Finding an ATM is never a hassle – they’re scattered throughout Ubud particularly along the main street Jalan Raya, and are sometimes placed in 24-hour convenience stores as well.


Local banks are open Monday – Friday as well as on Saturday mornings. Major currencies can be exchanged here.


Most shops have fixed prices, but you can always ask if it’s ok to bargain (“bisa tawar?”) particularly if you’re the first customer of the day. In the markets, bargaining will be expected.

Credit Cards:

Most of the bigger businesses accept them.


Indonesian Rupiah. US dollars are the most frequently used foreign currency.


Drugs are illegal in Indonesia and bringing them into the country can result in the death penalty.


220 volts.


Don’t travel without it, and bring a copy of your policy with you.


Wifi is very readily available at hotels, cafes and restaurants, free of charge. There is also a smattering of email cafes along Jalan Raya near the post office.

Liquor Laws:

The legal age for consumption of alcohol is 17.

Mobile Phones:

You can purchase a local pre-paid SIM card easily and inexpensively; it often makes more sense to do this than to pay for international roaming fees. Some networks have special deals for making overseas calls.

Office hours:

Offices generally open from 8am-4pm, or 9am-5pm. Shops often stay open until 8pm.


The post office is located on Jalan Jembawan. Queues are often slow to move. Air mail can be expensive. There is a service called EPS for sending packages overseas; it’s reliable and reasonably priced. Insurance costs extra.

Road Rules:

The speed limit is 60 km/hour in built-up areas. Vehicles drive on the left. Shoes: Remove them before entering a private house.


Check when you book your accommodation or order a meal, if service taxes are added on. These can add as much as 15-21% onto your bill. If you’re not being taxed, be sure to leave a tip for the staff.

Telephone Code:

Indonesia +62 Time Zone: Bali is 8 hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, and doesn’t observe Daylight Saving.


If service tax is not included in your bill, it’s a kind gesture to leave 10% of your total as a tip. Generally, the staff that serve you (be it in a villa, restaurant or massage salon) will only see a tiny fraction of what you’re paying for the service, and your tip will brighten up their day.


In the tourist venues you’ll fnd Western-style toilets, but on occasion you might happen upon the Asian “squat” variety, which is a hole in the ground with a foot rest on either side. If there’s a bin next to the toilet, it’s for toilet paper. A water trough with a small bucket may be provided in lieu of a basin.


Most nationalities can purchase a 30-day tourist visa on arrival. Check with your country of origin before departing. Water: Never drink water from the tap, though it’s fine to use tap water to brush your teeth. Wash fruit and salads with pre-boiled, filtered or bottled water.


Strictly illegal in Indonesia without appropriate work papers. The authorities are really cracking down in Bali these days.