"Yes, yes, transport, transport!" and "Where
do you want to go?" (when you are not looking to go anywhere)
are cries you will hear throughout the southern tourist areas
of Bali. Here are a list of the various methods of getting
around, and the corresponding things to be aware of and risks
Ok, these are official taxis, often with meters. Hawkers
shouting "Taxi?" and "Transport?" at you
are offering unlicensed rides. There are two colours for licensed
taxis; Blue & White. The Blue taxis are the best, as white
ones have a reputation for being less courteous, having "broken"
meters (always ask if it is working before you drive off)
and subsequently charging inflated rates. The blue taxis are
run by Blue Bird who also provide very reliable daily driver
services / rates, and may be a much better / safer / more
comfortable bet then the street hawkers offer - Click
Here For More
When you arrive at the airport in Bali you will find many
offers from unofficial "taxi" drivers yet struggle
to see a real cabbie. However, if you walk out of the aircon
arrivals lounge area into the tropical heat of Bali and look
around, you will find the Fixed Price taxi office / window
with a board clearly showing the ride prices. Organise your
taxi there and they will assign you a driver who will show
you to the taxi. Be warned that many "porters" will
try to grab your luggage and expect a handsome reward for
the 50 meter conveyance! If you are happy with this "help",
agree a price with them first.
PRIVATE HIRE (with driver)
It seems every 2 meters there is a "local" gesticulating
as if they were at they wheel of their car trying to avoid
a kamikaze chicken and shouting "Transport, Transport?!".
By this you can tell transport is not a problem for visitors
to Bali & Lombok. There are 4 rules to this process. Pick
one you like the look of. Ask what car they have first (and
whether they have working aircon). Only ask the price if you
want to hire them (they will not leave you alone once you
have). And don't accept the first price they offer you. If
you pick a good driver, they will add immensely to your holiday,
both with friendship and local knowledge.
If you are going to use them for a full day, it may be incumbent
on you to buy them lunch (but not at a tourist restaurant!).
If you want them to take you to another part of the island
for 2 or more days, it may be incumbent upon you to pay for
their lodgings (but not at a tourist hotel!). Bear in mind
many Balinese drivers will try and make extra money off you
by taking you to shops and restaurants where they earn a commission
off anything you buy.
Be aware, most if not all of the transport touts operate
unlicenced vehicles. This creates several potential health
and logistical problems. The first of which is that unlicenced
drivers often will not go through a police road block because
they are looking for just that, unlicenced drivers. So you
may suffer some significant delays or worse. Second it that
you are likely travelling in a vehicle without any insurance
and probably without any form of service history; which means
everything from dodgy brakes to poor air conditioning.
Licenced vehicles and drivers have "Jasa Raharja"
passenger insurance as part of the vehicle licence, they themselves
have special "B Umum" tourism driver licences, and
their vehicles are checked every six months by the Department
of Transportation. Because of the risks involved in hiring
an unlicenced car and driver, BLTF can only show fully licenced
services on this page. You may search the forum for postings
by people recommending other drivers of course, but BLTF only
shows those who state they are fully legal / licensed here.
If you contact a driver from a recommendation from a forum
posting, it might be a good idea to ask them what licences
mobile: +62 (0) 8123 910056 has confirmed he is fully licensed,
etc. He has a Mazda E2000 minibus which he charges around
400,000 rp a day for his and the vehicle's services (including
gas / petrol) - this may be higher if he has to travel further
to collect or take guests (he is based normally in the Ubud
area). Wayan is known to the owner of this forum as a friendly,
honest person who knows the real artists and artisans of the
Ubud area (he does not take you to tourist traps where they
pay drivers a percentage of whatever they sell them). 400,000
Rp is a bargain. Wayan has a young family and is struggling
with Bali's recession and the costs of being licensed. Please
be generous if he does a good job for you.
mobile: +62 (0) 8123608079 has confirmed he is fully licenced
and tries hard to offer individual tours around Bali without
trying to make an extra buck of his customers by taking them
to driver commission shops and restaurants.
If anyone can recommend a fully licenced driver with vehicle,
please let BLTF know as it will be a pleasure to add them.
