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Bali - Getting In, Around, and Out

A look at the logistics of visas and travel in Bali

· Indonesia,Visas

Bali is just one of the over 17,500 islands that make up Indonesia, but it's the largest tourism destination in the country. Its culture is known for arts including: dancing, metalworking, sculpting, and painting. As well as beaches, cheap spa days, and cool resorts. Before you can enjoy your time here though, there's a few little things you need to know, to make a smooth transition to vacation time.

Getting In

Update 6/27/17 - Visa regulations for a number of countries no longer require the visa on arrival, but can get a 30 day landing visa free. To check if your country is included see here.

For over 60 different countries, the visa on arrival option is available. This means for a fee you can get a 30 day visa at the airport. The visa costs US$25 per person (while they take other currencies for this, US dollars are the quickest, and will ensure you get the right change.) To see if your country is eligible click here. If you need to extend your visa, there are plenty of offices all around Bali, where for an additional $25 you can get another 30 days. If you're going to another island on a domestic flight, you won't need to buy another visa. Also make sure your passport is valid for 6 months during your visit, I have met people whose trip was ruined because they spent half their time in offices renewing their passport!


Visa on Arrival: The process

1) When you reach immigration follow the line for "Visa on Arrival", you'll stop at a cashier desk where you hand them your passport and US$25, they'll give you back your documents and two copies of this receipt.

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2) When you reach the immigration desk, hand them your receipts with your passport, they'll keep one copy and give you back your passport with your visa label inside. Pretty simple eh?

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One last detail in the airport - at the baggage claim there will be porters that will try to help you with your luggage. This is not a free service, so unless you're ready to pay, do not let anyone take your bags. I've seen a lot of people allowing them to help, then being surprised when their suitcase is being held hostage.

Getting Around

Taxi- If you need a taxi from the airport head out of the baggage claim and to the left, there's a desk for official drivers. Name your destination and they'll give you a price and a receipt. You'll pay the driver once you reach your stop. It's not that expensive, my drive to Ubud, a town an hour and a half away, cost only around US$20!

Scooters - If you're planning on getting around the island with only one or two people, scooter rentals are pretty cheap, and there's lots of places to buy glass bottles full of fuel. Though be careful with these if you're not the strongest driver, I've known a handful of people who rented one and then got into an accident. Don't let a slip up ruin the rest of your vacation!

Rental cars/Drivers - There's also plenty of places (especially online) to rent cars, or even hire a driver. If you've got a group, it might be easier to just hire a personal tour guide for the day, they can customize a trip for you, and the cost is usually charged by car, so the more people the cheaper.

Getting Out

Update 6/27/17 - As of 2015 the exit fee is included by airlines in their ticket price. To see more details visit here.

There's one last thing you must do when leaving Bali, and that's to pay an exit fee. The cost is IDR 150,000 per person (they only take Rupiah for this one.) It's easiest just to toss it in your passport once you get to your hotel, so you don't have to worry remembering later. To pay this fee, simply head towards immigration after checking in for your flight. They'll scan your boarding pass and place this label on the back. Once you've gotten this, hand it to another guy scanning these labels and you're all set to go through immigration and onto your flight!

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