On Bali island there are various modes of transportation available. You can choose from city-like taxis, bemos, tourist shuttle buses, motor scooters, bicycles to the private driver who loves to drive you around this amazing island.
Once you arrive at the Bali airport and you’ve already booked a hotel, the hotel driver will be waiting for you in his traditional Balinese outfit.
If you haven’t arranged anything yet, no problem, just walk over to the Airport Taxi Service desk and they will help you out.
Prices are fixed, very reasonable and the service is good.
Besides the airport taxi the Bluebird taxi company has sheltered us from numerous tropical rains on Bali island.
They have a good reputation, not only here but also on Java island and there’s never an issue about the fare since they always switch on their taxi meters.
If you are prepared to do some independent traveling, Bali car rental companies are ready to help you out with whatever car you like. You can book with them at the airport, at the hotel desk or go for a stroll around the main roads in the tourist areas.
While renting a car on the island of Bali try to book a relaxing spa treatment for the end of the ride as well...you might need one ;-)
Around the crazy, busy streets of Denpasar, Kuta and Seminyak it will look as if you’re the only one not participating in the Balinese version of the Formula 1.
The rule is that there are no traffic rules on Bali island, which is understandable in a country where it’s easy to obtain a drivers license. On top of that petrol costs approximately 6000 rupiah a liter which is cheaper than buying a bottle of water in some places. So there are thousands of motorbikes on the streets....
Unfortunately traffic has increased on the island and if you do head outside town you will still need to be able to keep your nerves and frustrations. Traffic jams on the main roads in areas around Ubud, Sidemen and Candidasa are now very common.
If you do want to feel a sense of being on a holiday Bali island also offers you the choice of a private driver instead of driving the car yourself. When we look for a driver we often immediately bump into one waiting around the hotel or on the main tourist streets.
But if you want, you can pop into the many Bali travel agents all over town and they can arrange a driver for you too.
Some of the drivers offer to drive you around Bali island with white Mitsubishi buses which are perfect to places such as the Tanah Lot temple but should be avoided if you're heading for the mountains.
They are just not strong enough... We had to learn that from our own mistakes. We almost had to push the car uphill ourselves!
So now when we travel around Bali island we've found a better option in the steadier and more comfortable Toyota Kijang, Toyota Avanza or similar models. They look like the cars a 5 year old boy would draw but you'll notice that they are the most comfortable ones.
We enjoy having a private driver in Bali, for us it’s the safest and most relaxing way to get around. Bali offers numerous day trips that can be done by car.
From early morning till late in the evening the driver shows us everything we want for around Rp. 600.000 rupiah. This includes petrol and great stories by our driver (also our Bali guide) “Made” (by the way that's what they're all called).
You can tell him to stop anywhere around Bali island for a pit stop or a photo opportunity...
It's Balinese service all the way.
Another way of traveling around this tropical island is a more adventurous one --renting a Bali motor scooter. It looks like a typical Asian scooter but roars like a motor bike with 100-125CC.
You can rent one for 60.000 rupiah for 24 hours including two helmets and you hand it in with a full tank again. Even when we feel we haven’t seen enough on Bali island we call the owner and extend the bike rent for another 24 hours. No problemo...
It's one of the best ways to discover the secluded beaches, the green and gold rice fields and misty mountains....
The coolest thing is to drive where rental cars and tourist buses can't take you. We are always excited to see what's next; whether it's a private beach with swaying palm trees or a Hindu temple site.
Traveling by motor scooter will also lead to unforgettable travel stories. Almost after every trip to Bali we have a new story to tell about traveling by motor scooter.
Due to the heavy traffic we do recommend travelling between villages by private driver or shuttle bus. It is not only less tiring, but you won't have a black face at the end of the day. Once in the village you can rent a motorbike and from there tour around the area.
If this all goes too fast for you, you can always rent a bicycle and paddle along the beach road. It's a great way to get to know the area.
It will take you through the various small alleys ('Gang' in Indonesian) with small shops, houses and surprisingly good restaurants. Renting one will cost around 15.000 rupiah daily.
I've traveled on Bali island by bemo as well. The bemo can be found throughout Indonesia. It's a mini-van that operates between parts of the city or between villages and is the most popular type of transport for locals.
There are no rules of what to bring inside the bemo and it can range from chickens, rabbits, fish, bags of carrots to school children, elderly people and the sunburned faces of my girlfriend and me.
You will not find anything cheaper than this, from one side of town to the other costs you 2000 rupiah and includes a hop on and hop off policy. Just yell 'stop' when you want to get out and the driver will immediately hit the breaks.
The popular Perama tourist shuttle bus is another great way to get around Bali island. It operates between most of the tourist spots such as Lovina to Ubud, to Sanur and Kuta.
The Perama shuttle bus service in Ubud
You will see their signs and prices in the many shops and Bali travel agents along the main roads in the tourist areas such as Jalan Legian in Kuta or Monkey Forest Road in Ubud.
It's cheaper than renting a car or private driver and a lot quicker than the local bemo or bus.
The tourist shuttle bus is the ideal way of getting around Bali island by bus when you're on a budget but want to travel in style. The only thing you have to take care of is to buy the ticket one day in advance and you’re ready to go.