Like most of Indonesia, Bali also has two main seasons; the wet season and the dry season. The dry season lasts from June to September and the rest of the year is the 'wet season', ranging from sporadic rains to spectacular storms. While the wet season does bring more rain, it is likely that you will still be able to enjoy most of the day in the sun as it usually rains for only a period of time before stopping. The rain is a welcome break tot he relentless humidity however can also interupt any planned excursions due to its unpredictability.
It is also advisable to avoid major local holidays such as Eid (known locally as Lebaran) and over Christmas and New Year due to traffic congestion, and huge crowds at popular tourist spots. Many shops also close for the duration of the Eid festivities.
New Year - 1 January
Chinese New Year - mid-February
Hindu New Year (Bali Official Day of Silence) - 16 March
Galungan Festival - 12 May
Indonesian Independence Day - 17 August
Local Shared Holidays - weekdays surrounding Indonesian Eid (changes yearly)
Local Shared Holiday - 24 December
Do not use your left-hand to shake hands, pass or accept items. It is also considered rude to direct the soles of your feet as another person or any religious icons. Public displays of affection or anger are considered vulgar. Many of the villages outside of the main resort areas may require more conservative dress - if you are unsure, wear light clothing which covers your shoulders and legs (particularly women) to avoid causing offense. It would certainly not be acceptable to wear a bikini or swimwear only, outside of the beach or your hotel pool. You may encounter Eastern-style or squat toilets in more traditional accomodation or some smaller tourist venues, so carry tissue paper with you.
Bahasa Indonesia is spoken throughout Bali, and Indonesia as well. Balinese is also spoken, although not as common as Bahasa Indonesia, and the two languages are quite different linguistically. You may also encounter several dialects of these two languages. English is used throughout the major resorts however it is polite to learn a few Bahasa Indonesia words before you travel.
While smoking is acceptable in Bali, there is a ban on smoking on public transport in Bali. Visitors should observe this, even if the locals often do not, to avoid falling into trouble with the law. You should always pass a lit cigarette with the lit end in your palm as it is offensive to point the lit end at other people.
A service charge of 10% is usually added to restaurant bills. If no charge is added, a gratuity of between 5% and 10% would be appreciated though not necessarily expected. Tipping taxi drivers and other service personnel is recommended. However, keep the amount at a reasonable level. As the currency of Indonesia has a tendency to be erratic, it is wise to check the relative values of the rupiah on a daily basis.
As with any tropical area, Malaria is a risk if you venture beyond the main tourist resorts and into more rural areas. To avoid mosquito bites, wear light-fabric loose clothing after dark which covers your legs and arms, and ensure your hotel bed has a moquito net. You should also consider getting vaccinations for Tetanus and Rabies before travelling in case of any scratches or bites while you are not within reach of a reputable medical facility. Always avoid contact with any wild animals, including local dogs and cats.
It is not uncommon to experience stomach trouble when visiting a new country, particularly those where the food is quite different to what you are used to. Avoid uncooked food or food which has become cold, and always drink tap water or water which has been boiled first. Ice cubes should also be avoided if they have been made using tap water.
Although the terrorist attacks on Bali occured several years back (in 2002 and 2005), most government authorities caution against visiting Bali. While it is usually wiser to err on the side of caution, Bali has not had any recent issues with terrorism. It would be sensible though to try to avoid crowded tourist venues, such as nightclubs and high streets, as they are usually targeted for attacks, and to not partcipate in or observe any protests.
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The InterContinental Bali Hotel and Resort offers the best in Bali hotel accommodations for visitors to this stunning Indonesian resort. The InterContinental Bali Hotel and Resort's range of amenities will suit the needs of both the business traveller...
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