Current issues of English-language dailies (Jakarta Post and the International Herald Tribune)
and major news magazines can be found at bookshops and minimarts in South Bali and
Ubud. Don't buy either newspaper at more than cover price from street vendors, who are also
the only source for Australian newspapers, which they sell for outrageous prices.
The range of prices used in this topic are
Budget Most rooms cost less than 250,000Rp (less than
US$35) per night.
Midrange Most rooms cost between 250,000Rp (around
US$35) and 800,000Rp (around US$75).
Top End Most rooms cost more than 800,000Rp (more
Pop radio in Bali often has DJs jamming away in English. Short-wave broadcasts, such as
Voice of America and the BBC World Service, can be picked up in Bali. Many hotels and some
bars have satellite TV with all the international channels.
Indonesia uses the PAL broadcasting standard, the same as Australia, New Zealand, the UK
and most of Europe; for DVDs you buy here though, be aware that you may need a multi-
region DVD player.
Electricity is usually 220V to 240V AC in Bali. Wall plugs are the standard European variety -
round with two pins. Service is usually reliable.
Dangers & Annoyances
Rates are almost always negotiable, especially
outside the main peak season, and if you are
staying for a few days, or longer, at midrange
or top-end places, you should always seek a dis-
count. In the low season, discounts between 30%
and 50% aren't uncommon in many midrange
and top-end hotels. Note that a high-season
surcharge applies in many top-end hotels dur-
ing holiday periods such as Christmas.
Rates are often given in US dollars (US$) as
opposed to rupiah (Rp), especially at higher-
end places. Sometimes rates are in both cur-
rencies, meaning you should offer to pay in
the one offering the best deal based on current
Indonesia follows the metric system. There is a conversion table for the imperial system on
the inside front cover.
Embassies & Consulates
Festivals & Events
Gay & Lesbian Travellers
word 'losmen', 'homestay,' 'inn' or ' pondok '.
Losmen are often built in the style of a Ba-
linese home, ie a compound with an outer
wall and separate buildings around an inner
There are losmen all over Bali, and they vary
widely in standards and price. In a few places
you'll find a room for as little as 40,000Rp,
but generally they're in the 50,000Rp to
150,000Rp range. Some of the cheap rooms
are definitely on the dull side, but others are
attractive, well kept and excellent value for
money. A lush garden can be one of the most
attractive features, even in very cheap places.
The price usually includes a light breakfast,
and rooms have an attached bathroom with a
shower (cold water only), basin and generally
a Western-style toilet and a fan.
Many budget places also resemble hotels
and as competition in Bali has heated up,
it's not uncommon to find amenities such as
pools, hot water and air-con in budget places
with rooms under 250,000Rp. Don't expect
great levels of service in any of these places -
although smiles abound.
hot water versus a fan and cold water. Pools
Upper-midrange hotels normally give their
price in US dollars. Prices range from US$30
to US$75, and should include hot water, air-
con, satellite TV and the like. Rooms at the
top price end are likely to have a sunken bar in
the swimming pool (usually unattended, but
it looks good on the brochure). Many have a
sense of style that is beguiling and which may
help postpone your departure.
Photography & Video
The only camping ground on the whole island
is at the headquarters of the Taman Nasional
Bali Barat at Cekik in western Bali. It is only
useful if you want to trek in the national park,
and you will have to bring your own camping
and cooking equipment.
Even if you're trekking in the central moun-
tains, or in the national park, you will rarely
find use for a tent - there are usually shelters
of some sort, and most hikes can be completed
in one day anyway.
Top-end hotels in Bali are world-class. You can
find excellent places in Seminyak, Jimbaran,
the resort strip of Nusa Dua and Tajung Benoa
and Ubud. Exclusive properties can be found
around the coast of East Bali and around Pe-
muteran in North Bali. Service is refined and
you can expect décor that seems plucked from
the pages of a glossy magazine. Views are su-
perb - whether they're of the ocean or of lush
valleys and rice paddies. At the best places
you can expect daily deliveries of fresh fruit
and flowers to your room. Bali regularly has
several places in surveys of top hotels such as
those done by Conde Nast Traveller .
Although top end in this topic usually
means a place where the average room costs
at least US$75, you can multiply that by a fac-
tor of five at some of the world-class resorts.
Bali has a huge range of accommodation,
primarily in hotels of every shape, size and
price. It has great value lodging no matter
what your budget.
All accommodation attracts a combined tax
and service (called 'plus plus') charge of 21%.
In budget places, this is generally included
in the price, but check first. Many midrange
(but not all) and top-end places will add it on,
which can add substantially to your bill.
In this guide, the rates quoted are those
Pretty much every place to stay in Bali and
Lombok will arrange tours, car rental and
other services. Laundry service is universally
available, sometimes for free.
Midrange hotels are often constructed in Ba-
linese bungalow style and set on spacious
grounds with a pool. In the less expensive
midrange hotels, rooms are priced from about
The cheapest accommodation n Bali is in