Your ultimate guide for your Bali trip from India!(flights, visa & more) Last Updated: September 5, 2022
Did you know? Bali is known as the Island of Gods. This is because of the wide presence of Balinese Hinduism in the daily life of the locals and in Balinese architecture.
I recently spent a little over two weeks at this beautiful destination and have a lot of information to share with you from Bali!
To begin with, I have created this checklist for you that will make your Bali trip way more seamless.
If you are planning on travelling to this gorgeous location from India, then do read this article as it is going to come in super handy BEFORE your trip.
This article is very basic but extremely useful to assist you in planning your trip.
I flew Vietjet from Mumbai to Bali via Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). My one-way ticket costed me approximately INR 17,000 (around USD 215).
Please keep in mind that is a low-cost airline. This means that no meals are included, the seats are not very comfortable and there are long layovers.
The total duration of this journey was supposed to be 13.5 hours with a 4.5 to 5-hour layover in Ho Chi Minh City but the flight was delayed by an hour and I ended up spending nearly 6 hours at Ho Chi Minh airport.
I will not recommend this airline for your Bali trip if you are not on a tight budget.
The reason I flew Vietjet was because of 2 main reasons:
- I booked my tickets closer to my date of travel (3 weeks in advance) and this airline was the most cost-effective at that point
- I am very used to budget travelling so the backpacker in me wasn’t ready to spend 2x more on airfare 😛
If it was a short-duration flight journey, then Vietjet definitely works. But for long-haul flights, it can get very uncomfortable so my tip: Pay a little more and travel comfortably.
I have shared my flight experience in my YouTube video in case you want to check it out.
Some airlines you can choose to book your flight from:
- Singapore Airlines
- Malaysia Airlines
While the Indonesian government is planning to introduce an e-visa for Indian citizens, at the moment Indians don’t need to apply for an Indonesian visa pre-departure. It is VISA ON ARRIVAL for us 🙂
But you do need some prerequisites for the VOA process.
Documents required as per the official website for VOA:
- Passport valid for at least 6 months
- Complete visa application form
- Proof of stay in Bali (at least for the first 2-3 nights)
- Proof of onward travel or return flight ticket
The above-mentioned documents were asked for me and nothing more but the official website also mentions some other documents which you can carry for a safe side. Please note, that I wasn’t asked for any other below documents :
- 6-months bank statements
- Proof of vaccination*
- 2 passport size photographs
- Travel Insurance
More information is on this website.
*there is an app that we were asked to download and upload the vaccination certificate on that app. It is called PeduliLindungi. But no one really asked me about my vaccination. I would still suggest you download it and upload your vaccination certificate for the safe side.
I have shown a step-by-step process of how to register on this app and upload your vaccination proof in my YouTube video.
No RT-PCR test is required as of now to enter Bali.
You have to pay a visa fee of USD 35 at the counter. You can pay by a card or in cash. INR is not accepted. Please carry USD, EUR or IDR if you can.
Visa validity: 30 days with an option to renew it for another 30 days only ONCE.
3. Travel Insurance
I will ALWAYS recommend carrying travel insurance with you irrespective of whether it is required for visa purposes.
Travel insurance has been my saviour a few times in the recent past. I have had two scary accidents on my travels before and have had to go to the hospital abroad.
Although the hospital bills were steep, my insurance covered me.
So please get one! You cant anticipate unforeseen circumstances.
As of now, I doubt it is required for VOA in Bali (I wasn’t asked for it) but in rare cases, they may ask you so always keep it in handy.
Here are two Travel Insurances I recommend:
4. Currency exchange & Bali scam
This is an important one but is usually taken lightly by many travellers.
Indonesia’s currency is IDR (Indonesian Rupiah). In Bali, it is very rare that they will accept any other currency besides their local one.
So you have no option but to exchange currency once you are in Bali.
Bali is BIG on cash. So I would recommend you load less money on your International Credit Card / Travel Card and carry more in cash.
It is best to carry USD from India and then convert this to IDR once you land in Bali as the exchange rates are better for USD than INR in Bali.
