changers can also be found on the  Bali Foreign Exchange website . Unauthorised money changers have been known to scam foreign tourists in Bali and elsewhere.

All types of gambling are illegal in Indonesia.

Australians have lost large sums of money in card game scams run by organised gambling gangs, particularly in Bali. See Local laws

Some tourists have been robbed or planted with drugs after taking new acquaintances back to their hotel rooms. In some cases, their drinks were spiked.

Legal disputes over the purchase of real estate are common, including in Bali, involving:

  • holiday clubs and resorts
  • timeshare schemes

Before entering into an agreement or providing financial details:

  • thoroughly research the proposal
  • get legal advice and know your rights, especially before you sign any documents

Using taxis

Only use licensed official metered taxis. Crimes involving unregistered taxis include:

  • taxis departing before the passenger can take their baggage from the vehicle
  • taxi drivers robbing or temporarily holding passengers, including in urban areas
  • taxi drivers forcing passengers to withdraw money at ATMs before releasing them

Lone female travellers are at higher risk of crime.

If you're in an incident involving a taxi, leave the taxi and the immediate area if it's safe to do so.

To protect yourself from overcharging and scams:

  • only travel in licensed taxis with signage, a "taxi" roof sign and meters working
  • ensure the driver's identification card is visible
  • book via your phone, on an official taxi company mobile app, from inside an airport, or at stands at major hotels

See Travel .

Cyber security

You may be at risk of cyber-based threats during overseas travel to any country. Digital identity theft is a growing concern. Your devices and personal data can be compromised, especially if you're connecting to Wi-Fi, using or connecting to shared or public computers, or to Bluetooth.

Social media can also be risky in destinations where there are social or political tensions, or laws that may seem unreasonable by Australian standards. Travellers have been arrested for things they have said on social media. Don't comment on local or political events on your social media.

  • Cyber security when travelling overseas

Kidnapping occurs across the world with political, ideological and criminal motives. Foreigners, including Australians, have been kidnapped overseas while travelling. Kidnaps can happen anywhere, anytime, including destinations that are typically at lower risk. 

On 7 February 2023, a New Zealand pilot was taken hostage by an armed group in Paro, Papua Pegunungan.

The Australian Government's longstanding policy is that it doesn't make payments or concessions to kidnappers.

Adventure activities

Many businesses don't follow safety and maintenance standards. This includes transport and tour operators, water sports providers, hotels, restaurants and shops.

It may affect adventure activities, such as:

  • bungee jumping
  • scuba diving and snorkelling 
  • chairlift or gondola rides

In the past, Australians have been seriously injured or died while participating in adventure activities. If you require intensive care medical treatment, emergency surgery or medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you plan to do an adventure activity :

  • check if your travel insurance policy covers it
  • ask about safety, search and rescue procedures
  • ask about and insist on minimum safety requirements
  • always use available safety gear, such as life jackets or seatbelts
  • check with your travel provider on vessel capacity limits before embarking on sea, land or air travel
  • check weather and ocean conditions, and whether the vessel has had any mechanical issues, on the day and before continuing with water activities or sea travel
  • check where the nearest medical facilities are

If proper safety equipment isn't available or you're unsure of the provider's safety or maintenance procedures, use another provider.

Trekking and climbing

Some mountain treks suit only experienced climbers. Travel with a guide and check the level of difficulty beforehand.

Many trekking options may be on or around an active volcano. Many of Indonesia's volcanoes are active and can erupt without warning. Volcanic and seismic activity may continue for some time. Adhere to exclusion zones around volcanoes, which can change at short notice, and follow the advice of local authorities. If you're planning to travel to an area near an active volcano, check with local authorities before climbing and check:

  • Bureau of Meteorology  Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre  
  • MAGMA Indonesia  (Bahasa Indonesia) for daily updates on status and alert levels
  • National Disaster Management Authority (BNPB)  (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System

Swimming safety

People have drowned in coastal areas, including in Bali, due to rough seas, strong currents, or from swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving in areas where there is frequent passage of boats, resulting in collisions.

Local beach rescue services may not be of the same standard as in Australia.

Saltwater crocodiles are in rivers throughout Indonesia. Avoid swimming around river estuaries and seek local advice in other locations. 

If you plan to spend time in or on the water:

  • regularly check weather reports as sea conditions can change rapidly
  • take warnings seriously
  • check media and local sources for information about potential dangers
  • speak to your travel provider about safety equipment and weather conditions before continuing with planned activities
  • take a friend or family member with you when you undertake swimming or water activities
  • be careful when swimming, snorkelling or scuba diving near motor-powered boats or where there is frequent passage of boats
  • ensure you have travel insurance and that your policy covers you for planned activities

Ensure you have travel insurance and that your policy covers you for planned activities.

Climate and natural disasters

Indonesia experiences natural disasters and severe weather , including:

  • landslides and mudslides
  • volcanic eruptions
  • earthquakes
  • storms resulting in turbulent sea conditions
  • tsunamis and high wave events

If there's a natural disaster or severe weather:

  • always carry your passport in a waterproof bag
  • keep in contact with family and friends
  • check the media and local sources for information
  • don't undertake sea, land or air travel if it's not safe to do so
  • Indonesian Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG)  (English and Bahasa Indonesia)
  • BMKG Multi-Hazard Early Warning System app  (English and Bahasa Indonesia) 

Floods and mudslides

Floods , landslides and mudslides occur regularly during the wet season from October to April, with some severe events resulting in injury, displacement, death or damaged infrastructure.

Heavy rains can cause significant flooding in urban areas, including the greater Jakarta region, causing disruption to transportation. Monitor the local media for updates.

Walking and driving in flooded areas can be dangerous. Flood waters may hide uncovered drainage ditches.

Volcanic activity may escalate with little or no notice, leading to flight disruptions and airport closures, including in surrounding provinces. Contact your airline for the latest flight information. 

There are 147 volcanoes in Indonesia. 76 of them are active volcanoes and could erupt at any time.

Volcanic alert levels and exclusion zones may rise quickly. You may be ordered to evacuate at short notice. Volcanic activity can disrupt domestic and international flights. There are 4 volcano alert levels in Indonesia; 1 - normal, 2 - advisory, 3 - watch, 4 - warning.

Before you travel to areas that are prone to volcanic activity, monitor media and ensure you read the Indonesian Government's latest advice on current volcanic activity, including:

  • Volcanic Activity Report  by Indonesia's Multiplatform Application for Geohazard Mitigation and Assessment (MAGMA) (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Volcano Activity and Observatory Notices  (English and Bahasa Indonesia)
  • MAGMA Indonesia Map of Latest Volcano Levels and Climate Information  (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Bureau of Meteorology's  Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre

If there's volcanic activity:

  • avoid the area
  • take official warnings seriously and adhere to exclusion zones
  • follow the instructions and advice of local authorities
  • follow evacuation orders
  • read our advice on Volcanic eruptions while travelling

Volcanic ash can cause breathing difficulties. The risk is higher for people with chronic respiratory illnesses, including:

Recent and frequent volcanic activity has included:

  • Mount Ile Lewetolok in East Nusa Tenggara (Nusa Tenggara Timur)
  • Mount Lewotobi Laki Laki in East Flores Regency, Nusa Tenggara Timur
  • Mount Marapi in West Sumatra
  • Mount Anak Krakatau, to the south of Sumatra
  • Mount Merapi, near Yogyakarta
  • Mt Dukono in North Sulawesi
  • Mount Semeru, near Malang, East Java
  • Mount Agung in Bali
  • Mount Sinabung in North Sumatra

Some trekking routes are on or near active volcanoes, including Mount Agung and Mount Batur in Bali, Mount Marapi in West Sumatra, Mount Merapi near Yogyakarta, Mount Rinjani in Lombok, Mount Bromo and Mount Ijen in East Java. See 'Trekking and climbing'.

If you're planning to travel to an area near an active volcano, make sure you have comprehensive travel insurance and check if any restrictions apply.

If a volcanic eruption occurs:

  • make a backup plan in case you're affected
  • contact your airline or travel insurer to confirm flight schedules and get help
  • keep in touch with family and friends
  • Learn more about  volcanic eruptions  (Geoscience Australia)
  • See practical advice and information about  volcanic eruptions  (US CDC)
  • See worldwide  volcanic activity reports  in real-time (GDACS)

Earthquakes

Indonesia is in an active earthquake region. It has a high level of earthquake activity, that sometimes triggers tsunamis.

There are approximately 4,000 earthquakes across Indonesia every year. Around 70 to 100 of these are over 5.5 magnitude.

Earthquakes can cause death, injury and significant damage to infrastructure.

Strong earthquakes can occur anywhere in Indonesia. They are less common in Kalimantan and south-west Sulawesi.

To stay safe during an earthquake:

  • know the emergency plans at your accommodation
  • take precautions to avoid exposure to debris and hazardous materials, including asbestos
  • MAGMA Indonesia  (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency  (Bahasa Indonesia) or BMKG Multi-Hazard Early Warning System app (English and Indonesia)
  • Indonesia's Centre for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation  (Bahasa Indonesia)
  • US Federal Emergency Management Agency advice on what to do before, during and after an earthquake  (English)

Forest fires and smoke haze

During the dry season in April to November, widespread forest fires can cause smoke haze resulting in poor air quality across parts of Indonesia, particularly the Riau Islands, central Sumatra and Kalimantan.

Smoke haze could affect your health and travel plans.

Keep up to date with local information and seek medical advice on appropriate precautions.

  • ASEAN Regional Haze Situation
  • Smartraveller advice on Bushfires

Tsunamis and high wave events

The Indian and Pacific Oceans experience more frequent, large and destructive tsunamis than other parts of the world.

There are many large earthquakes along major tectonic plate boundaries and ocean trenches.

High wave events can happen throughout coastal regions and between islands. They're caused by strong weather conditions and storms.

If you plan to surf, undertake water activities or travel by sea, check local conditions regularly.

If there’s a tsunami or high wave event: 

  • don't travel by sea if it's not safe to do so
  • Indonesia Tsunami Early Warning Centre  issues warnings when a potential tsunami with significant impact is expected
  • Indonesia's Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency  with the latest list of earthquakes with a magnitude greater than 5.0 on the Richter scale (Bahasa Indonesia) or  BMKG Multi-Hazard Early Warning System app  (English and Bahasa Indonesia)
  • US Federal Emergency Management Agency page  on what to do before, during and after an earthquake

Piracy occurs in the coastal areas of Indonesia.

The  International Maritime Bureau (IMB)  issues weekly piracy reports.

If you decide to travel by boat in these regions:

  • check  IMB piracy  reports
  • get local advice
  • arrange security measures
  • Travelling by boat
  • Going on a cruise
  • International Maritime Bureau

Travel insurance

Get comprehensive travel insurance before you leave. 

Your policy needs to cover all overseas medical costs, including emergency treatment and medical evacuation. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs.

If you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. This applies to everyone, no matter how healthy and fit you are.

If you're not insured, you may have to pay many thousands of dollars up-front for medical care.

Before you travel, confirm:

  • what activities and care your policy covers
  • that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away, including on all forms of transport you plan to take
  • whether it covers medical evacuation in the event of hospitalisation or injury
  • any exclusions to your policy

Physical and mental health

Consider your physical and mental health before you travel, especially if you have an existing medical condition. 

See your doctor or travel clinic to:

  • have a basic health check-up
  • ask if your travel plans may affect your health
  • plan any vaccinations you need

Do this at least 8 weeks before you leave.

If you have immediate concerns for your welfare or the welfare of another Australian, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305 or contact your  nearest Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate  to discuss counselling hotlines and services available in your location.

  • General health advice
  • Healthy holiday tips  (Healthdirect Australia)

Not all medication available over the counter or by prescription in Australia is available in other countries. Some may even be considered illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor.

Some drugs used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are illegal in Indonesia.

If you plan to bring over-the-counter or prescription medication, check if it's legal in Indonesia by contacting the  Indonesian Embassy in Canberra  well in advance of your planned travel. Take enough legal medicine for your trip and carry it in its original packaging. Purchasing prescription medication online in Indonesia without an Indonesian prescription is illegal. Ensure you provide a valid prescription from an Indonesian doctor before purchasing prescription medication and confirm that it's accepted by the seller prior to your purchase.

Carry a copy of your prescription and a letter from your doctor stating:

  • what the medicine is
  • your required dosage
  • that it's for medical treatment or use

If you're caught with illegal medicine, you could face detention, fines or harsher penalties. You could face charges even if an Australian doctor prescribed the medication.

Ask the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra for advice before you travel.

Medicinal cannabis and cannabis-based products

Cannabis-based products such as cannabis oil and creams, hemp, CBD, THC, hash and edibles remain illegal in Indonesia, including for medicinal purposes. A medical prescription does not make it legal. If you take such products to Indonesia or purchase or use them in Indonesia, you can be arrested and face imprisonment, fines, deportation or the death penalty.

  • Medications

Health Risks

Critical care for Australians who become seriously ill, including in Bali, is significantly below the standard available in Australia. Medical evacuation may not be possible.

The Australian Government cannot guarantee your access to hospitals and other health services in Indonesia. 

Medical evacuation to Australia for medical conditions, is possible but is very expensive and may not be covered by travel insurance. Check your policy before you travel.

Ban on sale of liquid/syrup medication

The Indonesian Ministry of Health (MoH) has advised local health workers and pharmacists to stop selling liquid/syrup medication, including commonly used medications containing paracetamol and cough syrups. MoH and the Indonesian Paediatrician Association (IDAI) received reports of a sharp increase in cases of Atypical Progressive Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in children , especially under the age of 5 years.

Insect-borne illnesses

Insect-borne illnesses are common throughout the year.

To protect yourself from disease:

  • research your destination
  • ask locals for advice
  • make sure your accommodation is mosquito-proof
  • use insect repellent
  • wear long, loose, light-coloured clothing

Dengue  occurs throughout Indonesia, including Bali, Jakarta and other major cities.

Dengue is common during the rainy season.

Australian health authorities have reported an increase in dengue infections in people returning from Bali in recent years.

Consult your travel doctor for further information on available vaccines and their suitability for your individual circumstances.

Zika virus  can occur in Indonesia.

Protect yourself from mosquito bites.

The  Australian Department of Health and Aged Care  advises pregnant women to:

  • discuss any travel plans with their doctor
  • consider deferring non-essential travel to affected areas

Malaria , including chloroquine-resistant strains, is widespread in rural areas, particularly in the provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah, Papua Selatan, Papua Barat Daya, Papua Barat, Maluku and Nusa Tenggara Timur. There is no malaria transmission in Jakarta.

  • Consider taking medicine to prevent malaria.

Japanese encephalitis and filariasis

Japanese encephalitis  and  filariasis  occur in Indonesia, especially in rural agricultural areas.

Japanese encephalitis has been present in Australian travellers returning from Indonesia, including Bali.

Vaccination is recommended for certain groups of travellers. 

  • Infectious diseases

Drink poisoning

People have been poisoned by alcoholic drinks contaminated with harmful substances, including methanol and arak (a traditional rice-based spirit). Locals and foreigners, including Australians, have died or become seriously ill from poisoned drinks.

Cases of drink poisoning have been reported in Bali and Lombok.

Contaminated drinks have included:

  • local spirits
  • spirit-based drinks, such as cocktails
  • brand name alcohol

To protect yourself from drink poisoning:

  • consider the risks when drinking alcoholic beverages
  • be careful drinking cocktails and drinks made with spirits
  • drink only at reputable licensed premises
  • avoid home-made alcoholic drinks

Labels on bottles aren't always accurate.

Symptoms of methanol poisoning can be similar to drinking too much. However, they are usually stronger.

Symptoms of methanol poisoning include:

  • vision problems

Vision problems may include:

  • blindness, blurred or snowfield vision
  • changes in colour perception
  • difficulty looking at bright lights
  • dilated pupils
  • flashes of light
  • tunnel vision

If you suspect that you or someone you're travelling with may have been poisoned, act quickly. Urgent medical attention could save your life or save you from permanent disability.

Report suspected cases of methanol poisoning to the Indonesian police.

Magic mushrooms

Don't consume magic mushrooms. They're illegal.

Australians have become sick or injured after taking magic mushrooms.

Australians have been in trouble with local police after taking magic mushrooms, particularly in Bali.

Magic mushrooms can cause major health problems, including:

  • erratic behaviour
  • severe hallucinations

Rabies is a risk throughout Indonesia, especially in:

  • Nusa Tenggara Timur, including Labuan Bajo
  • South Sulawesi
  • West Kalimantan
  • Nias, off the west coast of Sumatra

To protect yourself from rabies:

  • avoid direct contact with dogs
  • don't feed or pat animals
  • avoid contact with other animals, including bats and monkeys.

Talk to your doctor about getting a pre-exposure rabies vaccination. 

If bitten or scratched by an animal:

  • immediately use soap and water to wash the wound thoroughly for 15 minutes
  • seek urgent medical attention.

Rabies treatment in Indonesia may be limited, including the rabies vaccine and immunoglobulin availability. If you're bitten, you may need to return to Australia or travel to another country for immediate treatment.

You're at risk of contracting rabies if you visit a market where live animals and fresh food are sold because:

  • live rabies-positive dogs may be present
  • rabies-positive dog meat may be sold as food

Selling dog meat for human consumption is a breach of government disease control regulations.

Avoid contact with monkeys, even in places where you're encouraged to interact with them. This includes:

  • popular markets
  • tourist destinations
  • sanctuaries

Legionnaires' disease

Cases of Legionnaires' disease have been reported in people who have travelled to Bali. Travellers who are unwell with flu-like symptoms within 10 days of returning from Bali are advised to consult their GPs.

  • Legionnaires' disease warning for Bali travellers  (Western Australian Government Department of Health) 
  • Legionnaires’ disease  (Better Health Channel, Victorian Government Department of Health)
  • Legionnaires' disease  (World Health Organization)

Cases of poliovirus (type 1) have been reported in the provinces of Papua, Papua Pegunungan, Papua Tengah and Papua Selatan. Poliovirus (type 2) cases have been reported in the provinces of Aceh, East, West and Central Java. There may be unreported cases in other provinces in Indonesia.

Ensure that you're vaccinated against polio.

  • Factsheet on poliovirus types  (World Health Organization)
  • Health emergencies information for Indonesia  (World Health Organization)

Periodic outbreaks of measles continue to be reported in Indonesia, including Bali.

You need 2 doses of vaccine 4 weeks apart to be fully vaccinated against measles.

If you have symptoms of measles, seek medical attention.

Measles is highly infectious. Call before attending a healthcare facility.

Nipah Virus and Yellow Fever

There are no cases of  Nipah virus  or  Yellow Fever  in Indonesia. You may be temperature checked on arrival at international and domestic airports. If you have fever symptoms, you may be referred to the airport clinic for further tests and asked to seek medical treatment. See your doctor or travel clinic before you travel to plan any vaccinations you need.

HIV/AIDS is a risk for travellers. Take steps to reduce your risk of exposure to the virus.

