That's right, it can certainly be challenging getting around Bali particularly if you're not prepared. However it can also be fun too. This section of my site provides some useful Bali travel tips that will help keep you safe, prepared and reduce the chances of getting lost in the mazes of Bali.
I took this picture while I was in a taxi and this is a typical view in the streets of Bali. Motorbikes will always be banked up either side of the cars on the roads.
If you plan to get around Bali in a car you will be likely bumper to bumper in traffic a lot of the time. If you are on a bike however you may be able to zip through banked up traffic a bit easier.
I enjoy riding motorbikes and Bali's streets are mostly full of people riding them. That being said, it can be a challenge because the traffic conditions are very hectic as there are very few road rules like you might find in western countries.
The roads in Bali can also be challenging to use if you aren't prepared. This is how it often looks waiting at traffic lights with cars and motorbikes everywhere.
Although the Balinese aren't aggressive road users, the lack of regulations on the roads does have the potential to make it dangerous.
Another way of getting around Bali is by horse and carriage pictured below. You will see these on the side of the road in common tourist areas like Kuta and you can hire them.
Kuta Square pictured below is always bumper to bumper traffic with cars and motorbikes. There is always motorbikes parked all the way along either side of the road. This kind of traffic makes motorbikes an easier way of getting around Bali.
This is one of the many lane ways the motorbikes are cruising through all the time in Bali. Riders can pop out onto roads out of these back lane ways at anytime.
Whichever way you're getting around Bali, it pays to keep an eye out for these lane ways. Often you will find motorbike riders are zipping out of them unexpectedly.
Many a time I have come very close to accidents due to the hectic conditions. I am generally a pretty good rider and I've had a lot of experience with motorbikes in the past but even still, anybody can have an accident if they aren't careful.
As a result of my experiences in Bali I thought I would try to put some helpful information about getting around Bali here and also other tips on this site about the Bali roads and also Bali transport that I hope will be useful.
The info I have provided here is a general guide for getting around Bali so that anyone reading this will at least have some idea of what to expect. After some of the dangerous situations I have ended up in and how many times I've been lost in Bali, I decided to write something about it to hopefully help others avoid incidents. Also at the bottom of this page you will find some useful links.
If you hire a motorbike in Bali, you will most commonly top up fuel from glass bottles shown in the picture I took below. It costs 5000 Rupiah for 1 bottle. You can usually find these located at many places on the side of the road.
As you're getting around Bali you will see these around everywhere. Just keep an eye out for the fuel bottles stacked up out the front like in this picture. The staff member will usually come out and top up the bike for you.
These are the fuel stations around Bali which is what you will need if you're driving a car. They aren't as common to find as the small stores that have the glass bottles. Motorbike riders usually get their fuel from the bottles pictured above. However fuel stations are still around most common areas.
For those who plan to travel to Bali you can print out any of the Bali maps here or you can pick up a tourist map from a convenience store or newsagency. This way you can have a map on hand when you're there and if you don't have immediate access to a computer.
I would advise to have a good look at the maps either online or maps you can purchase in Bali. This way you can have a good idea of where you are headed when you are planning trips.
Police car in Bali.
I sometimes find myself lost getting around Bali even if I am using clear maps. There are not many street signs in Bali so it's somewhat difficult to sometimes know where you are until you become familiar with it.
To research the maps and specific areas you plan on going beforehand will certainly help you and reduce the chances of getting lost in Bali. Using the maps is sometimes your only hope given the lack of street signs in Bali.
If you are planning to use your own form of transport in Bali such as motorcycle, car, or even a bicycle, I recommended that you prepare beforehand about where you are going by using a map. Acquire a clear understanding as of to exactly where you are on the map and where you are going and following the map as best as possible.
The best way to use maps as a guideline is to try and use specific landmarks that are highlighted on the Bali Map. You can use the maps from this site, zoom into your specific destination and you will see landmarks indicated on the maps. For example. hotels, places of interest and so forth will be shown on the maps.
to use those kinds of landmarks as a point of reference while getting around Bali. Given the lack of street signs and also finding myself lost many times in Bali, I found this method usually helps me find my way around.
This is because there are very few street signs in Bali. Although they might be indicated on the map itself showing what a particular street might be, you may not know you are actually on that street. I find it helptul to use landmarks to reference where I am according to a Bali Map.
The Bali roads aren't always hectic and sometimes fairly tame depending on where you are and what time of the day it is. If you're getting around Bali in the most common tourist areas like Kuta, it's will usually be very busy traffic conditions. Whereas other areas of Bali that don't have as many tourist aren't as busy on the roads such as this picture.
Here is another area I noticed that wasn't too hectic on the roads.
Sometimes you may find yourself completely lost while getting around Bali and even with a map as this can happen, I've experienced it myself ;)
If this happens to you too, You can always stop and ask one of
the locals for directions and someone should be able to guide you back
on the right track.
On the other hand if you have a driver or in a taxi you won't really have to worry about getting lost. This is mainly for travelers who plan on using their own transport in Bali.
I sometimes get a Taxi if it's too hot to be on a motorbike for too long or if I have to travel to an area I am not familiar with. There's plenty of taxi's getting around Bali offering service to people. My suggestion though is to always get the Blue Bird Taxi's because they are known for being the most honest as they put their meters on whenever people first get in the cab. They have a reputable name too.
Blue Bird Taxi's are easy to find in Bali