Bali Airport: 14 Expert Tips on Arrival at Denpasar Airport

Bali Airport - Arriving at Denpasar Airport

Arriving at Bali Airport (Denpasar or DPS) after a long flight can be stressful. The last thing you need is not knowing about the electronic customs declaration or how to navigate from the plane through arrivals hall, immigration, luggage collection and then customs. I’ve flown in and out of Bali airport more times than I could possibly count, and through hard-won experience, I can tell you there is an easy way and the hard way. Read this and get through Bali Airport faster with less stress.

1. Coronavirus Update: Mandatory Health Declaration

Thanks to Annie, one of our readers, we’ve received confirmed advice that Bali Airport has implemented a mandatory health form that must be completed and submitted before going to the immigration queues.

The form asks basic personal details with a state of health declaration and must be handed to one of the waiting officials before going to the immigration queues, so have your passport, boarding pass and destination details at the ready – and bring a pen – so you can fill in the form and get into the queues waiting for immigration as quickly as possible.

The forms are handed out on your aircraft before landing or found at makeshift tables in the arrivals hall before the lines to immigration.

Important Note: The first 2 questions are your name and address. Make sure you fill in your destination address in Bali, not your home address. If you make this mistake you will be sent back to redo your form and join the back of the queue.

2. Electronic Customs Declaration

Indonesia now supports submitting the required form on arrival via an online electronic customs declaration. There are two methods for completing the form.

First, you can fill in the online electronic customs declaration provided by the Indonesian Government within two days of travel to Indonesia and not earlier. I tested the form myself for an upcoming arrival and the form won’t allow an arrival date earlier than 2 days before the flight.

Indonesian Electronic Customs Declaration
Indonesian Electronic Customs Declaration Form

Alternatively, you can fill in the form online at the airport using your smartphone. You can access the free Internet at Bali airport – the WiFi network is called “NgurahRai” and can be accessed without a password. 

The electronic customs declaration form can be submitted in Indonesian, English or Chinese languages.

At the end of the declaration process, you are provided with a QR code which you then present to the customs officials after collecting luggage and before the customs security screening and inspection.

This is a huge improvement as the arrivals hall frequently runs out of customs declaration forms (and there are never any pens).

3. Bali Airport Now Has a Duty-Free Store.

Before the recent Bali Airport renovations, there was no duty-free store before customs. There was what can only be described as a fake duty-free store after exiting customs and before the arrivals hall. It was called Dufree and because it was located outside of customs it wasn’t a duty-free at all, stocking wines and spirits at exorbitant prices.

But now there is a new duty-free store inside Bali Airport that is actually duty-free located just after the immigration queues. The prices are still steep by international standards, but much lower than you will pay elsewhere in Bali so I highly recommend you buy spirits here before you get to customs inspection.

The prices are relatively cheap. You’ll pay IDR330k for a bottle of Smirnoff vodka, around IDR750k for a bottle of Grey Goose (if they have it in stock) and around IDR550k for a bottle of Johnny Walker Red Label.

I came through Bali Airport in the first week of November, and while premium vodka was out of stock, there was plenty of premium whisky brands. The premium rum selection is woeful. And as for wine, you are far better off bringing something from home before you get here.

Indonesia has a “sin” tax on alcohol making it one of the few things probably much more expensive than where you came from. The only real exception is Bintang, the world-famous-in-Bali beer found everywhere, which retails for around IDR20k per 375ml bottle in supermarkets.

Wines and spirits in Indonesia – and therefore Bali – are particularly expensive. Some local wine brands get around this buy importing grapes and bottling them in Indonesia. The cheapest wine brand (Discovery) will still set you back IDR159k from the supermarket. The quality isn’t great and it is locally known as paint-stripper.

Two Islands is a slightly better brand and reasonably drinkable in my experienced opinion. The company imports grapes from South Australia It comes in a number of varietals — Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Shiraz, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon at the time of writing. The supermarket price is generally around IDR 229k.

Restaurant pricing is whatever the market will bear, usually around IDR80-120k per glass and IDR450-650k for local wines, to IDR 120-170k per glass and IDR750k upwards for relatively inexpensive imported wine. 

