Bali: FAQs



What is the electrical currency/outlet in Bali?
Bali utilizes the standard British plug (two flat blades and one flat grounding blade) and the European plug (two round pins) and is at 230V. Adapters will be necessary if you are taking any electrical items. Here is more info about the specific adaptor needed.

Should I pay for international cell phone service?
No. This can be very expensive, and most who travel to Bali use another much cheaper option: When you arrive in Bali, you may procure a Balinese Nokia Cell Phone, charger & sim card for around $30 US. All of the cab drivers in Bali text and will come pick you up at your behest. Having a phone is a nice way to have the Alchemy staff at your fingertips while you are enjoying free time in town.

If you’d like a little more freedom during your trip to wander on your own, this is an excellent option to consider. Your shuttle driver can help you to find & buy a phone upon arrival if you ask.

Is there internet access at the hotel?
Yes, there is wi-fi on the property.

Is Bali Safe?
Yes, Bali boosts a very low crime rate, most crime impacting foreign visitors is petty theft.

Can I drink the water?
No, do NOT drink from the tap.

What will the weather be like?
Because of it’s equatorial location, Bali tends to have fairly stable weather with the ‘wet’ season occurring between mid November and April and the ‘dry’ season between May and October. It is generally always hot with temperatures hovering in the mid to high 80s and up.

Body language: it is rude to point with the index finger. Use, instead, your thumb and always your right hand (left is seen as impure). The head is seen as sacred, so avoid patting children’s heads, and refrain from displaying the bottoms of your feet (also seen as impure). Talking with your hands on your hips is a sign of contempt, anger or aggression.

Hospitality: handshaking is customary for greetings (again, use only the right hand). A common method when greeting in passing is to press your palm to your friend’s palm in front of your chests, fingers point upwards.

I am sorry. Learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).

Will I need to ‘dress’ for dinner?
The dress code is completely up to you. It is warm well into the evenings so dress for your comfort. There is no ‘dress code’ in this relaxed atmosphere. Normally you’ll find Silvia wearing a dress.

How do I book an optional excursion?
All excursions can be booked at any time during your stay. If there is something that you know you absolutely MUST experience while in Bali, it’s best to book early in the week to avoid disappointment.

Learn more about money in Bali, here: 

What is the Balinese national currency?
The Balinese currency is rupiah, and currently 14,410 rupiah = 1 US dollar. It’s important to note the difference between a 10,000 rupiah note and a 100,000 rupiah note as they are easy to confuse.

Can I use my credit card in Bali?
While many retailers do accept US credit cards, it is advisable to bring cash to change over into local currency. There are plentiful ATMS in Ubud if you should need more cash.

Where can I change my money?
The best rate of exchange will be in town (NOT at the airport) and your shuttle driver can stop to help you change money before coming to the resort, or we can assist you once you are on site. You will need cash for taxis around town, tips, spa services outside the hotel (plentiful & inexpensive) and market shopping.

We generally change over a SMALL amount at the airport ($50 or so) and do the rest in town. However, most of you are being picked up directly from airport to town so won’t need any.

DON’T exchange for Indonesian Rupiah outside Bali
The differences between the buying and selling rates for IDR outside of Indonesia are ridiculously huge, so you are losing out big time no matter which direction you exchange in. Exchange your money when you get to Bali or use ATMs to simply withdraw cash in local currency there. Best is to bring US $100 bills for best rate of cash exchange to Rupia. You get less for smaller bills.

DON’T get confused by all those zeros on the money
If you’ve ever wanted to know how it feels to be a millionaire, all you need to do is exchange $100. Seeing all those zeros on the bills can get a little confusing and make you feel like you’re dealing with Monopoly money. I found myself mentally subtracting 3 zeros from all the bank notes and any prices I saw on menus, etc. A fair number of shops and restaurants also cut off the last 3 zeros from their list of prices to make it cleaner to read.

How much spending money should I bring?
Bali is very inexpensive once you arrive, and your expenses are covered with your investment. However, if you want t explore some of the beautiful cuisine in Ubud on your own (see the newsletter we sent yesterday) you can expect to pay $3-$8 per person for lunches and $5-$15 for dinners at many places.

