ARRIVING TO BALI
VISA ON ARRIVAL?
Most countries are on the free Visa entry list, which means that they can stay in the country for up to 30 days. However, if you are planning to extend you stay in Indonesia, let’s say up to 60 days, you need to pay the Visa on arrival fee which is 35 USD. This is the only way you can stay for more than 30 days. That is, if you haven’t already arranged for a longer visa in advance from your home country.
How to get Visa on arrival? When you arrive to Denpasar (Ngurah Rai International Airport) you start by going to the Visa on arrival counter, where you pay the fee 35 USD in cash (they only accept USD or Indonesian rupiah, IDR). Then you take the receipt they give you and continue to the immigration line.
If you are already in Indonesia and didn’t get the Visa on arrival, you must leave the country with in 30 day or they will charge you for overstay, which is 1.000.000 IDR (approx. 70 USD) per day. In this case I have heard that many travelers just book a cheap ticket to Singapore or some other country and return to Bali a few days later.
If you paid for the Visa on arrival and would now like to extend it, I would suggest that you do it through a visa agency. They will pretty much handle the whole process for you. You only have to visit the immigration office once (instead of three times) for photo and fingerprints, and the agent will be right there with you for that. This process will take 12-14 workdays, if you take the cheapest option. So get the process started in good time and you will end up saving some money. The cheapest option is 850.000 IDR.
The agent with the best reviews is https://www.visaagentbali.com/. I didn’t have the chance to use them myself because of the corona situation. Some streets were closed so I couldn’t get to their office in Canggu. If you are in a hurry, they even have a one-day option but you will have to pay 2.300.000 IDR for it.
Good thing to know is that they will hold on to your passport under the time that your case is in process, so make sure to take at least one passport copy with you. You might need it when checking in to a hotel, or if the police stops you.
I’ve done it both ways. My first visa I arranged from my home country by sending the application form to the Indonesian Embassy in Finland. To do this you will need the following:
- Original passport
- Passport photo in color
- Copy of the flight ticket
- Copy of bank statement
- A receipt of the payment for the visa (ex. single entry, 60 days = 50€)
- Two envelopes, one for sending and the other one for returning.
These are the requirements in Finland, but I guess they are pretty much the same everywhere. Just check that you have an Indonesian Embassy in your country and what they require.
HOW TO AVOID FAKE TAXI IN BALI?
As soon as you get out from the airport you will see a group of taxi drivers hustling the arriving tourists. One of the most trusted taxi companies in Bali is the Blue Bird Group. The scammers attempt to mimic Blue Bird to fool travelers. If it’s your first time in Bali and you end up going with one of these con artists, you will end up paying double or triple the amount of the normal price without even noticing, since you are probably not familiar with the prices yet.
The safer options would be:
- Arrange pick up service through your accommodation. This is the best way to make sure that you’ll get from the airport to your accommodation, fast and safe. Your driver will be waiting on you with a sign that has your name on it. They are often misspelled so read the signs carefully 🙂
- Download Grab or GoJek (GoJek requires a local phone number). Both apps do require internet connection so I would suggest these options if you are planning on getting a local SIM-card at the airport. Yes, you will have free WiFi at the airport but as soon as you step outside you will loose the connection and it will be hard to find your driver without being able to communicate through the app. Later on, especially if you travel on a budget, these apps are a great way to check and compare prices. For example, I often ask the hotel or Airbnb host what price they offer for transportation between accommodations. Then I just pick the cheaper option. Sometimes I take it through the accommodation but most of the time Grab or GoJek is a lot cheaper.