Frequently Asked Questions
Useful Information about Bali
Climate and weather in Bali is tropical with a rather high level of humidity. Despite the rainy season from November to March, the weather on the island is reliably hot and sunny throughout the year. Daily highs average around 30 degrees, other than in the central mountain area, where temperatures are cooler.
The local currency in Bali is the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR), or Rp. Although many businesses list their prices in Euros or US Dollars, they are not allowed to cash in these currencies, thus you should always pay in the local currency. All major foreign currencies can be easily exchanged in banks or money changers. Make sure to use the services of authorized money changers and always count the amount of Rupiah given to you before you leave the window and always ask for an official receipt. In most of the places, you can also pay with Visa or Mastercard bank cards.
The official language in Bali is Indonesian but local people also speak their own language – Balinese. Many of them speak English too, particularly around tourist destinations and orientation signs are written in the Latin alphabet. However keep in mind only the main roads are indicated so unless you have a GPS navigation, you might have to ask for directions a lot. ( Bali Map )
There are many taxis and private transport companies operating in Bali. If you prefer travelling in comfort with a reliable company, do not hesitate to use the transport services of OK Divers Resort & Spa. Adventurous travelers can take advantage of renting a scooter which costs roughly around 60 000 Rp a day. However we advise you to be cautious as the Bali traffic can be rather heavy and chaotic. Bear in mind that you have to drive on the left side of the road.
Except for the hotel chains, brand or larger stores, bargaining price is vital part of Balinese culture. If you want to bargain like a pro and have intention to buy something, don’t be shy to start with an offering price. Keep your smile but be polite to the seller too.
If you go to a hotel or restaurant in Bali, you might find that in addition to the government tax, there will be the service charge added to the final bill. Hence you don’t have to tip the staff. There is no custom of tipping here, but if you do want to tip the waiting staff, porters or housekeepers, 10 000 IDR (20 000 IDR maximum) will make them more than happy. In many businesses, the tip money is usually shared.
In Bali, you can expect the sockets and plugs with 2 round pins, commonly used in most of Europe. If you are traveling from countries with different types of sockets, we can lend you adapter at our reception in OK Divers.
Since Bali is located in the Pacific ring of fire, it is not uncommon to feel a very mild earthquake now and then. There is nothing to worry about as this is a normal occurrence and hotels and buildings are nowadays built to sustain it without any problems. Another relatively common phenomenon in Bali is an active volcano, spitting ash from time to time. Our resort is located in Padangbai in a very safe distance of 30 kilometers from Mt. Agung, so you do not have to be concerned about your safety.
Weather in Bali
Bali is a good holiday destination any time of year because it has basically good weather all year round. From April to October the island has the least rain, lots of sun and the lowest humidity. From November to March there is more rainfall but rain is often immediately followed by sunny clear skies. The humidity during this time is bit higher and you may feel the “heaviness” of the air. Bali’s central mountains or volcanoes have few peaks bit over 3,000 meters above the sea level and temperatures up there are considerably cooler with much more rainfall than on the coast.
Pack light clothes made from breathable fabrics. We recommend clothes made out of cotton, silk or linen as they are cool and suitable for Bali’s wet season humid conditions. Pack a plain PVC raincoat it is light and it provides perfect rain cover without being too warm, either. Remember to bring sandals.
Bali’s dry season officially starts in May and ends in October. During this time southeast winds bring dry air from Australia. In dry season you should expect warm days, blue sunny sky and in the evenings, especially on the coast and in the highlands refreshing cool breeze. During this time there is less humidity, good surfing waves and you can see the famous mola mola if you like to do some diving in Bali.
Dry season is great time for tracking too and Batur sunrise tour is really a must. But remember everyone else wants to visit Bali in dry season too, so expect busy island time. Hotels, restaurants, beaches and even Bali Dive sites may be bit overloaded with people which obviously make resort prices higher especially during the peak in July and August.
Even during the rainy season Bali is still great place for vacation. It is way less crowded and cheaper too. In wet season from November to April Bali’s average temperature is around 31 degrees, but the weather feels way steamier and the skies are often overcast. The weather during wet season in Bali is very unpredictable. Sometimes it rains for an hour and the sun comes back out, but sometimes you have days of constant rain but you would need to be very unlucky if you coming here at least for a week for it to be overcast the entire time.
Anyway the rain is often a welcome relief from the heat and humidity. The room prices in Bali hotels are during the rainy season usually at their lowest. In terms of service and hospitality, you will get more and better attention everywhere you go.
