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 Islands Information

Bali, Indonesia - Overview and Essential Travel Information

Although it is relatively small compared to the other two favourite Indonesian holiday destinations Sumatra and Java, Bali most certainly did not escape the Indonesian lover’s attention. Whereas one can find great extended areas of densed forests on Sumatra and Buddhist centres (such as the one at Borobodur) and vulcanoes on Java, Bali has a lot of the same kind - and maybe even of a prettier kind. However, everything is on a smaller scale, because Bali is not only small in size but also has a high density of population.

Mount Bromo on Java has found a serious competitor in the 3142 metres' high Gunung Anang. On the side of this volcano, you can find one of the most important temple complexes on Bali, the Pura Besakih. Climbing the volcano offers a good day-trip and lends you the opportunity to get a lot closer to the smouldering beating heart of this volcano than you’d probably ever dreamt of. When the smell of sulpher makes you gasp for breath and you want to catch some fresh air, take a few days’ hike in the forest or check out the vulcanic lakes, such as Lake Bratan and Bratur, and their surrounding sawahs.

You can still see true Balinese culture in one of the remoter villages that strech out into the inland. However, it is the international travel culture that rules and prevails in and around Kuta. This city (and it surroundings) is well-known for its beaches. The place is swarmed with hotels, restaurants, shops and clubs and you can participate in anything, ranging from diving and surfing lessons to bungee-jumping or just lying in the sun. Everything relating to sun, sea and sand, you’ll come across in this former hippies’ paradise. When you've had enough of it, you can always head for the capital Denpasar, Ubud or one of the other lesser explored areas.


Transport from Ngurah Rai international airport 2.5km (1.5mi) south of Kuta is quite simple. Choose from an official taxi counter where you pay a set price in advance or walk across the airport car park and hail a metered cab. Another option is to get a taxi from the airport to Bemo Corner in Kuta for a fixed rate and then get a metered taxi or a chartered bemo (minibus) to a more distant destination - this should save a few thousand rupiah. The impecunious (and lightly laden) can walk straight up the road to Kuta although it's a more pleasant stroll along the beach.

The main forms of public transport on Bali are the cheap buses and bemos that run on more or less set routes within or between towns. If you want your own transport you can charter a bemo or rent a car motorcycle or bicycle. The Balinese drive on the left use their horns a lot and give way to traffic pulling onto the road. Tourist shuttle buses running between the major tourist centres are more expensive than public transport but are also more comfortable and convenient.


For those of us who travel on a budget, but like to get around.... Perama is agreat mode of transport around Bali. They are a small bus company that cover the island from Kuta to CandiDasa to Bedugul, they even have transport over to Lombok. The prices are cheap and the ride is a more comfortable and more reliable than a bemo. There are offices in each town with a station in it, and the staff or very helpful. Plus while on the bus you get to meet a whole bunch of great people who might be going to the same place as you. Give it a try. It is the best mode of budget travel on the island, in my opinion! Have a good time in my home away from home!
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