And remember, there is only a single bottle allowance, so choose wisely. If you bring more than 1 bottle per person prepare to have it confiscated if you are selected for a search inspection at customs.

4. Get to the immigration queue quickly.

After landing your best strategy is to get to the immigration queue as quickly as possible. Depending on the time of day the queues can be long — very long — with waiting times that be longer than 1 hour. One lady recently commented that the queue took over 2 hours.

Take a bathroom break on the plane before arrival, and after landing get to the immigration queues as quickly as possible. If you still need a bathroom break do so while waiting for your luggage. It’s imperative you get to the immigration queue as quickly as possible.

The arrivals hall at Bali Airport is huge, so expect a long walk from your gate to the immigration queues.

5. Fast-track queues for elderly and young children.

There is now a separate queue on the far right-hand side of the immigration queues that cater to families with small children (under 5) and the elderly (over 60) along with diplomats, flight crew and those lucky enough to have an ABTC.

If you have small children or elderly passengers in your group ask for assistance when making your booking. You will likely be assigned someone to meet you off the plane and escort you to the fast-track immigration queue. If you don’t have assistance, get moving to the immigration lines as fast as you can. Elderly and small kids to the right, everyone else into the long lines to the left.

6. Automatic Tourist Visa or Visa on Arrival (VoA).

I’m assuming you are here for a holiday for less than 30 days, in which case you will most likely qualify for an automatic 30-day tourist visa. This is non-renewable and there are heavy fines for overstaying. You can find the list of countries that can receive an automatic tourist visa here.

However, you may apply for a Visa on Arrival (VoA) which is renewable for a further 30 days, although the paperwork is pretty intense. If you are from one of the 169 countries that qualify for an automatic tourist visa then you are allowed to apply for a VoA.

The extendable visa can be applied for at the VoA desk located in the middle of the arrivals hall and before the immigration queues. It cost USD$35 to apply for a VoA, which if approved will be granted instantly and you can make your way to the immigration queues and present your passport with VoA to the customs officer for entry into Bali.

You can begin the process of extending your VoA, which takes around 7 days, with a visa agent after entering Bali.

Please note that if you are from a country that is not on the free visa list then you must apply for a visa to enter Indonesia before coming to Bali in a consulate or embassy outside Indonesia.

Please be aware that before you leave baggage collection and going through the customs inspection you must have a completed immigration form. No excuses.

Update: as mentioned above the customs declaration form may be completed online beforehand.

Make sure you have already completed your immigration arrival form on the plane. There are often no forms left in the arrivals hall at Bali Airport (and never any pens, so make sure you have one and complete the form on the plane before arrival). You need to present it at immigration along with your passport and your boarding pass, so don’t forget to keep it with your passport and immigration form.

There have been a number of issues with immigration forms not being provided in the desks before the immigration lines. Sometimes pointing this out to the immigration officer has an effect because they already know, and they may let you through to the baggage collection.

7. Be prepared for a long wait for your luggage.

Bali Airport is renowned for its slow baggage handling, so the best option is to get through immigration as quickly as possible and take a bathroom break afterwards in the baggage and customs hall.

Checked luggage will come out onto the conveyors slowly. Painfully slowly, with 20 minutes considered fast and up to an hour is normal.

Before you leave baggage collection to go through customs checks you must have your immigration form, which can sometimes be in short supply. At the far end of the baggage carousels are some desks with immigration forms. Get there fast and grab an immigration form first, then go and look which carousels has you luggage being delivered.

Now you have plenty of time to fill out your form because your luggage isn’t coming out anytime soon. And rather than waiting at the customs end hoping beyond hope that your luggage is going to be delivered early (how sweet and naive you are) the entry end has the destination boards – which often changes – so hang around there until you know you have the right carousel.

Oversized luggage, like surfboards, mountain bikes or anything deemed by the local baggage handlers as “heavy” will be deposited at the entry end of the carousels. Which may change anytime.

8. Getting through customs.

Once you have collected your luggage proceed to the customs queue where you hand over your arrival form and will be directed either directed straight to the exit or towards the X-ray screening.

