Bali Transport

This is summary of the different forms of Bali transport available. This will be useful information for those planning to holiday in Bali.

I have used all forms of transport in Bali and I personally find using a motorbike is most convenient. I enjoy riding a motorbike around Bali, but it pays to be careful because it can be dangerous on the Bali roads. The streets in common areas of Bali are often highly congested which increases the chance of accidents.

The first thing anyone will see when they arrive here is that the most common form of Bali transport is by motorbike. For the simple fact that it's a lot more convenient to zip through the hectic traffic conditions of Bali and also they're a lot cheaper to run.

Driving in Bali

For those tourists coming from western countries such as USA and Australia, it’s not recommended to drive in Bali. You would be accustomed to the roads in Australia or USA where there are many highly strung people driving in an aggressive manner. Drivers must also abide by strict rules and regulations unlike Bali. It's a good idea to have an awareness of this if you plan to drive or ride a motorbike.

Here is a few shots I took of the hectic traffic conditions in Bali.

Bali Transport - Bali's Hectic Traffic

There are so many motorbikes all around Bali that they will always come up beside cars at lights and while driving. They can come out from anywhere at anytime too.

Bali's Hectic Traffic

The roads in Bali are often congested full of cars and motorbikes. Below is a shot I took of Sunset Road, Kuta. This is one of the more major roads in this part of Bali. The common tourist areas closer to the beach don't have major roads like this yet they are still just as congested.

Bali Transport - Bali Traffic on Sunset Road

There are very few street signs and no strict regulations as to which side of the road you drive on. There are more motorbikes/scooters getting around Bali than cars. Often cars will be banked up bumper to bumper particularly in populated areas such as Kuta. With this in mind, it's a good idea to have some understanding about Bali transport and how you plan on getting around Bali before you go on your holiday.

Motorbikes/Scooters in Bali

Whether you are getting around Bali by car, motorbike, bicycle or walking, you are bound to see people riding motorbikes all over the place. Motorbikes come from all different directions such as the wrong side of the road and out of side alley ways when you least expect it.

The Balinese are very good at getting around Bali on motorbikes, dodging on-coming traffic, riding between cars and zipping around all the small lane ways. Usually the the most common form of Bali transport for locals is by motorbike.

"It's not out of the ordinary to see a child or even a family cruising with ease on a scooter!"

Here is a shot of a Balinese family of 4 on a scooter.

Bali Transport - Bali family of 4 on a motorbike

Many Balinese are always weaving through traffic carrying large loads on their bikes.

Bali Transport - Bali man carting a load on motorbike

Tourists riding Motorbikes in Bali

For the international tourists, riding motorcycles in the hectic traffic conditions of Bali can be quite stressful particularly if you're not practiced at riding motorbikes. Those who are familiar with motorbikes and are good riders may find riding around Bali enjoyable. Keep in mind though that it does require you to exercise extreme caution given the unpredictable nature on the roads in Bali.

Take note of a few safety tips highlighted below if riding a motorbike is your preferred choice of Bali Transport.

Bali Transport - Tourist riding in Bali

Key points to keep in mind when riding a motorbike in Bali:

  • make sure you are most careful at intersections because it’s all completely random, anyone can go anyway at anytime.
  • Also keep your focus when going through smaller lane ways as anyone could pop out of anywhere when you least expect it.

Always expect the unexpected!

Generally, if you have good road sense and keep an eye out for the unexpected at all times you should be fine. Even though the roads of Bali are somewhat disorganised compared to Australia and USA, the Balinese aren’t angry highly strung drivers. There isn’t the kind of road rage tension you might expect from a western country.

Hiring a motorbike in Bali

You can usually hire a motorbike in Bali for around 50,000 IDR ($5.00 - $6.00 AUD) per day. Most motorbike hiring outlets will require you to show your International Driver's Licence to them.

Hiring a driver in Bali

Perhaps the most relaxing form of Bali transport you will find is to hire a driver. For those who prefer not to worry about the roads at all, it is recommended that tourists hire a driver for a day who can take you anywhere. This is the perfect stress-free way of getting around Bali. You can relax and enjoy your holiday without the worry of getting around Bali via your own mode of transport and risking unexpected incidents in the hectic traffic.

