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Getting Around Bali

Getting Around Bali

With distances of just 153 km from east to west and 112 km from north to south, Bali’s tiny and getting around the Indonesian island is quick and easy.

Regions

 

map of bali for getting around

By Burmesedays, Peterfitzgerald (Peter Fitzgerald) (Own work based on OpenStreetMap.org [1].) [CC BY-SA 4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Taxi

get around bali with a taxi

Aero7 [CC BY-SA 2.5 my (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5/my/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hailing a taxi cab off the street is one of the most straightforward methods of transportation in Bali.

However, it’s dependent on your taxi driver’s honesty. Drivers often overcharge tourists, claiming the meter is broken. Blue Bird Taxis are considered the most reliable. Keep small change handy so you can pay the exact fare as drivers sometimes say they do not have change so they can pocket the change.

Uber does operate in Bali, as does Grab, but Blue Bird Taxis have their own app, too. It’s available on the Apple App Store and Google Play and allows users to summon a taxi on demand.

At the airport, you pay set prices at the counter before entering the taxi.

Costs

  • $0,25 per kilometer, plus $0,50 for flag-down.
  • Special rates apply to and from the airport. To Kuta it’s $5,60 and $60 to Tulamben.

Area of range

  • Taxi cabs mainly work in southern Bali and Ubud.

Car Rentals

 

Renting a car in bali

By Sabung.hamster (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Hiring a car is the easiest and most comfortable way of getting around Bali. You can drive around the entire island at your own leisure with modern features, including the sometimes vital aircon.

The standard vehicle is normally an SUV or a hatchback, usually a Toyota, though naturally there are other options, too. TRAC Astra Rent-a-Car is the national operator, available at the airport.

The only drawback to this mode of transport is that an international licence is obligatory. Local police run regular blockades to check foreigners’ licences; If you take the chance of going without, expect to fork out hefty bribes. To get a temporary tourist driving licence, go to West Denpasar Police Headquarters with your documents and $25.

Be sure to check the car for damages and confirm these with the company before leaving with the car. Also, be careful to return the vehicle promptly at the arranged time as car theft is common in Bali and companies are quick to report a ‘stolen’ car.

Costs

  • Car rental in Bali is roughly $10 to $30 per day for a manual car and $15 to $40 for an automatic car.
  • Some companies may charge insurance in addition to the base cost. There are also surcharges for extra drivers.
  • Chauffeur service is available from $40 a day (ten hour service of the driver, including petrol).

Area of range

  • It’s simplest to arrange car hire at the hotel reception.
  • There are firms in Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Nusa Dua and Ubud.

Motorcycle and Scooter Rentals

 

motorcyle to get around in bali

Photo by CEphoto, Uwe Aranas / , via Wikimedia Commons

 

Many travellers describe Bali’s roads as notorious but if you’re up for a challenge, and potentially an adventure, then motorcycles and scooters may be your go-to in Bali. Just make sure you’re covered with travel insurance.

Again, an international driving licence for motorbikes is required. To get one with no prior experience, go to the Denpasar police office and write the prerequisite test.

A helmet is also compulsory but try to get a solid one. Bali’s accident rate is very high and road rules are widely considered to just be suggestions. Also be aware that tourists are always liable for accident costs, even if they weren’t responsible for the incident.

In conclusion, motorcycle hire is not an overly safe method of getting around in Bali, especially for tourists inexperienced with motorbikes.

Costs

  • On the upside, motorcycle hire is cheap. Expect to pay $4 to $10 a day.

Area of range

  • Motorcycle hire companies operate across the island and if you’re a good driver, you’ll be able to reach the entire island.

Bicycle Rentals

Biking’s not just a cheap option in Bali; it’s also fun and a great way to experience the countryside.

Bali’s bicycle tracks vary from paved roads to narrow, dirt tracks. The main roads are chaotic, dangerous meeting grounds for time-pressed locals and inexperienced tourists: avoid them.  It’s important to have good safety equipment, especially a helmet which is normally included in the hire price.

Costs

  • Bikes are usually rented out for around $2,50 a day.

Area of range

  • Naturally, you can ride all over the island but you’ll be safest avoiding the hectic highways of the south. Country roads around Ubud and Lovina are safer, scenic routes.

Tourist Shuttle Buses

 

 

For more luxurious, yet affordable communal transport in Bali, the tourist shuttle buses are a great option. They come with WiFi, often free, and aircon, and make getting around the major touristic sites in Bali simple.

Kura-Kura is the premier shuttle bus, with stops at shopping malls and hotel resorts. Kura-Kura buses have TV screens and electronic plug points.  Another company is Perama Tours which runs the Bali Lombok Daily Shuttle Bus.

Costs

  • There are different lines on Kura-Kura which radiate out from DFS Bus Bay.
  • The Kuta line is $1,40 and the Ubud line, the most expensive, is $5,60.
  • A three-day pass on Kura-Kura is $10, 50.
  • A Perama bus journey from Kuta to Ubud is around $4,20 per person.

Area of range

  • Most tourist sites, mainly in the central and southern region.

Bemo Minibuses

 

bemo minibuses to transport people in bali

By Ocdp (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

Bemos used to be extremely popular, and cramped, in Bali but since the upshot in motorcycle usage, they’ve been in decline. Few tourists use them but they’re good for navigating the narrow roads between villages.

It’s not necessary to wait at set stops for a bemo; flag them down from the side of the road.

Costs

  • Riding a bemo is cheap with short distances costing around $0,25 but it’s more for tourists.

Area of range

Dokar and Ojek

 

horse and cart in bali

By Letmeseeit (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Although these two methods of transport are steadily declining in Bali, Dokar and Ojek can be helpful in rural areas.

Ojek is the name of a motorcycle that takes a paying passenger. It’s not advisable in the busy towns but might be useful in the countryside. Anyone can offer an ojek now so if you do want to try it, just stand by the side of the road and wait for locals on motorbike to offer.

A dokar is a horse cart. Tourist tour-style rides are offered but animal rights activists are vocally concerned about the animals’ welfare.

Costs

  • Both vehicles are usually $2,10 per kilometer.

Area of range

  • Ojeks are most often seen in Lombok.
  • Dokars are uncommon outside Kuta, Denpasar and the most undeveloped areas.

 

There’s a transport method to suit every visitor to Bali, whether it’s taking the scenic route on a bike or reclining in a chauffeured vehicle, but getting around Bali reliably is key to seeing all that the beautiful island offers.

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