Here’s a tip — if you stay on the left of two queues you have a better chance of not being selected for x-ray inspection because it leads straight to the exit and depending on the flow of traffic you may be allowed straight through.

This is just a tip, not a guarantee. If you are selected for x-ray screening of your luggage you may then also be selected for a personal inspection by customs officers. Always be nice and polite, give them a smile and comply with all requests. You may be tired after a long flight, but without a doubt, a bad attitude will bet met with more questions and thorough inspection of your luggage.

Customs officers at Bali Airport will confiscate any alcohol over the limit — so if you have accidentally brought in more than one bottle simply hand over the cheaper one and don’t argue — and you may have to explain any electronics or expensive-looking goods that may require an import duty to be paid.

Technically the value allowed per person for electronics and other goods is USD$500 but this is generally not enforced for items that are clearly of personal nature like laptops and cameras.

If you happen to be bringing something unusual and expensive — household appliances not readily available in Bali are a favourite as gifts for locals or ex-pats you may know in Bali — you may need to pay customs duty.

If you are being asked to pay duty then you will do no better than paying 10% of the value for whatever you are bringing in. If you can achieve that, then count yourself lucky and just pay it! It’s the law, not a scam like some people purport.

Customs will often “assess” the value as being much higher than what you paid, so my tip is to carry the receipt with you stored somewhere else, like in your wallet, so if push comes to shove (figuratively speaking) you can prove the value.

9. Withdraw local currency or exchange cash for rupiah.

After exiting customs one of the newest additions to Bali Airport is a number of ATM’s run by major local banks. These are completely safe to use and I highly recommend that you stop and either withdraw local currency from the ATM or use the bank branches if they are open to exchange your cash for Indonesian Rupiah.

I have written extensively about safely using ATM’s in Bali and the number one tip is to get some local currency while you’re at Bali Airport in a safe environment with no risk.

ATM's at Bali Airport - Bali Holiday Secrets
Use the ATMs at Bali airport to withdraw money. Banks also provide money exchange services. Photo credit: @baliholidaysecrets

There are also a couple of reputable money changers now at the airport alongside the ATM’s. While I have written about safely changing money in Bali you can use these without any risk of being ripped off as they are completely trustworthy. Although the exchange rate is not as competitive as a money changer in Seminyak, they’re within 2-3 points, making the convenience and security worth it, especially for first-time visitors with no local currency.

The best option is to change what you need for a couple of days before changing larger amounts at a money changer elsewhere once you have settled in.

10. Navigate the arrivals hall.

After exiting customs through the arrival gates you will be confronted with a wall of drivers holding signs behind a barrier all trying to catch your attention. There are also a number of touts inside the barrier that will start harassing you for a taxi fare. These are never a good idea to accept.

Recently there has been some improvements to the arrivals hall that include taxi and transport companies where you can book a taxi to your destination. However, it can still be hit-and-miss. At my last arrival, I tried to organise a taxi fare to my destination in Seminyak but was consistently being quoted around IDR300-350k, which is way too much for simple taxi service (and they are never taxis, they are always private drivers on contract).

There is also a new taxi ticketing machine after the telecom kiosks, but I’ve tried to use this 3 times to see how it works. Twice it wasn’t operating, and the third time I got issued a ticket only to have the driver try to up the price on me before leaving, so I ditched him.

You can book an airport transfer through me – read more below.

Related article: 13 Expert Tips for Hiring a Private Driver in Bali.

11. Get a local Telco SIM card for your phone.

On your way out past the row of taxi and transport drivers, there are a couple of telco kiosks selling local SIM cards. Buying a local SIM card is a great idea because they are cheap and while WiFi is almost ubiquitous in Bali at hotels, cafes and restaurants you are better of having full-time reliable internet connectivity via a local SIM card.

Telecom Kiosks at Bali Airport - Bali Holiday Secrets
Getting a local SIM card is a great idea to take advantage of the inexpensive and very fast 4G networks. I highly recommend Telkomsel.