As we said travel and accommodation costs are generally lower during the rainy season so yu can get or do more and spend less money.
- Walk and see rice fields they are much greener during the rainy times
- Visit water temples like Tirta Empul or Tirta Ganga
- Try scuba diving all Bali dive sites are much quieter and water is warmer during this time
- Go river rafting as the rivers are much stronger
- Have a balinese massage in resort spa
- Do a cooking class in Balinese cooking school
- Snorkel with manta rays on Manta Point Nusa Penida
- Try some Yoga class
- Remeber to swim or dance in the rain
Best time to visit Bali
Bali, enriched with ancient culture and history, picturesque sites, warm waters and wonderful hospitality is one of the most popular destinations for tourists, honeymooners and people who love to go on vacations. Bali is a province of Indonesia and it is the western most island of the Lesser Sunda Islands in Indonesia. The lack of rain during the summer season makes Bali more comfortable for beach lovers.
People visit Bali mostly for tropical vacation, but if you plan on visiting Bali specifically for diving with mola mola then the best time for you is from June to November. Even though Bali has warm waters throughout the year these are the months when the water can get bit colder. Sometimes as low as 20 degrees. That is the reason that ocean sunfish comes at this time. From November to March it is season where there are most rains but they would not really effect your Bali diving experience.
Since Bali is located in the middle of Indonesian through-flow it has numerous interesting dive sites. The water currents can be enormous and mostly they move water from Philippines to Pacific and back. Due to this, there is abundance of marine life all over Indonesia. While diving in Bali you will get to see sea animals that you have never seen before in your life.
Menjangan Bali is one of the most beautiful dive site in Bali due to its coral growth. Menjangan is an amazing dive destination for wall diving. The walls are covered with great gorgonian sea fans and sponges. Boat trips to Menjangan Island subject to National Park entrance fee of IDR 200.000 / person per day. Once you enter the marine park you will be able to enjoy its white sand beaches and the sublime view over Bali and also the volcanos of Java.
Padangbai Bali is one of the most popular places for underwater photographers in Bali. If you are a macro lower than this is the place to dive. Ocotopuses, ribbon eels and even sea horses are found at this Bali dive site. Padangbai dive sites include Blue Lagoon, Jepun, Secret Jepun, Secret Jetty, Jepun, Tanah Ampoe, White Sand Beach, Ferry Channel and Tanjung Sari shark point. Why not try them all?
Tulamben Bali is one the of most popular diving location in Bali. The Tulamben Liberty Ship wreck is a must do dive for every diver visiting Bali. The wreck is 120 m long and is a fantastic dive site to explore. This shore entry dive spot is en excellent dive location for those trying scuba diving for the first time as well as for more experienced divers.
Find your self a good dive guide and we wish you an amazing Bali diving experience.
Bali is amazing all year round but there has to be a best time to visit. Some people like to visit places when they are quiet while others like to go when they are the busiest so they can enjoy the diversity of the people. Just like every other touristy destination, Bali also has a high time and a low time.
Also, if look at the weather in Bali, then Bali doesn’t experience four seasons like most countries. Since it is at the south of the equator, it only has the wet and the dry season. Now, both the wet and dry seasons are hot and bit humid. The distinguishing factor between the two is the amount of the rain. The dry high season is the busiest and the low rainy season have fewer tourists.
The high season in Bali is the busiest because tourists and vacationers from all the over world come to visit. It is the dry season in Bali. The high or peak seasons usually come in during the summer holidays, easter holidays and then around the Christmas and New year. The months of December and January are also included in the high season. In christmas time the season remains busy mostly until the first week of January because after that people usually have to get back to work and school.
Things to do in Bali
While you are planning to go on vacation in Bali, you must figure out things to do beforehand so that you don’t have to waste time over there figuring out activities. Pre-planning is definitely the best option. If you are planning a trip to Bali, you should be super excited for what is ahead. Bali is one of the most popular destinations in the world and it is for good reason! To help you out, we did all the research and made a list of things to do for you.
Just little bit off of the mainland of Bali you will find three gorgeous islands Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Nusa Panida is the biggest one. The best way to get there is by ferry or a speed boat. Free ticket to Nusa Penida with OK Divers in Padangbai is one of the most convenient and cheapest options. It is possible to go there for a day trip but Nusa Penida is too beautiful for that. You should really intend to stay there bit longer and explore it more.
The rentals for most of the year range between $50-$60 per night. If you are into caves then you must check out the Pura Goa Giri Putri Cave, crawling through its crack to reach inside will be very exciting. If you want to spend some time at the white sand beach then Atuh Beach is worth your time. Nusa Penida is totally mesmerizing!
