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Random Bali Facts

We often find many tourists to Bali have a lot of questions and there is not a lot of information out there is one place, so here are some Random Facts about Bali. These are Random, we will add more as we think of them.

ROAD SAFETY

1.      You need a Motorcycle license to ride a motorcycle
2.      Motorcycles are called scooters here, but they are a minimum of 125cc’s, check your insurance policy covers over 50cc
3.      If involved in an accident ambulances don’t generally come with any life support equipment, they are a mode of transport to the hospital.
4.      If you are involved in an accident and are unconscious and do not have any id on you, you will be transported to Sanglah General Hospital, you will not be treated until someone comes to pay on your behalf
5.      We do have road rules here, and they are different to other countries so learn them before attempting to drive
6.      Road signs are in written in Indonesian here
7.      The 2016 Road Safety report stated “Accidents on rented motorcycles constitute the majority of expatriate deaths in Indonesia, especially on Bali
8.      35 foreigners died in motorcycle accidents in the first 3 months of 2016
9.      If an accident involving personal injury occurs, Indonesian law requires both drivers to wait for the arrival of the police, however it is common here for a local to flee the scene (or even the Island) if they are at fault.
10.   For more info read Tourists riding a motorbike in Bali

FOOD AND DRINK

11.   Don’t drink the tap water, but don’t worry if you accidentally get it in your mouth etc, some hotels now have drinkable filtered water so check with the hotel first.
12.   If you choose not to have vaccinations best not to eat meat off the street carts
13.   Ice is safe in Bali, it has been for many years
14.   Eating fresh fruit and salad is safe in Bali, if you are overly concerned or not vaccinated for Hep A or Typhoid then buy your own fruit and wash it with bottled water.

HEALTH

15.   Every village has a midwife (called a Bidan) but not every village has a medical clinic so in remote areas you must travel far
16.   Dengue Fever took 40 lives in the first four months of 2016, never go out without repellent, if you contract Dengue hospitalization is required.
17.   Typhoid fever is food and water borne bacteria common here, many people have contracted it in Bali, antibiotics and rest are required, untreated can cause complications and you can become a lifetime carrier (you would not then be able to work in the food industry etc)
18.   There are no free hospitals or clinics for tourists and the major hospitals require contact with your insurance company or a large cash advance before any treatment will be given.
19.   An estimated 13,235 people are currently living with HIV in Bali
20.   The government and charities here do mass vaccinations of dogs for rabies, but if you are bitten by a dog or a monkey you must seek medical treatment immediately and receive the full course of treatment including immunoglobulin shot, which if you do not have insurance can be as much as $4000 here for a tourist, not including treatment for the bite.
21.   For more info read: Left Hand for the Toilet, Right hand for Food

ALCOHOL

22.   The legal drinking age is 21.
23.   If it’s cheap it’s not good.  Tax is extremely high on spirits so bootleg liquor is often used and methanol poisoning is highly possible, every year tourists have died in Bali from drinking cheap cocktails.
24.   Bottled drinks are available here with mixes such as vodka and are safe to drink
25.   Wine is extremely expensive here and is often not stored correctly so you may waste your money
26.   Beer is reasonably priced, Bintang (which means Star in Indonesia) Beer being the most well-known, there are many others and some imported beers
27.   There are ciders on the Island as well, just not as easy to find

CRIME

28.   Crime rates are very high in Bali, especially the theft of mobile phones, iphone’s especially, commonly taken straight out of your hand by passerby’s on motorbikes so don’t get them out in the street
29.   Drugs may be offered to you in Bali, this may be a setup
30.   We have the death penalty in Indonesia for drug offenses
31.   Theft has a heavy penalty in Indonesia as well
32.   Blasphemy is a crime here, no that a tourist has ever been arrested but just keep it in mind that locals will not be accepting of it
33.   A virginity test is required to report a rape here (if unmarried).
34.   Attacks on woman are high in Bali, woman should never get on a motorbike taxi or in a taxi by themselves after dark
35.   Don’t carry your valuables with you, and woman should never carry a large handbag, it is common for woman to be pulled into traffic during a mugging
36.   Pornography is illegal in Indonesia, including DVD’s, or on your phone, laptop, even kissing in public is against the law, so no sex in swimming pools on the beach etc
37.   The laws relevant to tourists in Bali are Indonesian laws, Indonesia is a Muslim Country.
38.   For more information read: Laws vs Customs
39.   There are strict dress codes for entering any government building, including a police station, so do not wear sleeveless or shorts if you need to report a crime
40.   You may need to pay for a police report (locals do as well, if they report)
41.   If you do have your bag or phone stolen as walking along, best to scream out Thief, even better “Maling” or “Pencuri” and let the locals give chase (but get the pronunciation right before you try it).

