Bali travel tips
Due to things out of anyone’s control, we highly recommend trip insurance
expect at least 22 hours of travel time (flight + layovers) over 2 - 3 flights (2 flights would be ideal)
your final destination is Denpasar (DPS) and, depending on which airline, you'll likely come from China, Australia, Singapore, Japan or the Philippines
unless you’re paying with miles and know your level of service, we HIGHLY recommend that you take an international carrier from the U.S. west coast and NOT a U.S.-based carrier (if you’re coming from NYC, then take United/Delta/Virgin to SFO or LAX, then take something else from there). In fact, if you find a flight from the west coast on China Airlines, then get it! We’ve flown them a few times (Nova’s mom did too on our recommendation) - their prices are pretty good and we’ve found the service to be just fine
there should be many flights available, so pick the one which lands between 12 - 8 p.m. if possible (we understand price is a big factor) - while we will provide transportation to/from the airport, they must be at reasonable times
BEFORE BUYING YOUR FLIGHT, take a look at www.seatguru.com to see if you’re seat is in a good spot - it’s a LONG flight so want to make sure it can recline or isn’t near somewhere you don’t want to be!
don't dress on the plane as you would in Bali - you'll be on planes for over 20 hours and they'll usually have it really chilly! - have your Bali clothes ready in your carry-on so you can change into them as soon as you get off plane. Keep da slippahs (flip-flops) close by!
pack a lot of snacks with you as the airplane meals won't be enough to hold you over for long layovers or delays
there's a 25% chance your check-in luggage won't make it with you on your flight, so pack at least 3 days of clothing, your toiletries, and other items (valuable or not) you'd want with you on carry-on (we have 2 separate occasions where friends brought luggage for us and it didn't make it on their flight) - take photos of your check-ins!
you'll skip a day on the flight over
easiest way to tell Bali time is taking whatever EST as it’s the same hour in Bali but just a day ahead (it’s 13 hours, DST- dependent). For example: Jan 1, 9 p.m. EST = Jan 2, 9 a.m. Bali time
***** you’ll automatically be given a tourist visa at Immigration (you’ll enter a very large hall) if you’ll only be in Indonesia forr less than 30 days or need to extend it if you're a U.S. citizen unless you plan on staying longer than 30 days - if you do, then you’ll need to get a “Visa on Arrival” (VOA) at the airport BEFORE you go to Immigration which will give you up to a 60-day stay (however, even with the VOA, you’ll need to renew before Day 30) - you’ll also need a VISA agent which we have and connect you with
make sure your passport doesn't expire within 6 months of entering Indonesia (go here for updates)
To get more info on passports details, go here
there may a tourist tax upon arrival - please go here for details
use Kayak/Orbitz/Expedia, etc. to find the best price (we use Google Flights) but DON'T book through them, book directly with the airlines if reasonably priced:
if you need to change your flight, it's a nightmare working through resellers to get proper customer service
you don't get a better deal anymore because the airlines are price-matching these websites now
if you find a flight slightly above $1000, then that’s a good price and just make sure you’re not doing more than 2 stops (that’s even more important if you find a price under $1000)
if you plan on leaving right after the retreat, then book your flight for the evening of March 31 to give yourself enough time
***** SIM cards - your carrier may have an int’l data plan but it’s usually only to text a number and RARELY will it allow you to access anything requiring internet (browsing, using WhatsApp or FB Messenger) - unless you really need internet where WiFi isn’t available (there will be WiFi at Purnati). Having said that, Google Fi might be a good option unless you already have a plan you’re happy with.
***** Download WhatsApp as this is the main communication channel on Bali: https://www.whatsapp.com/
You’ll be using this to communicate with us mainly for logistics - airport pick-ups/drop-offs, etc.
Please look for Nova at +14156063221, add him to your contact list, then send him a message
There will be WiFi at Denpasar airport so please message Nova before you go through Immigration (you should be able to) and then again when you’re finished at Baggage Claim.
