According to my research, as an American citizen, I would need to get a visa upon arrival in Jakarta for the cost of $25 USD. Apparently that’s not true. I just proceeded through security and got my passport stamped. That’s all.
I was advised to only take Blue Bird taxis from the airport. I arrived late at night; there were tons of taxis, but I couldn’t find a Blue Bird cab. A cab driver followed me for a while, despite the fact that I was ignoring him, and offered me a ride for 400,000 rupiah. I did my research, so I knew that was way overpriced. When I said no, he immediately dropped the price in half, so I accepted. It was still a little overpriced, but not outrageously.
The reason I didn’t call an Uber is because I have a South Korean phone number, and when you register your phone with the Uber app, you have to select your country code, but South Korea is not included in the list of countries.
I stayed in Ubud, Bali for a week. One day I hired a private driver to take me on a tour which included, three temples, a mountain, the rice terraces, and a waterfall. While driving me around, my driver taught me about Balinese culture.
He told me that celebrating New Years is different in Bali from the rest of Indonesia. He said that in Bali on New Year’s Eve the entire island shuts down. No flights in or out. Businesses are closed. Families stay home. Electricity is not used at night. They call it The Day of Silence.
He taught me that Bali is mostly Hindu while the rest of Indonesia is mostly Muslim.
He taught me about how people are named in Bali, which I had already learned from the book Eat, Pray, Love. If you don’t know about this, I recommend looking it up. It’s very interesting.
One of the temples on my tour was The Holy Water Temple. My driver told me that in Balinese culture certain types of dreams indicate bad luck, and you can prevent future bad luck by bathing in holy water at The Holy Water Temple. The three examples he gave of bad luck dreams were: Your hair falling out, your teeth falling out, and “pooping.”
If you go to Bali, you’ll notice that there are flowers and incense everywhere. These are gifts left out to give thanks to God.
Finally, I was told that I’d have to pay an exit tax of 200,000 rupiah when flying out of Bali. Thankfully, that turned out to not be true.