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Bali
Bali

Travel to Bali, Indonesia's most charming destination

Bali in short

Set in turquoise waters, Bali is a Garden of Eden, with sandy beaches and hotels to suit all budgets, making it the perfect destination for backpackers and globetrotters alike. Part of the Indonesian archipelago in theIndian Ocean, this paradise island can easily be considered a destination in its own right. Bali is an enchantment for the senses. The rice terraces set against volcano chains and the lush vegetation offer landscapes of rare beauty. The "Island of the Gods", so marked by Hinduism and ancestral beliefs, has an inestimable cultural heritage, of which the temples, traditional villages and numerous festivities are the most obvious evidence.

The Balinese coastline is never lacking in appeal, but it is in the southern tip of the island that the coasts most effectively display their charms - Kuta Beach, Sanur, the Bukit peninsula - with picture-postcard scenery that explains why they are so popular with tourists. Other parts of the island, however, offer interesting seaside alternatives, such as the resort of Candidasa in the east and the Lovina area on the north coast. Bali is said to have the finest hotels in the world. Indeed, many luxury establishments have set up shop on the island, following the pioneers who moved into the small seaside resort of Sanur in the 1960s, notably with the opening of the Bali Beach Hotel in 1966. Since then, Sanur has been somewhat outstripped in the race for services and its reputation has taken a bit of an ageing. Nevertheless, it has retained a certain tranquillity along its beach. Don't miss out on the massages, under the pergola, watching the sun set... A snapshot that's worth experiencing.

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You'll also find lush vegetation growing coffee, rice, vegetables and various fruits. In short, almost everything seems to grow in profusion. The eastern regions are more characterised by succulents and cacti. As far as wildlife is concerned, the smaller population in the western tip of the island has led to the development of a national park, Bali Barat, where numerous animal species (monkeys, deer, buffalo, squirrels, reptiles) and birds flourish.

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The music is also widely practised, in the pure tradition of Indonesian gamelan. In Bali, however, it has its own distinctive style. It is probably through dance and theatre, two closely linked arts, that Balinese culture has been best exported outside the island. There are many performances on the island during religious festivals in the temples, particularly in Ubud.

Bali is also a particularly good shopping destination. Arts and crafts have always been particularly vibrant, and the development of tourism has only encouraged this trend.

Wood carvings, paintings, elaborate offering trays, delicate pottery, musical instruments used in the gamelan orchestra, silver jewellery, basketry, theatrical puppets and countless ornate textiles, including the famous batik, there is literally a plethora on offer. You'll be spoilt for choice... Shops are open Monday to Saturday from 8am to 9pm.

©easyvoyage

The presence of tourists of different nationalities generates a great culinary diversity, much more marked than in the rest of Indonesia. In terms of gastronomy, Bali is obviously enriched. Western dishes, as well as Thai, Indian and Japanese cuisine, are well represented. Chinese cuisine, often of good quality, has made its mark. Local food is usually rice, served with vegetables, meat, eggs and soup.

One of the best-known combinations is the famous nasi goreng, fried rice with vegetables, sometimes accompanied by chicken or beef. Spices are plentiful (and the level of chilli remains manageable). Coconut and sugar are often added. Make the most of your stay by indulging in tropical fruits: bananas, pineapples, mangoes, mangosteens, rambutans, jackfruit or, for the more adventurous, the very 'fragrant' durian... As for drinks, beer is widely available, and Bali produces excellent quality coffee.

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How to get there?

There are currently no direct flights from France to Bali, which means you'll have to make at least one stopover to get there. If you're flying Singapore Airlines from France, you'll have a stopover in Singapore, while if you're flying Emirates, you'll have a stopover in Dubai. For other airlines, this generally involves two stopovers, one of which is in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur.

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Where to stay?

Our choice of accommodation in Bali depends on the type of holiday we are planning. For sightseeing, a central location is essential, given the distance and the almost constant traffic jams in the south. If time is limited, it's best to visit just one region. For a stay of a week or more, we recommend spending the first and last days in the south, near the beaches and airport, and the rest inland, based in Ubud, for example. Other places such as Munduk can also be enjoyed, depending on the time available.

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Practical information

Covid

Foreigners travelling to Indonesia must have a COVID-19 vaccination certificate with the second dose administered at least 14 days before departure, install the PeduliLindungi application, and undergo a COVID symptoms and body temperature check on arrival. A 5-day quarantine is required for non-vaccinated persons or those who have not received the full dose. Those exempt from the vaccination certificate include diplomatic/official travellers, travellers under the age of 18, those who have already recovered from COVID-19 and those who cannot receive the vaccine for medical reasons.

Money

The official currency in Indonesia is the Indonesian rupiah (IDR). Credit cards are generally accepted and ATMs are available in most major cities. To make currency exchange easier, you can use PayTop, a company that can deliver local currency or US dollars securely to your home. You can place your order online atwww.asia.fr, in the "our services" section. For current exchange rates, visithttp://www.xe.com/fr/currencyconverter/. It is advisable to check exchange rates with other sources before making a transaction.

Visa and passport

The passport must be valid for at least 6 months after return and have a blank page. French customers must obtain an electronic visa prior to departure, which is valid for 30 days and can only be used for arrivals in Bali, Jakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Manado or Yogyakarta.

Otherwise, they can obtain a paid VOA visa for a maximum stay of 30 days on arrival in Bali (Denpasar), Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Medan, Makassar or Manado. This visa costs around USD 36, € 35 or IDR 500,000 per person and is payable in cash in IDR, US dollars or euros, or by international credit card (Visa and Mastercard only). VOA visa holders can leave Indonesia from any Indonesian airport or international port and can extend the visa only once, at an additional cost. Holders of an emergency passport (green in colour) are not eligible for this VOA visa. For more information and to apply for another type of visa, visit: https://www.rapidevisa.fr.

Chargeable visas on arrival valid for 30 days are available for French nationals, with conditions varying according to the airport of entry. The information provided applies to French customers only and is subject to change at any time by the Indonesian authorities. It is strongly recommended that you take out comprehensive travel insurance and register on the Ariane portal of the Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs to receive safety recommendations during your trip.

Health

Although not compulsory, we recommend vaccinations against tetanus, typhoid, hepatitis A and B. It is important to bring your own medication to treat colds, migraines and digestive problems. Tap water should not be drunk, and raw vegetables should be avoided. It is advisable to protect yourself against mosquitoes and the sun's rays. Anti-malaria treatment is essential throughout Indonesia, except for the islands of Bali and Java. We suggest that you consult your doctor or an international vaccination centre before departure.

lightbulb_outline Editor's tip

You should also show respect for religious practice, and remember to take off your shoes in temples and mosques. As a general rule, avoid touching or pointing at anything with your left hand, the hand you use... in the toilet.

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