To fly to Indonesia and Bali you are required to have a passport with more than 6 months of validity left. Recently, the Indonesian government has issued a list of countries that are exempt from having a Visa. Citizens of those countries can get a free visa on arrival (VOA) at the first port of arrival in Indonesia, valid for 30 (thirty) days. This free Visa is not extendable.
If you intend to stay more than thirty days, you can buy a VOA for USD25, valid for one month and extendable for one more month.
The local currency is the Indonesian Rupiah. No need to get Rupiahs in your country, as your own currency can easily be exchanged in Indonesia in one of the official moneychangers available. Only change money in reliable moneychangers, that are easily recognizable. Avoid changing money on the street in small kiosks or shops. In Indonesia Visa and MasterCard credit cards are widely accepted, even though in many cases you will be charged an extra fee for using them. You can expect your American Express to be generally useless though. Diners card even worse. At The Samara you can use your card (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) at no extra costs.
In Bali, the sun rises at around 5am, and sets at around 6:30pm, all year round. Is pitch black at 7 pm. Since it is quite humid, mosquitoes can be a problem, especially in the south of the island. Bring with you a good mosquito repellent, and use it all day long if you can. The Dengue fever is not a nice souvenir to bring back home. At The Samara we do not have an issue with mosquitoes, thanks to the presence of local plants that naturally repel the insects. However, for more comfort and safety, we use the weekly services of an International pest control company. Also, mosquito repellent and mosquito lotion are available in your room for free.
Temperatures in Bali generally reach a maximum of 38°C during summertime (October to March) and never go below 25°C in wintertime (May to September).
Rainy season coincides with summer, but is not as bad as in the rest of Asia. If you are lucky, you can spend two weeks totally dry even during Summer.
In Ubud, temperatures are sensibly lower, especially at night, while rain is more abundant. Bring a sunscreen, and a raincoat.
Bali is the only Hindu island in the whole Indonesian Archipelago. Therefore its culture and traditions are very different from the rest of the Country. The Balinese life is driven by strong religious beliefs, and ceremonies are a daily happening. It is very common to encounter one or more ceremonies during your time in Bali, which is a nice opportunity to shoot some good pictures. Ceremonies can be very big and thousands of Balinese may join. This also means that a ceremony can completely paralyze traffic for long periods, even hours in the worse cases. Just plan ahead when leaving to the airport as your journey may be delayed sensibly. We suggest leaving to the airport and from The Samara or Ubud in general at least 4 hours prior to your departure time in order to avoid risking losing your flight.
Bali has a rich and varied diet, mainly based on rice and with a wide use of vegetables and spices. Please be aware that some dishes even if deemed mildly spicy by the Balinese, can be very hot for foreigners. It is generally safe to eat almost anywhere in Bali, even if we do not really recommend eating from the street carts that populate the island and are commonly used by the locals. The “Bali Belly” is a gastric disturb that is not uncommon among tourists. In the best cases it is just a stomachache that will go away in a day, while in the worst cases it can put you to bed for several days with high fever, diarrhea, and vomiting. The best way to avoid the Bali Belly is to eat only in reliable places, with good hygiene and safety standards. At The Samara our full service Dolce Arancia Restaurant serves the best of two worlds, Indonesian and Italian, in order to have a nice and safe meal with a beautiful view over the rice fields. We invite you to give a try to our menu, that also features a full Vegan menu, vegetarian choices, and gluten free options.