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Travel Tips

Visas and Passports

Two-month tourist visas will automatically be issued to visitors from 46 countries, which include Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, the USA, Canada, and most of western Europe. Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months upon entry into Indonesia or you will find yourself on the next plane out. You will be given a 60-day tourist card as long as (i) your passport is valid for at least six months, and (ii) you have a ticket out of Indonesia or have enough money to fund your trip and departure. This card has to be returned when you leave Indonesia, so please do not misplace it.

Extension of tourist visas is easy; you would only have to leave the country and come back in again. This is as simple as going to Singapore and returning the same day. Paperwork is involved for extending business and social cultural visas, and this can be done only once per visa. Contact your local Indonesian embassy/consulate for more details or the immigration department once in Bali.

Travel Insurance

It is essential to have a travel insurance policy to cover theft, loss and medical problems. Some companies offer a range of medical expense options, but the small print must be scrutinised. It is preferable to have a policy that pays doctors or hospitals directly rather than you having to pay on the spot and claim later. Check that the policy covers ambulances and emergency flights home. Numerous policies also specify exclusion of dangerous activities such as scuba diving, renting a local motorbike on Bali and even trekking. Take note that locally acquired motorbikes are not valid under certain policies.


If you are entering Bali from an area infected with smallpox, cholera and yellow fever, an international health certificate will be required. The further off the beaten track you go, the more necessary it is to take precautions. Plan ahead when getting your vaccinations as some may require more than one injection. It is recommended that you seek medical advice at least six weeks before travel. Typhoid and paratyphoid vaccinations are advisable and if your stay in Bali is long, go for gamma-globulin injections as the risk of hepatitis could be reduced. Many people might get the notorious "Bali Belly"but the symptoms can stopped by taking Lomotil and Imodium. At the first sign of discomfort (diarrhoea and cramps), drink strong, hot tea and avoid all fruits and spicy food. Charcoal tablets, a brand named Norit, will help alleviate the cramping. If a fever occurs with the above symptoms, go to a doctor for a course of antibiotics. Be sure to rehydrate yourself by taking mineral replacements salts such as Oralite and drinking as much liquids as possible.

Malaria may not be a major threat in Bali, but dengue fever is. Protect yourself with long sleeves and trousers or use insect repellent to keep the Aedes mosquitoes at bay.

Remember to bring along sunscreen and sun block to protect yourself from the harsh Bali sun. A wide-brimmed straw hat is also useful around noon, when the tropical sun is intense.

You should also ensure that you have adequate health insurance and that your teeth are in perfect order before you travel, as dentists are hard to find in Bali.

It is an important rule to be careful of the water, especially iced. If you do not know whether the water is safe, assume the worst. If unsure about tap water, drink bottled water or soft drinks. Just be certain that you use water from containers with a serrated seal, not tops or corks. Be cautious with fruit juice, particularly if it has been added with water. Boiling water is the simplest way of purifying but at higher altitudes, boil longer to kill germs.

All fruits should be peeled before consumption and raw vegetables should not be eaten. Watch what you eat and where you eat, and always wash your hands with soap.

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