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Indonesia Travel Notes -- Indonesia is a wonderful part of the world to explore with its semi-active volcanoes, jungles and deserted beaches. Find out more about Indonesia @ Travel Notes.

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Indonesia is a wonderful part of the world to explore with its semi-active volcanoes, jungles and deserted beaches.

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Bali Travel Tips, Beautiful Bali, Exploring Indonesia, Lombok, Map of Java and Bali, Indonesia Travel Guides, Sulawesi, Sumatra.


Contact Michel (TravelNotes) Available for Travel Assignments.

Exploring Indonesia

Indonesia is the world's fourth largest nation with over 17,000 islands, according to some, and 200 Million people of various cultures and languages.

Map of Indonesia

During the days of the early sea traders, it was the Dutch who had the upper hand around these islands, and remained in control for 350 years - until the Indonesians gained independence in 1945.

Weather in Asia:
Local weather forecasts for destinations around Asia.

Compare Indonesian Hotel Prices

Bali, Jakarta, Lombok, Surabaya, Yogyakarta.

Browse all cities.

Around Indonesia

Yogyakarta is one of the main tourist destinations in Indonesia, with the great Sultan's Palace, Parangtritis Beach, Borobudur and Prambanan Temples, Merapi Volcano as well as the performing arts like Ramayana Ballet and Wayang Kulit among its famous attractions.

Indonesia News:
News and views from the Embassy of Indonesia, in Canada.

Wonderful Indonesia:
Official tourism promotion from the Indonesia Ministry of Tourism.

Yog Yes:
Tourism portal of Yogyakarta.

Beautiful Bali

Meta-Travel Community Travel Guides

Seminyak, the Saint-Tropez of Bali, is a former tiny fishing village with more than 300 Bali villas for rent; all located around the famous Jalan Oberoi, the shopping and fashion street of Bali.

Bali Guide:
Situated in the middle of the world’s largest archipelago, Bali is Indonesia’s most well-known island.

Bali Transportation:
Getting to and around Bali.

Indah Indonesia:
Boutique travel company with offices in Bali and Jakarta focussed on providing top class rental villas and other accommodations in Indonesia; specifically in Bali and Lombok.

Regions of Bali:
For a relatively small island there are plenty of contrasts on Bali.

Choose The Best Bali Region to Suit Your Taste and Budget

Around Kuta

The most happening tourist area in Bali, accommodations in Kuta range from a modest home stay for a few dollars a night to luxurious, five-star, international hotels costing several hundred to several thousand dollars a night.

The Sunset in Kuta is breathtaking and there's plenty of bars and restaurants for budget travellers.

Around Nusa Dua & Peninsula

This area in the south of Bali is full of 5 stars hotels and resorts like the Ritz Carlton, Four Season, Westin, Grand Hyatt, Bvlgary hotel, Nikko hotel and many others.

This is the region for you if you like living the luxurious life with high class standards and top level services.

Around Ubud

Try the inland mountain areas of Bali as an alternative to the beaches. Visitors are increasingly splitting their stay between the two areas.

The hills offer spectacular scenery, intact culture, tranquillity and a cooler climate.

Named for the medicinal plants that grow wild here - ‘Ubad’ means medicine in Balinese - Ubud has long served as home to painters and artisans.

The arts scene in Ubud means this is the place to go for Balinese paintings, wood carving, and other handicrafts. The place overflows with rustic tradition and the unique religious heritage of Bali's Hindu culture; with everything from local temple ceremonies to a Kecak fire dance.

Most of the accommodation in Ubud is of the villa style, where visitors can experience a more romantic atmosphere in beautiful natural surroundings.

Many overseas honeymooners choose Ubud as the place to stay and appreciate each other.

Uma Ubud Hotel, Bali Uma Ubud Hotel:
The luxury villas, suites and rooms provide the perfect base from which to explore the wonders of this culturally rich region of Bali.

Villa Bali Gita:
Positioned on a riverside bluff in the mountainous area around Ubud - a cosy romantic village famous for it's palaces, temples, restaurants, artists, expatriate celebrities and stunning scenery - Villa Bali Gita embraces it's guests in luxury.