Telkomsel (the bright red kiosk) is what I use and find the most reliable. Mobile internet speeds in Bali are spectacularly fast and incredibly cheap. I consistently get over 20Mbps down and 10Mbps up using Telekom’s 4G network. Expect to pay around IDR120k for a 20 Gigabyte data package with a one-month expiry. The one and 7-day options are generally more expensive, so get a SIM card package good for 30 days

Pro tip: download the MyTelkomsel app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to manage your data usage and top it up on the go, or buy a top-up voucher at pretty much any convenience store.

If you need to visit a Telkomsel store after you have left the airport, there is one at Bali Mal Galeria. There are several others located on Google Maps in the Seminyak area, but they are out of date and have been permanently closed.

12. Avoid the Porters and Taxi Touts.

There are also a large number of porters keen to take your luggage to your transfer service. They can be quite aggressive, even for seasoned travellers and will expect a tip – and most will always push you for more than you offer, so my recommendation is to simply ignore them.

They are seasoned operators who will try their best to direct you to “taxi drivers” for your transfer to your destination.

You would be far better off arranging for a private car and driver to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel or villa for a friction-free experience.

13. Food and drinks at arrivals.

Just past the telco kiosks, there is a couple of small convenience stores where you can buy water and other snacks and refreshments (yes, they sell Bintang), the first on the right-hand side, the second on the left-hand side before the waiting throng of transport operators.

There is also a small coffee kiosk a bit further around to the right opposite the information desk (easily seen with a huge arrivals/departures board hanging above it) and directly behind the waiting wall of drivers looking back towards the sliding exit doors.

If you are feeling hangry and don’t want to wait until you get to your destination before getting something to eat, head upstairs to the departure hall where there are a number of cafes. Just outside the convenience store on the left-hand side is an elevator.

Take it to the 3rd floor for something to eat or drink, or just relax and get your bearings. It’s also the best place if you need to hang out while waiting for fellow travellers arriving after you or are meeting someone picking you up.

14. Book your Bali Airport transfer beforehand.

If you want to organise your own transport read my guide on getting from the airport to your destination for the best tips on each of the transport options available (plus a neat hack for solo travellers and couples that I use frequently).

But the easiest and lowest friction to get from the airport is to pre-book your transfers to your destination before you arrive. That way you will avoid the hassle of trying to navigate the throng of touts, which is the last thing you need after a long flight and working your way through immigration and customs.

The perfect start to our holiday!!

We were so thankful we planned ahead and booked your driver. Immigration took ages and we were hot and sweaty and the kids were getting tired when we got through, so it was such a welcome relief that we saw Putu exactly where you instructed us to meet him. So many taxi drivers yelling for our attention!!! If we didn't have your advice arriving would have been a disaster. Thank you so much Michael. You're the best!!!

The transfer rate includes being met at the airport personally by a private, English speaking driver with a recognisable sign and an air-conditioned SUV. Each car comfortably holds 1-4 people with checked luggage and suitcases. You can book as many cars as you need. My rates are all-inclusive and there are no hidden costs.

My collaboration with local drivers has seen us serve over 300+ satisfied customers with around 4 new bookings a day. My drivers can transfer you to any hotel or villa in Amed, Canggu, Jimbaran, Kuta, Legian, Lovina, Nusa Dua, Sanur, Seminyak, Ubud or Uluwatu.

What if my flight is delayed or early?

No problem. My drivers use flight tracking apps on their smartphones to ensure they are up to date with your flight status and will be waiting even if your flight has been delayed or is arriving earlier than scheduled.

Who will be my driver?

After making a booking, you will receive a confirmation email with reservation details, expert tips on navigating the arrivals hall, directions on how to connect with your driver at the airport, and the contact details of my head of transport. He will email you a day before your arrival with the name and number of your assigned driver.

Book Online.

Booking your Bali Airport Transfer online is easy and secure. You will receive an email confirming all your details with a personal follow-up from your driver the day before your transfer to Bali Airport. You probably don’t know this about me, but I’m a technology entrepreneur and software engineer and have been building websites since 1995. So my websites (like this one) are completely secure for making online bookings. You may want to read the reviews or check out more about me.