Other health risks

Waterborne, foodborne, parasitic and other infectious diseases are widespread. These include:

  • tuberculosis

Serious outbreaks sometimes occur.

To protect yourself from illness:

  • boil drinking water or drink bottled water
  • avoid ice cubes
  • avoid raw food, such as salads

To minimise the risk of food poisoning, only eat meat from reputable suppliers.

Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect food poisoning or have a fever or diarrhoea.

Seafood toxins

You can become sick from naturally occurring seafood toxins, including:

  • ciguatera fish poisoning
  • scombroid (histamine fish poisoning)
  • toxins in shellfish

Avoid temporary black henna tattoos. The dye often causes serious skin reactions.

Before you get any tattoo, check the hygiene and safety of your tattoo provider.

Medical care

Medical facilities.

The standard of medical facilities in Indonesia is generally lower than Australia. Many regional hospitals only provide basic facilities.

Hospitals expect families to provide support to patients, including all financial support.

Psychiatric and psychological services are limited in Indonesia. Hospital staff may use physical restraints on patients.

When diving in Indonesia, there is a risk that you may experience decompression illness. An illness may occur when a diver ascends to the water surface too quickly and may have severe consequences. Understand the risks before you dive. 

Decompression chambers are available in various areas, including the following locations:

  • Bali's Sanglah General Hospital
  • Siloam Hospital in Labuan Bajo
  • Hospitals in Jakarta, Balikpapan, Bintan, Medan, Makassar, Raja Ampat (Waisai), Maluku, Tual and Manado near popular dive sites 

Before admitting patients, hospitals usually need:

  • guarantee of payment from the patient or their next of kin (family or friend)
  • confirmation of medical insurance
  • deposit payment 

There's no reciprocal healthcare agreement between Australia and Indonesia. 

The Australian Government cannot provide guarantee of payment, confirmation of medical insurance or a deposit payment for services.

If you become seriously ill or injured, you may need to be evacuated to a place with better care. Medical evacuation can be very expensive. Check your insurance policy before you travel. The Australian Government won't pay for these costs. It's best to check with your travel provider on the location and functionality of decompression chambers and other medical facilities available in the area before undertaking remote travel.

You're subject to all local laws and penalties, including those that may appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling.

Indonesian Parliament has passed revisions to its criminal code, which includes penalties for cohabitation and sex outside of marriage. These revisions will not come into force until January 2026.

Indonesia has signed into law revisions to the Electronic and Information Transactions Law (ITE Law). Tough penalties apply for defamation, hate speech, spreading hoaxes and uploading immoral content to the Internet. The law applies both within and outside Indonesia.

If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our Consular Services Charter . But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.

  • Arrested or jailed

Penalties for drug offences are severe. They include the death penalty.

You may face heavy fines or jail for consuming or possessing even small amounts of drugs, including marijuana. Cannabis-based products such as cannabis oil and cream, hemp, CBD, THC, hash and edibles remain illegal in Indonesia, including for medicinal purposes. A medical prescription does not make it legal. If you take such products to Indonesia or purchase or use them in Indonesia, you can be arrested and face imprisonment, fines, deportation or the death penalty.

Some prescription medications that are available in Australia are illegal in Indonesia. Purchasing prescription medication online or over the counter in Indonesia without an Indonesian prescription is illegal. Ensure you provide a valid prescription from an Indonesian doctor before purchasing prescription medication and confirm that it's accepted by the seller before your purchase.

Magic mushrooms are illegal. Indonesian police work to prevent their distribution.

Police target illegal drug use and possession across Indonesia. Police often target popular places and venues in Bali, Lombok and Jakarta.

  • Carrying or using drugs

Local labour laws can change at short notice. This can affect expatriate workers.

Under Indonesian law, you must always carry identification. For example, your:

  • Australian passport; and
  • Resident's Stay Permit (if applicable)

Gambling is illegal.

Property laws are strict, seek legal advice before acquiring property in Indonesia.

It's sometimes illegal to take photographs in Indonesia. Obey signs banning photography. If in doubt, get advice from local officials. See Safety .

Australian laws

Some Australian criminal laws still apply when you're overseas. If you break these laws, you may face prosecution in Australia.

  • Staying within the law and respecting customs

Local customs

Standards of dress and behaviour are conservative in many parts of Indonesia. Take care not to offend.

Find out what customs apply at your destination.

If in doubt, seek local advice.

LGBTQIA+ information

Same-sex relationships are legal in Indonesia, except in the province of Aceh. Same-sex relationships in Aceh may attract corporal punishment. Visible displays of same sex relationships could draw unwanted attention.

Some laws and regulations can be applied in a way that discriminates against the LGBTI community, including for pornography and prostitution.

  • Advice for LGBTI travellers

The Islamic holiday month of Ramadan  is observed in Indonesia. Respect religious and cultural customs and laws at this time.

During Ramadan, eating, drinking and smoking may be illegal in public during this time. If you're not fasting, avoid these activities around people who are. Seek local advice to avoid offence and follow the advice of local authorities.

Explore our Ramadan page to learn more, including dates for Ramadan.

Aceh is governed as a special territory, not a province, and has a degree of special autonomy.

Some aspects of sharia law are upheld. This includes regulations and punishments that don't apply in other parts of Indonesia.

Local sharia police enforce sharia law.

Sharia law applies to anyone in Aceh, including:

  • foreigners (expats and travellers)
  • non-Muslims

Sharia law doesn't allow:

  • drinking alcohol
  • prostitution
  • same-sex relationships
  • extra-marital sex
  • co-habitation before marriage

It also requires a conservative standard of dress.

Learn about the laws in Aceh. If in doubt, seek local advice.

Dual citizenship

Indonesia doesn't allow dual nationality for adults, and you may be prosecuted by Immigration authorities should you be found to hold valid passports of two nationalities. If you entered Indonesia on your non-Australian citizenship passport, Indonesian Immigration will require you to exit Indonesia on that nationality's passport.

A child of Indonesian and Australian parents can maintain citizenship of both countries until the age of 18 years. Before a dual Australian-Indonesian citizen minor travels from Indonesia, additional identity documentation may be required from Indonesian Immigration. Check with Indonesian Immigration or the  Indonesian Embassy in Canberra  well in advance of your planned travel.

  • Embassy and Consulate of Indonesia
  • Information on limited dual citizenship
  • Dual nationals

Visas and border measures

Every country or territory decides who can enter or leave through its borders. For specific information about the evidence you'll need to enter a foreign destination, check with the nearest embassy, consulate or immigration department of the destination you're entering. 

Bali Tourism Levy

The Bali Provincial Government has introduced a new tourist levy of IDR 150,000 per person to foreign tourists entering Bali. The tourist levy is separate from the e-Visa on Arrival or the Visa on Arrival. Cashless payments can be made online prior to travel or on arrival at designated payment counters at Bali's airport and seaport. Exemption from payment of the levy applies to transit passengers and certain visa holders. See the Bali Provincial Government's  official website and FAQs for further information.

e-Visa on Arrival and Visa on Arrival

You can  apply for an e-Visa on Arrival (e-VOA)  no later than 48 hours prior to travelling to Indonesia if you are travelling for tourism, business meetings, purchasing goods or transiting only. Check the e-VOA requirements from Indonesian Immigration before applying.

You can still apply for a regular Visa on Arrival (VOA) at certain international airports, seaports and land crossings, including Jakarta, Bali, Surabaya, Makassar, Lombok, Batam, Medan, Manado, Aceh, Padang, Tanjung Pinang and Yogyakarta, if you do not apply for an e-VOA at least 48 hours in advance of your travel to Indonesia.

The e-VOA or VOA can be used for tourism, official government duties, business meetings, or to transit through Indonesia. You cannot transit in Indonesia without an e-VOA or VOA.

Additional requirements apply if you are travelling on government duties.

For the latest list of entry points for the e-VOA or VOA, refer to the  Directorate General of Immigration's list of land border crossings, international airports, and international seaports .

The e-VOA and VOA cost IDR 500,000 (approximately $A 50), with the e-VOA charging a small online processing fee.

For the VOA, some airports, including Jakarta's international airport, are only accepting cash payment. Card payment facilities are available at Bali's international airport. ATM facilities may be in high demand. Be prepared to pay in cash if required. 

The visa is valid for a 30 day stay and can be extended once (for a maximum of 30 days) by applying at an immigration office within Indonesia. Ensure you extend your visa within the initial 30 days to avoid an overstay fine and deportation.

To apply for a regular VOA, you must show:

  • your ordinary (non-emergency) passport with at least 6 months of validity from the date you plan to enter (we also recommend having at least 6 months passport validity from the date you plan to leave Indonesia, to avoid any issues for your departure or onward travel) 
  • a return flight booking to Australia or onward flight booking to another country

Contact your travel agent, airline, or your nearest  Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia  for details.

Other visas

If you're entering Indonesia from a port or airport that does not issue a visa on arrival, or you're visiting Indonesia for a purpose not allowed under the e-VOA or VOA conditions, you must apply for a visa in advance of travel. Check the  Indonesian Immigration  website for further information, or contact your nearest  Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia .

Overstaying your permit may result in fines, detention and/or deportation.

  • check your visa and permit, and contact the Directorate General of Immigration (DGI) for advice specific to your needs
  • if you use an agent to extend your visa or stay permit, use only reputable companies
  • if you have specific enquiries on visas or stay permits, contact DGI's Customer Service team via WhatsApp on +62 821 1295 3298

Entry and exit conditions can change at short notice. Contact the nearest Embassy or Consulate for details about visas, currency, customs and entry rules.

You can't work or conduct research in Indonesia unless you have the appropriate visa. Fines of IDR1,000,000 (approx. $A 100) per day apply for the maximum 60 day overstay period.

If you breach Indonesian immigration regulations, you may face:

  • deportation
  • re-entry bans

You may not be allowed to enter Indonesia if you have a criminal record. This is regardless of how long ago the offence took place. If you're concerned, contact an Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia before you travel.

Indonesian Immigration and visa decisions are final. The Australian Government can't help you.

  • Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia

Border measures

You'll be required to complete an  e-customs declaration for arrival . You can complete this within 3 days of departure to Indonesia.

Check entry requirements with your travel provider or the nearest  Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia  before you travel.

You may be temperature checked on arrival at international and domestic airports. If you have fever symptoms, you may be referred to the airport clinic for further tests and asked to seek medical treatment. See your doctor or travel clinic before you travel to plan any vaccinations you need.

Departure from Indonesia

Indonesia, including Bali, currently has an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease affecting animals. In preparing to travel to Australia, read Smartraveller's advice on  biosecurity and border controls . Measures include cleaning dirty shoes, clothing or equipment before boarding your flight to Australia and not packing meat or dairy products. On your Incoming Passenger Declaration, you must declare any meat, dairy or animal products and any of your travel in rural areas or near animals (e.g., farms, zoos, markets).

Other formalities

If you're staying in a private residence, not a hotel, register when you arrive with both:

  • the local Rukun Tetangga Office
  • local police

If you plan to be in Indonesia for more than 30 days:

  • register with the local immigration office
  • make sure you have the right visa
  • Embassy of Indonesia in Canberra

Indonesia won't let you enter unless your passport is valid for 6 months after you plan to leave Indonesia. This can apply even if you're just transiting or stopping over. You can end up stranded or returned back to your previous port overseas at your own cost, if your passport is not valid for more than 6 months from the date you enter and the date you plan to leave Indonesia.

Indonesia does not accept entry with an emergency passport, even if it is valid for more than 6 months. Ensure you enter Indonesia on a valid ordinary, official, or diplomatic passport.

Some foreign governments and airlines apply these rules inconsistently. Travellers can receive conflicting advice from different sources.

The Australian Government does not set these rules. Check your passport's expiry date before you travel. If you're not sure it'll be valid for long enough, consider getting a new passport .

Lost or stolen passport

Your passport is a valuable document. It's attractive to people who may try to use your identity to commit crimes.

Some people may try to trick you into giving them your passport. Always keep it in a safe place.

If your passport is lost or stolen, tell the Australian Government as soon as possible:

  • In Australia, contact the Australian Passport Information Service .
  • If you're overseas, contact the nearest Australian Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.

Damaged Passports

Indonesian authorities have strict standards for damaged passports, and travellers have been refused entry into Indonesia with a damaged passport. Normal wear and tear, including water damage, minor tears or rips to the pages, can be considered damaged. 

It's important that:

  • there are no tears or cuts in the passport pages, especially the photo page
  • everything on the photo page is legible and clear
  • there are no marks across your photo or in the Machine Readable Zone (MRZ) on the photo page
  • no pages have been removed
  • there is no alteration or tampering

If you're not sure about the condition of your passport, call the Australian Passport Office on 131 232 or contact your nearest  Australian embassy or consulate overseas . We may need to see your passport to assess it.

  • Passport Services  
  • Damaged and faulty passports  
  • Using and protecting your passport  

Passport with ‘X’ gender identifier

Although Australian passports comply with international standards for sex and gender, we can’t guarantee that a passport showing 'X' in the sex field will be accepted for entry or transit by another country. Contact the nearest embassy, high commission or consulate of your destination  before you arrive at the border to confirm if authorities will accept passports with 'X' gender markers.

More information: 

  • LGBTQIA+ travellers

The local currency is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR).

Declare cash in excess of IDR100,000,000 or equivalent when you arrive and leave. This covers all forms of currency, not only cash.

IDR100,000,000 is worth about $A10,000.

Local travel

Travel permits.

You may need a travel permit or Surat Keterangan Jalan to travel to some areas of the Papua provinces.

Check if you need a permit with the nearest  Embassy or Consulate of Indonesia  or with your travel provider.

Mobile Phone Reception and Wi-Fi

Mobile phone reception and Wi-Fi are not always available, including in remote areas and some resort islands. 

If you plan to stay in Indonesia for more than 90 days and would like to use your mobile phone purchased overseas, you'll need to register your mobile phone IMEI number with  Indonesian Customs  within the first 60 days of your stay. 

If you plan to stay in Indonesia for less than 90 days, you can visit the local cellular operator/provider booth at the airport to get an access period to use the Indonesian cellular network, which is only valid for 90 days and includes data roaming.

A customs payment may be required, or a tourist SIM card can be purchased for short-term stays. You can use Wi-Fi networks without registration.

To stay in communication and avoid mobile service interruptions: 

  • check mobile coverage with your service provider
  • register your mobile device with  Indonesian Customs  on arrival if you plan to connect to the mobile network 

Driving permit

To drive in Indonesia, you need either:

  • an Indonesian licence
  • an International Driving Permit (IDP)

Check that your licence or permit is appropriate for the type of vehicle you're driving.

Your Australian licence isn't enough.

Your travel insurer will deny any claims you make if:

  • you're unlicensed
  • you don't hold the correct class of licence

Road travel

Traffic can be extremely congested.

Road users are often unpredictable or undisciplined.

You're more likely to be killed in a motor vehicle accident in Indonesia than in Australia. Drive defensively. Some traffic incidents can escalate into violent disputes quickly.

Consider hiring a taxi or a driver who is familiar with local roads and traffic conditions.

  • Driving or riding

Motorcycles

Motorcycle accidents have killed and injured foreigners, including Australians. This includes in tourist areas, particularly Bali, Lombok and the Gili Islands.

If you're riding a motorbike and there's an accident, you'll often be assumed to be at fault. You may be expected to compensate all parties.

If you hire a motorbike:

  • make sure your insurance policy covers you
  • check if any policy restrictions apply, for example if you're not licensed to ride a motorcycle in Australia

Always wear a helmet.

Public transport

Buses, trains and the metro rail can be crowded, particularly:

  • around public holidays
  • during peak commute times

Safety standards may not be observed.

  • Transport and getting around safely

Only use licensed official metered taxis. 

  • only travel in licensed taxis with signage, a "taxi" roof sign and meters
  • book via phone or an official taxi company mobile app

You can book licensed official metered taxis

  • on the taxi company's official mobile app
  • from inside airports
  • at stands at major hotels

Unofficial operators can have taxis that look similar to those run by reputable companies. Make sure the taxi meter is working before you get into the taxi. 

See  Safety .

Rail travel

Inter-city rail networks operate on the islands of Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi.

Commuter trains operate in Java, including Jakarta.

Trains can be crowded, particularly:

  • during peak commuter times

Travel between islands

Travel by ferry or boat can be dangerous.

Passenger and luggage limits aren't always observed.

Equipment may not be properly maintained, and they may not have GPS or emergency communications equipment.

There may not be enough life jackets. It's unlikely that the crew will have life jackets for children.

In March 2024, a ferry sank in the Thousand Islands off the coast of Jakarta, resulting in one death, and a liveaboard boat caught fire and sank in Raja Ampat, Papua Barat Daya, requiring several passengers to be rescued.

In August 2023, two crew died after a boat carrying passengers sank in the Banyak Islands, Aceh, and three people went missing after a ship sank in the Thousand Islands off the coast of Jakarta.

In July 2023, 15 people died after a ferry sank off Sulawesi Island.

In January 2023, 23 passengers and 6 crew were rescued after an inter-island ferry sank while returning from Nusa Penida to Sanur Beach, Bali.

In May 2022, 19 people died after a ferry sank in the Makassar Strait.

In June 2018, a ferry sank on Lake Toba in Sumatra and 100s of people died.

If you plan to travel by sea between islands:

  • make sure any ferry or boat you board has appropriate safety equipment, GPS and communication equipment, and life jackets
  • wear a life jacket at all times
  • take enough life jackets for all children travelling with you
  • ask your tour operator or crew about safety standards before you travel
  • check sea, weather conditions and forecasts before embarking on boat or ferry travel, and delay travel if conditions are not safe

If appropriate safety equipment isn't available, use another provider.

Avoid travelling by water after dark unless the vessel is properly equipped. Avoid travel during wet weather or storms.

DFAT doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths.

Check Indonesia's air safety profile with the Aviation Safety Network.

The European Union (EU) has published a list of airlines that have operating bans or restrictions within the EU. See the  EU list of banned airlines .

Australian travellers should make their own decisions on which airlines to travel with.

Emergencies

Depending on what you need, contact your:

  • family and friends
  • travel agent
  • insurance provider

Search and rescue services

Medical emergencies and ambulance.

SMS 1717 for Jakarta Police

Police Stations in Bali

Refer to the Bali Tourism Board’s list of  police stations in Bali

Always get a police report when you report a crime.

Your insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.

Consular contacts

Read the Consular Services Charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.

Australian Embassy, Jakarta 

Jalan Patra Kuningan Raya Kav. 1-4 Jakarta Selatan 12950

Phone: (+62 21) 2550 5555 Email: [email protected] Website: indonesia.embassy.gov.au Facebook: Australian Embassy Jakarta, Indonesia X: @DubesAustralia Instagram: @KeDubesAustralia

Make an appointment online or call (+62 21) 2550 5500 or (+62 21) 2550 5555.