The Ubud Monkey Forest’s original name is Mandala Wisata Wenara Wana but it is popularly known as Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. In this forest, the Balinese Hindu temple is also located, so, along with many monkeys, you will also get to see interesting temple structures. It is a beautiful place to visit and one of the most popular things to do in Ubud tour.
The monkeys that are inhabited in this forest are the long-tailed macaques and their population is said to be around 605. Do not panic, if the monkeys jump on you please drop any food and walk away slowly. They will soon jump off.
What is better than starting the day with the lovely sunrise? While you are in Bali, make sure to not miss out the mount Batur sunrise trekking. Since the temperature gets higher in the day, its better that you hike super early in the morning and meanwhile, you will get to see the gorgeous sunrise.
You might have to start your hike at around 4am and you must leave the place you are staying at around 2:30 am so that you are able to catch the sunrise. When you will be starting your hike, it will be extremely dark but eventually the bright sun rays will emerge and when they hit your skin, it will be the most amazing feeling ever.
While you are on Bali vacation, or made a trip specifically for scuba diving, why not pamper yourself? Balinese massage is special and you surely feel relaxed and stress relieved after getting it. The masseuses in our resort spa are well-trained and they know exactly what they are doing. Balinese massage is a kind of a healing ritual, it relaxes your body. It is a combination of Chinese and Ayurvedic medicines, and during the massage, the essential oils along with the pressure applies will stimulate the blood flow in your body.
Even if you are a vacationer or a honeymooner, you should give scuba diving in Bali a try. Scuba diving in Bali dive sites is another world altogether. Bali is located in the coral triangle, the highest coral diversity in the world that hosts 76% of the world’s coral species and more than 2000 species of reef fish. Even if you are a beginner or never tried diving before, you can get the required diving training from the local dive centres. If you are a professional or experienced scuba diver, then the best time for you to visit Bali and dive is from May to November.
Directions to Padangbai
Padangai is a small fisherman village located on the east coast of Bali. It is well known as the main seaport in the area, proving transport to Lombok and popular Gilis. However, this place has much more to offer for visitors that want to explore less touristy cultural sites, great diving and snorkeling or rest at the beach. Once you arrive in Padangbai, it is very easy to get around since everything is within a walking distance and you do not need to rent a scooter. The nearest town is Klungkung, located around 15 kilometers from here.
From the south of Bali around the airport area, the average time is approximately an hour and a half depending on the time of day. Similar applies to Ubud area, Amed and Tulamben with the journey taking around 1,5 hours depending on the traffic. If you are traveling from Uluwatu or Nusa Dua area, the route might take up to two hours.
- One option is with one of the many fast boats from the Gilli Islands, Bangsal and Teluk Kode in Lombok. We recommend you choose some of our trusted operators to ensure your ride will be safe and pleasant.
- Option two is taking a ferry from Lembar in Lombok. Although the price can be significantly lower, the journey might take several hours. On the other hand, if the weather in Bali is bad this can be a more comfortable choice.
The fast boats will take you on average around one and a half hour, but this depends on the sea conditions. If the conditions are bad, this ride can take up to several hours, so we recommend you choosing your way of transportation based on the weather.
The slow ferries take approximately four hours but depending on the time of day it can take a while to fill the ferry before it leaves the harbor, surprisingly though there always seems to be a steady flow of vehicles and passengers ready to board.
Padangbai Things To Do
Doesn’t matter whether you are an experienced diver or only a diving newbie, the bustling underwater life here will surely amaze you. When diving in Bali you can appreciate the beautiful coral reefs full of mesmerizing marine creatures, exotic fishes, and if you are lucky you might even spot a shark. Never tried diving before?
Don’t worry! OK Divers offers the Discover Scuba Diving experience where you can try the life of a diver for one day and even get into the depth of 12 meters. On the other hand, if we have convinced you to get your diving certification, you can do a 3-day course and start exploring the ocean to the fullest.
Even though Bali has many beaches, it is rather difficult to find one where you can swim without having to struggle with huge waves, or walk too far to get into deeper water. Luckily, Padangbai has an exception – the White sand beach. It is not a secret spot, but definitely a hidden one. After walking up the hill for 15 minutes, you can relax at the white sand, swim, and snorkel, or take some cool pictures at the rock pools and reef formations.
If you wish to visit a typical Balinese temple but do not want it to be spoiled by dozens of other tourists, head to Silayukti temple. This 11th-century building belongs among the oldest ones in Bali. Interestingly, every 210 days it becomes a meeting point of pilgrims from all over the island, doing their prayers over a course of 4 days to celebrate its anniversary.