SELF DRIVE CAR HIRE
It depends on who you talk to as to whether you will be recommended
to drive yourself or not. However, I think it is fair to say,
if you simply looking to get about around Kuta / Sanur / Nusa
Dua, it is probably better to get taxis and / or private hire
with a driver. However, if you want to travel outside this
area, you will possibly be better off renting your own car.
Driving in rural Bali & Lombok is often a pleasure, though
sometimes a nightmare and the roads can get a bit potholed
in some places. You might not want to overtake lorries going
up mountains, as there is likely to be another one a few kilometres
ahead. And anyway, they will try and overtake you going down
the other side of the mountain. There is, therefore, a certain
comfort in following a slow truck uphill. Knowing they will
protect you against the "Mad Maxes" coming the other
If you are driving along a winding road enjoying the scenery,
you might want to honk your horn every few seconds to warn
other drivers you are coming, and listen for them honking
theirs as that may well mean they are overtaking on a blind
Driving in the tourist areas such as Kuta can be even more
daunting as there are plenty of bikes, scooters, cars, buses
and lorries all trying to get their nose in front of yours.
You see, that is the rule of the road. You have to give way
to anyone or anything (including chickens!) who are in front
of you. If there is any doubt as to who has right of way,
it is the larger of the vehicles.
Police officers regularly stop foreigners in rental cars
(and on bikes). Sometimes at road blocks where they will check
your car documents and check you have a valid International
drivers licence; if not, they will most likely ask for money
from you (a "fine without a receipt"). Sometimes
they will tell you your paperwork is not in order even when
it is, although repeating "It is in order, see here is
my licence, here are the car rental papers" a few times
will generally be sufficient. But even then you may be asked
to make a "Donation for a friend". In which case,
they have given up, so slowly drive off while saying "No
Police officers also stop foreigners in rental cars at unofficial
"road blocks", where they simply pull foreign drivers
over. Here many police officers will tell the tourist they
have committed a traffic offence even when they clearly have
not. When they are this brazenly corrupt you basically have
two choices; pay a fine without receipt or get a ticket and
go to court. Unless you have video or photographic evidence
of the fact you did not do anything wrong, you will lose,
end up spending valuable days of your holiday going to court,
and end up paying more. If you do get leaned on for money
by police officers, please read BLTF's recommendations on
our Bali Police page. Please do
not let them get away with it. Police corruption goes beyond
harrassing tourists who can afford it for a few bucks, it
results in murder, other human rights abuse, civil rights
breaches and suppresses the economic and spirtual aspirations
of the Balinese people. If you pay a Balinese police officer
money for a "fine without receipt" you are part
of the problem that plights other people.
Driving along some of the flat, straight, well kept rural
coastal roads can be an absolute pleasure. If you are travelling
around Medewi, Cekik, Pemuteran, Sambi Renteng, Tulamben,
Amed etc., you should be in "seventh heaven", and
be able to go places bemos and private hire drivers may not
go. Petrol / Gas (Benzin) is the cheapest in SE Asia but the
pump attendents are probably the most fraudulent in the world.
When you pull up at the pump get out and make sure they reset
the meter! You can buy petrol from street sellers (they have
litre or bigger bottles of it on display), but you will probably
pay more and you might not get 100% Premium! Most main towns
have at least one petrol station, but they do run out from
time to time. The best advice is to start looking once your
gauge shows your tank is half full.
Wherever you drive, watch out for locals who come running
towards you waving and shouting that there is something wrong
with your car. There isn't, it's just a scam to fool you into
getting it "repaired" at their brother's expensive
"garage". You can rent a car in advance of your
arrival, but you will pay substantially more for the privilege.
Of course, whatever you do make sure the car is both licenced
for rental use and that everything works (aircon, brakes,
indicators, horn, lights, seat belts, clutch, gears, etc.)
and the tyres are in good order with a spare (with jack).
Also make sure they list every minute scratch as you may well
get asked for compensation for these when you return if they
make out the damage was not there before. Finally do not let
them make a profit from you if you have an accident; insist
the collision damage waiver is US$100, no more. Here are the
web-sites of some and of one which lists a few local rental
companies, handy for when you are there;
Bali Car Rental Company Information Click
Avis Rent-a-car www.avis.com
Most car rental companies will bring the car to you at your
hotel and allow you to return it to them at the airport. The
tourist south is the best place to rent a car, once you get
to Ubud you will find less choice and maybe higher prices.
