Bali

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ShermansTravel experts rely on years of collective travel experience to bring you the best money-saving tips for your vacation. We take a discerning look at all the attraction passes, public transportation options, and other local bargains to make sure you get the most bang for your buck while traveling.

Bali Money-Saving Tips

Visas

Americans need visas to enter; the easiest way to obtain one is to buy a 7- or 30-day non-extendable visa ($10 and $25 respectively) upon arrival. Alternatively, purchase a 60-day renewable visa from the Indonesian consulate ($45; www.embassyofindonesia.org) prior to departure.

Language

While the official language is Indonesian, Balinese remains the everyday language of the people. Although English is widely spoken in most tourist areas, you’ll earn the local’s respect by mastering a few key phrases in their native tongue.

What to wear

Balinese show respect by dressing neatly and modestly. Informal dress is prohibited in temples, but shorts, sandals, and T-shirts are de rigueur during daylight hours.

Be a leftist

Always pass items (money, etc). to Indonesian people with your right hand – the left hand is used for unsanitary purposes in the bathroom.

Squat toilets

These are rare in touristy areas, but they do exist in Bali. If you encounter one, bear in mind that the plastic scoop in the water container is a manual flushing device. Toilet paper is nonexistent.

Crossing customs

Be aware that Indonesian law forbids visitors from bringing weapons, illegal drugs, pornography, recorded discs, or movies into the country. Penalties can be severe, including death for possession of weapons or drugs.

Cab around

Taxis are plentiful, affordable, and preferable to renting a car – not only do the Balinese drive on the left side of the road, they also frequently ignore traffic regulations. Additionally, the majority of rental cars have manual stick shift transmissions.

Water wise

Avoid tap water here and brush your teeth with bottled water. Local ice is a gamble but for the most part you will suffer no ill health in Bali if you take sensible precautions.

Religious festivals

Great respect should be shown for all Balinese festivals, events, and ceremonies, which will most likely be of religious significance on this predominantly Hindu island.

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