Geography and Population
Sitting between two continents and two oceans, Indonesia is the world’s largest archipelagic nation with more than 17.000 islands. The island chain forms an arc 5,000 kilometers long between mainland South East Asia and Papua New Guinea, endowing Indonesia with more than 80,000 kilometers of coastline and 3.1 million square kilometers of territorial waters.
With over 230 million citizens, Indonesia is the world’s fourth most populous country. Migrations over the centuries and an uneven distribution of economic resources have contributed to a unique cultural mix found nowhere else in the world.
The island of Bali is one of the country’s 33 provinces and is world-renowned as one of the most beautiful and diverse tourist areas in Asia. Bali is also known for its highly developed arts, including dance, sculpture, painting, leather and metalworking and music. Although the majority of Indonesians are Muslim, about 92 per cent of the residents of Bali profess Balinese Hinduism, a syncretism of local beliefs and Hindu influences from mainland Asia.
Indonesia’s tropical climate is characterized by high daytime temperatures and high humidity. In the lowlands, the temperature ranges between 21° and 33° C and the humidity between 60 and 100 per cent. During the wet season, tropical showers and thunderstorms are frequent, with rain falling in short, intense bursts. In West Indonesia, the wet season runs from November to April, and the dry season from April to October. East Indonesia has two wet seasons, which differ from place to place.
Some 300 different languages are spoken across the archipelago. The official language of Indonesia is Bahasa Indonesia, a modern variant of Malay that has long served as the lingua franca of trade in Indonesia. In Bali the most widely spoken languages are Balinese and Bahasa Indonesia, although many residents also speak English because of the island’s important tourism industry.
Indonesia’s national currency is the Rupiah. The exchange rate normally fluctuates between IDR 9.000 and IDR 10.000 to 1 USD.
Major credit cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Diner’s Club) and traveler’s cheques in principal currencies are generally accepted in large hotels, restaurants, department stores and several large stores. Traveler’s cheques and bank notes in all major currencies may be exchanged at all commercial banks and most hotels and foreign exchange counters. ATM services are also available.
Indonesia has three time zones. Sumatra, Java, West and Central Kalimantan are on West Indonesia time, seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT + 07:00). Bali, South and East Kalimantan, Sulawesi and Nusa Tenggara are on Central Indonesia time (GMT + 08:00). Maluku and Irian Jaya are on East Indonesia time (GMT + 09:00)
Taxes and Tipping
A value added tax of 10 per cent is added to bills. It is common in larger cities for 5 per cent to be added for service in restaurants.
Tipping is not compulsory, even in cities, but it is generally highly appreciated if a tip is given of not more than 20 per cent of the price paid
Electrical power in Indonesia is at 220-230 volts (50 hertz). Plugs are of the European two-pronged variety.
Telephone services and useful telephone numbers
Telephone services are available in hotels, restaurants and cafes. Pre-paid mobile telephone cards are available at hotels and local shops.
How to make telephone calls:
- Local calls: dial the number directly;
- Long – distance calls within Indonesia: dial the area code (for Jakarta 021, for Bali 0361) + the number;
- International calls: dial the international direct dial access (001 or 008) + country code + area code + number
- To call Indonesia from abroad, dial the international direct dial access + country code (62) + area code + number. When calling from abroad, the 0 prefix of the area code should not be dialed.
