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*[[Legian]] — located between [[Kuta]] and [[Seminyak]]; also the name of Kuta´s main street
*[[Lovina]] — beautiful black volcanic sand beaches and coral reefs
*[[Sanur]] — sea-side resorts and beaches popular with older families
*[[Seminyak]] — quieter, more upscale beachside resorts and villas just to the north of Legian, with some fashionable upscale restaurants and trendy designer bars and dance clubs
The word "paradise" is used a lot in Bali and not without reason. The combination of friendly, hospitable people, a magnificently visual culture infused with spirituality and (not least) spectacular beaches with great surfing and diving have made Bali Indonesia's unrivaled number one tourist attraction. Eighty percent of international visitors to Indonesia visit Bali and Bali alone.
The popularity is not without its flip sides—once paradisiacal [[Kuta]] has degenerated into a congested warren of concrete, touts and scammers extracting a living by overcharging tourists. The island's visibility has also drawn the unwanted attention of terrorists in 2002 and 2005; however Bali has managed to retain its magic. Bali is a wonderful destination with something for everyone, and though heavily travelled, it is still easy to find some peace and quiet, if you like.
A consideration is the tourist season and Bali can get very crowded in
With its truly unique culture, Bali has inevitably been the subject of much attention from anthropologists, both amateur and professional. At a more informal level, much has been written about the island by interested visitors and artists in particular, some of whom made Bali their home. The following is a short list of such reading that would benefit any visitor before and during their visit to the island.
* ''Island of Bali'' (Periplus Classics Series), Miguel Covarrubias (author), Adrian Vickers (editor). When the Mexican artist Miguel Covarrubias wrote his outsider's impression of Balinese life and culture in 1937, he surely could not have imagined that well into the next century his work would still be considered the most authoritative text on the subject. Absolutely ''vital'' reading, and it is astounding how little has changed in Bali since the time this book was written. More on Covarrubias' time in Bali, including his wonderful paintings, can be found in the coffee table book ''Covarrubias in Bali'' (EDM Books) by Adrian Williams and Yu-Chee Chong.
* '''AirAsia''' ''LCC'' [http://www.airasia.com/] from Kuala Lumpur <small>(''operated by (AK) AirAsia Malaysia and (QZ) Indonesia AIrAsia'')</small>, Singapore, Perth, Darwin <small>(''operated by (QZ) Indonesia AIrAsia'')</small>, Bangkok <small>(''operated by (FD) Thai AIrAsia'')</small>
* '''Cathay Pacific''' [http://www.cathaypacific.com/] from Hong Kong
* '''China Airlines''' [http://www.china-airlines.com/] <small>(''code share Garuda Airlines'')</small> from Taipei
* '''Eva Air''' [http://www.evaair.com/] from Taipei-Taoyuan
Immigration procedures for Indonesia require six months remaining validity and several empty pages in the passports of arriving foreign tourists. The incident caused uproar and prompted the intervention of then Vice-President, Jusuf Kalla, who insisted the culpable immigration officer be fired.}}
A new International terminal is
The adjacent island of [[Lombok]] also has a new international airport and in the near future it is likely to be able to assist in balancing the incoming traffic load by reducing some of the onward destination traffic currently arriving in Bali. The new airport in Lombok also provides a nearby safe alternative landing site for wide-bodied aircraft in case of any emergency.
A new Trans Sarbagita government bus service operates on Bali since August 2011 [http://blog.baliwww.com/bali-news-events/30816]. The buses are comfortable, air-conditioned (similar to Transjakarta Busway but even more spacious), and the fare is only Rp 3,500. These buses stop only at permanent elevated bus stops built on the road curb. As of June 2012, only Route 2 was operating (Route 1 and Route 3 are planned to be open soon).
The buses serving Route 2 start from Batubulan bemo terminal, go via Jalan Bypass Ngurah Rai (stopping in [[Sanur]] on the way) and
Metered taxis are very common in southern Bali as far north as [[Denpasar]] but few and far between elsewhere. The starting flagfall charge is Rp 5,000 for the first two kilometres and the meter ticks up Rp 5,000 per km after that. Waiting time is charged at Rp 30,000 per hour. Trips outside southern Bali will incur an extra charge of 30%, as the driver has to go back empty.