TOURISM

42.   China and Australia share the top foreign visitors to Bali at present but 65% of tourists to Bali are from Indonesia
43.   Many Balinese call any Indonesians that are not from Bali “from Java”, this does not mean they are from Java, they are just not from Bali
44.   When Balinese meet someone for the first time and asked where they are from, many will refer to the region they live in as opposed the village or District.


BALI AS PART OF INDONESIA

45.   There are 6 officially recognized religions in Indonesia
46.   There are 5 principals of Indonesia called Panscilla ("pañca" meaning five, and "sīla" meaning principles), the first one being that everyone believes in the one God (just by another name)
47.   The local language in Bali is Basa Bali, Bahasa Indonesian is taught in all schools, which is the National Language
48.   Bali is Province of Indonesia and has 9 regions
49.   The famous Gili Islands and Lombok are not part of Bali so check your insurance policy for coverage

 

RELIGION

50.   90% of the Balinese are Hindu, BUT NOT 90% of the Island of Bali
51.   Pretty much all Balinese and Indonesians believe in God
52.   Hinduism in Bali is not the same as Hinduism in India, although it did originate from India
53.   Balinese pay for Blessings at major temples, not a small amount either
54.   God has priority in the workplace (it is written in the employment Act)
55.   If you enter a temple grounds you must wear a sarong and sash, but if you enter the actual temple you must wear full Adat (see “Do we have a choice of what to wear in Bali’ http://www.c-bali.com/index.php/bali/bali-blog/471-bali-trivia-8)
56.   Balinese Hindus do not go to Temples on a set day like going to a church
57.   Every day at approximately 6am, 12 noon and 6pm Hindu prayer is played at every Hindu village in Bali, generally over a loud speaker, you probably can’t here it over the motorbike toots in busy areas.
58.   Every Hindu village has 3 main Temples, these must be maintained by the village, including party areas like Kuta and Legian, you will find some right next-door to the nightclubs

BALI LIVING

59.   Bali has a Healthcare system for locals and expats, part of the National System, called BPJS, it’s very cheap, you must register though, if employed it will be paid by your employer, if self-employed you must pay once a month (25,000IDR up to 80,000IDR depending on the cover you want, that payment covers mother/father and 3 children.
60.   Medical services are free for the poor in Bali (but they must register, they need a letter from their village head to register)
61.   National schools are free for locals, you must pay for uniforms (and there are different ones for different days of the week) and books and other resources required
62.   Birth certificates are a relatively new thing and many people in Bali still do not have them.
63.   The last population censes was done in 2010, stating the population was 3,890,757, in 2014 it was estimated the population was 4,225,000. In 2016 (still waiting on a census) it has been rumored that we have reached nearly 5 million due to high migration from other Islands
64.   Foreigners cannot own freehold property in Indonesia, they can lease long term, depending on their visa
65.   You must have a work permit to work in Bali, whether paid or unpaid work.
66.   Many homes and business use a prepay electricity metre where you purchase the amount you want and put in a code.
67.   Many local homes do not have high enough Electrical KW in their home to run high powered electrical appliances, their power is not high enough to run an Air conditioner or Microwave, washing machine, vacuum cleaner or even a kettle.
68.   Many homes do not have mains water available so they rely on buying water delivered by a 500litre tankers (truck) and the price goes up in the dry season (175,000-300,000IDR)
69.   Being an Island we do depend on the mainland for our essential services such as power, drinking water, fuel etc. The Fuel stations often run out of fuel, drinking water can be hard to find at some times of the year and power cuts are very very common.
70.   My personal acronym for WIFI is that stands for “Where is Fast Internet” in Bali so please don’t complain about a hotel if the WIFI is slow, talk to each other, and remember you are on a Tropical Island!

MANNERS

71.   To ask “where are you going” is considered polite here, it means you were raised with manners
72.   When entering an office, someone’s home or a small shop it is polite to say “permisi”(Excuse Me)
73.   Balinese have a high respect of everyone else’s religion and are very Nation pride.
74.   National Pride and Morals is taught in primary school
75.   Respect for authority, Teachers, Police, Parents and elders is important in Bali and generally is upheld
76.   Balinese dress modestly and older people are often embarrassed and confused by Tourist choice of dress for visiting another country
77.   Balinese have a Caste System, you are born into, so we have Royal Families in Bali, the majority of Balinese are Sudra Caste, the lower Caste. Respect of Higher Caste is always shown
78.   Bloodlines are very pure in Bali and Balinese will protect their bloodlines…..
79.   For etiquette in Bali, read DO’s & Don’t in Bali

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