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Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

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Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

We will arive in bali in about three weeks and i have a few questions about immigration and airport security.

We will need to get a Visa on arrival. I suppose it costs 25USD per person. Do you think we will need to bring USD (exact change) with us or it is also easy to get money from an ATM machine right before passport control?

Always on the money topic: is it easy to withdrawl money in the kuta/seminyak and ubud area? What is the most trusted bank? Would you suggest to get a good amout of money once and just pay everything cash? Or is it possible/easier to pay with credit card in restaurant and shops?

I have read on wikitravel that Bali airport is one of the most corrupt airport in Indonesia and it happens often that officials, when leaving bali, claim that souvenirs require export licenses. Is that true? We would like to buy some souvenirs made by local craftsmen but do not really want to get in trouble.

One last thing and this may sound a bit silly. We have also heard horrible stories about travelers luggage being opened and filled with illegal items with the conclusion that they were arrested/stopped for long times at the airport. I know that this has not probably never happened in Bali, but since we will be arriving from Singapore and then leaving for Kuala Lumpur, would you suggest to travel only with carry on? We are used to travel light, but do you think this is necessary? Traveling with only carry on is nice because we would be moving easily but if we nut souvenirs then where would we put them?

Thank you very much to those who will help me on this!

Dublin, Ireland
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for Seminyak, Ubud, Bali, Dublin
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1. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

Ciao wop,

For Visa on arrival 25USD is preferred if you want a speedy purchase, no ATM before immigration and the credit card payment is not always working according to some.

It is easy to get money from ATM in the Seminyak / Kuta area, most banks and convenience shops have an ATM these days. The newest ATMs give 3 million ruppiah at most. but it should be ok for a few days ;)

Either go with Euros (50 or 100 notes in perfect condition) you'll change over there regularly (see Top Questions for advise) or use ATMs. Just tell your bank before to avoid having your card blocked for anti fraud check and have a look at the cost of such withdrawals from your bank.

Most convenient in Bali restaurants and shops is cash, card payments get a 3% transaction fee if not more.

the only people I've heard complaining about having stuff put in their bags are the ones caught smuggling drugs, so I would not worry. over 2 million foreign passengers arrive in Bali each year without problem.

Upon leaving Bali, I've never heard of such practice, maybe others have.

Singapore is IMO the best airport in the world and I can't imagine such practices happening there. KUL is a nice airport as well.

I've been to Bali 8 times, to Malaysia twice without even thinking about this. Do not worry about your bags, just do not pack anything valuable in them.

Enjoy your time in Bali.

Edited: 17 June 2012, 22:25
Eaton, Australia
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for Broome, Bunbury
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2. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

I agree with Ochervet.

We always take 50 USD's, just so that it is quicker for us to pass through VOA and then onto immigration and customs.

We have been travelling to Bali for over 20 years..making it well over 20 trips and we've never had any issues with the souvenirs, nor heard of anyone being charged, however make sure that you can bring those items back into your own country withouit violating local laws, ie in Australia we cannot bring back many items, as they a forbidden because of quarantine regulatuions, etc. This includes certain plant and animal products, foods, weapons, lasers, etc.

Here's the link Ochervet spoke of in regard to money and mone changing;


Newcastle, Australia
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3. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

I totally agree with ochervet.

The only times I have heard of problems with immigration is when taking in more than 1 litre of alcohol per person. Otherwise entering and leaving has been easy. In fact last time I declared food which is an item listed on the immigration card. The officer wasn't concerend and I went through without it being looked at.

In relation to money I use an ATM located at the hotel where I stay. I withdraw 3,000,000 at a time and use the safe in my room to store what I don't need each day. Just rememeber depending on the type of account you have there will be transfer fees to consider.

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4. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

Thank you very much everyone...this really helps!

so regarding the money situation, you all agree that it is better to get cash instead of using a credit-debit card?

thanks again!

Leeds, UK
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for Bali
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5. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

Yes, unless you have a credit/debit card that allows you free transactions abroad.

Lombok, Indonesia
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6. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

As hinted by David P, it is a good idea to just stick with the standard 1 litre duty free alcohol allowance.

It is possible to bring in more but you will be liable for payments for import duty, VAT and standard alcohol excise levies.

The formula for determining the levies is different for the level of alcohol by volume, so wine has a different rate to >20% alcohol content spirits.

As a rough guideline allow around US$11.00 for a ~$26.00 (750ml) bottle of wine and around US$33.00 for a ~$30.00 (1 litre) bottle of >20% alc spirits.

Obviously a higher purchase value will result in a higher levy.

An approximate would be found by adding $0.10 for every dollar above the approximate purchase prices above.

ie a $50.00 bottle of spirits would result in an additional $2.00 of VAT (so a $50.00 bottle would be assessed at ~$35.00 of import payments.

More detail here... tripadvisor.com/…41472090

7. Re: Immigration and Visa arriving in Bali

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