If you plan to use your card, there are 2 travel cards that I would recommend:
- Niyo Global: This is the first time I used Niyo Global. Although I majorly used cash, there was one instance where this card turned out to be super useful. It has zero mark-up fee and you also get free international lounge access in India
- ICICI Forex card: I have been using this for many years now. I didn’t get a chance to use it on this trip but it has worked really well for me in the previous years
The famous BALI SCAM
This is VERY IMPORTANT for your Bali trip. Please read.
If you do your research online about currency exchange in Bali, you will probably come across the Bali Scam which is apparently very common and sadly, I fell for it too when I was there. (despite knowing about it before my trip!)
So there are very small distinctions between an authorized currency exchange and an illegal currency exchange.
Authorized currency exchange:
- Will give you the same rate or a rate with minute differences as compared to other authorized currency exchanges
- They will always give you a receipt
- They will never ask you for extra cash
Illegal currency exchange:
- Will not give you a receipt
- Their little kiosk or office will not be on the main road
- They may give you a much better exchange rate than what’s out there in the market to attract you
- They might offer to count other notes for you and in the process, snatch away a note or two without you knowing about it (it’s a skill!)
- It may or may not read authorized so beware!
A popular authorized currency exchange place in Bali is P.T. You will find this everywhere. It is 100% safe.
Also, please don’t exchange currency at the airport. The exchange rates are really high. You can ask your taxi driver to stop at a P.T. on the way to your hotel/villa. Unless you land at odd hours or are in urgent need of local currency, avoid exchanging your money at the airport.
5. Sim card
Some travellers choose to get international roaming from India which costs around INR 5000 – INR 6000 minimum.
I prefer local sim cards wherever I travel. They are cheaper and work better even in remote areas in my experience.
Telkomsel is one of the most popular sim cards to use in Bali and I can’t recommend it enough for your Bali trip.
For the first 10 days in Bali, I didn’t even feel the need to get a sim card because there was wifi in hotels, villas and restaurants. But I got one in the last week.
A local Telkomsel sim will cost you around INR 500 – INR 600 depending on your plan.
You can choose to purchase it at the airport (the price may vary as airport charges will be applicable) or purchase it locally once you get out of the airport. You can ask the locals where to buy a sim card from. There are some grocery stores that sell sim cards and also dedicated phone stores.
Now you have your flights, visa, and travel insurance sorted. Sim card you plan to purchase in Bali. Now the only thing left for you to do is book your hotel transfer once you land at the Denpasar Airport (Bali airport)
There are 3 apps that I recommend you to download from India itself for your Bali trip.
Best for booking a taxi from the airport! This should be your no.1 option to book your hotel transfer. It is the most recommended one too. You can either book through the app or reach the airport and book one directly once you exit. If you don’t have a local sim, then you may have trouble registering on the app beforehand so booking one directly will be your best option.
You will have to walk for about 5 minutes till you reach the departure gates where you will find these cabs. They give good prices and you can double-check on the app to make sure they are not overcharging you.
There are some “fake” Bluebird taxis too. The legitimate ones will be blue in colour and will have Blue Bird written clearly on the windscreen along with the phone number.
For hotel transfers, you can also choose local taxis but they are almost always more expensive than Bluebird.
This is by far the best taxi app to use internally in Bali. You can also compare Gojek and Blue Bird rates for hotel transfers but in my opinion, Bluebird is the best for airport and hotel transfers.
I am so glad I downloaded and registered myself on Gojek in India itself. Indian number works for registration purposes. It doesn’t work for other taxi apps though.
Without a local sim in Bali, you can still book a Gojek on your Indian number. You may not be able to receive direct calls but if you have wifi you can chat with the driver on the app.
Gojek is not just a cab service but also a delivery app for groceries and other things. You can rent scooters and book a scooter or a car too.
For internal travel, it is the most cost-effective if you can’t ride a scooter or drive a car.
This is another taxi app that you can download for your Bali trip. It is not as popular as Gojek but can sometimes be slightly cheaper than the other taxi apps so no harm in downloading it.
Hope you found this article useful for your Bali trip!
If you need help with flights, visas and insurance, feel free to comment below with your name and email ID. I will be happy to share my contacts with you!
Any other questions? Let me know in the comments as always!