As you exit Immigration, you’ll walk left (on the right will be lots of drivers with signs of passengers’ - no need to look for Komang, our driver, there), then it’ll bear right. As walk passed the store on your left (you can get some snacks, etc. there), you’ll go right a little and then in the Arrivals area. **** Look for Komang with a hula hoop! ****
***** VOLTAGE - use 220 - 240v so your phones and laptops will be fine, but double-check! Mostly every else that’s not a phone or laptop is 110V (if you’re coming North America, that is) so you’ll need a voltage convertor for that especially if that particular appliance is your favorite, must-have one
***** Convertor plugs - bring it if you have but we’ll have spare ones for you to use
the currency here is called the Indonesian Rupiah (IDR) - go here for the latest rate - (it was 13,700 or so when we arrived in January 2018)
you can get IDR at your bank or just wait to do an ATM run when you arrive (it’s cheaper)
TIP: after putting in your PIN, do a balance inquiry FIRST, not a withdrawal. If the ATM comes back with your balance, then you know that it’s able to communicate with the systems back home, so you can be reasonably assured that you’ll withdraw safely (Nova note: after going straight to withdrawal, I’ve had on 2 different occasions w/2 different ATM machines tell me “We were unable to communicate with your bank so your withdrawal has been cancelled” only to find out later that my request WAS made and withdrawn from my account, but received no cash at the ATM. Luckily, I was re-imbursed by my bank.)
Alternatively, you could just withdraw the lowest amount possible and see if it works!
TIP: you can get the minimum withdrawal amount also to see if it worked
UPDATE 1/5/19: This just happened to a friend who’s staying with us. She took my advice the 1st few weeks, but then stopped doing it as she thought it wasn’t necessary. Then, just last week, after trying 3 different ATMs that all said, “Communication with your back has failed” . . . . you can guess what happened when she checked her account online!
be careful of your surroundings and check the ATM itself for any weird cameras or housings/fittings as there are ATM scams
from our experience, we haven't needed vaccinations at all
while we don't have a crystal ball, nothing's happened to us since moving here in January 2018, but consult your doctor
***** if you have a favorite mosquito repellant, then bring it - we don’t use any at all but choose to cover up in the early morning and evenings (we call it our “mosquito clothing” with Sekai)
we highly recommend bringing the following: liquid/liposomal Vitamin C, Oregano Oil, probiotics, and "On Guard" by doterra. What we've linked to on Amazon is what we use for any illness whether a cold, fever, flu, or diarrhea.
while we know CBDs have extensive benefits & no THC in them, we highly discourage bringing them even if you have a doctor's prescription! Here in Indonesia, cannabis/cannabidoil/canna-anything are bad words and you DON’T want to be caught with any of that in your possession (100% chance you’ll go to prison)
if you have prescriptions, then make sure the name on the bottle(s) matches your passport
THE ALL-TOO-IMPORTANT . . . . CLOTHING
Jinju took a look at this blog and thought it wasn’t bad: https://herpackinglist.com/2014/12/ultimate-bali-packing-list-females/
She also wrote this in a Retreat Group email a few week ago:
In addition to what is listed in the travel guide, we encourage you to HAVE FUN & GET CREATIVE with the clothes & accessories you pack. A huge purpose of this retreat is to awaken & celebrate the inner (and outer) Goddess. If you feel any resistance around this invitation ( I know I have many times in the past!), it's okay!! One of your fellow sisters wrote these words on the topic, and I hope they inspire the goddess within you, as they did me:
"I believe looking your best (decorating your space with fresh flowers, wearing your favorite oil or scent, wearing flattering clothing that expresses who you are, etc) softens your heart with beauty and makes you feel amazing...thus making you more receptive to love. Expressing yourself in this way gives other women permission to adorn and pamper themselves." ~ Stephanie Murray (participant & our belly dance teacher!)
That said... here are some guidelines:
COLOR THEMES - Think Elements! The curriculum follows a spiral path through the Elements!
White - for AIR
Green/Brown - for EARTH
Blue - for WATER
Red - for FIRE
White (with Gold and/or Silver accents) - for SPIRIT
ADORNMENTS. Jewelry, body chains, body paint, feathers, scarves, bindi's, temporary tattoos, etc,... anything goes!
FOR FIRE DANCING. On the night of our fire-dance ceremony, if we can all wear red, that would be wonderful. Fortunately in the tropics, you actually don't need a lot of clothes. You will want to stick with non-synthetic fabrics (for ex. cotton, or leather), and form-fitting... so minimizing flowy fabric pieces that can easily catch on fire.
FOR BELLY DANCING. Please bring a hip scarf (if you can!). Stephanie - maybe you can post a link in the FB group of some online resources?
This is an opportunity to dress and express in ways we often can't, or if we did, it would be considered "inappropriate".
Also, those of you who have more than one outfit of each color, bring extra for those who may need some extra support in that department ;)
Happy planning and mahalo,
Dr. Jinju & Nova