Australian Consulate-General, Bali

Jalan Tantular 32 Renon Denpasar Bali 80234

Phone: (+62 361) 2000 100 Email: [email protected] Website: bali.indonesia.embassy.gov.au X: @KonJenBali Instagram:  @konjenbali

Australian Consulate-General, Makassar

Wisma Kalla Lt. 7 Jalan Dr Sam Ratulangi No. 8 Makassar South Sulawesi 90125

Phone: (+62 411) 366 4100 Email: [email protected] Website: makassar.consulate.gov.au Facebook: Australian Consulate-General, Makassar, Sulawesi X: @KonJenMakassar Instagram:  @konjenmakassar

Australian Consulate-General, Surabaya

Level 3 ESA Sampoerna Center Jl. Dokter.Ir. H. Soekarno No. 198 Klampis Ngasem, Sukolilo, Surabaya

Phone: (+62 31) 9920 3200 Email: [email protected] Website: surabaya.consulate.gov.au Instagram: @KonJenSurabaya

Check the websites for details about opening hours and any temporary closures.

24-hour Consular Emergency Centre

In a consular emergency, if you can't contact an embassy, call the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on:

  • +61 2 6261 3305 from overseas
  • 1300 555 135 in Australia

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12 things to know before going to Bali, Indonesia

Jan 18, 2024 • 8 min read

smart traveller to bali

These top tips for visiting Bali can help you plan the perfect trip © Klaus Vedfelt / Getty Images

The Indonesian island of Bali is a sun-soaked paradise that attracts every type of traveler, from budget-conscious backpackers to luxury jet-setters.

But – as with any destination – the vast majority of travelers (especially first-timers) will have a number of questions, whether it's "Can unmarried couples stay together in Bali?" (an increasingly common one in the light of recently-introduced new rules for tourists in Bali, which we'll get to later) or "What should I wear?"

Thankfully, Bali is one of the easiest destinations to explore, although its size – the island covers 5776 sq km (2230 sq miles) – means travelers should take the time to think about what they want to see and do relatively early on. For example, places such as Seminyak , with its beach clubs and five-star hotels, tend to become somewhat crowded during peak season, while more rural destinations, such as Ubud , might well require a longer taxi journey  but are absolutely worth the effort, especially for those keen to avoid the crowds.

It's also worth bearing in mind that Bali is one of Asia's safest destinations. As with any holiday hot spot, there are always going to be certain things we can do to ensure we stay safe while traveling, but crackdowns on petty theft and bad behavior have all helped transform the island into a wonderfully family-friendly destination .

Here are our top tips for anyone heading to Bali.

A farmer in a terraced field

1. Check your vaccinations are up-to-date before traveling to Indonesia

There are no mandatory vaccinations for visitors to Bali (barring the need for travelers arriving from countries with a high yellow fever transmission risk to carry a yellow fever vaccination certificate), although Hepatitis A, typhoid and tetanus are often recommended. Bali falls into the "low to no risk" category when it comes to malaria.

Rabies remains a big problem in Indonesia, and although it claims fewer lives in Bali than elsewhere (according to the World Health Organization, 11 people died from rabies in the first half of 2023), it still exists, and the rabies vaccination is worth considering. Working out what vaccinations you need for a holiday to Bali is mostly a personal choice, but if you have concerns, contact your local physician for the latest guidance.

2. Bring a reusable bottle

One of the most asked questions by tourists: "Is Bali's tap water safe to drink?" The short answer is "no." Stick to bottled water or, better still, bring a bottle with a built-in water filtering membrane. Purchasing bottled water – especially in restaurants – can quickly become expensive, which is another reason we're fans of reusable filtered ones, such as Larq and Lifestraw. These are also handy when it comes to purifying water used for cleaning fruits and vegetables. Additionally, try to steer clear of ice and use bottled water to brush your teeth.

Huge dark clouds out at sea contrasting with the light elsewhere. A small row boat is in the foreground on the beach

3. Don't write off the rainy season

Having a rough idea of when dry and rainy seasons fall is undoubtedly something that is useful to know before heading to Indonesia . But bear with us – Bali's rainy season, which takes place between October and April, is a great time to visit. It's typified by short, sharp showers that often only last a few minutes. And in addition to the fact that prices for everything – from regional airfares to hotels – plummet, the island becomes wonderfully lush, the weather is still warm (typically hovering between 24°C/75°F and 29°C/85°F), and the main tourist attractions are blissfully crowd-free. You'll also find it easier to snap up places on excursions, such as snorkeling tours and guided hikes.

4. Buy some bug spray

To be clear, Bali doesn't have a major mosquito problem, but like anywhere in Southeast Asia, these pesky biting bugs love the occasional bloodsucking session – in the case of Bali, particularly during the rainy season between November and April. Lighten the load on your wallet by purchasing your repellent in Bali and opting for bug sprays made in Asia. Popular (and much cheaper) Asian brands you'll find throughout Indonesia include Soffell (snap up the surprisingly pleasant floral-scented version if you can).

5. Avoid traveling during peak times

Traffic in Bali can be horrendous – especially around busier spots such as Denpasar and Kuta – and estimated journey times on apps like Google Maps or Grab are notoriously unreliable. Peak times tend to be 6am to 8am (but roads often remain busy until 10am when day-trippers head out) and 4pm to 7pm. Allow plenty of time to get from A to B, especially when heading to the airport.

A pathway between lily-covered ponds leads to a temple building

6. Pack clothes that will cover you up for when you're not on the beach

In Bali, skimpy swimwear is fine for the beach, but definitely not for trips to a supermarket or restaurant.

Men and women need to ensure their shoulders and upper legs are covered when visiting religious sites, although most of these places will have sarongs for visitors to borrow. Pack like a pro by taking a light cotton scarf that can double as a sarong if you visit a temple or other religious site, and a pair of light cotton trousers (bonus points if they've got a built-in mosquito repellent), which will protect you from bites while also providing enough coverage at sites where tiny denim shorts or a vest just won't cut it.

7. Behave respectfully

Various media reports might give the impression it's easy to get into trouble in Bali, but it's not. In reality, you just need to be sensible: don't do drugs (being caught with under a gram of cannabis will land you in prison), be respectful and dress appropriately at religious sites, don't ride a motorbike or moped without a helmet (Bali's police have recently started cracking down especially hard on foreign moped drivers), and treat locals with respect.

8. Locals will be keen to share their knowledge with you

Staying at a hotel with a concierge or a friendly receptionist? Feel free to grill them about the best local bar, beach or restaurant. The Balinese are incredibly proud of their island  – don't be surprised if the bartender at your favorite beach bar ends up inviting you to their home for dinner with their family – and love nothing more than telling visitors about their favorite beach, nature walk or temple.

A popular Balinese meal of rice with a variety of vegetables in a wooden bowl

9. Eat, drink, stay and shop locally

Don't be afraid to go local, whether this means eating at tiny family-run restaurants or opting for local drink brands. You'll pay less and enjoy delicious local dishes, and you'll be contributing directly to the local economy, too. These days, even the smallest restaurants, bars and independent hotels will be listed on online review sites such as Zomato (especially popular in Asia), and a quick glance should tell you whether the business in question is reputable or not.

10. Carry some loose change

Many businesses in Bali will take payment by card, but there are still plenty of places that only take cash. These include temples, smaller souvenir shops and beachfront masseuses (which, by the way, offer some of the best massages going). ATMs on the island can be unreliable and are also few and far between in some areas. Additionally, don't assume you'll always have the mobile data you'll need to book a ride-share taxi. If you need to hail a tuk-tuk or taxi from the side of the road, it's highly likely you'll need to pay in cash.

When using ATMs, opt for ones connected with major banks (in Indonesia, these include BNI, Bank Mandiri, BCA and CIMB Niaga) to avoid withdrawal fees and remember that Indonesian ATMs issue the cash first, so don't forget to wait for your card to appear.

11. Get around by moped (but always wear a helmet)

Mopeds are the cheapest way to get around Bali  and often – especially during rush hour in places such as Kuta – the quickest, too. They're also offered as a mode of transport by Grab and Gojek (Bali's most popular ride-sharing apps), and prices for journeys via mopeds are significantly cheaper than those made by car. Just remember to check the reviews of your chosen driver and always wear a helmet (the driver will typically provide one). Avoid hailing scooter taxis on the street – you won't be able to check their credentials, and, in reality, Grab and Gojek have so many scooter drivers (both identifiable for their bright green jackets) that there's simply no need.

12. There is a no-sex-before-marriage law

In December 2022, the Indonesian government brought in a new law that forbids sex outside of marriage. Technically, this law applies to visitors as well as locals.

At the time, it was announced that the legislation won't be introduced until late 2025. Since then, Bali's governor has said that the law – dubbed by some newspapers as the "Bali bonk ban"– won't apply to tourists and, additionally, guilty parties can only be reported by spouses, parents or children. In summary, the law represents a worrying development for human rights in Indonesia, but it's not one that is likely to affect tourists.

This article was first published May 30, 2019 and updated Jan 18, 2024.

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Indonesia Traveler View

Travel health notices, vaccines and medicines, non-vaccine-preventable diseases, stay healthy and safe.

  • Packing List

After Your Trip

Map - Indonesia

Be aware of current health issues in Indonesia. Learn how to protect yourself.

Level 2 Practice Enhanced Precautions

  • Global Polio May 23, 2024 Some international destinations have circulating poliovirus. Before any international travel, make sure you are up to date on your polio vaccines. Destination List: Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Guinea, Indonesia, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of the Congo, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, including Zanzibar, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Level 1 Practice Usual Precautions

  • Updated   Global Measles May 28, 2024 Many international destinations are reporting increased numbers of cases of measles. Destination List: Afghanistan, Angola, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire (Ivory Coast), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Gabon, Ghana, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Republic of South Sudan, Republic of the Congo, Romania, Russia, Senegal, Somalia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Togo, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Yemen, Zambia
  • Dengue in Asia and the Pacific Islands May 16, 2024 Dengue is a risk in many parts of Asia and the Pacific Islands. Some countries are reporting increased numbers of cases of the disease. Travelers to Asia and the Pacific Islands can protect themselves by preventing mosquito bites. Destination List: Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Laos, Samoa, Singapore, Sri Lanka

⇧ Top

Check the vaccines and medicines list and visit your doctor at least a month before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. If you or your doctor need help finding a location that provides certain vaccines or medicines, visit the Find a Clinic page.

Routine vaccines

Recommendations.

Make sure you are up-to-date on all routine vaccines before every trip. Some of these vaccines include

  • Chickenpox (Varicella)
  • Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis
  • Flu (influenza)
  • Measles-Mumps-Rubella (MMR)

Immunization schedules

All eligible travelers should be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccines. Please see  Your COVID-19 Vaccination  for more information. 

COVID-19 vaccine

Hepatitis A

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers one year old or older going to Indonesia.

Infants 6 to 11 months old should also be vaccinated against Hepatitis A. The dose does not count toward the routine 2-dose series.

Travelers allergic to a vaccine component or who are younger than 6 months should receive a single dose of immune globulin, which provides effective protection for up to 2 months depending on dosage given.

Unvaccinated travelers who are over 40 years old, immunocompromised, or have chronic medical conditions planning to depart to a risk area in less than 2 weeks should get the initial dose of vaccine and at the same appointment receive immune globulin.

Hepatitis A - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep A

Hepatitis B

Recommended for unvaccinated travelers of all ages traveling to Indonesia.

Hepatitis B - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Hep B

Japanese Encephalitis

Recommended for travelers who

  • Are moving to an area with Japanese encephalitis to live
  • Spend long periods of time, such as a month or more, in areas with Japanese encephalitis
  • Frequently travel to areas with Japanese encephalitis

Consider vaccination for travelers

  • Spending less than a month in areas with Japanese encephalitis but will be doing activities that increase risk of infection, such as visiting rural areas, hiking or camping, or staying in places without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets
  • Going to areas with Japanese encephalitis who are uncertain of their activities or how long they will be there

Not recommended for travelers planning short-term travel to urban areas or travel to areas with no clear Japanese encephalitis season. 

Japanese encephalitis - CDC Yellow Book

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine for US Children

CDC recommends that travelers going to certain areas of Indonesia take prescription medicine to prevent malaria. Depending on the medicine you take, you will need to start taking this medicine multiple days before your trip, as well as during and after your trip. Talk to your doctor about which malaria medication you should take.

Find  country-specific information  about malaria.

Malaria - CDC Yellow Book

Considerations when choosing a drug for malaria prophylaxis (CDC Yellow Book)

Malaria information for Indonesia.

Cases of measles are on the rise worldwide. Travelers are at risk of measles if they have not been fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure, or have not had measles in the past, and travel internationally to areas where measles is spreading.

All international travelers should be fully vaccinated against measles with the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, including an early dose for infants 6–11 months, according to  CDC’s measles vaccination recommendations for international travel .

Measles (Rubeola) - CDC Yellow Book

In Indonesia poliovirus has been identified in the past year.

Travelers to Indonesia are at increased risk of exposure to poliovirus.

Vaccine recommendations : Adults traveling to Indonesia who received a complete polio vaccination series as children may receive a single lifetime booster dose of inactivated polio vaccine; travelers who are unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated should receive a complete polio vaccination series before travel. Children who are not fully vaccinated will be considered for an  accelerated vaccination schedule .

Polio - CDC Yellow Book

Polio: For Travelers

Rabid dogs are commonly found in Indonesia. If you are bitten or scratched by a dog or other mammal while in Indonesia, there may be limited or no rabies treatment available. 

Consider rabies vaccination before your trip if your activities mean you will be around dogs or wildlife.

Travelers more likely to encounter rabid animals include

  • Campers, adventure travelers, or cave explorers (spelunkers)
  • Veterinarians, animal handlers, field biologists, or laboratory workers handling animal specimens
  • Visitors to rural areas

Since children are more likely to be bitten or scratched by a dog or other animals, consider rabies vaccination for children traveling to Indonesia. 

Rabies - CDC Yellow Book

Recommended for most travelers, especially those staying with friends or relatives or visiting smaller cities or rural areas.

Typhoid - CDC Yellow Book

Dosing info - Typhoid

Yellow Fever

Required for travelers ≥9 months old arriving from countries with risk for YF virus transmission. 1

Yellow Fever - CDC Yellow Book

  • Avoid contaminated water

Leptospirosis

How most people get sick (most common modes of transmission)

  • Touching urine or other body fluids from an animal infected with leptospirosis
  • Swimming or wading in urine-contaminated fresh water, or contact with urine-contaminated mud
  • Drinking water or eating food contaminated with animal urine
  • Avoid contaminated water and soil

Clinical Guidance

Schistosomiasis

  • Wading, swimming, bathing, or washing in contaminated freshwater streams, rivers, ponds, lakes, or untreated pools.

Avoid bug bites

Chikungunya

  • Mosquito bite
  • Avoid Bug Bites
  • Mosquito bite
  • An infected pregnant woman can spread it to her unborn baby

Airborne & droplet

Avian/bird flu.

  • Being around, touching, or working with infected poultry, such as visiting poultry farms or live-animal markets
  • Avoid domestic and wild poultry
  • Breathing in air or accidentally eating food contaminated with the urine, droppings, or saliva of infected rodents
  • Bite from an infected rodent
  • Less commonly, being around someone sick with hantavirus (only occurs with Andes virus)
  • Avoid rodents and areas where they live
  • Avoid sick people

Tuberculosis (TB)

  • Breathe in TB bacteria that is in the air from an infected and contagious person coughing, speaking, or singing.

Learn actions you can take to stay healthy and safe on your trip. Vaccines cannot protect you from many diseases in Indonesia, so your behaviors are important.

Eat and drink safely

Food and water standards around the world vary based on the destination. Standards may also differ within a country and risk may change depending on activity type (e.g., hiking versus business trip). You can learn more about safe food and drink choices when traveling by accessing the resources below.

  • Choose Safe Food and Drinks When Traveling
  • Water Treatment Options When Hiking, Camping or Traveling
  • Global Water, Sanitation and Hygiene | Healthy Water
  • Avoid Contaminated Water During Travel

You can also visit the Department of State Country Information Pages for additional information about food and water safety.

Prevent bug bites

Bugs (like mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas) can spread a number of diseases in Indonesia. Many of these diseases cannot be prevented with a vaccine or medicine. You can reduce your risk by taking steps to prevent bug bites.

What can I do to prevent bug bites?

  • Cover exposed skin by wearing long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats.
  • Use an appropriate insect repellent (see below).
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear (such as boots, pants, socks, and tents). Do not use permethrin directly on skin.
  • Stay and sleep in air-conditioned or screened rooms.
  • Use a bed net if the area where you are sleeping is exposed to the outdoors.

What type of insect repellent should I use?

  • FOR PROTECTION AGAINST TICKS AND MOSQUITOES: Use a repellent that contains 20% or more DEET for protection that lasts up to several hours.
  • Picaridin (also known as KBR 3023, Bayrepel, and icaridin)
  • Oil of lemon eucalyptus (OLE) or para-menthane-diol (PMD)
  • 2-undecanone
  • Always use insect repellent as directed.

What should I do if I am bitten by bugs?

  • Avoid scratching bug bites, and apply hydrocortisone cream or calamine lotion to reduce the itching.
  • Check your entire body for ticks after outdoor activity. Be sure to remove ticks properly.

What can I do to avoid bed bugs?

Although bed bugs do not carry disease, they are an annoyance. See our information page about avoiding bug bites for some easy tips to avoid them. For more information on bed bugs, see Bed Bugs .

For more detailed information on avoiding bug bites, see Avoid Bug Bites .

Stay safe outdoors

If your travel plans in Indonesia include outdoor activities, take these steps to stay safe and healthy during your trip.

  • Stay alert to changing weather conditions and adjust your plans if conditions become unsafe.
  • Prepare for activities by wearing the right clothes and packing protective items, such as bug spray, sunscreen, and a basic first aid kit.
  • Consider learning basic first aid and CPR before travel. Bring a travel health kit with items appropriate for your activities.
  • If you are outside for many hours in heat, eat salty snacks and drink water to stay hydrated and replace salt lost through sweating.
  • Protect yourself from UV radiation : use sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15, wear protective clothing, and seek shade during the hottest time of day (10 a.m.–4 p.m.).
  • Be especially careful during summer months and at high elevation. Because sunlight reflects off snow, sand, and water, sun exposure may be increased during activities like skiing, swimming, and sailing.
  • Very cold temperatures can be dangerous. Dress in layers and cover heads, hands, and feet properly if you are visiting a cold location.

Stay safe around water

  • Swim only in designated swimming areas. Obey lifeguards and warning flags on beaches.
  • Practice safe boating—follow all boating safety laws, do not drink alcohol if driving a boat, and always wear a life jacket.
  • Do not dive into shallow water.
  • Do not swim in freshwater in developing areas or where sanitation is poor.
  • Avoid swallowing water when swimming. Untreated water can carry germs that make you sick.
  • To prevent infections, wear shoes on beaches where there may be animal waste.

Schistosomiasis, a parasitic infection that can be spread in fresh water, is found in Indonesia. Avoid swimming in fresh, unchlorinated water, such as lakes, ponds, or rivers.