Outside the south forget it; if you find a car rental "company"
at all their cars will be the worst.
BIKES & MOTORBIKES
There are plenty of places around to rent either of these,
but be careful in light of the above rules of the road. Also,
expect to get stopped if you carry too much on either, especially
Recommonedations: If anyone can recommend a good, ethical
car and / or bike rental company that only offers good quality
vehicles that are fully licenced, please let BLTF know so
they too can be listed.
Padang Bai (Bali) - Lembar (Lombok):
This is a slow ferry service. It leaves every 2 hours from
2:00 am to 10:00 pm and takes 4hr / 4hr 30min. Prices are
7,100 Rp per adult and 128,100 per car each-way respectively
(you can not take rental cars). You can also buy a through
ticket that includes onward transport the other side.
In Padang Bai, see the Perama office near the jetty for an
inclusive ticket to Mataram, Senggigi or even the Gili Isles.
Gilimanuk (Bali) - Ketapang (Java):
These ferries are supposed to leave every 20 min, 24 hours
a day. The crossing time is only 30 mins including loading
/ docking. Prices are around 3,000 Rp for an adult and 600
Rp for a child, one way.
Labuhan Lombok (Lombok) - Poto Tano (Sumbawa):
Ferries run every hour from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm - crossing
time is 2 hours. One way adult tickets cost around 5,000Rp
to 7,000Rp depending on whether you travel "Ekonomi A
Senggigi / Bangsai (Lombok) - Gili Trawangan / Meno /
Air (Lombok): "Public" boats are available or
you can charter a "rigger" for a bit more.
Sanur (Bali) - Nusa Lembongan / Penida (Bali):
The boat leaves around 7:30 am every morning from the Northern
end of Sanur Beach in front of the Ananda Hotel. Don't buy
from the ticket touts at an inflated price - use the ticket
office at the hotel. Crossing time to Lembongan is approximately
90 minutes and it can get rough in this small boat.
Benoa Harbour (Bali) - Nusa Lembongan (Bali):
Safer tourist option in larger, more modern boat. Costs
are higher: Web-Site
Padang Bai (Bali) - Nusa Penida (Bali): Fast twin-engine
fibreglass boats might sometoimes be available and can make
this crossing in just 55 minutes - look for them on the beach
just East of the main ferry car-park area in Padang Bai.
These are small inexpensive minibuses that the locals mostly
travel on. So using them will ensure you get to meet the real
islanders; the one's who most likely work outside the tourist
industry. Bemos start very early in the morning, then start
getting sparser as you get closer to 5pm; remember this if
you are planning a day out. Bemos do not have air conditioning,
are often busy and can therefore get really steamy! So be
warned. On the plus side, they are very inexpensive. But unless
you a well seasoned traveller in this area, you are likely
to pay several times the amount charged to locals; which is
still cheap. Different areas / regions of the islands have
different coloured bemos.
Bemos can get you virtually everywhere around Bali &
Lombok, but the more remote areas will have infrequent services.
Very remote places such as Amed may have no regular bemo service.
So, if you want to get there, you would need to take a bemo
to Culik and then negotiate a ride with a local or walk the
last 5km. Bemos can be flagged down anywhere you see them
(they will probably double honk their horn as they approach
tourists & locals alike while they are walking along the
roadside). If you are carrying luggage / rucksacks, you should
not be charged extra for this as long as it can sit on your
lap. As to how much to pay, when the driver tells you the
price, expect the worse, look shocked, offer a third of what
they said (ready to pay half the amount) and then ask a local
on the same bus how much extra you paid then you should (for
the next time)! But don't end up with your principles intact,
still on the roadside, watching the tail end of a bemo, driven
by an offended driver, disappearing in the distance! If you
have the nerve, you can try just getting on, waiting for the
designated fare collector to come around and watch closely
at what the locals pay.
The following are the main bemo routes. Originating points
shown in blue are in Bali, those
in brown are in Lombok. Destinations
shown in bold are bemo stations where you can connect with
another service. (Bracketed figures) denote approximate travel
times between towns. The destinations from a particular bemo
station are not necessarily serviced by a single route - this
information is for general planning purposes only.
Tegal Terminal (Denpasar) -
Ubung Terminal (10min) - Kereneng Terminal (Denpasar) (20min)
- Kuta (25min) - Sanur (25min) - Ngurah Rai Airport (35min)
- Nusa Dua (35min).
