Bali Live Cam

Bali is the only Hindu-majority province in Muslim-majority Indonesia


Hosted by:
  • Bali Barber & Spa
  • Jl. Raya Basangkasa No.8X
  • Seminyak, Kuta, Kabupaten
  • Badung, Bali 80361 - Indonesia
  • +6285 338 333 338​​
  • [email protected]​​

In a Nutshell

Pre-colonial Indonesia comprised a series of kingdoms which thrived on trade with Arab and Asian ships. Along with the traders came successive waves of religion which served to shape Indonesia’s people, making theirs a very cosmopolitan culture. The layering of Hinduism, then Buddhism, Islam, and Christianity made a mark on the nation’s politics, its landmarks, and its arts. Hindu shadow puppet plays, the Buddhist Borobudur temple, and the animist traditions still practised on many islands are still important parts of the fabric of life in what is today the world’s largest Islamic nation.

United as one entity by the Dutch, the 17,000 islands of Indonesia were further unified by banding against the colonial power after the second world war. The uprising brought the colony full independence in 1949, but weak, corrupt governments and religious strife have made today’s nation an entity arguably more fragmented than ever before. Aceh and the Malukus are the Indonesian regions currently most strife-torn, as a result of Muslim-Christian violence. Even in the capitol of Jakarta and neighbouring Surabaya, however, mass demonstrations and, as recently as two years ago, widespread violence towards ethnic Chinese, have brought deep-seated resentments to the fore.

Juxtaposed against this political instability is a nation of stunning geographic, ecological, and cultural diversity. The number of ethnic groups in Indonesia is nearly countless. From the Javanese on the most populous island to cultures occupying single valleys in New Guinea, from the Bugis in Sulawesi (once a nation of raiders so fearsome that the Dutch had them in mind when coining the term ‘Bogeyman’) to the Dayaks in Borneo, Indonesia’s ethnic make-up places it among the most culturally diverse of nations.

Indonesia’s thousands of islands range from the enormous (New Guinea, Borneo, Sumatra and Sulawesi rank as the world’s 2nd, 3rd, 6th, and 11th largest) to the miniscule, and support a threatened rainforest ecosystem that is home to some of the most rare of animals and plants. Among the species which cling to life in the archipelago are the orangutan, the sumatran tiger, javan rhinoceros, tree kangaroo, komodo dragon, and rafflesia, the world’s largest flower. Indonesia is also home to the 3rd largest coral atoll by the name of Takabonerate. The 21 small islands of Takabonerate spread over 2,200 square kilometers in the Flores Sea, South of Sulawesi.

Eco tourism is growing rapidly in Indonesia, and divers, hikers, and amateur naturalists perhaps offer the key to saving the nation’s enormous natural heritage. If ecological problems may be gradually lessened, perhaps, too, the ethnic strife which currently grips Indonesia may be alleviated. While it is certainly not the preferred route to take, the case of East Timor may be indicative of the way that many of Indonesia’s ethnic problems will be settled. In any case, the archipelago, in whatever political form, continues and will continue to be a fascinating and beautiful part of Asia.

The islands of Indonesia are divided into three time zones. Sumatra, Java and Western Kalimantan are at GMT +7; Sulawesi, Bali, Lombok, Eastern Kalimantan and Nusa Tenggara are at GMT +8; Irian Jaya and the Malukus both sit at GMT +9. When calculating the time relative to home, remember that Indonesia doesn’t follow daylight savings time.

Indonesia is a tropical country. As it straddles the equator, it doesn't take a genius to realise that it is naturally warm.

The country experiences very little climatic change from season to season; temperatures throughout the archipelago usually sit at 25-30 degrees centigrade, year-round. Instead of the four seasons experienced in most temperate countries, only two, a dry and a wet, occur in Indonesia. The wet season drags on (and on) from about October through to April, and the dry for the remainder of the year. It can, however, rain a good deal in some coastal areas during the "dry" season). During the wet season, constant downpour can make some areas impassable, especially in the highlands of New Guinea, but most well-developed regions are easily reached.

With the combination of often extremely hot weather and a great deal of rain, humidity is understandably high. In some situations this can make travelling uncomfortable, but usually only if you’re wearing the wrong type of clothing. As in most tropical nations, light clothing is the norm. Remember, however, that in certain parts of the country, namely Aceh province and other more Islamicised areas, bare legs and arms are frowned upon. Trousers or long skirts and long-sleeved shirts are a necessity if you wish to be treated with respect. Shorts and T-shirts are not problem, however, in areas such as Bali, Java, and other more touristed regions.

Rough estimates of the number of languages spoken in Indonesia range from 500-600, with almost 300 of those alone being spoken by various tribes in the highlands of Irian Jaya. With such linguistic diversity, the government encouraged the adoption of a national lingua franca that could help to tie the country together.

Bahasa Indonesia was adopted in the early 1950s following the model of Bahasa Melayu, the common language spoken in Malaysia (then British Malaya). Bahasa Indonesia combines elements of English, Dutch, and the native languages of Java, Bali, Sumatra, and Lombok. Other native languages were given short shrift because of their relatively small number of speakers.