That said, here are a few items to consider when planning how much money to bring.

  • Massages: $8-$38 depending on treatment
  • Shopping is plentiful in Ubud: bring money for gifts!
  • Cab fare: $10 round trip to go into town by car by from the hotel, or you can walk
  • Scooter rental: $5 per day, or $25 per week (prices subject to change)

Do I need to pay an exit tax?
Yes, the Departure Tax for Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport (aka Denpasar Airport) is 200,000 rupia. Keep that ready for when you leave.

DON’T leave a tip
I don’t mean to say that you should never leave a tip on Bali, but check the menu and the bill carefully first. Most restaurants add a 10% tax and a service charge of anywhere from 3-10% to the bill. As a matter of principle I don’t leave a tip at any restaurant that adds a service charge. A lot of Americans have a habit of over-tipping when they travel in Asia because they’re so used to doing it at home—where it’s a necessity to compensate for the below minimum-wage cost-of-labor loophole that the restaurant industry has created for itself.


Do I need a visa to visit Bali?
Yes, depending on your nationality. U.S. passport holders will need to show a passport valid for six months after the arrival date in Bali, a return ticket and $00USD for a 30 day visa or $35 for 60 day visa.

Do I need any inoculations?
Generally speaking, traveling to foreign countries exposes you to new germs and diseases. All inoculations inquiries need to be directed to your physician for an accurate assessment of your individual need or preference.

What are some handy words to know?

Good morning: Selamat pagi
Good mid-day: Selamat siang
Good evening: Selamat malam
Good-bye: Selamat tinggal (if you’re leaving)/Selamat jalan (someone is leaving you)
Yes: Ya No: Tidak
Thank you: Terima kasi
You’re welcome: Kembali or sama-sama
How are you?: Apa kabar?
What is this / that?: Apa?
Very good: Baik juga!
Please: Silakan Careful: Hati-hati!
One more: Satu lagi Finished: Habis
Bill, please: Minta bon
Excuse me: Permisi or ma’af
Doesn’t matter: Tidak apa-apa (Note: letter ‘c’ pronounced as ‘ch’)
Do you speak English: Bisa bicara Bahasa Inggris?
I don’t speak Indonesian: Saya tidak bisa bicara bahasa Indonesia.
I don’t understand: Saya tidak mengerti.
Where are you from?: Dari mana?
I am from America: Saya dari Amerika.
How long have you been in Bali?: Sudah lama di Bali sini?
I have been in Bali for…: Saya sudah di Bali…..
What is your name?: Siapa nama anda?
My name is….: Nama saya……..

What time is it?: Jam berapa?
Where are you going?: Ke mana? Turn left / right / straight / stop: Belok kiri / belok kanan / terus / stop
Where is the bathroom?: Di mana kamar kecil? Where…?: Di mana? kantor pos = post office kantor polisi = police station toko = shop bank = bank kamar saya = my room WC (way-say) = toilet kamar mandi = bathroom Currency / Exchange Rate: $1 US dollar = 8,675 IDR (Indonesian Rupiah)
Can you help me?: Bisa bantu saya?
I want…: Saya mau…
I want this: Saya mau ini.
I would like: Saya minta
I don’t want it: Saya tidak mau
Do you have?: Ada?
I like: Saya suka
How much / many?: Berapa?
How much?: Berapa harga?
Too expensive: Terlalu mahal
Cheap: Murah

Counting 1 = satu 2 = dua 3 = tiga 4 = empat 5 = lima 6 = enam 7 = tujuh 8 = delapan 9 = sembilan 10 = sepuluh More Numbers 11 = sebelas 12 = dua belas 13 = tiga belas 18 = delapan belas 20 = dua puluh 21 = dua puluh satu 22 = dua puluh dua 30 = tiga puluh 57 = lima puluh tujuh 100 = seratus 104 = seratus empat 135 = seratus tiga puluh lima 200 = dua ratus 1000 = seribu 2500 = dua ribu lima ratus 10 000 = sepuluh ribu 15 576 = lima belas ribu lima ratus tujuh puluh enam 1 000 000 = satu juta 3 500 000 = tiga juta lima ratus ribu

Silvia Red Dress Agung