Keep away from animals

Most animals avoid people, but they may attack if they feel threatened, are protecting their young or territory, or if they are injured or ill. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as rabies.

Follow these tips to protect yourself:

  • Do not touch or feed any animals you do not know.
  • Do not allow animals to lick open wounds, and do not get animal saliva in your eyes or mouth.
  • Avoid rodents and their urine and feces.
  • Traveling pets should be supervised closely and not allowed to come in contact with local animals.
  • If you wake in a room with a bat, seek medical care immediately. Bat bites may be hard to see.

All animals can pose a threat, but be extra careful around dogs, bats, monkeys, sea animals such as jellyfish, and snakes. If you are bitten or scratched by an animal, immediately:

  • Wash the wound with soap and clean water.
  • Go to a doctor right away.
  • Tell your doctor about your injury when you get back to the United States.

Consider buying medical evacuation insurance. Rabies is a deadly disease that must be treated quickly, and treatment may not be available in some countries.

Reduce your exposure to germs

Follow these tips to avoid getting sick or spreading illness to others while traveling:

  • Wash your hands often, especially before eating.
  • If soap and water aren’t available, clean hands with hand sanitizer (containing at least 60% alcohol).
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose, or mouth. If you need to touch your face, make sure your hands are clean.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing.
  • Try to avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home or in your hotel room, unless you need medical care.

Avoid sharing body fluids

Diseases can be spread through body fluids, such as saliva, blood, vomit, and semen.

Protect yourself:

  • Use latex condoms correctly.
  • Do not inject drugs.
  • Limit alcohol consumption. People take more risks when intoxicated.
  • Do not share needles or any devices that can break the skin. That includes needles for tattoos, piercings, and acupuncture.
  • If you receive medical or dental care, make sure the equipment is disinfected or sanitized.

Know how to get medical care while traveling

Plan for how you will get health care during your trip, should the need arise:

  • Carry a list of local doctors and hospitals at your destination.
  • Review your health insurance plan to determine what medical services it would cover during your trip. Consider purchasing travel health and medical evacuation insurance.
  • Carry a card that identifies, in the local language, your blood type, chronic conditions or serious allergies, and the generic names of any medications you take.
  • Some prescription drugs may be illegal in other countries. Call Indonesia’s embassy to verify that all of your prescription(s) are legal to bring with you.
  • Bring all the medicines (including over-the-counter medicines) you think you might need during your trip, including extra in case of travel delays. Ask your doctor to help you get prescriptions filled early if you need to.

Many foreign hospitals and clinics are accredited by the Joint Commission International. A list of accredited facilities is available at their website ( www.jointcommissioninternational.org ).

In some countries, medicine (prescription and over-the-counter) may be substandard or counterfeit. Bring the medicines you will need from the United States to avoid having to buy them at your destination.

Malaria is a risk in some parts of Indonesia. If you are going to a risk area, fill your malaria prescription before you leave, and take enough with you for the entire length of your trip. Follow your doctor’s instructions for taking the pills; some need to be started before you leave.

Select safe transportation

Motor vehicle crashes are the #1 killer of healthy US citizens in foreign countries.

In many places cars, buses, large trucks, rickshaws, bikes, people on foot, and even animals share the same lanes of traffic, increasing the risk for crashes.

Be smart when you are traveling on foot.

  • Use sidewalks and marked crosswalks.
  • Pay attention to the traffic around you, especially in crowded areas.
  • Remember, people on foot do not always have the right of way in other countries.

Riding/Driving

Choose a safe vehicle.

  • Choose official taxis or public transportation, such as trains and buses.
  • Ride only in cars that have seatbelts.
  • Avoid overcrowded, overloaded, top-heavy buses and minivans.
  • Avoid riding on motorcycles or motorbikes, especially motorbike taxis. (Many crashes are caused by inexperienced motorbike drivers.)
  • Choose newer vehicles—they may have more safety features, such as airbags, and be more reliable.
  • Choose larger vehicles, which may provide more protection in crashes.

Think about the driver.

  • Do not drive after drinking alcohol or ride with someone who has been drinking.
  • Consider hiring a licensed, trained driver familiar with the area.
  • Arrange payment before departing.

Follow basic safety tips.

  • Wear a seatbelt at all times.
  • Sit in the back seat of cars and taxis.
  • When on motorbikes or bicycles, always wear a helmet. (Bring a helmet from home, if needed.)
  • Avoid driving at night; street lighting in certain parts of Indonesia may be poor.
  • Do not use a cell phone or text while driving (illegal in many countries).
  • Travel during daylight hours only, especially in rural areas.
  • If you choose to drive a vehicle in Indonesia, learn the local traffic laws and have the proper paperwork.
  • Get any driving permits and insurance you may need. Get an International Driving Permit (IDP). Carry the IDP and a US-issued driver's license at all times.
  • Check with your auto insurance policy's international coverage, and get more coverage if needed. Make sure you have liability insurance.
  • Avoid using local, unscheduled aircraft.
  • If possible, fly on larger planes (more than 30 seats); larger airplanes are more likely to have regular safety inspections.
  • Try to schedule flights during daylight hours and in good weather.

Medical Evacuation Insurance

If you are seriously injured, emergency care may not be available or may not meet US standards. Trauma care centers are uncommon outside urban areas. Having medical evacuation insurance can be helpful for these reasons.

Helpful Resources

Road Safety Overseas (Information from the US Department of State): Includes tips on driving in other countries, International Driving Permits, auto insurance, and other resources.

The Association for International Road Travel has country-specific Road Travel Reports available for most countries for a minimal fee.

For information traffic safety and road conditions in Indonesia, see Travel and Transportation on US Department of State's country-specific information for Indonesia .

Traffic flows on the left side of the road in Indonesia.

  • Always pay close attention to the flow of traffic, especially when crossing the street.
  • LOOK RIGHT for approaching traffic.

Maintain personal security

Use the same common sense traveling overseas that you would at home, and always stay alert and aware of your surroundings.

Before you leave

  • Research your destination(s), including local laws, customs, and culture.
  • Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State.
  • Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) .
  • Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home.
  • Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace.

While at your destination(s)

  • Carry contact information for the nearest US embassy or consulate .
  • Carry a photocopy of your passport and entry stamp; leave the actual passport securely in your hotel.
  • Follow all local laws and social customs.
  • Do not wear expensive clothing or jewelry.
  • Always keep hotel doors locked, and store valuables in secure areas.
  • If possible, choose hotel rooms between the 2nd and 6th floors.

Healthy Travel Packing List

Use the Healthy Travel Packing List for Indonesia for a list of health-related items to consider packing for your trip. Talk to your doctor about which items are most important for you.

Why does CDC recommend packing these health-related items?

It’s best to be prepared to prevent and treat common illnesses and injuries. Some supplies and medicines may be difficult to find at your destination, may have different names, or may have different ingredients than what you normally use.

If you are not feeling well after your trip, you may need to see a doctor. If you need help finding a travel medicine specialist, see Find a Clinic . Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. Also tell your doctor if you were bitten or scratched by an animal while traveling.

If your doctor prescribed antimalarial medicine for your trip, keep taking the rest of your pills after you return home. If you stop taking your medicine too soon, you could still get sick.

Malaria is always a serious disease and may be a deadly illness. If you become ill with a fever either while traveling in a malaria-risk area or after you return home (for up to 1 year), you should seek immediate medical attention and should tell the doctor about your travel history.

For more information on what to do if you are sick after your trip, see Getting Sick after Travel .

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Latest Travel Regulations to Enter Bali as of 1 December 2022

You know what time it is? Yes, #ItstimeforBali! The President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, imposed new regulations for those who are planning to travel to Bali. Since 14 October 2021, Bali has been gradually opening its doors to international tourists. On 3 February  2022, the inaugural commercial flight of Garuda Indonesia Airline carrying international tourists landed in Bali from Narita, Japan. By relaxing the travel restrictions to Bali, the Indonesian Government hopes that this move will be able to revitalize the country’s tourism.

On 7 March 2022, the government also applied a quarantine-free trial period and a Visa On Arrival (VOA) program for 23 selected countries. The list of countries was then extended to 42 on 22 March 2022, 43 countries on 6 April 2022, 60 countries on 28 April 2022,  72 countries on 30 May 2022, and then 75 countries on 27 July 2022. There are currently 86 countries listed based on the update on 23 September 2022.

On 10 November 2022, the government also launched an Electronic Visa on Arrive (eVOA) program to provide foreign travelers with an easier entry process. According to the Circular Letter of the Directorate General of Immigration No. IMI-0794.GR.01.01 of 2022 concerning the Immigration Policy regarding Electronic Visit Visa Services, Visit Visa on Arrival Services, and Free Visit Visa to Support Sustainable Tourism during the Covid-19 Pandemic, as of 1 December 2022, there are 86 countries eligible for the eVOA program.

Another great news to be noted is that from 18 May 2022, no RT-PCR test results are required to be taken prior to departure from the country or region of origin . 

In addition, the government has also launched Second Home Visa , Immigration on Shipping (IoS) , and recently, Electronic Visa on Arrival (eVOA) , which was effective from 10 November 2022. 

The Indonesian Government will ensure to keep their utmost efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, namely by maintaining the  status as one of countries with the highest vaccination rates, as well as the country that consistently provides safety protocols for all visitors. As of 18 May 2022, Bali is one of the top 3 provinces with highest vaccination rates and also one of the highest numbers of CHSE certifications. 

bali

1. Pre-departure Preparation

Before departing to Bali, you need to prepare yourself with the information about the Visa and requirements to enter Indonesia.

Entering with Visa on Arrival and Visa Exemption Facility

According to the Circular Letter of the Directorate General of Immigration No. IMI-0708.GR.01.01 of 2022 concerning the Ease of Immigration to Support Sustainable Tourism during the COVID-19 Pandemic effective from 23 September 2022, there are 86 countries that are eligible for VIsa on Arrival (VOA) program. 

In addition, according to the  Circular Letter of the Directorate General of Immigration No. IMI-0708.GR.01.01 of 2022 concerning the Ease of Immigration to Support Sustainable Tourism during the COVID-19 Pandemic effective from 23 September 2022, the Indonesian government has also implemented a Visa Exemption Arrangement facility to 9 countries.

More details about the eligible countries, updated rules, regulations, and ports of entries for Visa On Arrival and Visa Exemption Facilities can be read on this link and can be summarized as follows:

  • Passport (diplomatic/official/ordinary) that is valid for a minimum of 6 (six) months,
  • A return ticket or a pass to continue the trip to another country, and
  • Proof of payment of PNBP Visa on Arrival of 500,000 IDR (in the case of applying for a Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purpose)
  • The entry stamp on the granting of a Visit Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purpose will be valid as a Visit Stay Permit with the certain period, as follows: a) Visit Visa Exemption: maximum 30 days and cannot be extended. b) Visa on Arrival: maximum of 30 days and can be extended once for another 30 days at the Immigration Office in the area where the foreign national lives. 
  • Visit Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purpose can also be granted for foreign nationals on official visit or government duties to attend international events, for which shall be applied additional requirement: to enclose an invitation letter issued by the Indonesian government to attend the international conferences/trials/meetings.
  • The provision of Visit Visa Exemption or Visa on Arrival for Leisure Purpose as stipulated above applies to holders of diplomatic passports, service passports, or ordinary/general passports.

Entering with eVOA

You can visit this link to find out more information about eVOA, as well as this page to gather the details about eVOA registration .

2. Arrival protocols

When you have arrived in Bali, there are several measures you need to take before you can continue your trip. According to the Circular Letter of the COVID-19 Task Force Number 25 of 2022 concerning Health Protocols for International Travel during the COVID-19 Pandemic, as of 31 August 2022, all international travelers, whether they are Indonesian citizens or foreign nationals, should comply with all the detailed regulations on this link .

The protocols can be summarized as follows:

1. All foreign travelers (foreign nationals) who will enter the territory of the Republic of Indonesia shall adjust their travel documents to ensure compliance with the provisions regarding the foreign travelers allowed to enter the territory of Indonesia, which includes Covid-19 vaccination certificates, recommended health protocols, along with the use of  PeduliLindungi  application while in Indonesia. Provisions for RT-PCR examination and quarantine period are not required except under certain conditions.

2. Foreign travelers must show a card/certificate (physical or digital) proving that you have received two doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered at least 14 days before departure.

Foreign travelers who undergo post-COVID recovery are allowed to continue the journey by attaching a doctor's certificate from the Government Hospital of the country of departure or the ministry that carries out government affairs in the health sector in the country of departure stating that the person concerned is no longer actively transmitting COVID-19 or the COVID-19 recovery certificate;

Foreign travelers with special health conditions or comorbidities that cause travelers to have not and/or unable to receive the COVID-19 vaccination, are allowed to continue the journey by attaching a doctor's certificate from the Government Hospital from the country of departure, stating that the person concerned has not and/or is unable to take part in the COVID-19 vaccination.

3. Upon arrival at the entry points, foreign travelers must undergo a COVID-19 symptom check, including a body temperature check, with the following conditions :

If there is no symptom of COVID-19 and body temperature is below 37.5 degrees Celsius:  no need to undergo RT-PCR examination upon arrival

If there is any symptom of COVID-19 or body temperature above 37.5 degrees Celsius:  must undergo RT-PCR examination upon arrival. 

4. As a requirement for domestic travel or departure abroad from Indonesia, international travelers with the status of Indonesian citizens aged 18 years and above must present a card/certificate (physical or digital) of receiving the second dose of COVID-19 vaccine displayed through the PeduliLindungi application. You can check out this link to find out about the detailed regulations for domestic travel.

5. The provision regarding the period of isolation (quarantine) no longer applies. All foreign travelers without symptoms related to COVID-19 and whose body temperature is below 37.5 degrees Celsius are able to continue their journey. However, it is highly recommended to monitor their health independently.

6. Health protocols must meet these requirements:

Wearing 3 ply of fabric mask or medical grade mask, covering nose, mouth, and chin at indoor settings or any crowded situations;

Replacing the mask regularly within every 4 hours, and dispose the waste in the proper place;

Washing hands regularly with water and soap or hand sanitizers;

Maintaining social distance for a minimum of 1.5 meters and avoiding crowds; and

Keeping in mind that it is advised not to have one-way or two-way communication by telephone or in person throughout the trip using public transportation modes of land, rail, sea, river, lake, ferry, and air.

7. The above policies are temporary and will be readjusted according to global health developments.

Please make sure that you are tested by  the affiliated laboratories  so that the results will be directly connected to the PeduliLindungi app.

Furthermore, you can  visit here  to get a one stop service for your travel requirements in Bali. Kindly  click here  to browse all the accommodations and tourism destinations in Bali that have been granted the CHSE (Cleanliness, Health, Safety, and Environmental Sustainability) certification. Beside booking at your favorite accommodation among the listed hotels, villas, and resorts, come check out these  Live on Board  providers for new exciting experiences.

Remember to always comply with all the health protocols while enjoying the best of Bali again. Do keep yourself updated with the latest information about traveling regulations in Bali by checking out  this page .

Come follow our Instagram  @wonderfulindonesia , Facebook  @WonderfulIndonesia , Twitter  @wonderfulid , TikTok  @wonderfulid , and our Youtube  Wonderful Indonesia  to keep an eye out on the latest news about Indonesia’s tourism as well as awe-inspiring trip ideas.

*Disclaimer: This article was updated on January 16, 2023. Due to the dynamic nature of travel regulations, please stay updated and confirm your itinerary with your chosen travel providers.

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She Wanders Abroad

  • The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for First Timers

Floating temple at Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Bali

To be honest with you I knew almost nothing about Bali before I visited. Sure, I’ve seen a million pictures of this dream island, I knew that every proper Instagrammer had been there at least once and I saw Eat, Pray, Love, but that was it.

If you are like me, I have some good news for you: this Bali travel guide for first-timers is everything you’re gonna need! In this post, I put together everything you need to know if you are traveling to Bali for the first time. So let’s dive in!

* Disclosure: This post contains a few affiliate links, which means I may receive a small commission, at no cost to you, if you make a purchase through my link. *

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The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for First Timers

Table of Contents

Bali is located in the Indian Ocean, it’s by far the most famous of the more than 17,000 islands of Indonesia. The island sits east of Java (the most populous island in the world) and west of Lombok.

I know it seems like a tiny island on the map but actually, Bali is pretty big: the distance is 145 km from west to east and 85 km from north to south. Apart from the main island, the Nusa Islands (Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Penida) also belong to Bali.

Bali is home to more than 4.3 million people. About 90% of the population are Balinese, the other ethnic groups are Javanese, Baliaga, and Madurese.

The official language is Indonesian, but many people use the Balinese language in everyday life. English is widely used as well due to the high level of tourism.

Indonesia is the biggest Muslim country in the world, accounting for 13% of the world’s total Muslims. One of the most interesting facts about Bali is that it’s the only exception, as the island is the only Hindu island in Indonesia.

Actually, this is not the standard Hindu religion, it’s rather a Balinese Hinduism: it’s kind of a mixture of local beliefs and Hindu influences.

Balinese people live in a magic world of people, spirits, gods, and demons. I was so surprised to see how deeply religious they are! There are over 20,000 temples in Bali and you can’t go anywhere without seeing countless offerings to the gods and spirits.

They seriously believe in karma, that life is governed by a system of cause and effect, action, and reaction. Their religion and culture are really interesting so try to learn about them as much as you can while you are there!

Canang Sari, daily offerings in Bali

Although Bali used to have a free visa if you were visiting for less than 30 days, unfortunately, it’s no longer available.

They have a new Visa on Arrival (VoA) in place, and more than 90 countries can apply for this type of visa. In case you are coming from another country, you will need to apply for a different visa so make sure to check this in advance.

This new VoA costs 500,000 IDR ($33 US) and you can stay with this on the island for a maximum of 30 days. The visa can be extended once for another 30 days (this has an additional cost of course).

You can purchase the visa online in advance which I would strongly recommend. One thing you need to be aware of is that the visa must be used within 90 days from the date of issue, so don’t buy it earlier than 3 months from your travel date. Also, make sure to only purchase from the official website !

Don’t worry, if you can’t buy the visa online (the website doesn’t always work properly), you will still be able to do it at the airport after arrival. You’ll just have to wait in line first for the visa before proceeding to immigration.

Money in Bali

The official local currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR or Rp). The amounts in rupiah are usually very large because of all the zeros. $1 US is around 15,200 IDR.

Therefore the prices are often given with the thousands implied and left off of the end. So when someone says “one hundred”, they most likely mean 100,000 IDR (around $6.5 US).

Cash is the king in Bali, therefore you always need to carry around some cash in your pocket. You can generally pay with credit cards at most of the hotels and cafes in the urban area but you will need cash for everything else.

The largest denomination is the 100,000 IDR banknote so your wallet will always be stuffed with a lot of banknotes. Make sure you don’t bring your tiniest wallet with you!