In addition to seeing and reading the phrase, you will be able to hear the pronunciation. Michael Bordt and Liswati Seram have put together an online mini-course called Bahasa Indonesia in Seven Days. This doesn’t afford you the luxury of being able to hear what things sound like, but Bahasa is a fairly simple language to pronounce, anyhow. The explanatory text is quite easy to follow, and laced with humour and Indonesia know-how. All in all, this is a very enjoyable and effective way to gain an introduction to the language.

Sixty days visa-free stay in Indonesia is available for tourists carrying passports from the following countries: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Malta, Maldives, Mexico, Monaco, Morocco, Netherlands, New Zealand Norway, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA, Venezuela, Yugoslavia.

Those who don’t carry one of the above passports must apply for a visa at the nearest embassy or consulate. The Indonesian Department of Foreign Affairs offers lists of foreign missions in Indonesia and of Indonesian diplomatic missions abroad. The latter doesn’t seem to be organised in any rational manner, so you’ll have to employ the search function of your browser.

Pretty much every major port in the country is open to international travellers, and restrictions simply disallow crossing into Indonesian waters on a little raft. Should you avoid doing taking this course of immigration, you’ll be fine, and are unlikely to be deported.

To change money and traveller’s cheques, you’d be best off heading to banks in larger cities, as the process may be unfamiliar to the staff of banks in more remote areas. US dollars speak volumes, as usual, and if you want to bring cash rather than traveller’s cheques, it’d be best to bring the almighty dollar instead of a more obscure currency. Traveller’s cheques, too, are more readily accepted when issued in US dollars.

The process of changing money is the same as in most places: you have to fork over the cash and your passport (often they will, aggravatingly enough, demand a photocopy of your passport, which you have to obtain yourself – they will not do this for you), then wait a long time while they scrutinise everything and finally give you your Rupiah. Moneychangers, ever-present on more touristed streets in more touristed cities, will give you less hassle, but may be a touch less honest, so watch out.

Tipping is generally unheard of in Indonesia, so you needn’t practise it. If you insist, you may cause insult, so simply reward good service and the like with a gracious ‘thank you’ and a big smile. Bargaining is another matter. This is done nearly everywhere; you can haggle over everything from the price of the fruit you buy at the market to the price of your hotel room. If you’re seriously concerned about saving money, you can generally start at a third of the vendor’s initial offer. This is especially valid in tourist areas, where prices are inflated. In more out-of-the-way regions, start at about 50 percent and work towards a discount of about a quarter of the initial offer. Seasoned bargainers will, of course, have their own tactics. Pretending to walk away is the most obvious, and effective, way to knock at least ten percent off of a ‘final offer.’

The standard restrictions apply to things you can bring into Indonesia: 200 cigarettes/50 cigars, two litres of any kind of alcohol, and a bottle or two of perfume. Weapons, pornographic materials, and fresh fruits and vegetables are totally outlawed and will be seized at customs. A sad sign of Indonesia’s poor treatment of its Chinese minority is that printed materials bearing Chinese characters, even novels and the like, are also outlawed.

Whether taking a laptop or popping into a cybercafe along the way, confirmed Internet users often look for opportunities to communicate with home and friends. And the unfortunate reality is that we cannot all leave the work behind, so communication with business associates is sometimes a necessity rather than a luxury.

Cybercafes are becoming more and more common worldwide, and though they are still somewhat scarce in Indonesia, they are beginning to pop up. Netcafeguide and the both offer somewhat small lists of these establishments in Indonesia. Since a great majority of cybercafes in Southeast Asia are ad hoc numbers run out of people’s living rooms, the odds are that you’ll find an internet place during your wanderings about town.

Indonesia is working on converting the entire country to a 220 V standard voltage with a frequency of 50 Hz. As it stands, the cities have accomplished this, while most rural areas are still a work in progress. Consequently, voltages range from 127-220. Most laptops don't require a converter, but check before you plug it in (naturally). There is no universal outlet shape in Indonesia.

Before you leave home, research the potential health risks of the region that you will be visiting and plan accordingly; prevention is often the best strategy. Information provided on the following sites is best supplemented with a visit to your local health care professional for the most up-to-date information about travel in any particular region.

The vast majority of areas in Indonesia are safe country to travel in, despite the unrest which currently grips some parts of the country. Areas to avoid change every day, but, for the time being, the Malukus and West Timor are probably best avoided. UN intervention in East Timor has caused some animosity among pro-integration militias, and a peacekeeper from New Zealand was recently killed. Aceh province, at the north end of Sumatra, is touch and go, so get in contact with your embassy in Jakarta for details if you plan on heading there or to any other regions that you might have doubts about.

Travelling to north Sulawesi is also a touch on the dangerous side, since independence-seeking militias from the southern Philippines have been snatching tourists from the nearby Malaysian island of Sipadan and Sulawesi’s tourists are unlikely to be untouchable. In the rest of the country, the biggest crime likely to victimise tourists is petty theft and pickpocketing. If you guard your possessions against these potential crimes, you’ll have a safe and enjoyable visit.

The Los Angeles and Toronto offices are located within those cities’ Indonesian consulates. Within Indonesia itself, tourist information centres are easy to find in bigger cities and around more heavily touristed areas. In more remote areas, however, you may have to depend on the kindness of strangers.