This is an impressive event to witness as you might even be lucky and join the traditional Balinese cleanse involving holy water and blessings from a local priest. What’s more, there are also two other temples along the path – Pura Telaga Mas and Pura Tanjungsari, so a day trip here is definitely worth it. Read more about the Silayukti temple here.
You don’t have to be the biggest ocean enthusiast to appreciate the majestic manta rays. These amazing creatures can measure up to 5,5 meters and meeting them eye-to-eye is surely a breath-taking experience. Did you know that you can dive or snorkel with them all year round in Nusa Penida? Your best choice would be a Manta Point trip with OK Divers as we can take you to their cleaning station where you encounter these amazing creatures from a close distance and in a very calm mood. Book your diving or snorkeling in Bali with mantas here.
One of the main reasons why travelers come to Padangbai is good access to the famous Gilis. These islands are known for turquoise water, and coconut trees along white beaches are easily reachable by ferry or speed boat going from the Padangbai port several times a day. Gilis can please every kind of traveler – if you seek a calm paradise with no one around, head to Gili Meno, especially beloved by honeymooners.
On the other hand, a young backpacker looking for entertainment should head to Gili Trawangan, known as a party island. The last of them, Gili Air offers a golden mean of these two. Stay or dive with OK Divers Resort and get the cheapest ticket to Gili with our special deal.
In case you are into beach and chill, we have some good news for you! Blue Lagoon Beach is one of the finest relaxing spots around. Surrounded by the green and rocky hills and palm trees, it provides a calm and private place for sunbathing either on the sunbeds or sand. More active travelers can enjoy a good swim or snorkeling here as the water is mostly calm.
Balinese culture and history is famed for its unique traditions and customs, and a cockfight is certainly one of them. Without a doubt, it requires an open mind as it will be uncomfortable scenery for a typical western eye. To make the fight more dramatic, each rooster has a very sharp spur attached to their leg which in the end results in deep and often fatal cuts on the loser.
What’s more, the fight is usually accompanied by loud screaming of local men often betting huge amounts of money. If these words did not put you off and you are keen on seeing a rooster fight, then the chances are that you might encounter one in Padangbai. Learn more about the cockfight.
If you feel like diving is not really your thing but you would still love to see marine life, then snorkeling is the right choice for you! This is especially true in case you don’t have the time or desire to pursue a diver license.
Padangbai offers numerous snorkeling locations where you can easily see corals, colorful fishes, and other ocean creatures. Take a look at the best selection of snorkeling tours.
Padangbai has a perfect location for exploring all of the gems of east Bali in one day. In case you are interested in culture and traditions, the East Bali tour with OK Divers is something for you. First off, you can visit the well-known Pura Luhur Lempuyang, famous for its spectacular view on the Agung volcano inside its main gate. Next stop is the royal bath of Tirta Gangga, build in 1946 as former King’s summer residence.
This complex got its name from the word Tirta which means holy and the Ganges river in India. It combines statues and ponds with carps that you can feed, making it a perfect place for a family relax. Lastly, they take you to Tenganan village. It is one of the few places where the Balinese still hold on to their ancient traditions such as weaving and managed to preserve the traditional houses. Click on the link to find out more information about East Bali tour.
Are you a morning person? If yes, then what about a spectacular Nusa Penida snorkeling tour with a stunning view on rising sun above the east coast of Bali? On this trip with OK Divers, you can sail on the traditional boat called jukung while seeing truly magical morning hues at the sea and then stop either at Gamat Bay, Mangrove Point, or Gili Toyapakeh all of which offer wonderful marine and coral life. Seeing the beauty of Nusa Penida in the golden morning sun while exploring the underwater world is definitely worth waking up early! Try our Nusa Penida Snorkeling Tour.
Dos & Don’ts in Bali
- DO bargain in the markets and street shops. Humor and a smile can get you a long way in bargaining with locals. If your bargaining isn’t going the way you wish, don’t be afraid to walk away. We guarantee you will get the merchant’s attention. Balinese believe the first sale of the day is lucky, but once you get your bargaining routine, you can get a good deal in Bali at any time
- DON’T bargain too hard. Remember 5000 Rp is likely a lot more to them than it is to you.
- DON’T touch persons’ heads. That goes for kids too, even if they are really cute. The head is considered the most sacred part of the human body. bargain too hard. Remember 5000 Rp is likely a lot more to them than it is to you.