Can I book the driver for the whole day?

Yes, you can. But instead of booking an airport transfer you need to use the Bali Airport Transfer + Day Tour Booking form instead. Then you can get a pickup from the airport and also have a dedicated driver for the rest of the day to go shopping, hit the beach or one of the excellent beach clubs to make the most of your first day in Bali.

Selamat Datang! Welcome to Bali!


Leave a Reply
  1. The money changers at the airport seem to be operating a cartel . All the changers were offering 17.000 Rupiah to 1GBP . Had I used my debit or credit card to withdraw from an ATM I would have received 18.3 Rupiah to 1GBP . Even with FX fees from my own bank , I would have been 5 percent better off had I used my debit or credit card to withdraw from an ATM . Check your exchange rates before you arrive on the Visa and MasterCard websites.

  2. Hi
    Just wondering is the immigration form that you recommend completing while waiting for luggage the same as the one you recommend to do online before travel or are they 2 different things?

    • Hi Iain. Yes, they are the same form. The online customs declaration replaces the blue paper BC2.2 Customs Declaration that can be found in the arrivals hall before immigration.

      Safe travels, Michael

    • Hi Karla. Nothing that I’m aware of, but I haven’t been through Bali Airport for a few weeks now. If you come across such a thing please post back here and I’ll update the post.

      safe travels, Michael

    • Hi Karla,
      I just flew this in this week. After you get off the plane, just before you get to immigration they have tables with these health forms you need to fill out and hand off to someone before you can proceed to immigration. I can’t remember everything they ask but it’s basically just all the usual personal details, and at the bottom it asked if you were healthy or not. I can’t remember if it asked if you’d been to a coronavirus country sorry. But have your pen, passport number, accommodation details etc ready so you can fill in the form asap and get to the dreaded immigration line is quickly as possible!!

  3. Hi Michael,
    Oh I wish I had found your article before we landed, then we could have been prepared for the awful queue! We waited 2 hours to clear immigration, and due to terrible organisation, the queue next to us moved an hour faster than ours !!

    We’re flying out of Bali on Friday on a 12.45pm flight, do you have any tips for us? We have checked baggage unfortunately!!

  4. Hi Michael,
    I’ll be visiting Bali in October this year for the first time. I fully intend to use your airport transfer plus car and driver services. But first I’d like a little recommendation about what places will be the most accessible for my husband; he’s able to walk, but not too far and he’s a little wobbly these days thanks to illness. Where would you recommend? I’ve got 6 nights and don’t want to spend all my time by the pool (although I’ll be doing that too)

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Sally. When you ask for accessible recommendations for your husband, did you mean for attractions, beaches, cafes, restaurants, tours…? What specifically would you like recommendations for?

      Safe travels, Michael

      • Hi Michael,
        Tours mainly. I can always get him to a restaurant without any issues lol
        I’ve already booked my airport transfer and one day out with a driver through your site, but I was thinking of more accessible waterfalls and temples. Also, would it be worth having a day to Uluwatu/ Jimbaran/ Garuda Wisnu?
        Your site has already helped me plan so much & I’m now stalking you on Facebook too!
        Thanks again

        • Hi Sally. Off the top of my head, a great tour would be the Ubud highlights – the Monkey Forest and Royal Palace are quite accessible, and you can see the Tegalalang Rice Terraces from the roadside.

          The waterfalls, not so much. Tegenungan and Tibumana are probably the easiest to access, but both still require walking and stairs. Some of the more accessible temples are Tirta Empul, Tirta Gangga, Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, but again there is always some walking involved.

          Have a great holiday! Safe travels, Michael

  5. Hi, thanks for all the tips. 2 questions… I read recently that you don’t need an Immigration form any more (coming from Australia with an outbound flight ticket). Also, if you do the electronic customs declaration do you need to do that on your phone or is it sent to your phone? Thank you

    • Hi Megan. My understanding is that the bar code is emailed, so assuming you have email on your phone that’s how it can be retreived. Please note that I am yet to do this myself (I will be next week) so I don’t have first-hand knowledge. I’d appreciate an update if you are goinng through sooner than me though.