Bali Travel Tips

Health Regulations

Officially there are no vaccinations required. Malaria prophylactics is recommended as well as having a tetanus and polio booster if necessary.

Clothing

During the day, light cotton clothes are recommended. For mountain excursions you should take along some warmer clothes.

Customs and Traditions

Shorts and mini-skirts are not allowed in and around temples. It is a custom to take off shoes in temples, on festival grounds and in private houses. It is strongly recommend following these custom to show your respect for the religious traditions.

You should never touch someone's head (including children) or point your finger at someone, as this is considered impolite. For the same reason you should avoid standing with your head above someone you are talking to. In doubt you should rather squat or sit.

Shaking hands is not customary, except on farewells or congratulations. Intimate touches or embraces are absolutely inappropriate.

Nude or topless swimming and sunbathing is forbidden. If you see Balinese taking a bath in the rivers along the streets you should discreetly overlook them and resist the appeal to take pictures.

When handing over, or taking something, from someone only the right hand is to be used. The left hand is considered unclean.

The Balinese love to bargain; especially in the markets, where it is usual to haggle over the prices. You can do so too but, so as not to be disappointed, please inform yourself in advance about the realistic prices.

Attending Ceremonies

Remember these are serious occasions and should be treated as such.

Religious Guidelines

Always wear a sarong and sash. Do not walk in front of people praying. Do not use flash cameras or push your camera into the priest's face. Never sit higher than the priests, or the offerings.

At a cremation, do not get in the way of the attendees - however important that photographic opportunity is.

Women are not allowed to enter temples during menstruation.

When attending special ceremonies or anniversary celebrations, as a guest or onlooker, small donations are gratefully received. Your donations will help in paying for the offerings and upkeep of the temple.

Car Rental

Indonesia has left-hand traffic. We advise you not to drive by yourself unless you have already some experience with the Asian way of driving. Traffic conditions are completely different to what you know from home and traffic rules are not easily comprehensible for a foreigner.

Motorcycles and bicycles without lights are an additional hazard in the dark. In Bali always expect the unexpected; keeping your eyes open and your mind on your driving.

It is best to rent a car with a local driver or charter a van, if there are a group of you travelling together around Bali.

Car Rentals Online:
If you prefer to drive yourself, book your car before you travel to save time and money.

Dangerous Sports

Make sure you either have personal insurance or travel insurance that will cover any accidents.

Drinking Water

Do not drink water from any taps. Bottled mineral water is highly recommended for your health.

Petty Crime

There have been a few cases of handbags being snatched after tourists have changed money at banks or money changers. Put your money away in your 'bum-bag' or hold onto your handbag tightly.

When changing large amounts of money please check each note carefully as there are a number of (noticeably) fake notes in circulation.

When trying on garments do not take your jewellery off and leave it lying around - give it to a friend or leave it in the hotel safe.

Swimming in the Sea

Currents and undertows can be strong. Always swim between the red and yellow flags. Do not swim too far out and do not leave your belongings unattended on the beach.

Tips for Taking Taxis in Bali

It is always best to order a taxi by phone; especially at night. If you must hail a taxi on the street, be sure that the name of the taxi company is clearly marked on it and insist on using the meter. Don’t fall for a driver who bargains or claims that his meter is broken.

In the taxi, note the taxi's number and the driver’s ID. This may come in handy if you want to register a complaint or trace belongings left behind. In places such as Ubud, Sanur and Kuta there are many people who offer you transportation services. If you must take any of their services, make sure you establish the price up front.

There are licensed taxis at Bali’s airport. Avoid taking services from 'brokers' who offer you transportation.

Some taxi companies and their telephone numbers:
Bali Taxi : 701111
Praja Taxi: 289090
Ngurah Rai Airport Taxi:724724
Pan Wirthi: 723366

Street Vendors

Can be overbearing at times, however they are trying to make a living, so please be understanding but firm. If you would like to lodge a complaint, please do so by taking down their vendor-card details and reporting it to the nearest police post or police station. If you don't want to be pestered, it is best not to look at the wares and avoid all eye contact.

