Located 8° south of the equator, Bali enjoys a warm, tropical climate year-round. The weather is particularly pleasant from June until September, when the trade winds blow. It can get quite cool in Bali’s extensive mountain regions. Humidity is highest during the November to March rainy season. Even during the heaviest rains, however, the sun is rarely out of sight for long. The mean temperature is a pleasant 27°C (81°F).
Balinese is a complex language with several levels rooted in social class or caste distinctions. Bahasa Indonesia is also spoken by all Balinese. Developed from old Malay, it has become the Indonesian archipelago’s unifying national language. English is increasingly spoken in the main tourist centres. Dutch is still understood by the older generation, while French, German and Japanese have a following among some in the tourist trade.
The national currency is the rupiah. The bills are issued between 1,000 and 100,000 rupiah. The coins run from 100 to 1,000. US dollars are accepted in a number of larger tourist centres.
Visitors from certain countries require a tourist visa in advance, some can obtain these on arrival at any international airport in Indonesia and some visitors do not require a visa at all. The visa-on-arrival fee for citizens of eligible countries is US$35 for a 30-day visa and is extendable for another 30 days. Passports must be valid for at least six months from the arrival date and have at least four full blank pages. Guests are advised to check with their nearest Indonesian embassy or consulate prior to travel, or to contact Amanresorts’ reservations department for more information.
At each of the Amans in Indonesia, a nurse is on call 24 hours a day. In certain areas of Southeast Asia, there is a chance of contracting mosquito-borne diseases. In Indonesia, the main resort areas of Java and Bali are safe. There is, however, a risk in some rural areas. Reasonable precautions, including the use of mosquito repellent early in the morning and late in the day, will minimise the risk. You may also want to consult your doctor.
Electricity is 220 volts/50 cycles. Bali’s time zone is plus eight hours GMT. Loose and casual clothing is advisable. In the dry season, April to November, you may need a light sweater in the evenings, especially in the hill country.