Indonesian rupiah

You can easily find ATMs in the popular travel hubs but once you are out you will have a hard time finding a machine in the countryside. So it’s better to stack up on cash while you are in a more touristy area.

ATMs typically charge you a transaction fee for every transaction. Fortunately, it’s not that much but the bad news is that there is a daily withdrawal limit.

It can be different depending on what kind of ATM you use but it’s usually between 1.5-2.5 million IDR (around $100-170 US). So basically you have to pick up cash from an ATM almost every day (or you can use different credit cards if you have more).

Important note: Some ATMs deliver your cash first and your credit card after. If you are coming from a place that it’s the other way around you have to pay attention not to leave your card in the machine. Unfortunately, we managed to lose a credit card, most likely for this reason. So learn from our mistakes!

Of course, you can exchange all the major currencies into rupiahs at the airport or banks but you always have to pay a commission fee and the exchange rates are not always in your favor. Generally using an ATM is a better option but it’s really up to you.

Technically US dollars are not accepted in Indonesia, however, you can almost always use them in reality. You will always have to pay more in dollars (because you obviously can’t pay $1.2 US so you will pay 2), but it’s good to have a plan B if you accidentally run out of rupiahs.

Best Time to Visit Bali

Bali is located a few degrees south of the equator, therefore it has a tropical climate all year around. It means that the weather is always hot and humid and there are only two main seasons: the dry season and the rainy season.

Generally, the rainy season is between November and March but it can vary a bit from year to year. During this time it usually rains a couple of hours in the morning and a couple of hours in the afternoon so you can still have some rain-free hours during the day if you are lucky.

Nevertheless, I still wouldn’t recommend this period for traveling especially if you’re traveling to Bali for the first time.

Bali is always busy during holidays like Easter or Christmas. July and August are usually crowded too because of the national school holidays in Indonesia. So if you’re not a fan of mass tourism I would avoid these periods as well.

Ulun Danu Beratan Temple, Bali

Based on all this, the best time to visit is May, June, or September. You will have pleasant weather with almost no rain and the beaches and famous sites will not be that crowded either.

October can still be a good time, we also visited at the end of October. We were really lucky with the weather because it only rained on our last day. On the other hand, our driver said that this time last year it was constantly raining all day long and it didn’t stop for days. So be careful with October, it can really be a hit or miss.

How Much Time Do You Need to Spend in Bali

Bali is one of the most breathtaking dream destinations in the world and you can easily spend months on the island without ever getting bored. If you’re traveling to Bali for the first time, it’s best to spend at least 2 weeks in Bali to be able to properly explore the island.

When we visited Bali for the first time, we spent 8 days on the island and it felt really short. We managed to cover all the famous sites but in exchange, we spent almost no time at the beach and we were extremely tired at the end. Needless to say, it was totally worth it!

How much time you need to spend in Bali also depends on what you want to see and do. If you are only looking for beautiful beaches and you wish to relax all day long, one week could be enough.

However, there are so many wonderful sites to explore and various activities to do, that you will need at least 2 weeks if you really want to see the best of Bali.

Luckily the cost of living in Bali is totally budget-friendly so if your time allows or if you’re a digital nomad, you can even make it your base for a few months.

Lush green palm trees at Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Bali

Transportation in Bali

Public transportation.

Public transportation is basically non-existent in Bali. All right, this is not exactly true: there are some public minibuses called bemo. If you are in a really adventurous mode and you wanna try getting around like a local you can opt for a ride. But for real transportation, I wouldn’t consider this as an option.

Renting a bicycle is possible but Bali is far too big for biking around. However, if you wanna explore the countryside close to your accommodation it can be a great way to get around.

The cheapest and most popular way of transportation is renting a scooter. However, if you don’t have experience in scooter riding I wouldn’t recommend it.

Why? Because the traffic is crazy! Cars, scooters, chickens, dogs, all share the same lane and they are coming from every direction possible. No matter where you go, the streets are always full of scooters and the roads are often in a really bad condition.

Scooter accidents are not exceptional and trust me, you don’t want to spend your holiday lying in the hospital.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against scooters at all. I’m just saying you have to be really, really prepared and have a ton of experience before trying to get around this way. If you’re planning to drive a scooter, you might be interested in reading a comprehensive guide about scooter rental in Bali !

And please don’t forget about travel insurance! Unfortunately, accidents can happen anytime and it’s better to be prepared for that. After many hours of research, I decided to choose SafetyWing and I can honestly recommend them!

Scooters in Ubud, Bali

You can find a taxi practically anywhere and it works the same way as it does in Europe or America. In Bali, almost everyone is a taxi driver. Seriously. You will be constantly asked by the locals where are you headed and whether if you will need a ride. Everyone will be glad to take you anywhere.

There are two types of taxis in Bali: the Bluebird taxis and the rest. The Bluebird taxis always go by the meter and they are safe to use. They even have their own app which you can download and after registration, you can summon a taxi as you please.

The non-Bluebird taxis on the other hand are often corrupt and they usually play dirty tricks with the tourists, like claiming to have a broken meter or taking you on a long road to pay more.

Private driver

I think having a private driver in Bali is the best option ever, especially it will be your first time in Bali and you don’t have any experience in scooter riding. It is generally more expensive than renting a scooter but in exchange, it takes away all the stress and you don’t have to worry about transportation during your stay.

We also decided to hire a private driver and I’m so glad we did! I received a recommendation from another Hungarian girl and that’s how we found Putu . He is the sweetest guy ever!

I contacted him while we were still at home. As I mentioned before I’m a big planner so I’ve already planned most of our itinerary before we first spoke.

Therefore we only needed to finalize the program I had in mind and he helped me organize every little detail. So by the time we arrived in Bali we already had a perfect itinerary and everything was taken care of.

smart traveller to bali

How does it work in real life?

To be honest I had no clue how does it work in real-life and I received many questions about it so I will share my experience. When we arrived at the airport Putu was already there, waiting for us. He took us to our hotel (since it was already late in the afternoon) and we agreed on which time he should pick us up the next day.

The next morning he picked us up as we agreed and from that point, he was always with us until he took us back to the hotel at the end of the day. He drove us from location to location and while we were away exploring he waited for us in the car or spent the time with other drivers (who were waiting for their clients as well).

Yes, even when we were out for hours! Sometimes he even joined us in exploring the area so he could tell us stories about the place and Balinese life in general.

He was really flexible with the timing as well. We wanted to do a lot of sunrise tours so he usually picked us up very early. And by that, I mean very, very early.

Like 1 am or 3 am. Yes, you’ve read it right! (I know, you must think I’m crazy. Wait until you see my sunrise pictures!) The only general rule is that they don’t work more than 14 hours a day which is totally understandable.

Long story short, I really can’t recommend enough to have a private driver. Everything was just so perfect!

Girl and a boy standing at the Gates of Heaven at Pura Lempuyang in Bali

What to Wear in Bali

Despite Bali being a very religious island, there is no strict dress code for tourists. The only exceptions are the religious sites where you always have to wear a sarong (and a scarf if your shoulders are not covered by your clothes). Don’t worry, if you don’t own a sarong you can always rent it for a small amount of money at every religious site.

As I mentioned before, the weather in Bali is always hot and humid. Therefore you will most likely stroll around in shorts and T-shirts or dresses. Try to pack lightweight cotton and loose clothes! A beach hat or baseball cap is also a good idea to protect your head from the sun.

Regarding shoes, you can almost always wear flip-flops or sandals. But having a comfy sneaker in your suitcase is a huge bonus if you wanna go for a hike. If you plan to hike Mount Batur you should prepare with some warm clothes too!

I know it sounds weird to pack a jacket and a warmer sweater for Bali, but trust me, you’re gonna need it.

Girl in a pink dress looking at the view at Peguyangan Waterfall, Nusa Penida

Best Places to Visit in Bali + Where to Stay in Bali

There are just so many things do to and see in Bali that I can go on and on for hours without ever repeating myself. Since this is a Bali travel guide for first-timers I will give you a rough overview of the different areas of Bali including the best places to visit and the best places to stay in each area.

The southern side of Bali is the most touristy area on the island. Denpasar (the capital city of Bali) is located here together with the Ngurah Rai International Airport. South Bali is packed with beautiful beaches, posh cafes, fancy restaurants, and cool party places.

If you’re a foodie like me, you will love this list of the  best cafes in Canggu ! Bali is famous for its sunsets as well and the southern part is one of the best areas to find the best sunsets in Bali .

Best places to visit in South Bali: Uluwatu Temple, Tanah Lot, Nyangnyang Beach, Nusa Dua Beach, Kuta Beach, Cabina Bali

Girl with a floating breakfast at Cabina Bali

Where to stay in South Bali

As I mentioned before the southern side of the island is the most touristy area so you will find a wide range of hotels to choose from. If you’re traveling to Bali for the first time I would recommend staying at either Seminyak or Kuta but Canggu , Uluwatu and Jimbaran could be a great option as well.

Best places to stay in Seminyak

The Legian Seminyak, Bali

LUXURY – The Legian Seminyak, Bali

This beachfront hotel offers beautiful rooms in a scenic setting as you’ll get stunning views of the Indian Ocean. The Legian Seminyak also has plenty of fantastic facilities including a three-tiered swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness center.

Montigo Resorts Seminyak

MID-RANGE – Montigo Resorts Seminyak

Montigo Resorts is situated right next to Potato Head Beach Club so is in a great location. The hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the center of Seminyak, and there are two swimming pools on-site as well as a spa & wellness center. Not only that but Montigo Resorts also has a bar and fitness center

Bali Ayu Hotel & Villas

BUDGET – Bali Ayu Hotel & Villas

Bali Ayu Hotel & Villas is set in a great location as it’s just a 4-minute walk from the beach and it’s close to Petitenget Street. The rooms are very budget-friendly, and each one is spacious and features a balcony. Breakfast is available at the property, and there are two swimming pools.

Best places to stay in Kuta

The Anvaya Beach Resort Bali

LUXURY – The Anvaya Beach Resort Bali

This beachfront 5-star hotel is situated close to popular attractions within Kuta including Waterbom Bali and the Discovery Shopping Mall. With a large swimming pool, landscaped tropical gardens, and a spa & wellness center – this place has plenty to offer. There are also several restaurants on-site, a pool bar, and a private beach area.

Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel

MID-RANGE – Discovery Kartika Plaza Hotel

Located right next to Discovery Shopping Mall and the coast, this hotel is one of the best mid-range accommodation options in Kuta. There are plenty of fantastic facilities too including two swimming pools, a spa & wellness center, and a fitness center. There’s also a variety of room options and many of them offer views of the ocean.

The Kana Kuta Hotel

BUDGET – The Kana Kuta Hotel

If you’re looking for budget-friendly accommodation then make sure you check out the Kana Kuta Hotel. With an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, and a fitness center, there are lots of amenities available for guests. All the rooms are spacious too and feature air conditioning, a seating area, and an ensuite bathroom.

Central Bali

The central area is the cultural heart of Bali and it is also the most picturesque side of the island. Central Bali is home to many beautiful temples, deep river gorges, unbelievably green rice terraces, and gorgeous waterfalls.

Best places to visit in Central Bali: Ubud Monkey Forest, Campuhan Ridge Walk, Tegalalang rice terraces, Jatiluwih rice terraces, Pura Tirta Empul, Tegenungan waterfall, Tukad Cepung waterfall , Kanto Lampo waterfall

Sunrise at the Tegallalang Rice Terraces in Bali

Where to stay in Central Bali

If you want to explore the best places in Central Bali I recommend staying in Ubud. Ubud is the heart of Central Bali with many hotels to choose from and it’s packed with amazing restaurants and bars as well, so it’s worth spending at least 3 days in Ubud .

Below you can find some of the best hotels to stay in Ubud. If you’re looking for something more special, check out these private pool villas in Ubud or the best bamboo houses in Bali around the city.

Best places to stay in Ubud

Kamandalu Ubud

LUXURY – Kamandalu Ubud

Kamandalu Ubud is one of the most luxurious hotels on the island. Offering stunning views of the Petanu River and the surrounding forest, this place is the best luxury stay in Ubud. The rooms are inspired by traditional Balinese decor and most units feature a daybed and a private pool.

The Udaya Resorts and Spa

MID-RANGE – The Udaya Resorts and Spa

This place has a lot to offer with striking views, spacious suites, and fantastic facilities. Guests will benefit from a swimming pool, a spa & wellness center, and a restaurant that serves delicious Indonesian dishes.

Gita Maha Ubud Hotel by Mahaputra

BUDGET – Gita Maha Ubud Hotel by Mahaputra

Ubud is full of budget-friendly accommodation options but not many are as beautiful as this place! Gita Maha Ubud Hotel is situated just a 5-minute drive from the Royal Palace and offers an outdoor swimming pool and an on-site restaurant. Each room at this hotel is incredibly spacious too, and many of them feature a private balcony.

East Bali is dominated by the largest volcano on the island: Mount Agung. This is a very active volcano with constant eruptions, therefore it is not allowed to visit.

But its little brother, Mount Batur (who is also an active volcano) is still safe and open for hiking. The nearby area is really beautiful and it is home to some of the island’s oldest villages.

Best places to visit in East Bali: Mount Agung, Mount Batur, Pura Luhur Lempuyang (Gate of Heaven), Tirta Gangga Royal Water Garden

Girl and a boy watching the sunrise from Mount Batur in Bali

Where to stay in East Bali

If you are traveling to Bali for the first time I would recommend you to stay either in South or Central Bali instead of East Bali. There are much more things to do in those areas and you can easily do some day trips from there to visit the best tourist spots in the east.

However, if you want to have a more unique Bali experience staying in East Bali can be great for you! You will find many amazing hotels in the area, the best places to stay are either Candidasa (close to the beach) or Sidemen (more inland with an amazing view over the volcanos).

If you’re looking for a more unique stay, you can also find the many magical bamboo houses in Bali , especially in this part of the island.

Best places to stay in Sidemen

Wapa di Ume Sidemen

LUXURY – Wapa di Ume Sidemen

If you’re looking for a luxurious getaway, then stay at Wapa di Ume Sidemen. You’ll benefit from a variety of fantastic facilities including an outdoor swimming pool, an on-site restaurant, and a bar. There’s also a garden and terrace area, and bicycles are free to use. 

Alamdhari Resort and Spa

MID-RANGE – Alamdhari Resort and Spa

With an outdoor swimming pool overlooking the lush forests, an on-site restaurant, and a bar – Alamdhari Resort and Spa has a lot to offer guests. Breakfast is included with your stay too, and there’s a garden area where you can relax. The rooms here are stunning and many of them feature a private balcony with amazing views.

Sawah Indah Villa

BUDGET – Sawah Indah Villa

Sawah Indah Villa is just a 30-minute drive from Tirta Gangga and is surrounded by lush rice terraces and forested mountains. Offering an outdoor pool, an on-site restaurant, and spa treatments this hotel has everything you could need and more! The staff at the hotel can also help with vehicle rentals and organizing excursions.

Best places to stay in Candidasa

Candi Beach Resort & Spa

LUXURY – Candi Beach Resort & Spa

Candi Beach Resort & Spa is located along a private beach and offers three swimming pools, a variety of water sports, and a spa & wellness center. There are also several on-site restaurants so you’ll have plenty of dining options. If that’s not enough to convince you, this hotel has two bars and a tour desk that can help with excursions.

Villa Barong

MID-RANGE – Villa Barong

Villa Barong is just a 5-minute walk from the beach and is nestled within landscaped gardens and coconut trees. There are several villas available at the property and each one offers a private pool, a modern kitchen, and a terrace area. The villas sleep up to four people so are a great option for groups and small families.

Rama Shinta Hotel Candidasa

BUDGET – Rama Shinta Hotel Candidasa

This is one of the best budget-friendly accommodation options in Candidasa. Set within tropical gardens, this hotel has plenty to offer with excellent facilities and spacious rooms. Guests will benefit from an outdoor pool, an open-air restaurant, and a bar during their stay too! Staff at the hotel can also help arrange rentals and excursions.

The northern side of Bali is really different from the rest of the island. The climate is more foggy and rainy, therefore you can see many cloudy lakes, misty mountains, and some of the most beautiful waterfalls in Bali you’ll ever see.

Best places to visit in North Bali: Munduk Moding Plantation, Wanagiri Hidden Hill, Pura Ulun Danu Bratan, Banyumala twin waterfalls, Sekumpul waterfall , Handara gate

smart traveller to bali

Where to stay in North Bali

If you want to explore all the beauty the northern part of the island has to offer I recommend staying at least one night in Munduk ! It will be a totally different feeling to stay there compared to the rest of the island and the area is really beautiful too.

Best places to stay in Munduk

Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa

LUXURY – Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa

Munduk Moding Plantation is easily one of the most beautiful hotels in Bali. It’s famous for its infinity pool that offers striking views of the surrounding rice terraces and mountains. There are also plenty of other facilities at the hotel including an on-site restaurant, a spa & wellness center, and a bar.

Nadira Bali Villa

MID-RANGE – Nadira Bali Villa

If you’re looking for mid-range accommodation in Munduk then make sure you check out Nadira Bali Villa. With an outdoor swimming pool, a sun terrace, and an on-site restaurant – this place has so much to offer. The villas and suites are also stunning and many of them offer superb views of the surrounding mountains.

Atres Villa

BUDGET – Atres Villa

Atres Villa is just a 20-minute drive from Munduk Waterfall so is set in a great location to explore the area. This hotel also has lots of excellent facilities including an outdoor pool, a spa & wellness center, and a bar. However, the highlight of this place has to be the surrounding rice terraces!

Nusa Islands

Local people say that the Nusa Islands (Nusa Ceningan, Nusa Lembongan, and Nusa Penida) are the perfect place to see what Bali was like 20 years ago before it became a tourist hotspot.

And it’s really true: the Nusa Islands have such a raw beauty and they are (mostly) still untouched and not packed with tourists. If you’re planning to visit the Nusa Islands, you might be interested in reading my Perfect Nusa Islands Itinerary as well!

Best places to visit in the Nusa Islands: Kelingking Beach , Rumah Pohon treehouse, Peguyangan Waterfall , Angel’s Billabong, Broken Beach, Devil’s Tear, Blue Lagoon

Girl in white dress at Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida

Where to stay in the Nusa islands

Most people choose to stay on Nusa Lembongan , however, I recommend staying on Nusa Penida . Nusa Penida is the biggest and most developed of the three Nusa Islands and there are so many places to visit there that you’re gonna need the most time for this island.

Best places to stay in Nusa Penida

Adiwana Warnakali Resort

LUXURY – Adiwana Warnakali Resort

Adiwana Warnakali Resort in Nusa Penida provides adults-only accommodation with a restaurant, an outdoor swimming pool, and a bar. Each accommodation at the 4-star resort has mountain views, and guests can enjoy access to a sun terrace.

Semabu Hills Hotel Nusa Penida

MID-RANGE – Semabu Hills Hotel Nusa Penida

Perched on the quiet hills of Nusa Penida, this hotel offers sweeping views of the island and the sea beyond. Guests can take advantage of the infinity pool or try traditional meals at the on-site Asian restaurant.