      And I am not aware of any waivers for Australians completing a customs declaration (the same as the immigration form).

      Safe travels, Michael

      • Hi, just to let you know, I am two days out from my travel and tried to complete the online form (it allowed the date from the drop down list). It will not proceed past the personal information page. No idea why, have tried re-entering the information in different formats to no avail. FYI.

        • Hi Megan, thanks for the heads-up. I’ve been getting conflicting reports about the success and failure of people completing their customs declaration online. When I get some definitive answers or can get through myself I’ll post more data.

          Safe travels, Michael

          • Post Script … tried it on my IPAD and it worked no problems. You don’t get an e-mail, you simply get a bar code (the square ones), which you can save to your phone/IPAD etc. So, now for the next test, going through Customs on Saturday. Thanks again for your help.

  6. I heard that there’s no longer a fast track line; however, you mentioned there is one if we’re traveling with young children and/or elderly over 60? I just want to check if the fast track you’ve mentioned is still valid?

    • Hi Tracy,

      Pro tip: download the MyTelkomsel app from the Google Play Store or Apple App Store to manage your data usage and top it up on the go, or buy a top-up voucher at pretty much any convenience store.

      That should put you right. But remember, that’s only for Telkomsel SIMs.

      Safe travels,

  7. Pure stupidity.. i just lost 100k because of you, exchange rate at the airport is bad, why people like you write crap on the net???

    • Hi Hura,
      Seems you’re unhappy with the 2-3 point difference between a money changer at the airport and the best rate from those I recommend in seminyak and elsewhere (which is clearly described in the post).

      You also failed to mention what rate you exchanged money, which bank you used, in which currency, and how you managed to lose 100k.

      Without any details your comment is more troll-like than constructive.

      Safe travels,

  8. Michael

    Really have enjoyed your travel tips. Heading to Bali in December. Last time in Bali was 40 years ago so pretty sure it will be a bit different.

    I am coming for a few days before home to Oz. On the way back I am transiting through Bali airport on way to Europe.

    Are there any travel tips if you are flying in on Qantas and then out on Qatar 4 hours later. I don’t think Qantas will check my bags through. Do I have to go all the way through customs and then back to departures and check-in again?

    Would appreciate any guidance. Is there any fast track for business class arrivals?


    • Hi Neil,
      If you have booked your flights separately you will have to go through immigration, collect your luggage and then head upstairs to departures to check in and go back through immigration.

      Unless you booked all the way with a single airline and the 2nd leg is code share, which you didn’t mention, then you are checked all the way through and simply transit at Bali Airport without clearing customs and immigration.

      There isn’t expedited processing on arrival for business class. But there is a fast-track service that can be booked to speed the arrival process. Let me follow that up and get back to you.

      Safe travels

      • Thanks Michael. 2 separate tickets. So that’s why I have left 4 hours between legs. I fly in at 8pm and out at 12.30 am. What is the peak time for arrivals?

        Also going to book your driver tours fo 2 of my days in Bali.

        • Hi Neil,
          I saw your bookings come through and confirmations were sent.

          Peak times at the airport are dependent on the day of the week and which season. There’s a useful arrival lookup app here that let’s you filter by date and time.

          Safe travels,

          • Michael

            That link was very helpful as it shows quite a few planes around the arrival times but mostly domestic.

  9. Hi Michael,

    There are several apps of Telekom, can you tell us which of them are you advicing to dowload to track usage?

    Thanks in advance.

    Gerardo J.

  10. hey there, im coming to Bali next week and im wondering can i bring my supplements with me? they are Blackmoores brand.. like vitamin B and thing like. so im wondering do we have to bring it in the bottle can we just repack it and put in our medicine organizer?

    • Hi Syaqina,
      Just to be clear, I am not an expert of the legalities of customs law for Indonesia (or anywhere else), but as far as I am aware personal supplements and vitamins aren’t a problem. I travel with my own vitamins all the time but am often stopped by customs to check the bottles. My advice would be to bring only what you need in small, unopened bottles so there is no misunderstanding of their contents. Repacking vitamins or any other pills is asking for trouble.