- DO drink lots of bottled water. Bali is hot all year round and you don’t want to dehydrate.
- DON’T drink tap water. It does not taste good and will almost certainly give you stomach problems.
- DO use both hands when giving or receiving – It is a compliment to use both hands when you give or receive things like money or a business card.
- DON’T hand over something with your left hand only – It is considered impolite.
- DON’T point with your index finger or feet – Using your index finger or pointing with your feet is considered very offensive.
- DO use the entire hand if you want to point out something.
- DO take off your shoes when entering a Balinese’s house. Balinese often sit on the floor and it is not polite to walk around with your shoes on.
- DON’T reject a second serving of a meal, it is considered impolite
- DO leave a little bit of food on your plate when you are finished – as an offering to the gods as well as to let the host know you have had enough to eat.
- DO drive carefully and cautiously, Balinese traffic can be frantic
- DO wear a helmet, long pants, long sleeves, and proper shoes
- DON’T hold the horn for long, it is considered aggressive which will be frowned upon
- DO honk the horn briefly to let the others know you are passing
- DON’T forget to wear sunscreen
- DO try the delicious local cuisine, however, be aware of the famous “Bali Belly” stomach problems that tourists often face here. We recommend you rather choosing from reliable restaurants such as The Colonial
- DON’T swim in red-flag zones since some beaches from Kuta to Canggu have strong undercurrents and rip tides.
- DON’T come too close to monkeys, especially in major touristic places such as Ubud and Uluwatu. Monkeys here are used to seeing tourists and will not hesitate to jump on you or even steal your belongings if you do not keep your distance
- DO try traditional Balinese massage, especially in our Green Spa
- DO check out the amazing diving & snorkeling activities and PADI courses we offer at OK Divers. Padangbai and Bali, in general, offer numerous beautiful dive sites with colorful corals and plenty of reef fish including the gracious Manta Rays and very rare Mola Mola
Bali’s Day of Silence – Nyepi
Nyepi marks the start of the New Year and the arrival of spring. The Balinese Hindus do not celebrate the coming of the new year of the Saka calendar with lavish party. They celebrate it with meditation instead. Nyepi is a day intended for self-reflection and any activities that might disturb this are not allowed. These mandatory religious prohibitions include no pleasure (amati lelangon), no traffic (amati lelungan), no fire (amati geni) and no work (amati karya).
Nyepi day in Bali has been a national holiday in Indonesia since 1983. Hotel guests and travelers in Bali need to take into consideration that on Nyepi Day, hotels won’t be able to accept any check-in nor check-out throughout the day.
- The whole island will fall into silence.
- All shops in Padangbai as well as in all Bali are closed on Nyepi Day.
- Guests are required to stay inside the resort facilities.
- Our resort restaurant will be closed. Guests may order meals on at the reception. Meals will be prepared one day before Nyepi and reheated the following day. The use of stoves for cooking is not allowed (no fire rule). However we will be able to use microwave oven to reheat meals.
- In general, all sounds need to be kept at a minimum level: music or TV in the rooms or wherever in our premises or around the hotel pools
- All lights have to be switched off during the day and during the night.
- There will be no traffic on that day in the whole Bali Island.
- The international airport Ngurah Rai will be totally closed and there will be neither arrivals nor departures in the airport on that day. All connecting airports around the globe are aware of this restriction.
- Across all Bali, only emergency rooms and maternity sections of hospitals will be functioning. Any emergencies are taken into consideration and tolerated.
Our Resort in Padangbai will operate in a limited manner to respect and honor this important festive day. However, one day before Nyepi, merry celebrations happen in most places around the island. On this Pengerupukan Day, there will be a traditional Ogoh-Ogoh parade performed by Padangbai villagers in the evening.
Ogoh-Ogoh is the manifestation of a person, an object or anything that disturbs human lives. After the parade the Ogoh-Ogoh are ceremoniously burned, and a rather loud and cheerful party follows. You are more than welcome to witness this ritual parade and the very special atmosphere of the Nyepi day.
Pecalang (Bali’s traditional community security guards) patrol the island’s ghost-town streets in their distinctive black-and-white-checked sarongs. If they find anyone breaking the rules and the curfew, they’ll escort them back to the Banjar (the village council-the community extension of the house and family), where they will have to pay a fine. OK Divers Resort & Spa will not pay any fine arisen by our guests not respecting the rules we have stated in our hotel during the Nyepi Day. We kindly invite you to respect this sacred day and observe these restrictions.
Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in case you have any questions or concerns about the Nyepi day.