Emergency telephone numbers:
- Bali Emergency Response Centre 112
- Ambulance 108
- Fire Department 113
- Police 110
- Search and rescue 111, 115, 151
- Red Cross 26465
- Soekarno – Hatta International Airport, +62-215505177, 5505655
- Ngurah Rai International Airport, +62-361 751011
Information on tourism:
- Government Information Centre, +62-361 251419
- Information Centre, +62-361 51011
- Bali Tourism Authority, +62-361 222387, 226313
- Bali Tourist Information Centre, +62-361 225649, 233474
- Australia (incl: Canada, New Zealand)
Jl. Tantular 32 Renon – Denpasar
Ph: +62 361 241 118
Fax: +62 361 221 120 (for visa inquiries); 221 195 (for general inquiries)
- Denmark & Norway (Hon. Consulate)
Mimpi Resort, Kawasan Bukit Permai, Jimbaran
Ph: +62 361 701 070 ext. 32
Fax: +62 361 701 073/4
- France (Consular Agency)
Jl. Mertasari Gg. II No. 8 Sanur
Ph: +62 361 285 485
Fax: +62 361 286 406
- Germany (Hon. Consulate)
Jl. Pantai Karang No. 17 Sanur
Ph: +62 361 288 535
Fax: +62 361 286 826
- Italy (Vice Consulate)
Lotus Enterprise Building, Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai, Jimbaran
Ph/Fax: +62 361 701 005
Jl. Raya Puputan No. 170 Renon
Ph: +62 361 227 628
Fax: +62 361 265 066
- Netherlands (Hon. Consulate)
Jl. Raya Kuta No. 127, Kuta
Ph: +62 361 761 506
Fax: +62 361 752 777
- Spain (Hon. Consulate)
Jl. Raya Sanggingan Br. Lung-siakan, Kedewatan, Ubud
Ph: +62 361 975 736
Fax: +62 361 975 726
- Sweden & Finland (Hon. Consulate)
Jl. Segara Ayu, Sanur
Ph: +62 361 288 407
Fax: +62 361 287 242
- Switzerland & Austria (Consulate)
Jl. Patih Jelantik, Komplek Istana Kuta Galeri, Blok Valet2 #12, Kuta
Ph: +62 361 751 735
Fax: +62 361 754 457
- United Kingdom (Hon. Consulate)
Jl. Tirta Nadi #20 Sanur
Ph: +62 361 270 601
Fax: +62 361 287 804
- USA (Consular Agency)
Jl. Hayam Wuruk 188, Tanjung Bungkak, Denpasar
Ph: +62 361 233 605
Fax: +62 361 222 426
- Ngurah Rai International Airport
Jl. Ngurah Rai Kuta
Ph: +62 361 751 038
- Central Office
Jl. D. I. Pandjaitan, Niti Mandala, Renon, Denpasar
Ph: +62 361 227 828
- Sanglah General Hospital
Jl. Diponegoro, Denpasar
Ph: +62 361 227 911
- BIMC Hospital – 24 hours –
Medical & Emergency Center
Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai 100X
Ph: +62 361 761 263
- International SOS – 24 hours – Home Visit
Jl. Bypass Ngurah Rai 505X
Ph: +62 361 710 505
Fax: +62 361 710 515
- Kasih Ibu Hospital
Jl. Teuku Umar 120, Denpasar
Ph: +62 361 223 036
Fax: +62 361 238 690
- BTDC Clinic
BTDC Complex, Nusa Dua
Ph: +62 361 772 911
- SOS Clinic
Jl. Raya Uluwatu No. 111, Jimbaran
Ph: +62 361 780 76 88
- Ubud Clinic – 24 hours
Jl. Raya Campuhan No. 36 Ubud,
Ph: +62 361 974 911
- Bali Tourist Information
Century Plaza, Jl. Benasari No. 7 Legian
Ph: +62 361 754 090
- Bali Tourism Office
Jl. S. Parman, Renon
Ph: +62 361 222 387
- Legian Tourist Information
Jl. Legian No. 37
Ph: +62 361 755 424
Postal, Facsimile, and Internet Services
Postal and Facsimile facilities are available at post offices and in most major hotels. Internet services are also available at most major hotels, cybercafés in Nusa Dua and designated areas in the Ayodya Resort Bali.
Banking hours are from Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Markets and shops are usually open from 10 a.m to 9 p.m
Interesting Places To See In Bali
Bangli houses Pura Kehen, Bali’s second largest temple. The temple has three courtyards connected by steps and is decorated with carvings and statues. A large banyan tree shades the lowest and second courtyards.
Batubulan is home to a number of stone carvers. Divinities and demons carved from sandstone (Paras) decorate (and protect) houses and temples along the road that takes you from Denpasar. Batubulan also has excellent dance and theatrical performances.
The mountain resort of Bedugul is well known for its golf course and Ulun Danu, a temple which seems to rise out of the lake to present itself beautifully. Boats, water skiing, and parasailing are among the many water sports available in this area.
The sanctuary of Besakih on the slopes of Gunung Agung (Mount Holy) is over a thousand years old and is known as the Mother Temple of Bali, the biggest and holiest of all Balinese temples. Steps rise through split gates to the main courtyard where the Trinity shrines, dedicated to Shiva, Brahma, and Wishnu, are wrapped in cloth and decorated with flower offerings. Around them, stand eighteen separate sanctuaries, belonging to different regencies and castes.
Celuk is noted for silver and gold jewelry works. The craft works are extremely meticulous and detailed.