About Bali



History, Culture & Overview

Bali known as the Island of the Gods or The Morning of the World is a truly mystical and original place. The island has many diverse regions and styles:- regions of untouched beauty, traditional villages, heaving and raucous budget-traveler districts, resort areas, playgrounds for the rich and famous, surf beaches, rice paddies, mountains, volcanoes and much more. Though a popular tourist destination, Bali has successfully managed to accommodate its many foreign visitors whilst maintaining its own rich heritage and culture.

Located in the middle of the Indonesian archipelago close to Australia, Bali is an island of approximately two thousand square miles, with volcanic mountainous areas in its center. The island’s rich soil and many water sources have resulted in a lush and verdant foliage cover, interspersed with extensive rice paddy terraces crafted over generations by family farmers. While the Balinese economy is largely agricultural, it also incorporates a fishing industry and of course tourism.

Historically, Bali was a collection of independent kingdoms, before falling under Dutch colonial control in the 19th century and becoming part of the Dutch East Indies. Bali gained it’s independence in 1948 and become a part of Indonesia.

Bali has been a tourist destination since the early 1900’s and thus the island and its people are well practiced at welcoming visitors from all over the world. There is no shortage of facilities and activities for tourists and the people are very open, friendly and welcoming to all. The island has a population of approximately three million people. Unlike the rest of Indonesia which is predominately Muslim, over 90% of Bali’s population practices an offshoot of the Hindu religion. Religion plays a major role in the daily life of the Balinese. Colorful religious ceremonies are frequent at the numerous temples, large and small, dotted all over the island; and visitors are likely to see at least one such ceremony during their stay. Every home contains a small temple for daily devotions, and offerings to the Gods are visible everywhere. There are believed to be more than thirty thousand temples in Bali.


Climate

Lying just south of the equator Bali has a tropical climate where conditions are warm and humid all year round. The average temperature is around 32°C or 85°F, although the mountain regions are cooler, where temperatures can reach as low as 10°C during the early morning hours. The island has two seasons, wet and dry. The wet season is usually from November to April, the dry season from May to October. The dry season is categorized by a constant breeze blowing over the island, known as the trade winds in colonial days. During the rainy season, showers are normally limited to an hour or two during the morning or afternoon, with the rest of the day being cloudy or sunny.


Insurance

As with all travel, it is recommended that all visitors are covered with travel insurance. Villa Neo shall under no circumstances have any liability to the hirer, any other occupier, licensee, or guest on the property for any loss of or damage to the personal belongings, car and its contents of the hirer or any member of the party during the holiday.


Health considerations

Bali, unlike many other areas in the region, is non-malarial. Therefore any malaria prophylactics are unnecessary, unless you plan to travel onto a malarial region. Bali has a number of Western-trained health professionals along with several expatriate doctors who work in some of the local clinics and hospitals. This infrastructure suffices for the majority of any health problems. In the unfortunate cases where more serious medical attention is needed, Singapore’s world-class physicians and institutions are just two hours away by plane.

First time visitors to tropical locations and this part of the world are advised to first talk to their physicians about recommended immunizations before traveling. This should be done at least three weeks before your planned departure date. If you plan to bring any prescription medications with you, bring a copy of your doctor’s prescription to avoid unnecessary trouble from Indonesian customs. Traveler’s health insurance is recommended.

Bali is located just 8° south of the equator and consequently the sun is very strong. Visitors should be very careful in their tanning habits in order not to get sunburn, especially right after arrival. Even on a cloudy day, the UV index is strong enough to burn within a few short hours. Furthermore it is recommended to make an effort to drink more fluids than normal in order to avoid dehydration and sunstroke.

You may also consider traveling with mosquito or bug repellent. All bedrooms at Villa Neo are fully enclosed, with additional mosquito nets and night incense burners. Local supermarkets and dispensaries also carry popular brands of bug repellent.


Clothing needs

When packing, keep in mind that you will be in the tropics (the average year round temperature being 32°C) but that it can get cold if you plan to visit the elevated and mountainous regions. Generally, you will want to dress light and wear natural fibers that absorb perspiration. For the most part, visitors to Bali dress fairly casually, with beachwear and sandals being the choice of many. At night, a lightweight sweater or light jacket can be useful. For the many upscale restaurants and nightlife, the dress tends to be smart tropical casual. There are a variety of clothes suited to tropical climates and available for purchase in Bali’s many boutiques and shops.


Travel Tips

We strongly advise making photocopies of airline tickets and passport identification pages, and make a list of all traveler’s checks as well as the details and emergency fax and telephone numbers of credit cards. All of this information should be kept in a safe place separate from your wallet/purse. Having this information readily available will expedite the replacement of these items in the unfortunate event they should be lost or stolen.


Police Registration

It is required that all visitors to Bali register with the local police. Our Villa Neoger will complete the registration for you. For this he will require the passports of all guests and fee of Rp20,000 (approx USD$2.00) per person.


Chauffer Service

Your stay at Villa Neo includes return airport transfers. A daily chauffeured vehicle service is available upon request and at additional charge. The Villa has worked with several drivers and we are able to recommend safe, English-speaking drivers who know their way around the island. Generally, a driver's fee will cover up to ten hours a day. Any over-time is paid at an hourly rate. A driver can be arranged for your entire stay, or booked for the days you plan to see the sights or travel to other locations around Bali. Please let us know of any specific requirements in your booking request.


Self drive

Although Bali's road conditions make it inadvisable for guests to rent and drive their own vehicles, most forms of transportation are available for short-term and long-term hire. These include a variety of cars, jeeps, motorcycles, and bicycles. If you intend to drive in Bali, you must have an International Driving License or an Indonesian Driving License, called a ‘SIM.'


Taxi Services

Transportation by taxi to and from Villa Neo is another option. The Villa staff can call you a taxi and it usually takes 5 to 10 minutes for a taxi to arrive. If you are going to a well know spot or restaurant, it is usually no problem to take a taxi. Taxis can be found everywhere within the Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Kerobokan, Jimbaran, Nusa Dua, Sanur, and Denpasar areas and they are inexpensive. Outside of this southeastern region of Bali, taxis are a rare sight.

See Activities in Bali