Surya Maha Bungallo

BUDGET – Surya Maha Bungallo

For a budget-friendly stay in Nusa Penida, take a look at Surya Maha Bungallo. Boasting a lush garden with a stunning outdoor pool, the property offers double or twin rooms either with a garden or pool view. A daily continental breakfast is also available.

Planning a trip to Bali?

Then you might want to take a look at all our other travel guides about Bali. I promise, they are just as awesome as this article was!

Bali Travel Guides:

  • The Ultimate 2 Weeks in Bali Itinerary for First Timers
  • Top 13 Best Waterfalls in Bali You Can’t Miss
  • 14 Best Cafes in Canggu, Bali – Canggu Foodie Guide
  • The Perfect 3 Days in Ubud Itinerary for First Timers
  • 13 Best Cafes in Ubud You Have To Try

Bali Hotel Guides:

  • Where to Stay in Bali: 10 Best Areas & Hotels
  • 11 Most Instagrammable & Unique Hotels in Bali
  • 15 Magical Bamboo Houses in Bali You Can Actually Book
  • 15 Best Private Pool Villas in Ubud for Every Budget
  • Top 15 Best Airbnbs in Ubud, Bali
  • Luxury Redefined: AYANA Villas Bali Hotel Review
  • Romantic Getaway in Ubud: Kamandalu Ubud Hotel Review
  • Hotel Review: The Udaya Resorts & Spa, Bali
  • A Slice of Balinese Paradise: Wapa Di Ume Sidemen Hotel Review
  • Hotel Review: Munduk Moding Plantation Nature Resort & Spa

Nusa Penida Travel Guides:

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  • Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida: Complete Guide & Tips for Visiting
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The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for First Timers

37 thoughts on “The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for First Timers”

Breakfast in the pool? We’re in! 😉 Thanks for all of the great details! Bali somehow has not made it off of our Bucket List. Soon, though, and this is helpful!

Oh Bali is definitely the most magical place I’ve ever been to! I hope you can thick it off of your bucket list really soon 🙂

I’ve been daydreaming of Bali since Eat, Pray,Love! YouR beautiful photos have given me some serious wanderlust for the weekend! Thanks for sharing!

Thank you Anna! I really love that movie and everything it represents! Bali is still my favorite place on Earth and can’t wait to go back soon 🙂

Great and detailed guide, thanks, I will save it for future! Bali looks like a great escape from the chilly winter in Europe

Thank you Maria! Yes it definitely is 🙂 I’m also planning to go back soon, can’t wait!!

Just stunning! I so want to go to Bali and your pictures make me want to book a plane ticket right now! Love your comprehensive guide and all of your tips & hints!! They will definitely come in handy when I finally get to go 🙂

Your photos are incredible! This is extremely informative! I hope to be able to visit Bali soon, and use all of your useful tips.

Thank you so much! Bali is so photogenic, you simply can’t make a bad photo in Bali 🙂 I really hope you will be able to visit soon!

This is super useful and I just know someone heading over there, I will recommend reading this post. I have a love-hate relationship with Bali but I´m sure there are wonderful hidden corners of the island I had not yet discovered, so might be back one day. Thanks for sharing this informative post, x

Thank you so much for sharing it! Yeah I really get why you have a love-hate relationship with Bali, that’s why I usually try to wake up early in the morning and explore the places without the crowds or go to off the beaten path spots. It feels so much different this way! 🙂

Literally the best Bali Guide I have read! So much information and now I can plan my trip accordingly!

Thank you so much Dana! 🙂

O wow I wish I’d had this guide before my first trip to Bali! So well written, thank you for sharing! I will definitely refer back to this guide for my next trip 🙂

Thank you Ellie! Bali is really such a wonderful place 🙂

This is such a great guide and I love your writing style! Definitely saving this for a future trip and I love your advice about a driver!

Thank you so much Linnea, I’m so happy you liked it! 🙂

Bali looks so fun! Really hoping to visit there sometime this year ? love your photos!

Thank you Jen! Bali is such a wonderful place, I can only recommend!

Love this! Especially as I’m in Bali now! So detailed and helpful x

Aww thank you so much! I’m also in Bali now, love this island so much! 🙂

How much did you pay the driver each day to stay with you for the whole day? Or how much did you end up paying him in total and for how many days? I’m curious because I might do that too when I visit! It’s a great idea!

We typically paid around 600-800k IDR (42-56 USD) for one day depending on how far did we go from our hotel. It was a price per car so it would have been the same for 4 people but we were just the 2 of us. We were there first in October 2018 so these are the prices from that time. When we visited again in March 2020 we didn’t go for a trip so I don’t know the exact prices now but you can always ask our driver, Putu 🙂

Thank you! I am wanting to visit Bali for the first time this year and your guide is awesome!

Thank you so much for your lovely comment Julie! I hope your Bali trip will be amazing!

Thank you for this guide. Im celebrating my birthday in Bali and reading your blog is helping me to plan better. I am flying from Miami to Bali and the best deal its to one stop in Dubai for 7 hours. Do you happened to have a recommendation of what to do in Dubai for 7 hours? or better yet do you recommended a better route to get to Bali from the US? Thank you!

Hey! First of all, thank you so much for your lovely comment 🙂 Dubai is the biggest hub for travelers heading to Southeast Asia so I think that’s a great route. Honestly, since you are flying internationally, I’m not sure I would leave the airport. You need to be there at least 2-3 hours before your flight to Bali departs which leaves you a lot less time to explore, plus you need to stay on top of every regulation to be able to enter Dubai. That being said, since DXB is only a 15-minute drive from the Burj Khalifa, I’m sure I would pick that! You can go up to the top, or just stroll around the tower. You can also see the Dubai Fountain, the Wings of Mexico, and the Dubai Mall too because they are all in one place. Happy travels!

Thanks for the exhaustive guide. The longing to see this Paradise on Earth had been hidden deep in my heart for years. Might materialize this December when going to Thailand to attend a wedding. However, I am not so young or mobile now and wanted to ask you many many questions on how I should make the most of this long cherished dream come true. For instance, is there a lot of walking involved? What about people with limited mobility? Is there any way to talk to you or chat with you? How many days to keep? Will I be able to do it?? Thanks so much.

Hey! To be honest, Bali is not really a good place for people with limited mobility. For instance, most of the time there is no pedestrian walkway by the streets, most waterfalls are hidden deep inside a jungle and some beaches are also only reachable via stairs. That being said, you can still visit some incredible places that are easier to reach but you’ll definitely need to let go of many places. I recommend hiring a driver who can take care of your transportation and he can also help with questions about specific attractions.

hi , thank you sooo much for a very detail explaination. i am planning to visit bali in coming november. i am having few queries pls let me know 1. can i take my 3 yrs old child along with my wife? is it ok to travel with kid ? 2. if i planned to stay in candidisa – east bali — will it be long to go other places of bali ? will the travel time will be more ? 3. in november ending is it ok to travel ? u mentioned its rainy – is it rainy whole day ? 4. i am from india – can u give some more detail about currency usuage with indian rupees ?

Hey! Yes, you can take your kid, many people travel to Bali as a family holiday so it will be all good 🙂 Candidasa is quite far away from the main Bali attractions, it’s a great base to explore the east part of the island but I would recommend diving your time between Candidasa and one/two more central locations. Well, November is technically the start of the rainy season but it’s different each year so nobody can tell you how it will be this year. Normally it only rains a few times a day but it’s really a draw of luck. Sorry, I don’t have any experience with Indian rupees. Hope you will have an amazing trip!

Hi Your article for 1st timer is very useful. I am going in June 2023 as a 1st timer. I like the beach, so I will be staying in the southern part. I am thinking to hire a private guide for this trip as I prefer that way. My stay is about 5 days. Do you have any recommendation for me. If you have any suggestion for me, I really welcome to hear from you. Thank you

Hi Danny! I would recommend getting in touch with Putu, he works as a private driver on Bali and he is amazing! Here’s his Instagram where you can reach him: https://www.instagram.com/bali_travel_monkey/

Thank you Kriszti for the informative travel guide to Bali and for sharing amazing photos as well. Really helpful tips specially for first time travellers with family. I wonder if possible for you to share the contact details of Putu, the private driver you hired during your stay in Bali. I am planned to spend my holidays with my family in Bali next month. Thank you.

Hi Chona! Sure, you can find him on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bali_travel_monkey/

hello ms kriszti,

thank you for sharing all these travel guides for first timers, its truly very helpful; my friend ( PWD ) is going to bali this oct and we plan to hire a driver . do you still have contact with mr PUTU or any one you can recommend.

Sure, you can reach him on his Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bali_travel_monkey/

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smart traveller to bali

32 Brutally Honest Tips Before Visiting Bali For First Timers 2024 Guide

Thinking of visiting Bali for the first time and unsure if it’s going to be a holiday for you? We were in the same boat too. Having lived in Australia for over 11 years now, I can’t say I’ve ever heard good things about visiting Bali in Indonesia.

But, with Bali being so close to Australia, we decided it would be a good time to visit the notorious Indonesian island and see it for ourselves over the Christmas holidays in the rainy season.

While we were there, we made loads of notes of things that stood out for us that we wish we knew before exploring Bali. So, we hope our Bali travel tips come in handy for you before visiting this South East Asian island.

We 100% recommend getting travel insurance when visiting Bali because it’s not uncommon that many travelers need to visit a doctor or the hospital. We always book Cover More Insurance which covers us for everything.

Table of Contents

Best things about visiting Bali

In this Bali travel guide, we’re going to start off by sharing the pros for visiting Bali. The natural beauty of the island, combined with the local cuisine and yoga studios dotted around the jungle, it’s no wonder many people have an amazing time when they visit Bali Indonesia.

1. No jet lag!

visiting-bali-for-first-timers

One of the best things that stood out for us when visiting Bali is how close it is to Australia. Obviously we all know that, but sitting on a flight for just six hours and there being only a 2 hour time difference is absolute gold dust for anyone living in Australia. This meant we could start our trip straight away as soon as we landed as Ngurah Rai International Airport without feeling a bit delirious when we landed.

2. Accommodation is hard to choose because it’s all amazing

maya-sayang-seminyak-best-hotel-in-bali

We are big travellers and have visited many countries around the world. But we often don’t stay in really nice places because we want our money to stretch far on our trips. But, when it comes to Bali, the accommodation is honestly on another level.

We found it really hard to decide where to stay in Bali because all of the accommodation really is incredible. On our first night, we stayed at Maya Sayang in Seminyak and we couldn’t believe it that we had an entire villa to ourselves. We had a big private swimming pool, kitchen and lounge room with an ice cold bedroom which was beautiful.

With that in mind, make sure you check that your hotel room comes with air con because one of the final hotels we booked had more expensive rooms without aircon. We thought that was kind of weird, so just check to make sure.

The places we booked in Bali which were all amazing were the following:

Seminyak: Maya Sayang

Canggu: Villa Kano

Ubud: Menzel Hotel

Uluwatu: Gravity Hotel (adult’s only)

3. Pre-book a taxi to your accommodation

bali-drivers

I strongly recommend booking a taxi from the airport to your accommodation before you arrive in Bali. Your hotel will be happy to book but will most likely cost more than a taxi. We booked our via Booking.com for about $12 AUD from the airport to Seminyak.

The taxi drivers are really efficient in Bali and will get in touch with you via Whatsapp the day before you arrive and in the hours leading up to when you arrive. When you get to the airport, they will be waiting outside the arrivals with a sign with your name on it.

4. Understanding the how to hire a driver for the day

hiring-a-driver-in-bali

If there’s one thing everyone said to me when I mentioned we were going to Bali, everyone had a driver we could contact. Firstly I just didn’t understand what a driver really is. But, what they mean is a taxi driver. I’m not sure if public transport is something that many travelers do in Bali, but it seems everyone gets around using motorbikes or drivers.

The taxi driver who picked us up from the airport gave us a story about how he’s desperate for work, and of course we paid him more than double to take us back to the airport the following morning for our flight to Flores. In hindsight we should have bargained with him, but we had just landed and I totally wasn’t in the mood to haggle $10 or so.

5. Download Grab and Gojek

grab-gojek-bali

I had heard people talking about Grab and Gojek before, and they are basically Indonesia’s version of Uber but much more. You can get a motorbike taxi or order a car taxi from both. If you order a motorbike taxi, each person in your holiday will have to order a motorbike taxi too (you can’t order for multiple people). This means your motorbike taxis won’t turn up at the same time.

It’s also worth mentioning that you need to be careful when typing in the address of the place you want to go to. We tried to visit a temple but because there are many with almost the same name, we lost each other for about 1h30m while we ended up at different sites.

Also bear in mind that there are certain no go places in Bali for Grabs and Gojeks because of the local taxis. So if your Grab or Gojek ask you to walk a bit for them to pick you up, it’s because you’re standing next to the local taxis and they can’t pick you up from there. Gojek by the way is the cheaper one to order taxis from.

I personally wouldn’t hire a car to drive around Bali myself as we saw some tourists crash and also you have to watch out for the motorbikes. I also wouldn’t recommend hiring a motorbike unless you’re a super confident motorbike driver.

6. Buy a SIM card from Telkomsel not from XL

phone-network-bali

When we arrived at Denpasar airport, we ended up buying a mobile sim card from XL because they had no line. There’s a reasons why Telkomsel had a line because they are the most popular network to go with. XL didn’t work in Ubud or Sumba for us.

One thing to note is to get way more internet data than you think you’ll need. I tried to top up on the XL app but it wouldn’t accept any bank cards. So, on our final day, one of the staff from our hotel helped me do it and I gave her the cash.

It’s also worth noting that buying a SIM at the airport will cost you 350,000 IDR ($35) for 25GB. Our driver told us we paid $10 more than we should have for this.

7. It’s not as hot as other Indonesian islands

gravity-hotel-bali

We were expecting Bali to be super hot, but it’s actually not as hot as even Cairns is at Christmas. Sumba and Flores were way hotter and of course Ubud was hotter than by the beach areas. We were told by locals that it gets hotter in the dry season when it’s sunny.

It also surprised us not to see that much pollution in Bali. The air is much cleaner than we were expecting.

8. More Europeans than Australians visiting Bali now

pandang-padang-beach-uluwatu-bali

I was expecting to see mostly Australians in Bali, yet we just heard mostly Europeans and Brits there which definitely surprised us! Maybe it’s true the Aussies are all heading to Europe now instead?!

9. Prebook restaurants

mamasan-seminyak-restaurants-bali

We were surprised that you have to pre-book some restaurants in Bali, especially if it’s the weekend. If you’ve been to Thailand or Vietnam, Bali isn’t the same with the restaurants having plastic kids chairs out on the street. Expect to see fully Westernised restaurants in Bali which are home to healthy food, you might think you’re back in Australia!

When we were in Uluwatu, we had to wait about 1h30m to get a table at a restaurant so it really helps to plan where you want to eat out.

I feel like the food is better in Bali than in Australia, tasting fresher and better dishes. Expect to pay around $40 for breakfast for 2 and about $80 for dinner in Bali. Unsurprisingly, it’s not that easy to find proper local restaurants in the touristy areas.

10. Flower baths are absolutely amazing 

flower-bath-bali

One thing we just loved about Bali are the flower baths. It might sound random but they are the most relaxing thing ever. I watched the woman put the flower petals in the bath and she literally threw them in, there didn’t seem an art to the one we got in. She also nailed the perfect temperature for the bath as well.

But, it’s not only the flower baths, the actually bath tubs in Bali are just incredible and feel like you’re in a sunken rowing boat. Honestly, it’s the best thing in the world!

11. Book a visit to Karsa Spa

karsa-spa-bali

Talking about flower baths, you have to book a visit to Karsa Spa in Ubud. Our friends told us about this place and just wow – I think it was our favourite thing we did in Bali. This is also one of the best spas in Bali for a reason. We paid $40 each for the best one hour massage we’ve ever had, a body scrub and flower bath and it was absolutely amazing.

Be prepared to randomly pay $5 for your taxi driver to take you down to the spa. The village where the spa is, is currently charging cars to drive through. When you reach the spa, it’s in the most beautiful rice paddies. Honestly, this place is just incredible!

12. The jungle in Ubud really is incredible

ubud-jungle-views-bali

I knew Ubud would be beautiful but the jungle is exceptional here. I felt like I was walking in an ancient rainforest all the time around this area and can see why expats live here. There’s a super peaceful energy about the jungle vibes here, just a shame about the crazy traffic in the town.

13. Head to Uluwatu for the beach not Canggu

canggu-beach-bali

If you’re looking for a beach holiday, stay away from Kuta, Seminyak and Canggu and head to Uluwatu as this is the area you’ll want to be in. We heard the beaches aren’t great in Bali, but wow… we visited Canggu beach and it had dirty brown sand, and wasn’t inviting in the slightest.

14. Bata Bolong for buying stone Buddha statues 

buddha-statues-ubud

When we travelled back down from Ubud to the airpot, we passed by Bata Bolong which is home to the famous buddha statues you can buy for your home. We would have loved to spent a bit of time looking at these shops as they are pretty amazing.

15. Cover up at temples

ubud-temples-bali

Might seem obvious, but cover up when you visit Bali temples. You’ll need to have your knees and shoulders covered, but most of the entrance fees will include a sarong to borrow while you’re there.

16. Beach clubs are fun

finns-beach-club-bali

We wanted to check out one of the beach clubs because Bali is home to the biggest beach club in South East Asia. While we visited the one next door called Finns Beach Club, it’s not as intimidating as you might think. What surprised me was seeing everyone party here, including families with their grandparents!

17. Choose where to spend New Years Eve wisely

new-years-eve-in-ubud

If you’re visiting Bali over New Years like we were, I would choose where to spend New Years Eve wisely. Originally we were going to go to Finns Beach Club in Canggu or Sundays Beach Club in Uluwatu but we decided that logistically it made more sense to spend it in Ubud.

When people asked us where we were spending New Years, I could tell everyone had that look of ‘oh Ubud’ like a ‘poor you’. And to be honest, they were probably right. When we went out, the bars were dead. We found one bar that had a good live band that we had fun in the end. But if we had really known, we probably would have spent it by the beaches if we were up for partying.

We found a YouTube page called Online Bali Driver & Tours so we could get a bit of an understanding about the areas in Bali. It’s just a guy driving around on a motorbike, but I like how authentic his videos are – none are edited.

18. It’s an easy toned down version of India

spiritual-bali-pyramids-of-chi

Bali is a brilliant little island to introduce you into the South East Asia because there are so many westernised places here. While many people feel Bali is spiritual, especially in the area of Ubud, it’s a great place to start with, with more of the luxuries you’ll get back home, like food and accommodation.

The not so good things about Bali

In this guide to Bali, we’re also sharing the not so good things to know because there are quite a few that stood out for us even though it is a beautiful island.