      Hope this helps. Safe travels,

  11. Hi Michael!

    I am traveling in Bali November 17-23!

    How far in advance should I book a driver? I was looking into your driver actually but the page didn’t have many details

    • Hi Khristian,
      Better to book as far ahead as possible. My apologies for not writing a longer post. What further information do you suggest I add to it?

      Safe travels,

  12. Hi Michael
    Great tips.
    We are landing at DPS next Saturday. Can you please tell me, where I can get immigration arrival form?

    • Hi Gregor,
      Most airlines hand out immigration forms during the flight. Which is a good thing, because the arrivals hall often runs out of forms and you can’t get through immigration without one.

      Update: I just came back from Vietnam and the airline didn’t provide any immigration forms. The desks that usually hold the immigration forms before the immigration checkpoints were empty, so they let me through without one (which is unusual). However, the desks closest to the customs exit had some.

      What I recommend is getting one quick before you go to pick up your luggage (which can take a while, up to an hour) so you have plenty of time to fill it in. And always carry a pen. There is never any provided.

      Safe travels,

  13. Hi I’m so pleased I have come across you . We are coming to bali in march 2020 and looking for a driver for some trips. We are in bali for 10 days , 3 nights ubud 1 night lovina and 4 days nusa with the last night at the nature resure. Please can you advise best for travel some days we would like a driver all day for attractions and one day we need transportation from ubud to lovina ( stopping at a few places of our interest ) the next day we are doing a dolphin tour first thing then will need transportation back down to the south stopping at a few other places . Please what would you reccomend. Many thanks

    • Hi Tracey,
      How about I put together an itinerary and email you. It’s not until March, so we have plenty of time.

      Safe travels,

    • Hi Simone,
      I’m still investigating these. I’ve tried a couple of services and they are very hit and miss, so I’m not willing to recommend one until I can source a reliable service provider. There are a number of services advertising on the web which you can search for – but until I vet one thoroughly I can’t recommend any.

      Let me know how you go with your experience should you find one.

      Safe travels,

  14. We are coming to Bali next week. Shall I get info about how much golden Jewellery can I wear as I have planned to buy golden jewellery at Singapore of 50g for myself. I want to know if there any custom rules at airport of limitation of golden jewellery. my tour is at Singapore first then at Bali. So pls let me know about this.

    • Hi Ranju,
      I’m afraid I’m not familiar with the personal importation of gold into Indonesia. Your best bet is to find the relevant Indonesian government department and contact them directly.

      Safe travels,

    • Hi Shiela,
      I would say tips for s solo woman traveller to Bali include:
      – Make sure you book a driver for airport transfers to your hotel to minimise the friction of landing and avoid the taxi touts, especially on your first trip.
      – Don’t wander the back streets and alleys by yourself at night.
      – Seminyak and Ubud are probably the best options as far as locations go to get grounded and make for a low-friction holiday.
      – Be careful catching taxis at night – try to only get Bluebird taxis.
      – Try to see as many attractions as possible. There’s more to Bali than just beaches and cafes (although it’s pretty excellent for those as well).

      If anyone else has some tips for solo women travellers please leave a comment in reply. Would probably make a great article.

      Safe travels,

  15. I and my wife with one more elderly couple , are coming fist time to Bali. We are booked at. Karma. Kandhara. Bali.
    How far is this from the airport?
    Do you advise for us to request the Karma resort to send pick up.?
    Other wise how much will Taxi cost approximately. ?
    Are there any provision/ convenience stores close to this karma Kandara ,since the resort is equipped with a kitchen and we elderly people may not be able to eat all meals outside and may cook small meal in our Villa. For this we may need to purchase few vegetables, etc etc.
    Bhupinder Singh Lamba

    • Hi Bhupinder,
      Thanks for leaving a comment. You can see how far it is on Google Maps.

      I don’t know if that resort will pick you up or not, but if not you can book an airport transfer here.

      As for shopping, you are better off speaking with the resort. I’m not familiar with all the shops in that area.