Ubung Terminal - Batubulan Terminal Denpasar (10min)
- Tanah Lot (30min) - Mengwi (30min) - Tabanan (35min) - Antosari
(1hr) - Lalang Linggah (1hr 15min) - Bedugul (1hr 30min) -
Medewi (1hr 30min) - Negara (2hr 15min) Gitgit (2hr 30min)
- Sukasada Terminal (Singaraja) (3hr) - Gilimanuk (3hr 15min)
- Surabaya (Java) (10hr) - Yogyakarta (Java) (15hr) - Solo
(Java) (15hr) - Jakarta (Java) (24hr).
Kereneng Terminal (Denpasar) - Batubulan Terminal (Denpasar)
- Sanur (20min).
Batubulan Terminal (Denpasar) - Sukawati (20min) -
Mas (35min) - Ubud (50min) - Candi Dasa (1hr) - Gianyar (1hr)
- Klungkung (1hr 20min) - Bangli (1hr 30min) - Padang Bai
(ferry for Lombok) (1hr 40min) - Amlapura (2hr 30min) - Penarukan
Terminal (Singaraja) (3hr).
Suci Bemo Station (Denpasar - 5min walk from Tegal
Terminal) - Suwung (for Pulau Serangan / Turtle Island) (25min).
Ubud Market Bemo Stop - Camphuhan (5min) - Peliatan
(5min) - Goa Gajah (10min) - Gianyar (20min) - Pujung (25min)
- Sukuwati (30min) - Kintamani (40min) - Celuk (40min).
Bangli - Gianyar (20min) - Batubulan Terminal (Denpasar)
(1hr 30min) - Penarukan Terminal (Singaraja) (2hr 15min).
Gianyar - Ubud (20min) - Klungkung (20min) - Bangli
(20min) - Blahbatuh (30min) - Batur (40min) - Candi Dasa (1hr)
- Batubulan Terminal (Denpasar) (1hr) - Amlapura (1hr 20min).
Klungkung - Gianyar (20min) - Rendang (30min) - Candi
Dasa (40min) - Besakih (45min) - Amlapura (1hr) - Batubulan
Terminal (Denpasar) (1hr 20min).
Amlapura - Tirtagangga (10min) - Candi Dasa (20min)
- Culik (20min) - Tulamben (40min) - Klungkung (1hr) - Gianyar
(1hr 20min) - Penarukan Terminal (Singaraja) (2hr 30min).
Penarukan Terminal (Singaraja) - Kubutambahan (20min)
- Sawan (30min) - Penelokan (1hr 30min) - Amlapura (2hr) -
Gianyar (2hr 20min) - Batubulan Terminal (Denpasar) (3hr).
Sukasada Terminal (Singaraja) - Gitgit (30min) - Bedugul
(1hr 30min) - Ubung Terminal (Denpasar) (3hr).
Banyuasri Terminal (Singaraja) - Lovina (20min) - Seririt
(40min) - Pemuteran (1hr 30min) - Gilimanuk (2hr 30min) -
Surabaya (Java) (10hr) - Yogyakarta (Java) (21hr).
Penelokan - Toya Bungkah (15min) - Songan (25min) -
Bangli (45min) - Gianyar (50min) - Batubulan Terminal (Denpasar)
(1hr 30min) - Penarukan Terminal (Singaraja) (1hr 30min).
Gilimanuk - Cekik (National Park HQ) (10min) - Labuan
Lalang (for Deer Island) (25min) - Pemuteran (1hr) - Negara
(1hr) - Seririt (1hr 30min) - Medewi (1hr 45min) - Lovina
(2hr) - Banyuasri Terminal (Singaraja) (2hr 30min) - Tabanan
(2hr 30min) - Ubung Terminal (Denpasar) (3hr 15min).
Sweta - Lembar (for ferry to
Bali) (30min) - Praya (30min) - Pemenang (for Gili Isles)
(50min) - Pomotong (for Tetebatu) (1hr 15min) - Labuhan Lombok
(for ferry to Sumbawa) (2hr) - Bayan (for Mount Rinjani) (2hr
Praya - Sweta (30min) - Kuta
(the other one!) (1hr) - Gubukdalem (1hr 30min).
Ampenan - Senggigi (20min).