This article answers many questions regarding daily life in Bali: electricity, time difference, potable water, spoken language, telephone services and internet.
Indonesia’s standard electricity supply is usually 220 volts AC with a frequency of 50 hertz, although 110 volts is still used in some areas. This is the same as Australia and many European countries that operate 220-240v / 50Hz.
The plug sockets are two pin, similar to continental Europe (round / Type C and F). Sometimes you will also find type G plugs.
For more info about electric plug in Indonesia compared to your home country, visit Whatplug.info.
Bali is within Waktu Indonesia Tengah (Indonesia Central Time Zone), 8 hours ahead of Coordinated Universal Time. It means UTC+8:00. Bali has only one Time Zone.
Please consult Timeanddate.com to know what time difference apply with your respective home country.
Tap water is not potable in Bali. Always drink bottled mineral water. You will find it everywhere on the island: at the hotels, the restaurants and the supermarkets.
As in many parts of the world, you should verify that the bottle you are about to drink is properly sealed. That would guarantee that it is actually mineral water.
Also beware of ice cubes: they are often made of water, which was insufficiently boiled. Do not hesitate to get rid of them when necessary.
The Balinese speak the Balinese language (very difficult, because the choice of words depends of the castes and there are many dialects) and the official Indonesian language called “Bahasa Indonesia”, which is derived from Malay language and easier to learn.
In touristic places, English is more or less well spoken. You should manage to get the message through, and that is the most important!
The best is to learn useful Indonesian words: you can then exchange with the Balinese no matter the place on the island.
If you wish to call or to be reachable during your stay in Bali, do not forget to activate the “International” option by your telephone services provider if necessary.
Calling your country or an Indonesian number from your mobile phone might get costly.
It is then better to verify the price by your telephone operator before your travel or to carefully read the text message you will receive upon arrival in Bali. That will avoid some bad surprises when time comes to pay the telephone bill!
If you intend on making many calls in Indonesia (hotels booking for instance), an interesting option could be to buy a pre-paid Indonesian SIM card at the airport.
Many cafes, restaurants and hotels provide Internet access via WIFI.
Many Internet cafes are also present at touristic places. They are more or less expensive; the price range goes from IDR 8,000 (€0.5) up to IDR 20,000 (€1.1) per hour. How to identify a good Internet cafe? Observe the number of people using their computers or smartphones!
If you wish to access Internet no matter the place, a good option is to get a USB stick that comes with a 3G chip. A SIM card including one month unlimited Internet access will cost you around IDR 100,000 (€5.7). It is a good bargain if you often get online! You can easily get one from Denpasar airport.