A Traveler’s Guide to Bali, Indonesia
Probably one of your much-coveted profile pictures on Facebook is that shot amidst the emerald-hued Bali rice field or at the long stretch of Seminyak’s sandy beach. Oh yes, every traveler is dreaming of that Bali trip – a chance to get out of the fast-paced Manila life and coddle in Bali’s beautiful blue lagoons, plunging sea cliffs, and iconic temples. We know how hard you fret over that seat sale to Indonesia, so we've crafted this guide for you.
Where is Bali?
Bali is a province in Indonesia that includes small neighboring islands of Nusa Lembongan, Nusa Penida, and Nusa Ceningan. Bali houses the heart of Hindu in the country influencing all that makes it the world’s top destination in 2017. Today, Bali showcases distinct architecture, sacred temples, fun nightlife, serene mountain views, and hospitable locals.
How do I get there?
You can reach Bali by air from Manila for around Php5,000, landing you to Indonesia’s 3rd busiest airport – Bali-Ngurah Rai. Before booking, you need to know that May to June is the best time to visit the province since the annual rains have stopped and peak season is yet to come by July and August.
Before travelling, you can check for rates from banks or currency exchange bureaus. Bali’s currency is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR). At present, Php1 is equivalent to IDR270. The prices are volatile and may change from time to time. It pays to do research on how to get the best currency exchange values to make the most out of your money.
Do I need travel insurance?
Far-flung Bali is Indonesia’s most famous tourist destination. You might think of it as paradise as it projects 6.5 million foreign visits in 2019. Whilst the beauty of sun, sand and beach are extremely attractive and inviting, one must also be prepared for the reality of going to a foreign place and the unknown.
You can choose a group travel insurance package so you and your friends will be protected
Did you know that monkeys in Bali are sometimes extremely aggressive? People have been known to have suffered deep cuts and there is a possibility of getting rabies if they actually scratch you. Without travel insurance, the cost of getting medical treatment will have to be borne by the traveler.
Then there is safety on the beaches. Bali’s beaches are susceptible to dangerous rip-tides, under-tows, bad sunburns and unfortunately, theft of personal effects. When on holiday no one ever thinks that anything bad will happen but unfortunately, these things do happen and they happen regularly.
Bali’s waves are world-renowned as the perfect avenue for surfing, snorkelling, scuba diving, rafting, stand-up paddle, fly-boarding, and sea walking. Some travel insurance providers such as products offered by STARR provide coverage for amateur sports activities which will ensure you are covered in case you suffer an accident that requires emergency medical attention.
There are also some reports from tourists who were having a great time enjoying the big waves in Nusa Island without knowing they are about to lose their valuables and cash. In this case, travel insurance with repayments on lost baggage and personal belongings can be very helpful in easing your experience.
Depending on your needs, you can secure your trip with various STARR’s Travel Insurance Plans. STARR offers an Essential Individual Plan which costs about Php520 per person for 6-days assuming two people travel together. Another option is STARR Extra Family Plan which provides coverage for the entire immediate family (up to 10 people) and better benefits which cost about PHP 2,300 for 6-days for the entire family. International travel insurance coverage from STARR includes a benefit for accidental death, emergency assistance, baggage delay, repatriation, personal liability and loss of credit card.
You may also choose STARR’s Annual Travel Insurance for worldwide and domestic travel. With this package, you are protected for accidental death, hospitalization, trip cancellation, and even emergency medical evacuation. So, when planning your Bali trip, make sure one of the items on your “To-Do List” is to purchase STARR’s travel insurance packages before you depart so you can truly have peace of mind and totally enjoy your holiday.
No one ever thinks that anything bad will happen when one goes on holiday. But, for just a few hundred Pesos, doesn’t it make sense to buy travel insurance so that you are adequately protected from the unknowns which can ruin your holiday?
Places to visit in Bali
Bali is a vast island teeming with adventure. You might need at least three days to make the most out of your trip. The island is rich in attractions, and we guarantee that you’ll never run out of things to do and places to go:
1. Kuta Beach is considered as Bali’s most famous sandy destination, Kuta Beach used to be a fishing village. Over the years, beachcombers have transformed it into the country’s surfing capital. Backpackers can enjoy vertical bungees and waterslides in the morning and nightlife in a wide range of clubs nearby.
2. Uluwatu Temple is located at a magnificent clifftop setting. According to legends, the temple protects Bali from evil spirits, and the monkeys that live near the entrance serve as guards. Although only Hindu worshippers are allowed to enter it, the view is already a breathtaking advantage to visitors.
3. Jatiluwih and Tegallalang Rice Terraces are best destinations for photographers and nature-lovers who want to go beyond the blue scenic water spots. It is a short drive from Ubud and is composed of fantastic rice terraces that create a pattern of greeneries. If you plan to go there, make sure you have small change for entrance fees and donations. The locals can be very welcoming, but a little tip could compensate for their hospitality. Try to go there early in the morning to escape the heat and the crowd.
4. Pura Ulun Datu Bratan is a small island featuring picturesque temples that have been reflected in the lake from the 17th century. You can side trip to the Bali Botanic Garden that houses tropical flowering plants and highland sceneries.
For Saara Villanueva Awwad, Operations Manager-QBE, their Bali trip made their relationship stronger.
5. The Sidemen Valley is home to gorgeous mountain views located between Besakih Temple and Klungklung. Situated in the east of the island, the Sidemen ricefields still use Subak – a traditional way of watering the fields. Locals in this area have a strong inclination to literature, Hinduism textile work.
What else do I need to know?
Bali’s fame is irresistible, and every traveller is willing to take that opportunity to experience what this destination has to offer. However, before you book that flight and tour you’ve been wanting, it pays to consider the following:
* Transport - A scooter of a motorbike is the best way to get around. If you are travelling with a friend, you can rent a two-wheeled vehicle to access nearby tourist spots. Whether you have travel insurance or not, be careful when driving because roads can be slippery and accidents are fatal. Never indulge in Bintang beers before driving and always check your bike before heading to the road.
* Visa - Filipinos don’t need a visa to enter Indonesia. All you need to present is a passport that is valid for six months upon entry and a two-way ticket indicating your departure. You may also prepare a copy of your itinerary, hotel booking and other government-issued IDs for verification.
* Payment - Cash is still the primary mode of purchase in Bali. You can bring your credit cards, but most purchases in small merchants are paid in cash. If you want to buy a high-priced item, prepare a few 100,000 bills in your pocket. Most street sellers prefer smaller denominations.
* Internet – Check with your network providers like Globe or Smart if they have data roaming packages you can use while in Bali. Although hotels and cafes offer wifi connection, you can opt for local sim cards packed with four gigs if internet for around Php300 only. Whichever you may prefer, it pays to understand that internet speed varies in different locations.
* Food – A typical Balinese meal for two usually costs around Php1,000. You can always indulge in an assortment of dishes wherever you are in the country. Don’t forget to try out their marinated grilled meats called satay. You can also buy a serving of Balinese favorite called Betutu – a dish of whole duck or chicken stuffed with spices, wrapped in banana leaves and baked for 7 hours.
Bali’s 8.3 million visitors made it to the list of Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities in 2018. Indeed, it is also worth one spot in your bucket list. Just make sure that your Bali tour is well-planned. Cap it with travel insurance for a safer and more secure experience. Check out travel insurance options with GoBear now!
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