YTT | Bali: FAQs


Getting To Bali

Here are helpful instructions to make your travels to Bali more easeful.

• What airport do I fly into?
Make all travel arrangements into Denpasar (DPS). Please be aware that you will need to depart the US one to two days before the start of the retreat, depending on the flight schedule you chose. The international airport code for Denpasar, Bali is DPS.

• Will I be picked up at the airport?
Yes an airport pick up will be arranged from Denpasar airport Bali to Soulshine. This cost is included to and from the airport as part of your investment.

• What kind of Visa do I need? A 30-day ($35 USD) tourist visa (often referred to as a Visa On Arrival, since you can get it when you land at Denpasar International Airport) is required to enter Bali.

• 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 $35USD (in exact change) for a 30 day visa.

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

Here are some GENERAL little tidbits to file away:
· There is free wi-fi at Denpasar airport
· Denpasar airport is about one hour from Ubud where we’ll be staying
· If you like your cocktails (eg vodka drinks, rum drinks) buy a bottle at duty free as you travel. The local stuff is not recommended, and the premium stuff is expensive. The government applies up to a 300% TAX! Same goes for wine drinkers. Balinese wine is not tasty. Beer people? You are fine Bintang is awesome! Here is a link What to Drink in Bali.

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.

Is there internet access on property?
While we hope you’ll try and unplug… yes, there is wi-fi on the property.

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.

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 the retreat 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.

How much spending money should I bring?
Bali is very inexpensive once you arrive, and your retreat 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 resort
  • Scooter rental: $5 per day, or $20 per week (prices subject to change) – JIM AND I WILL SHARE A SCOOTER FOR THE WEEK if you want to go around together.
  • Bike rental: FREE at the hotel
  • Shuttle to Town: FREE from the hotel 10am to 10pm, every 2 hours

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 Bhuwana resort and Alchemy Tours 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.


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 $35USD for a 30 day visa.

How do I get from Denpasar to the retreat?
Transfers are included via private transport. If you have any questions regarding your arrival time and transportation availability, please contact Alchemy Tours ( before booking.

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


When in doubt just in case you find yourself not knowing the etiquette learn how to say ‘ma’af sekali’ (very sorry).

Daily Etiquette
1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Visitors: always welcome with refreshments, but refrain from eating or drinking until host says ‘silakan’ (please begin). When eating with hands, first wash hands, then use right hand only. Sandals and shoes may be left outside the entrance the home.

4. What to Wear: When visiting rural villages, skimpy attire is not considered appropriate.

5. Bargaining: in a Balinese market, haggling over price is not considered impolite, but be pleasant. Bali is not one of those places where making an agitated display of negotiations is considered part of the process. Smile, and insist on the price you want to pay, and if they refuse your price, smile, say ‘thank you’ (terima kasi) and walk away.

6. Public affection: touching between members of the same sex is seen as friendship affection, but affection between members of the opposite sex is seldom seen in public.

Temple Etiquette
1. For BOTH men and women, when entering a temple, wear a sarong around the waist.
2. Please ask permission before taking pictures.
3. Please avoid pointing the soles of the feet towards the shrines if sitting on the ground.

Basically, the Balinese only have four first names:
-First child: Wayan or Putu
-Second child: Made or Kadek
-Third child: Nyoman or Koman
-Fourth child: Ketut
-Fifth child: Start over with Wayan or Putu, and so on….

Balinese Social Structure
Balinese follow the caste system, and there are four castes in Balinese society. Intermarriage between castes is prohibited.

BRAHMANA – priests, scholars
KSATRYA – warriors, nobility
WEISYA – merchants
SUDRA – farmers, laborers (primary population)

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