19. Bali belly is indeed a big thing

bali-belly

You may have heard about Bali belly and unfortunately it really is a thing. Within 16 hours of being back in Bali after our trip to Flores Island, I got severely ill with really bad stomach cramps and had to spend a few days in bed. I thought it was from ice at the beach club, but it turns out the bars have to import the ice in so it could have been from a restaurant.

And while the ice has to be imported, make sure you brush your teeth with bottled water and never drink tap water. I personally wouldn’t drink hot drinks as Steve had a coffee in Sumba island and he ended up in bed for a couple of days too.

Although the food in Bali Indonesia tastes so fresh, we actually spent pretty much the entire trip eating nasi goreng (fried rice) because we thought it would be better to eat Indonesian food than western food considering how ill we got.

Tip – since we recently returned from Bali, we met a couple who lived there for two years and avoided getting Bali belly the entire time. I couldn’t believe it considering I got it within 16 hours of being there. They took dukoral before they landed in Bali and again a few weeks later and swear that was the reason they never got sick!

20. It’s like being in an Instagram shoot all day long

Bali-instagram-shoot

The main problem we found with visiting the touristy areas of Bali is that it felt like we were gatecrashing everyone’s Instagram shoots. It felt like this from the moment we got up until the moment we went to bed and it definitely took away the excitement travel usually gives us. Be prepared because it is really full on, much more than we personally saw in Italy and Greece months beforehand.

21. But the Balinese culture is evident

bali-culture

And even though the tourists in Bali are probably the worst part about visiting Bali, the culture is evident. I loved seeing beautiful temples hidden down laneways in Ubud. I also loved seeing the offerings everywhere on the streets throughout Bali and the culture definitely isn’t something that is hidden away from you.

When you see offerings on the floor, please do not step on them so just be careful where you’re walking.

22. Everywhere takes longer than Google Maps will tell you

Bali-traffic

When you’re planning your trip to Bali no matter if it’s in the rainy season or dry season, don’t take Google Maps as gospel. While the distance between Canggu and Ubud for example doesn’t look that far, the traffic will add on extra time when visiting this Indonesian island. That 1h15m drive actually took us 3 hours simply because we were sat in traffic for so long.

But, there is a way to get around it. Book a driver for first thing in the morning and you’ll cut the time down significantly because it seems the traffic doesn’t build up until after 10am.

When we were visiting Uluwatu in Southern Bali, it took us only 40 minutes to get there from the airport because we arrived early, but we had to give ourselves at least 1hr-1h30m to get back because of the traffic. Many tourists end up heading over to Gili Islands to go snorkelling or scuba diving, and Nusa Dua, Sanur Beach and Nusa Penida are super popular destinations.

You’ll also notice a trend with Bali taxi drivers. They will ask you the same questions, all trying to poach you to give them extra work. After a while it will become exhausting.

23. It’s not quite as cheap as you think it will be

bali-food

As we’ve spent a fair bit of time in Southeast Asia, we were expecting the food to be super cheap in Bali. To be honest, it’s not. While it’s obviously cheaper than Australia, the cost of eating out isn’t that cheap. We spent $40 on breakfast at a Westernised restaurant, and about $80-$100 on dinner. While you can eat local food away from the touristy areas, we didn’t expect touristy areas to be that expensive.

If you’re looking to drink alcohol, cocktails are around $12 and wine can be as expensive as $17 for a small glass of Australian wine.

24. And floating breakfasts are hard to eat 

floating-breakfasts-bali

When visiting Bali, you have to buy into the floating breakfasts because it is the ultimate Bali experience! The funny thing is they are really hard to eat at! Because the breakfast is floating on water, it’s near to impossible to eat with cutlery because the breakfast is floating. Order fruit and toast and you should be alright!

25. Always carry toilet paper around with you

visit-bali

It’s a no brainer, especially given how bad Bali belly is, but always carry toilet paper with you when you’re on a road trip to Bali. You may need to stop off in the middle of nowhere to run to the toilet so bring some toilet paper with you.

When we visited the nearby Sumba Island, we struggled to find toilet paper because they just don’t use it.

26. It’s not very walkable

walking-in-bali

It really surprised me how Bali Indonesia is actually not that walkable. While I was expecting areas to be a bit like Koh San Road in Bangkok with a strip of bars, restaurants etc, most of the places in Bali are spread out. This means you have to order taxis or hire a motorbike to get around.

It you’re especially visiting Uluwatu, you will need to hire a cab or bike to go everywhere because it’s all spread out. In Canggu, there’s no footpaths so you have to share the path with so many travelers on motorbikes which isn’t a very enjoyable walk. We gave up in the end and hailed down a cab.

27. How much do things really cost?

visiting-bali

It’s also kinda hard to know how much everything costs because they also add on 21% onto food and drinks at bars and restaurants. Read the fine print on the menu as it should say whether the tax is included in the price or not.

28. Tegallalang Rice Terrace feels like a theme park

tis-cafe-ubud

We were looking forward to seeing the famous rice terraces, and while we only visited Tegallalang Rice Terrace, it really did feel like a theme park, no matter how beautiful it is. With the ‘Love Bali’ sign, the endless amount of big swings at every restaurant lining the rice terrace, it just felt like a theme park for us and we didn’t stay too long.

Some friends of ours told us about Tis Cafe where you can use their infinity pool over looking the rice terrace when ordering food or drinks here. The pool is beautiful but get here early to secure a sun lounger.

29. Be aware of the monkey forest

monkey-forest-ubud

I had heard about the infamous monkey forest, but be careful if you go because some of our followers told us about how they got bitten and had to go to hospital to get a rabies jab. As I said, make sure you get travel insurance from Cover More here before you go.

Weirdly I was expecting to see monkeys everywhere in Ubud, yet they seem to stay in one place from what we saw.

30. Rainy season actually means rain

bali-rain

We decided to visit Bali in the wet season which is also one of the high season too because it was at Christmas, but it rained a lot. I was expecting a shower in the afternoon but it’s like a monsoon when it rains and everywhere floods.

Looking back on this, I would have booked in the dry season instead.

31. Expect people smoking or vaping at outdoor restaurants

bali-smoking

If you’re reading this Bali travel guide from Australia, you’ll probably find it weird to see a lot of people smoking in restaurants. Don’t worry too much, people only smoke in outdoor restaurants, but it surprised us as we never see smokers much anymore where we live.

32. What about the sex before marriage law?

bali-sex-before-marriage

If you’re concerned about the sex before marriage law, don’t worry too much. It doesn’t impact tourists as it’s a law for local people, no matter how crazy it really is.

We hope this guide to Bali has helped prepare you for your trip to this Indonesian island! If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below!

Thank you for sharing your Bali experience. Very helpful information as we are visiting there in 3 weeks.

Thank you for sharing! I am taking a few pointers. It will be our first visit to any part of Asia. Very excited however want to go with my eyes open. Also thank you for being really about Bali belly. Everyone says ‘don’t worry about it’, but I rather want to be prepared. We will be heading over in Sept 24.

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This Advice was last issued on Monday, 24 February 2014. It contains updated information under Local travel and Natural disasters, severe weather and climate (domestic airports in the area affected by the eruption of Mt Kelud have now reopened). We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Indonesia, including Bali, at this time due to the high threat

of terrorist attack.

My question is has anyone else got this? We know always to be careful, just curious I guess

Thanks in advance for any replies

' class=

We leave on same day as you and I haven't received anything from them. I never have before either.

Are you registered with them?

smart traveller to bali

Yes, We are going from Brisbane and I did register with them, I do that on all our overseas trips.....All I can do is wait and see if any others arrive.

Hi Walletworld77, strange, anything happening about smoke from the volcanos?

We also have received this warning today. This is probably the 4th one I have received in the last couple of months.

Nothing seems to have changed from the original warnings, just the usual be careful of terrorist activity etc and the smoke from the volcanos relates to the eruption a few weeks ago that was in the news and on websites.

All good to go as far I can see, we leave 7 March from Brisbane also.

Not that I can personally see and we travelled around a bit today. Saw lots of planes flying in as well.

Maybe a generic warning?

Somebody enlighten us!!

It's always a warning on smart traveller

' class=

I received this warning also today, I'm registed with smart traveler. I'm leaving on the 13th of march. Its hard not to worry a bit, I suppose just try and be extra careful...

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UPDATE: BALI TRAVEL CHECK-LIST Rules to enter Indonesia + Everything to prepare for a smooth arrival

February 24, 2023

UPDATE: BALI TRAVEL CHECK-LIST Rules to enter Indonesia + Everything to prepare for a smooth arrival

So, you are planning your trip to Bali or booked your tickets? Stoke levels are high! But now comes the rest... it isn’t a no brainer anymore as it was to just buy your ticket and suitcase and go. Although entry is finally possible again for foreign travelers - which is the most amazing news after 2,5 years of no international tourism for the island! - there are certain travel conditions and regulations. To make your life a little easier we made a checklist for all things you need to know, bring and do when traveling to Bali now.

Make sure to prepare well for a smooth arrival.

Important note: with the quickly changing rules and regulations for traveling to and within Indonesia - please inform with your local authorities as well. We are not responsible for any unforseen changes.

We update this Bali Travel Checklist each time we receive new updates.

Have a safe flight and have the most amazing time on the island. Make sure to share your tropical adventures with us by tagging @welikebali in your stories and posts!

1. Flight Tickets

If you arrive on Visa on Arrival make sure your return date or date that you’re flying to another country is within 60 days. 

2. Your Passport

At least valid for another 6 months.

To enter Bali you need a visa. For your vacation you need a Visa on Arrival (VOA). The VOA will cost IDR 500.000 (around 32 euros) per person (children as well). You can buy the visa when you arrive on the airport in Denpasar with cash (IDR, USD or Euro), Mastercard or Visa.

You can also apply for an eVOA before arrival with a dedicated immigration lane, eliminating much of the waiting-in-line delays. Details (including the full list of eligible countries) can be find here.

The VOA is a single entry visa and valid for 2 x 30 days. So you can stay max 60 days in total. This visa is not extendable. If you plan to stay longer than 30 days you will need an extension halfway at 30 days. You can arrange this with a local visa agent and will need to go on a specific time to the immigration office in Jimbaran for fingerprints. Note: because it's very busy at the moment at most visa agents, make sure to arrange this already a week after you arrive in Bali. 

If you plan to stay longer than 60 days, a B211A visa might be better for you. This visa you will need to apply for 10-15 days before your departure and costs around IDR 4.500.000 per person. Contact Bali Solve to arrange: WhatsApp on +62 812 37726811 (mention 'Welikebali'!). 

4. Download the Peduli Lindungi App

Before it was required to fill in the e-HAC but at the moment it's not necessary anymore. Just download the app on your phone, and they might be asking for it to show at the check-in and when arriving in Bali. 

 Fill in this form before departure and follow instructions at the customs desk.

6. Double vaccination certificate (or 1 J&J vaccination)

Bring paper based proof. Unfortunately without vaccination you currently can not enter Indonesia yet, but there are talks that this might change.

Children  under 18 can enter without proof of vaccination but must travel with a parent or guardian who meets all requirements.

Some websites state it's possible to do quarantine when not vaccinated but this is strictly only if you have a proof of medical exemption. 

Just to confirm which rules do not apply and what is not mandatory anymore;

No PCR test is needed when you arrive in Denpasar on an international flight and no quarantine booking needed. 

Officially also the insurance paper proof that COVID is covered is also not mandatory anymore when you arrive in Indonesia.

NEW: IMPORTANT NOTE

Domestic travel doesn't require a PCR test nor proof of vaccination.

smart traveller to bali

Go faster through all the checks?

You can also book a special VIP fast track service for 35 USD per person. Someone will meet you when you get out of the plane and walk with you through all the checks. They will now at this time with all the regulations collect your documents via Whatsapp before you fly out to Bali, so they have everything on hand when you arrive in Bali to get you through fast and stress free. They also collect your luggage while you can chill in the lounge area.  

We always book Mrs. Malini from Bali VIP Fast Track, you can send her a Whatsapp to book your VIP arrival on +62 82147208677.

Airport Pickup

We always advice to arrange your pick-up transfer before arriving to Bali. Book a driver for pikc-up at your first stay or contact our personal driver Pak Made via whatsapp on: +62 812-8532-1860. Make sure to always share your flight details with the driver so they can track your flight in case of delays. 

Another option is to walk outside the arrival hall and take an official Airport Bluebird taxi.

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 BALI TRAVEL GUIDE ISSUE 005

Feeling overwhelmed about where to start, where to stay, what travel route to create and how not to miss the most incredible places to explore? Our Island eGuide for the creative traveler is all you need to plan your dream vacation to Bali and surrounding islands. Consider us your hosts showing you through the best of the island, with our 13 years in Bali we know our way around!

Our Islandlife eGuide   is filled with 150 pages of everything you need to know to prepare for your trip to Bali, inspirational photography with an overview of our all-time favorite restaurants, cafes, beaches, surf spots, island stays, tropical escapes, shops, spas and tips for traveling Bali and the Gili Islands, Nusa Islands and Flores. Every place is personally visited and photographed by us.

Instant download Our Bali Travel eGuide comes as a downloadable PDF guide. Easy to bring with you on your smartphone or notebook while traveling. After completing your order, you’ll receive the download link instantly!

What's inside our Bali Guide?

  • 150 pages filled with all the Bali information, our curated spots and stays and more.
  • Everything you need to know before you go (from arrival to visa to money, the Gojek app, getting around and online, tips on traveling safe, addresses of hospitals and local doctors and more!)
  • Explaining the areas in Bali and where to go 
  • Our recommended island stays per area, from pool villas to boutique hotels, ocean view bungalows to tropical glamping, there's something for every budget. All tried, tested & loved! Includes easy links to book directly!
  • 100+ favorite restaurants and cafes
  • The most beautiful beaches you can't miss out on, best surf spots (and where to learn how to surf!) and beach clubs 
  • Where to shop, have the best massages, getting your nails done 
  • Best gyms and workout spots per area and where to do yoga
  • Our favorite addresses and tips for The Gili Islands, Nusa Lembongan, Ceningan and Penida, Flores & The Komodo Islands (including our contacts to book your boat tickets and local tour guides!)

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7 Responses

chan

March 02, 2023

Any rumors or news on releasing the 2 dose vaccinations requirement soon?

Youri

March 25, 2022

Wat als je voor je trip naar Bali, Corona hebt gehad en een herstel bewijs hebt. Is het dan nog wel mogelijk om naar Bali te komen? Kans is groot dat je met je PCR positief test.

Groet! Youri

Vivi

Hi, do we still need to do PCR on day 3 of arrival? What do we do after we have done the test, do we need to submit?

Sanne

March 24, 2022

Hoi Willemijn,

Misschien zie je dit nog. De pcr test betreft voor je vertrek. Anders wordt het natuurlijk een lastig verhaal. Daarna heb ik via mijn zorgverzekering een engelse verklaring gekregen dat ik gedekt ben voor kosten, dit was een standaard optie om aan te vragen ( ze hebben het vaker gehoord). Dit ga ik zelf meenemen! Hopelijk lees je het nog. Gr Sanne

Georgia B

March 19, 2022

Is that 2 tests 24 hours before we go? Or one test 48 hours before we go?

Thank you so much. G

Willemijn

March 18, 2022

Hi Ladies, ik vlieg volgende week weer lekker naar Bali, alles bijna geregeld. Ik heb 2 vragen waar ik niet helemaal uit kom, dus hopelijk kunnen jullie helpen.

7. PCR Test negative result 2×24 hour before departure → Wordt dan gekeken naar de Departure vanaf Nederland of vanaf de overstap op Singapore? 10. Travel insurance → Als Nederlanders zijn we natuurlijk goed verzekerd alleen ik zie nergens de medische kosten overzicht terug komen. Hoe moet ik dat bewijzen?

Sandi

Hi. Can someone please advise if the Puri Saron Seminyak hotel is CHSE certified

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Don't be Sorry

e-CD Customs Declaration Form

e-CD Customs Declaration Form

This is the  Link  for the form.

  • Form can be completed up to 3 days before arriving in Bali
  • You will receive a QR code please save it on your phone
  • Or print it out
  • One form by family is allowed

Every personal passenger goods, per person on every arrival, is granted import duties, excise, and taxes exemption of USD 500.00 on their personal goods (personal effect) that were purchased or obtained abroad and will remain in Indonesia.

Every personal crew goods, per person on every arrival, is granted import duties, excise, and taxes exemption of USD 50.00 on their personal goods (personal effect) that were purchased or obtained abroad and will remain in Indonesia.

For those who import goods for other purposes than personal use (e.g. the total amount of the goods are unusual for personal use or the goods are used for commercial purposes such as companies/store/institution/industry), are subject to import duties, excise, and taxes.

The following amount of excisable goods for personal use that were purchased or obtained abroad and will remain in Indonesia are exempted from import duties, excise, and taxes for  every adult  on every arrival :

Upon the excess of the excisable goods will be destroyed.

You are required to notify the Customs Officer if you are bringing :

  • currency and/or bearer negotiable instrument (cheque, traveller cheque, promissory notes, or bilyet giro) in Rupiah or other currencies which equal to the amount 100 million Rupiah or more, or
  • foreign banknotes which equal to the amount of 1 billion Rupiah or more.

Should you have unaccompanied baggage, please duplicate this Customs Declaration and request an approval to Customs Officer for claiming the unaccompanied baggage.

To expedite the customs services, please notify the goods that you are bringing/carrying completely and correctly in this form, then submit it to Customs Officer.

Making a false declaration constitutes serious offences which attract penalties or punishment in accordance with laws and regulations.

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Please ensure that you carefully read and understand our disclaimer. 

This website is presented by the Bali Hotels Association[BHA]. It's purpose is to share travel advice and information with the public about Bali. BHA endeavours to provide up-to-date and accurate advice on this website, However, BHA does not guarantee the accuracy, reliability, currency or completeness of any material on this or any linked site. BHA accepts no legal liability arising from or connected to any material on this website or on any linked site. Welcome Back To Bali content The information on Welcome Back To Bali, is to help travellers to Bali to make informed decisions about traveling to Bali and staying in Bali. This includes information in official destination-specific travel advisories and general advice. All travelers need to take responsibility for their travel decisions. The information on Welcome Back To Bali isn't intended to be, nor should it be relied on, as a substitute for legal or other professional advice. Users should obtain any appropriate professional advice relevant to their particular circumstances. Articles are reviewed regularly by our editorial team to ensure that the content is up to date and accurate. Please return to the site as required and subscribe to updates to ensure you have the latest advice. Links and third-party content The material on this website may include the views or advice of third parties. It also includes links to external websites. These do not necessarily reflect the views of BHA

Due to the ever-changing nature of the regulations, we strongly advise that you check with your airline before you travel.

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Best eSIM For Indonesia (Affordable Bali eSim)

Want to get an eSim for a trip to Indonesia or Bali specifically, but you’re not sure what your best options are? Then you’ve come to the right place because this detailed guide includes all the most popular eSims for Indonesia & Bali!