Remember, in Indonesia, if you ask the price, you must want to buy!

Lombok

Thirty-five kilometres (22 miles) east of Bali at its closet point, or a mere 20 minute flight between airports, Lombok is considerably different from Bali both physically, culturally, linguistically and historically.

It also has less tourist facilities, unspoilt beaches and a more laid-back atmosphere.

Lombok's charm lies in its century-old, tranquil coastal areas with virgin white beaches and green mountains, outside showers at your lodging and, in some cases, no electricity.

Once you arrive in Lombok, you'll think you've stepped back to the more pleasant, leisurely time of beautiful tropical villages and horse-drawn carts.

Here in Lombok, people live as they always have in a bustling cultural mix. The crafts of Lombok are steeped in local tradition and the fabric weaving and ceramics are famous around the world.

Lombok Island Interactive:
Stretching some 89 km, east to west, same distance north to south with a population of 3,2 million, the fascinating and unspoiled island paradise of Lombok is a great place for those who need a complete escape.

Scuba Diving in South Lombok

As I've been living and diving in South Lombok for 7 years now, I've read numerous articles, blogs, and forum posts about our region and many people seem to think South Lombok is only for the 'rough and ready' adventure diver, so I feel the need to clear up a few misconceptions about the south coast of Lombok.

South Lombok, in general, presents itself as a relaxed place (some people compare it to Bali 20 years ago), and travellers of all interests (not only divers) can find a very tropical and enjoyable region to visit. One will find beautiful white sandy beaches, simple to more luxurious accommodations, friendly locals, and lots of nature and relaxation.

There are three unique regions in the south of Lombok; Sekotong, Belongas Bay, and Kuta Bay.

Sekotong

Sekotong is a tropical little place with not much topside activity other than maybe renting a motorbike and exploring the coastline, snorkelling, swimming, or of course scuba diving.

It's quite perfect for couples and families who just want to relax and enjoy themselves. There isn't much touristic infrastructure (although it's developing fairly quickly), but most accommodations have an adjacent restaurant so no one will need to go hungry (or thirsty). The scuba diving is relaxed, colourful reef diving at very intact reefs and lots of macro life can be found.

Belongas Bay

Belongas Bay, the place where the misconceptions actually come from, is truly only for the more adventures traveller and diver.

The region is basically in the middle of nowhere, and the locals don't see very much tourism there. So don't be surprised if you are approached in a quite curios manner, for some this might even feel a little disturbing.

The diving around this region can prove to be very challenging (especially during the dry season, from July till October), but also can be very rewarding in a sense of pelagic life. Most certainly I would only recommend diving there for the experienced diver.

Kuta Bay

Kuta Bay is comparable to Sekotong (from the diving aspect), but offers more infrastructure and topside possibilities such as, cafes, restaurants, and accommodations. The diving there is well suited for all levels of experience, and the dive shops there also have pool facilities available for all levels of courses.

It should be mentioned that Kuta is best for diving during the rainy season (November to April), as during the dry season it's subject to wind and waves (hence the time surfers love the place).

There are two or three dive shops located in South Lombok, and I'm sure they'll be happy to give you some more detailed info about the general conditions for the particular regions.

Meta-Travel Members By George More - Dive Zone Lombok.

Sumatra

Sumatra Orangutans:
The Orang-utan story. The Hollitzers show you the results of their assignment.

Sulawesi

A small percentage of the Sulawesi population continue to practice animist rituals.

The best known are the death rites of the Toraja people, which are undertaken to ensure the safe passage of the deceased into the next world.

PATA North Sulawesi:
The North Sulawesi Chapter of the Pacific Asia Travel Association lists among its members some of the finest resorts, hotels, restaurants, dive centres, airlines, and service providers in the region.

Indonesia Travel Guides

Lonely Planet Indonesia (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Bali & Lombok (Travel Guide) Bali / Lombok nel.map Indonesia

Indonesia Travel Guides - Indonesia Maps.

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