To hire a driver for a day it will cost around 400,000 IDR - 600,000 IDR ($40.00 - $60.00 AUD) per day depending on where you hire the driver from. Some drivers also charge an hourly rate of around 50,000 IDR ($5.00 - $6.00 AUD) per hour.

Hiring a Bicycle in Bali

Another alternative to hiring a driver, car or motorbike is to hire a bicycle. You can usually hire a bicycle for around 30,000 IDR ($3.00 - $4.00 AUD). If you decide to hire a bicycle though, there are a few safety tips to note first. Hiring a bicycle is perhaps the cheapest form of Bali transport aside from walking of course. However there are limitations in terms of how far you can travel. If you plan to visit places of interest that are quite some distance away, you will need to use another form of Bali transport.. eg: car, motorbike, driver or taxi.

Bicycle safety check

  • This tip also applies to riding motorcycles, make sure to wear a helmet in the unlikely event of an accident.
  • If possible try to keep some kind of first aid items handy or a mobile phone in case you need to call someone.
  • If you have to ride during the evening, try to wear bright coloured clothing, as with riding motorbikes. Make sure the bicycle has some kind of night safety equipment such as flashing red light at the rear.
  • Carry some money in the event of any kind of emergencies.
  • Perform a general safety check on both motorcycles and bicycles before riding them. eg: test brakes, lights, cables.
  • Wear sunglasses or at least a baseball cap because you can't put your hand over your face when riding. The sun can be very bright and distracting when you are on a bike and it happens to get into your eyes.

  • Wear sunscreen, particularly on your arms. You will find that your arms are more likely to burn faster than anywhere else from holding your arms to the handlebars of the bike. Same applies with motorbikes. (you can get burnt in Bali faster than you think)
  • If possible try to have water on hand. The humidity in Bali can make you dehydrated very quickly. If you can only carry a small bottle, perhaps purchase more along the way if you are taking long trips.
  • Wear some kind of gloves. In case you have an accident your hands will be protected.
  • Wear shoes not thongs. Many people wear thongs when riding in Bali but this isn't recommended because if you come off the bike you can do yourself some damage. Also try to wear safe clothing so you are protected in the event of an accident. It may be hot and uncomfortable at times in Bali however it's better to be safe than sorry.

These tips apply to motorbike riders too

As bikes are a common form of Bali transport, keep in mind that these bicycle safety tips generally apply to motorbikes too. As there are some notoriously chaotic traffic conditions in Bali at times, it's best to keep yourself safe on motorbikes too. In fact it's probably more dangerous to ride a motorbike in Bali than a bicycle so it's recommended to keep yourself safe when riding both motorbikes and bicycles.

Where to ride bicycles in Bali?

It’s not advised to ride bicycles around more populated areas such as Kuta or Denpasar because of how hectic the Bali traffic is. It’s recommended to enjoy your bicycle adventures in more peaceful locations such as Lovina, Ubud or Legian. You can also go for pre-organised bicycle tours which will take you through some spectacular scenic countryside locations.

Bali Bicycles Tours

Bali offers all day bicycle tours that will cost between 400,000 IDR - 450,000 IDR (between $40 - $50 AUD). Click here for more information on bicycle tours in Bali.

Taxis in Bali

Those who prefer to use a taxi for their Bali transport preference, we recommend to use the blue taxis (Blue Bird taxis). They are known for being the most honest taxi service in Bali because they always use the meter.

Blue Bird Taxi in Bali

Bali Transport - Blue Bird Taxi in Bali

Many other taxi drivers may try to increase their prices more than you should pay by not using a meter. To avoid any risk of dishonest taxi drivers, stick to the blue taxi service and/or ask the driver to turn on the meter at the start.

Handy Hint: The cheapest taxi fare from the Airport is from the Airport Taxi Counter as prices are pre-set and shown on a price board. This will help you avoid being overcharged by the many taxi drivers waiting outside the Airport at the taxi ranks.

The Airport Taxi Counter (pictured below) is situated to your right as you leave the terminal.You can pay upfront at the counter and then give your receipt to the taxi driver (with no extra charges incurred).

Bali Transport - Bali Airport Taxi Counter

Bali Maps - Get to know your way around Bali

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