At A Glance: Top Esims For Indonesia

  • Our Favorite Maya Mobile
  • Competitive Prices Airalo
  • best esim with unlimited data Holafly
  • cheapest esim for indonesia Nomad
  • Esim with calls & SMS AIS SIM2Fly

You’ll see various eSim options for Indonesia here, from cheap data plans for short trips to packages that offer unlimited data eSims within Asia . Whether you’re staying in the country for a few days or at least a month, there are different eSims that will cover your needs, and you can read all about them below!

ESIM Product Comparison

Maya mobile.

One of the most competitive options for a Bali eSim is with Maya Mobile. I used to use Airalo and Nomad all the time, but since Maya has come on the market I have been using them quite often instead.

Their eSim data plans for Indonesia are some of the cheapest per GB and they have an unlimited plan for Indonesia and Asia too. So, if you plan on sitting on your phone or laptop a lot while you are there, then those are the plans for you!

What I also love about Maya Mobile is they usually use the top provider in each country. And the great news is they do in Indonesia too. Telkomsel is rated number one in the country, and they give you 5G access too! So, it’s a win-win if you ask me. The only thing better is when you have 2-3 providers so your phone switches when one network is weaker, which can happen in a place as big as Indonesia!

Here are Maya’s Indonesia eSim plans for you:

  • 1 GB – $5
  • 3 GB – $9 ($3 per GB)
  • 5 GB – $13 ($2.6 per GB)
  • 10 GB – $19 ($1.9 per GB)
  • Unlimited – $49
  • Asia/Pacific Unlimited – $59
  • Cheapest per GB
  • Uses best provider in Indonesia
  • Unlimited available
  • Only one provider (so does not switch)

Airalo is a popular Bali tourist eSim provider , with options for virtually every country in the world. The main reason why they are the top choice among most travelers is their affordably priced data packages. Airalo’s Indonesia eSim card starts at just $5.5, which is as affordable as Indonesia data plans get.

This is their cheapest data package that includes just 1 GB of data that’s valid for a week. Airalo also has a 15-day plan with 2 GB of data and four monthly plans from 3 to 20 GB.

The monthly plans go up to $40 in the price for the 20 GB one, which isn’t at all a bad deal for people who need a plan that includes a lot of data. Also, if you run out of data, you can always purchase more data either through the Airalo app or their online store.

An Airalo eSim for Indonesia provides you with access to the Telkomsel network, which is the largest operator in the entire country. They have the widest mobile network coverage, so you should have Internet access everywhere in the country, but the speeds will vary depending on your exact location.

  • Affordable prices
  • Lots of packages
  • Good customer service
  • No big packages
  • No unlimited data

Holafly is usually the best option for travelers who need unlimited mobile data, and it’s no different from their tourist eSims for Indonesia . This provider is known for offering unlimited data plans in most countries in the world, and their plans for Indonesia start at $19 for 5 days and go up to $99 for 90 days.

Holafly’s Indonesian eSim with unlimited data provides you with access to both Indosat and Telkomsel, the two largest network operators in the country. In case you don’t have the best connection with one operator you can always switch to the other, and that’s awesome for travelers who plan to explore several regions of the country, as opposed to just chilling in Bali while they’re there.

The main downside of Holafly is that they do not allow data sharing on any prepaid eSim for Indonesia. This means that you won’t be able to create a hotspot to connect other devices to the Internet, and it sucks for people who need unlimited data in order to be able to work on a laptop or tablet.

  • Unlimited Data
  • Good service
  • Expensive if you don't use a lot of data

Nomad is another popular Indonesia eSim provider, and usually, they’re a close second right after Airalo. But for an Indonesia eSim specifically, Nomad looks like the best option for most travelers because their data packages are about 25% cheaper than Airalo’s. The best part is that you still have Internet access on the Telkomsel network, which is the best operator in Indonesia.

Nomad’s eSim Indonesia data plans start at just $4 for 1 GB of data, but it’s worth noting that the 1 GB will be valid for just three days. They don’t even have a weekly plan for Indonesia; instead, you choose from plans for 5, 10, 15, 30, and 60 days.

Their 10-day Bali eSim tourist plan is a good option for travelers on a vacation in Indonesia; it’s just $13 for 5 GB of data, which should be plenty for that time period. Nomad’s Indonesia data plans go up to $240, but that’s for a two-month plan that includes a whopping 100 GB of data.

  • Cheapest eSim per GB
  • Large data plan options
  • Time periods a bit weird
  • Options sometimes confusing

AIS SIM2Fly

If you don’t need a lot of data and you want to be able to call and SMS then the Asia eSims for travelers from SIMtoFly are amazing .

They provide you with:

  • 6 GB for 8 days
  • 5G in Indonesia
  • Calls & SMS (Using a Thai number)
  • Unlimited 2G access when the 6GB is finished
  • Easy top-up with more data

The SIM2Fly eSim is for Asia, so if you are traveling around in the area, this option is even better. They support 34 countries, including Australia, Isreal, China and more.

  • Includes calls & SMS
  • 5G access in Indonesia
  • Covers 24 countries
  • Easy top-up data
  • Only one size plan

SimOptions  is an eSim provider that presents you with the best eSim and physical sim card options for any given country. Sometimes they also include their own data plan in the offer, and that’s the case with their eSim options for Indonesia. SimOptions has the Smart Traveller eSim , which includes 6 GB of data that is valid for 10 days.

For Indonesia specifically, this eSim grants you access to the XL Axiata network. It’s not the largest network operator in the country, but it has good coverage in most places throughout the region.

  • Asia multi-country package available
  • Includes calls & texts with some
  • Not the cheapest per GB

Ubigi is a great eSim provider with great deals for some countries and horrible deals for others. Unfortunately, Indonesia eSim plans belong to the other category because they are the most expensive out of all the different data plans.

This provider only has one data plan that’s just for Indonesia, and it’s $29 for 3 GB of data valid for a month. The country is included in several of its regional plans, which range from $12 for 500 MB to $78 for an annual plan with 2 GB per month.

Considering that most other providers are significantly more affordable while offering larger data allowances, I wouldn’t recommend Ubigi for an Indonesia eSim specifically. They’re still a good choice for most countries in Europe though.

  • Text & Calls included
  • 8 GB of data
  • Great combo package for travel
  • More expensive than others

Benefits of Getting an eSim in Indonesia

The main benefit of getting an Indonesia eSim is that you can always have Internet access when you need it. This is especially true for travelers who plan to explore multiple regions of the country and want to visit the more remote places, which rarely have any free WiFi coverage.

The upside of getting an eSim specifically is that you don’t have to take out your existing sim or deal with physical sim cards. You also don’t have to pay anything for data roaming, which tends to be quite expensive. eSim data plans are much more affordable than international roaming charges, and you can easily find plans that are perfectly suitable for your travel needs and Internet browsing habits.

Local Mobile Operators Offering eSims in Indonesia

Indosat Oredoo is a local mobile operator that offers local sim cards for tourists. You can get a physical Indonesia sim card or an eSim from this provider, and it might just be the best option out of the bunch because it’s dirt cheap.

Walk into any IM3 store or check out their online store to see the different  prepaid eSim options  they offer for tourists. There are quite a few of these and they start at 30,000 IDR for 3 GB of the Internet or 75,000 IDR for 20 GB of mobile data, plus a phone number, with free texts and calls on the local network.

If you’re wondering how much that is in US dollars, that’s $1.95 for the 3 GB sim card, and less than $5 for the 20 GB package. I triple-checked the conversion rate, and yes, it really is that cheap. Oh, and they’re all valid for a month.

Devices Compatible with eSim in Indonesia

All phones that support embedded-sim technology will compatible with eSims in Indonesia. This includes all iPhone devices released in 2018 and later (iPhone XR onward), Google Pixel devices from the second generation onward, Samsung Galaxy phones from the S20 series onward, and devices from a few other manufacturers.

However, not all phones released in the last 4-5 years are compatible with eSims. All iPhones are (even the SE models), but Android manufacturers don’t always include this feature in their mid-range and budget smartphones. So, if you’re not using a flagship Android as a daily driver, you should double-check whether your phone supports eSim technology.

Dial *#06# and press call to pull up a list of unique identifying numbers for your device. Look for an EID number – this is the indicator that your phone supports an eSim, and the lack of this number means you likely cannot use an eSim on your smartphone.

Data Needed When Traveling to Indonesia

How much data you need for traveling in Indonesia depends on how long you’re staying there and how you normally use mobile data. If you’re a light user and you just want to have enough data to check directions on maps, maybe look at your emails, or use social media, you should be fine with 1-5 GB for trips up to two weeks.

On the other hand, if you’re a heavy user who usually watches a lot of videos, look into the mobile data packages with larger allowances. Especially if you’re going to stay in the country for more than two weeks, and even more so if you plan to work while you’re there.

I would recommend that you look for data usage statistics in your smartphone settings, to see how much data you usually use. Keep in mind that you will likely have WiFi access as well, at least in your accommodation and restaurants/coffee shops.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can i get an esim in indonesia.

Yes, you can get an eSim in Indonesia in IM3 outlets. The shops can be found in all major tourist destinations in Indonesia, including Bali, Jakarta, Semarang, and others.

How can I buy an eSim in Indonesia?

You can buy an eSim in Indonesia in all IM3 outlets in the country. Just walk into a shop and ask for a prepaid eSim for Bali or Indonesia. You can get one for as low as $2 for a 3GB data-only eSim, or if you want to spend even more money, ask for the Freedom Internet Prime Card 20 GB for some $5.

How much is eSIM in Indonesia?

A local eSim in Indonesia can be bought for as little as $1.95. The most expensive prepaid eSim from a local operator in Indonesia is $25, and that one includes 200 GB of data!

How do I activate my eSim in Indonesia?

To activate your eSim in Indonesia, just turn on mobile data and connect to the Internet. This entails you previously adding the eSim either by scanning a QR code or manually through the phone’s settings. If you have any issues activating the eSim, you can just contact the support team and get help.

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Urgent warning for aussies travelling to bali.

Rhiannon Lewin

Gravely ill Queensland man suffering from suspicious poisoning airlifted out of Taiwan

Warnings of fake visa websites are being urgently issued to the tens of thousands of Australians who flock to Bali each month.

Authorities warn there are many websites which imitate the Indonesian government’s official website , where travellers can prepay their electronic visa on arrival (e-VOA).

Some travellers said they were charged much higher fees because they had unknowingly used an agency, which then assisted them to purchase the visa through the official site.

But others warned they had purchased visas which were not valid, leaving them no choice but to buy an official visa at the airport.

A visa on arrival can also be bought for about $50 when travellers land in Bali.

Tens of thousands of Australians flock to Bali each month.

Reports of the scam have flooded social media, with many detailing how they lost money to these fake pages.

“I haven’t slept all night as a family member sent us the (wrong) link, and we processed several applications and hence lost a lot of $,” one person posted on Reddit.

“I wished I saw this post before I clicked the website ... they charged $133.34 from my debit card. I feel ashamed. I should have known better,” another added.

Another traveller said one of the fake websites is a top result on Google when you search for an Indonesian visa.

“The website is so misleading,” they said.

“I know better but, unfortunately, my elderly family members did not.”

The Indonesian government has also started to take note of the scam websites, warning travellers to only use its official website to organise visas.

“Beware of visa scamming and illicit websites that offer to provide electronic visa on arrival (e-VOA) to Indonesia. The official website for e-VOA is https://molina.imigrasi.go.id/ ” the government posted online.

The Australian government service Smartraveller has advice for obtaining an Indonesian visa.

“You can apply for an e-visa on arrival (e-VOA) no later than 48 hours prior to travelling to Indonesia, check the e-VOA requirements from Indonesian Immigration before applying,” it said.

“The e-VOA and VOA cost IDR 500,000 (approximately $A50), with the e-VOA charging a small online processing fee.”

Smartraveller also warns travellers about the consequences of falling victim to a visa scam.

“Avoid visa scams by applying for visas using links or organisations recommended by the embassy or consulate of the country you’re visiting (and) reading the travel advice for information on entry and exit requirements before you travel,” the website says.

“If you travel on a fake visa, you may be arrested, jailed, or deported on arrival.”

You can learn more about visa scams by visiting the Department of Home Affairs .

Simon Dorante-Day has made explosive new claims about King Charles and Queen Camilla.

IMAGES

  1. Bali Smart Travels

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  2. Bali Smart Travels

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  3. Bali Smart Travels

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  4. Bali Smart Travels

    smart traveller to bali

  5. Bali Travel Tips

    smart traveller to bali

  6. Bali Visa for Australians

    smart traveller to bali

COMMENTS

  1. Indonesia Travel Advice & Safety

    Latest update: The Bali Provincial Government has introduced a new tourist levy of IDR 150,000 per person to foreign tourists entering Bali. The tourist levy is separate from the e-Visa on Arrival or the Visa on Arrival. Cashless payments can be made online prior to travel or on arrival at designated payment counters at Bali's airport and seaport.

  2. 12 things to know before going to Bali

    Lighten the load on your wallet by purchasing your repellent in Bali and opting for bug sprays made in Asia. Popular (and much cheaper) Asian brands you'll find throughout Indonesia include Soffell (snap up the surprisingly pleasant floral-scented version if you can). 5. Avoid traveling during peak times.

  3. Read Before You Leave

    The Australian Department of Health recommends women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant discuss their travel plans with a doctor. Dengue fever is a problem in Bali and according to Smart Traveller, there's been an increase in infection rates among Australians returning from the area in recent years. There's no vaccination ...

  4. Latest travel advice for Indonesia

    Latest travel advice for Indonesia . For Australians travelling in or to Indonesia. ... Australian Consulate-General Bali Bali, Nusa Tenggara Barat and Nusa Tenggara Timur. Jalan Tantular, No. 32, Renon, Denpasar - Bali 80234. Phone: +62 3 612 000 100. Fax: +62 3 612 000 195. Follow us: About us.

  5. Indonesia

    Monitor travel advisories and alerts and read travel tips from the US Department of State. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, and passport with someone at home. Pack as light as possible, and leave at home any item you could not replace. While at your ...

  6. Bali's one-stop trusted information source

    Welcome Back To Bali content The information on Welcome Back To Bali, is to help travellers to Bali to make informed decisions about traveling to Bali and staying in Bali. This includes information in official destination-specific travel advisories and general advice. All travelers need to take responsibility for their travel decisions.

  7. The Bali Bible

    We would like to show you a description here but the site won't allow us.

  8. Latest Travel Regulations to Enter Bali as of 1 December 2022

    By relaxing the travel restrictions to Bali, the Indonesian Government hopes that this move will be able to revitalize the country's tourism. On 7 March 2022, the government also applied a quarantine-free trial period and a Visa On Arrival (VOA) program for 23 selected countries. The list of countries was then extended to 42 on 22 March 2022 ...

  9. Bali reopening to tourists: Everything you need to know about travel

    If there is any doubt, the Australian Government's Smart Traveller website (smartraveller.gov.au) warns travellers to Bali: "If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival, or at any time during ...

  10. Bali Travel Regulations Update

    Accidents do happen in Bali and if you are not properly insured, hospitals and doctors will ask for cash payment and can deny treatment. Don't have a medical travel insurance? Get your medical travel insurance for Bali / Indonesia and beyond online. International Travel Insurance / Nomad Insurance / Medical Travel Insurance for 4 weeks or longer.

  11. The Ultimate Bali Travel Guide for First Timers

    So when someone says "one hundred", they most likely mean 100,000 IDR (around $6.5 US). Cash is the king in Bali, therefore you always need to carry around some cash in your pocket. You can generally pay with credit cards at most of the hotels and cafes in the urban area but you will need cash for everything else.

  12. The Official eVisa website for Indonesia

    Make Visa fee payment by SIMPONI or Mastercard, Visa or JCB credit/debit card. Once approved, a link to download the visa will be sent to your email. Electronic Visa on Arrival (e-VOA) application can be done simultaneously for 5 people. HR. Rasuna Said Blok X-6, Kav 8, Kuningan, South Jakarta.

  13. 32 Brutally Honest Tips Before Visiting Bali For First Timers 2024 Guide

    Best things about visiting Bali. In this Bali travel guide, we're going to start off by sharing the pros for visiting Bali. The natural beauty of the island, combined with the local cuisine and yoga studios dotted around the jungle, it's no wonder many people have an amazing time when they visit Bali Indonesia. 1. No jet lag!

  14. Latest update from smart traveller

    4 years ago. UPDATE FROM SMART TRAVELLER FOR AUSTRALIANS: We now advise all Australians to reconsider your need for overseas travel at this time. Regardless of your destination, age or health, if your overseas travel is not essential, consider carefully whether now is the right time. We have issued this advice for two principal reasons:

  15. Smart Traveller Advice

    Hi everyone, I am off to Bali on the 8th March and just received an advice from Smart Traveller and the latest advice says, . This Advice was last issued on Monday, 24 February 2014. It contains updated information under Local travel and Natural disasters, severe weather and climate (domestic airports in the area affected by the eruption of Mt Kelud have now reopened).

  16. Bali Travel Guide

    Bali can either be the best time of your life (which it probably will be) or it can tuen also into a nightmare. It all comes down to being a bit prepared and to understand different destinations, culture, transportation options, as well as respecting a few basic rules. Spend some time on reading our travel guide; it will help you have a great ...

  17. UPDATE: BALI TRAVEL CHECK-LIST Rules to enter Indonesia

    2. Your Passport. At least valid for another 6 months. 3. Visa. To enter Bali you need a visa. For your vacation you need a Visa on Arrival (VOA). The VOA will cost IDR 500.000 (around 32 euros) per person (children as well). You can buy the visa when you arrive on the airport in Denpasar with cash (IDR, USD or Euro), Mastercard or Visa.

  18. Smart Traveller

    Smart Traveller members can now enjoy a special rate of only USD299* for a 4-day, 3-night stay at 5 locations in Thailand and Bali with Anantara Vacation Club. Additionally, you can earn 2,500 ST Points* and receive a THB6,000 Anantara Spa Voucher*. Valid for bookings and stay to be completed by 31 Mar 2024.

  19. e-CD Customs Declaration Form

    e-CD Customs Declaration Form. Published 22 Oct 2021 Updated 14 Feb 2023 Views 915125. Applies to International Travellers. This is the Link for the form. You should complete before landing in Bali. Form can be completed up to 3 days before arriving in Bali. You will receive a QR code please save it on your phone. Or print it out.

  20. Best eSIM For Indonesia (Affordable Bali eSim)

    Airalo. Airalo is a popular Bali tourist eSim provider, with options for virtually every country in the world. The main reason why they are the top choice among most travelers is their affordably priced data packages. Airalo's Indonesia eSim card starts at just $5.5, which is as affordable as Indonesia data plans get.

  21. Urgent warning for Aussies travelling to Bali

    Advice. The Australian government service Smartraveller has advice for obtaining an Indonesian visa. "You can apply for an e-visa on arrival (e-VOA) no later than 48 hours prior to travelling to Indonesia, check the e-VOA requirements from Indonesian Immigration before applying," it said. "The e-VOA and VOA cost IDR 500,000 (approximately ...