      Safe travels,

  16. I have a question about exit date- as our plane leaves at 12:30 am, or 00:30. Will they count the plane departure date, or can we check in early to get our stamp beforehand, so the day before will count? I was relieved to see that we could stall, as our plane gets in at 23:20, and would like to be stamped 40 minutes later to get a full day.

    Thank you for your actual information giving! All the relevant stuff!

    • Hi Charolettei,
      Thanks for getting in touch. To be perfectly honest, I’m unsure if Day One starts at the time your plane lands or the time of the immigration stamp. Same for departure. I’ve always counted my plane landing and takeoff times as being inclusive.

      I would recommend you do the same unless you can get confirmation is starts and ends on your immigration stamp. I can see the logic of your argument but have never tried pushing it that far!

      Good luck, and safe travels,

  17. Re the Immigrasi counters for elderly, disabled, parents with infants…for some unknown reason, these have been relocated to the far RIGHT as you approach the counters. I’ve lived in Bali since 2007, I’m in my late 60’s, my wife is Indonesian and is well informed, but this change appears not to have publicised at all. As far as I am aware, the change became effective in June this year…and I got caught out heading to counters on the left.

  18. Gday,

    I would be travelling to bali in june 2020 for 7 nights with my family of 4. I would prefer 2 bedroom accomodation for our stay in seminyak. Can you guide us to plan our trip?


  19. Hi! We are hoping to catch the last boat over to Nusa for our trip in a couple weeks. We land at 3 pm on a Wednesday and the last boat from Sanur is 5 pm, think we can make it?
    Ps- 2 of us traveling, no kids but one checked bag.

    • Hi Alysha,

      Doubtful. If you land at 3 pm, you will be very lucky to clear immigration and collect your luggage within an hour.

      You have two hurdles – the queue for immigration, which will completely depend on the number of flights arriving at the same time on the day you arrive – and the infamously slow baggage handlers. With checked luggage, you can get lucky and retrieve it in 20 minutes, or wait up to an hour.

      It’s 15km from Ngurah Rai Airport to Sanur. That’s 30 minutes on a good day. Maybe more than 45 minutes if traffic is heavy, which it will be at the time you are travelling.

      I give you a 20% chance of making it. Good luck, and please let me know how you went. I applaud your ambition 🙂


  20. Hi! thank you so much for the useful article! Do you happen to know how they determine the day your visa starts? I will arrive on Bali at 23.40 on a Friday, so am hoping to pass through immigration very early Saturday morning. Do you think they will register me on the Friday or on the Saturday?

    • Hi Anna,
      If you land at 23:40 on 31 July and you pass through immigration at 00:01 on 1 July, then 1 July is your first day.

      You aren’t likely to make it through in 20 minutes of landing. It will only take 5 minutes to get to immigration from your gate, but the queue is notoriously long and slow at that time of night.

      Also, remember your last day is inclusive – so if you arrive on 1 August and depart on 30 August that’s 30 days. Some people don’t quite get that and start counting from the day after they arrive as “1”.

      Safe travels,

      • Thanks! That’s perfect 😀 I had heard about the first day being the one you arrive on, so thankfully I had that in the back of my mind for booking my flight out. Just wasn’t entirely sure about the first day 😉

  21. Have never been to Bali what sort of insurance do we need before we get to Bali and which is the best place to stay close to airport or close to attractions

    • Hi Sharlene,

      Thanks for leaving a comment. I advise everyone who travels to obtain comprehensive travel insurance before their trip, usually obtained by the travel agency you used to book flights, or the airline or online travel aggregator if you booked the flights yourself.

      As far as options to stay – there are literally thousands of hotels and villas within an hour of Bali airport. It depends on your budget, what dates you are travelling, how many people, what standard of accommodation you are looking for, whether you prefer a hotel or villa or if you need amenities like a pool… and many other variables that only you will know.

      Having said, that, and knowing nothing else about your travel plans, Villa Koru is a luxury 3-bedroom private pool villa in Seminyak.

      Otherwise, I recommend Airbnb and Agoda to help you find what you are looking for.


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