By far the largest and most reliable taxi company is '''Bali Taksi/Blue Bird'''; they have a telephone call service ☎ +62 361 701111 for both instant taxis and for advance bookings. If you are hailing a taxi on the street, Bali Taksi cars are sky blue with a white top light. The cars are modern and the drivers well-informed with a decent level of English-language ability. There are several other reliable taxi companies but these are not always easy to identify. If entering a taxi with no working meter, you can negotiate a price if you know how to bargain. Alternatively, always insist on the meter being turned on, and leave the taxi if that request is not met.
If day-tripping, it is often cheaper and more convenient to arrange for your taxi to wait and take you back.
Rental car services owned by individuals or companies are easy to find in Bali and this is the best option for first time visitors. Using a rental car with a driver is certainly cheaper than taxis and far more efficient than using other public transportation. The drivers are usually English-speaking and they can also act as informal tourist guides recommending good destinations and restaurants. Choosing to rent from a large car company is naturally more expensive than sourcing from a private individual. Ask hotel staff to recommend a good individually owned rental car with a knowledgeable driver.
Price varies between Rp 300,000 to 600,000 per day (usually defined as 10 hr) depending on your negotiation skills and the class/age of the car. Make sure the price includes petrol and driver for the day. Petrol costs, after the removal of some government subsidies in recent years, have escalated dramatically (although still very cheap by international standards) and the distance travelled is a factor if you have not fixed a daily price.
[[Image:Spa oils.jpg|300px|thumb|right|The scented oil menu at a spa in [[Sanur]]]]
Bali is a paradise for [[spas|spa]] lovers, and all sorts of treatments are widely available. The Balinese '''''lulur''''' body scrub with herbs and spices—traditionally performed before a wedding ceremony—is particularly popular. '''Balinese massage''' is usually done with oil and involves long, Swedish-style strokes. In steep contrast to exorbitant western massage fees, Balinese massage is incredible value, and visitors should definitely avail themselves of this luxury. In local salons, a one-hour full body massage will cost between Rp 70,000 and 100,000, and the 2 hr ''mandi lulur'', which incorporates a body scrub and hydrating yogurt body mask in addition to the massage, will cost about Rp 150,000. The curiously named '''creambath''' is a relaxing scalp and shoulder massage, usually lasting 45 min, in which a thick conditioning cream is worked through the hair and into the scalp. A creambath typically costs about Rp 60,000. Note that these same services in an upscale hotel will cost many times more.
Bali is host to some of the finest '''yoga''' and well-being centres and retreats in the world. You can find an abundance of amazing yoga classes to suit all levels in most of the tourist areas. Look for the best yoga centres in [[Ubud]] and [[Seminyak]]. Bali is also now home to a number of renowned yoga teacher training centres. Good local resources for finding the best include "Bali spirit and "SBC Yoga Teacher Trainings" [http://www.balispirit.com/] and [http://sbcyogateachertrainings.com/?page_id=41]
'''Weddings in Bali''' [http://www.romanticbaliwedding.com] offers much more than you expect, gorgeous beaches, stunning sunset, views of nature and its heritage in culture. While the increase in the cost of wedding at home, the affordable of weddings in Bali make it the perfect destination for you to have your very special day. Special thing to be remembered for a lifetime.
An excellent way to get to know and understand more of the country is to do some '''volunteer work'''. There are organisations that arrange work for international volunteers in Bali and other places in the region.[http://www.volunteerbali.org/]
There are many interesting '''[[scuba diving]]''' sites around Bali. Particularly popular are the wreck of USAT ''Liberty'' at [[Amed|Tulamben]] in the east, the chilled out coral bommies in [[Padang Bai]], the serene reefs around [[West Bali National Park|Menjangan Island]] in the northwest, and dramatic drift diving off [[Nusa Penida]] in the south. Bali is a major teaching centre, and there are numerous reputable dive centres around the island affiliated with PADI and SSI.
[[Image:Padang-Padang_Beach.jpg|300px|thumb|right|Padang-Padang Beach - one of Bali's top surf spots]]
'''Padang restaurants''' are a good choice for both the budget-conscious and those visitors wishing to experience authentic Indonesian (but not Balinese) cuisine. These are usually marked with a prominent ''masakan padang'' sign and serve [[Padang#Eat|food from Padang]], Sumatra. The options are usually stacked on plates in the window, you choose what you want and it is served with steamed rice. The most famous Padang speciality is ''rendang sapi'' (spicy beef coconut curry) but there are always a number of chicken, fish, egg and vegetable options. Padang food is always ''halal'' and you will eat well for Rp 15,000-20,000.
* '''pelecing paku'''- Fern tips with shrimp paste and lime
The Balinese have nothing against a drink, and alcohol is widely available.
Indonesia's most popular beer is the ubiquitous '''Bintang''', but the cheaper '''Bali Hai''' is nearly as widespread. Bintang is a fairly highly regarded classic light Asian beer, but Bali Hai is a rather bland lager, and despite the name it's actually brewed in a suburb of Jakarta. The Bali-based microbrew '''Storm''' is available in several different flavors, and the pale ale is especially good. The other local beer is '''Anker''', and both '''Carlsberg''' and '''San Miguel''' are brewed locally under license. A wide range of more expensive imported beers are available. Beer is relatively expensive in local terms, though still cheap by western standards; at Rp
Bali produces its own wines, with '''Hatten''' [http://www.hattenwines.com/] being the oldest and most popular brand, available in white, red, rose (most popular) and sparkling varieties. Quality is inconsistent, but the rose is usually OK and massively cheaper than imported wines, which can easily top Rp 300,000 per bottle. Wine aficionados are better off bringing their own bottle in with them. Most restaurants will let you bring your own bottle and some will charge a modest corkage fee. Smaller establishments likely will not have a corkscrew, so bring your own!
Bali's traditional hooches are '''arak''', a clear distilled spirit that packs a 40° punch; '''brem''', a fermented rice wine sold in gift shops in attractive clay bottles that are much nicer than the taste of the stuff inside; and '''tuak''', a palm 'wine' which is often served at traditional festivities. Visitors should be ''extremely'' careful about where they purchase arak, as there have been a number of serious poisoning cases and even some deaths involving tainted arak.
Tap water in Bali is not drinkable, but bottled water is universally available and extremely inexpensive (Rp
Very cheap (about Rp
*<sleep name="W Retreat & Spa Bali - Seminyak" alt="" address="Jl. Petitenget, Seminyak, Bali, Indonesia" directions="Seminyak" phone=""
For an extended stay, it is worth considering a long-term rental, which can be as low as US$4,000 per year. Restaurants, shops and bars frequented by Bali's sizable expatriate community, particularly in [[Seminyak]], [[Sanur]] and [[Ubud]], are good places to find information about long-term rentals. Look for a bulletin board with property advertisements tacked up or pick up a copy of the local expat biweekly publication, ''The Bali Advertiser'' [http://www.baliadvertiser.biz/]. Remember that with a year-round tourism trade, villas that have everything right are usually available for more lucrative short-term rental only. Long-term rental houses tend to be older and not as well maintained. If you are willing to be flexible, though, you can find nice house options over a wide range of budgets.
== Stay safe ==
Take care in restaurants and bars; although it is very rare nowadays, some may use untreated/unsafe tap water to make ice for drinks otherwise made with clean ingredients. Tap water in hotels should not be used for drinking or brushing teeth unless explicitly labelled as safe.
Both drink ''adulteration'' with methyl alcohol (methanol) and drink ''spiking'' in bars and clubs is not uncommon in Bali. Sensible precautions should be taken when buying and consuming beverages.
The HIV infection rate in Bali is increasing, mainly amongst sex workers of both genders and intravenous drug users. If you engage in any risky activity, always protect yourself.