How are roads and traffic in Bali? What transports are there?
On the most tourist island in Indonesia, everything has been modernized and advanced at a speed of fear in the last 10 years, but it seems that infrastructure, roads and public transport have not kept up. To build roads to hotels and private villas, time is not wasted, however, the only important public work that has been done lately has been to improve access to the Ngurah Rai airport (renovated a year ago).
In Bali there are many narrow roads with few indications and traffic jams on the busiest roads . One of the main roads is the one that connects Sanur, Kuta and Denpasar and reaches the south, Bukit Peninsula. In this section there is usually a lot of traffic congestion at all times, so it should always leave with enough time.
Is it safe to travel to Bali? Read here the precautions to take when traveling to the island
The roads could be improved and there could be more public transport options, but it would stop being that Bali we know and we like so much. If I followed the example of any modern city, it would lose its charm and authenticity and we must not forget that, precisely, we travel to learn and know places other than ours . In the end it has its charm, that of taking the motorcycle and getting lost on the roads of the island , as well as crossing the traditional villages by car, seeing the locals growing rice, being able to stand on the side of the road or lower the window to smell the street food stands. Take it easy and enjoy the landscapes that Bali offers, which are beautiful!
HOW TO GETTING AROUND IN BALI – Types of transportation in Bali
It is one of the best options to move around Bali if you want to save, you are not demanding and you just have a small bus, sometimes old and without air conditioning. Perama offers services on almost the entire island except in the south. It connects the most important tourist destinations and has about four schedules per destination and day. In addition, they rarely close (even on the day of an important ceremony they put minimum services), they usually arrive on time and I have never run out of seats, even if on the same day I decided to take the bus. You can check schedules and routes of Perama and other companies that cover other routes. (bus search engine of Indonesia and all of Southeast Asia that is going great).
Recommendations :If you travel in high season (July – September) and more than one person, it may be risky to buy the ticket on the same day of departure. If you travel to Kuta you have to take into account that there will surely be traffic and that the bus will stop before in Sanur and at the airport to leave other passengers. I recommend getting a membership card at the office because there is a discount, it is free to do it and it is worth it even if it is only used a couple of times.
Perama has an office in Kuta, Ubud and Padang Bai, where his thing if he travels in high season is to buy the eve tickets 🙂
Taxi-car or taxi-motorcycle
I call them that because the drivers of these vehicles spend most of the day taking people from one place to another as a taxi driver , even though they don’t have a taxi driver’s license . You can usually trust and this type of transport is useful to go anywhere (even around the corner). The only “negative” is that drivers use their own vehicles, which rarely have air conditioning and that may be old . You will soon recognize these drivers, since they all carry a sign and try to attract the attention of the tourist continuously: “Transport? Do you need transport? Where are you going, mister? ” .They are cheaper than a taxi itself and the price is usually negotiated before starting the journey.
Recommendations : Before you ride think how much you want to pay , be aware that they will try to ask you the highest possible price and what you end up paying will depend on your bargaining skills .
Car with guide
It is a good option to go hiking and get to know Bali from the hand of a local, who will explain about the culture, temples and curiosities of the island and it is especially appropriate to use this transport if you want to make a specific tour and stopping for See the tourist attractions for half a day or a whole day. If you do not hire anyone in advance, do not worry because there are guides everywhere (they are usually dressed in sarong and traditional clothes and usually have a type of guide accreditation).
The cars are modern, comfortable, have air conditioning and the guides usually offer wet wipes and bottled water for their customers. Half-day excursions can cost the equivalent of 35 euros and 50-day trips , although it depends on the route, the hours and the driver (total price per car).
If you are a person open to suggestions you will appreciate that they propose possible routes, but keep in mind that the latest fashion is that all guides will tell you that they will teach you “ the traditional of Bali, the authentic and unknown ”, and you should know that You will reach places where in addition to you there will be 5 buses with hundreds of Japanese and 20 more cars parked. Therefore it is advisable to inform and read about what you want to see and agree on the plan and the route .
For example, in 2012, when we traveled as a group to Indonesia, we also hired a driver who convinced us to go to see the cocoa plantations and try the Luwak Kopi (the most expensive coffee in the world) and it was an entertaining visit, although we We realized that it was a tourist like any other, since drivers are usually given a commission for each car they carry. Even so, it is not necessary to be demanding and distrustful, keep in mind that the Balinese do not like confrontations , they are very simple people with a sense of humor.
Recommendations : If the driver does not have a fixed price, you end up paying it in this case it will also depend on your bargaining skills . Bali is safe (it does not compensate them to run out of tourism), even so do not leave valuables in the car and act with common sense, as anywhere in the world.
There are car rental offices in any tourist area of the island and some people use them to have complete freedom . Although I never used this service, I would prefer to use others as there are few indications on roads and highways, in Indonesia you drive the other way around than in Spain and when I am on vacation I prefer not to have to think about driving.
It is useful to go from one place to another and not to travel quietly in Bali. I would only recommend using it when traveling with heavy luggage, when you have to reach a very specific place and for emergency occasions, since it is very expensive compared to other transports . In addition, it is difficult to find taxis if it is not in the tourist areas and around Kuta.
Recommendations : The most reliable taxis are the Blue Bird . If you use others, check that they have a meter.
Approximate rates of taxis in Bali (should also be known to haggle to private drivers)
Ubud – Airport: 300,000rp
Ubud – Sanur: 200,000rp (depends on traffic)
Airport – Sanur: 180,000rp
Sanur – Kuta: 200,000rp
Ubud – Kuta: 2500,000rp
Ubud – Uluwatu (southern zone): 350,000 – 400,000rp
Ubud – Padang Bai: 400,000rp
Nusa Dua – Kuta: 170,000rp
The next HOW TO GETTING AROUND IN BALI, It is one of the cheapest , most comfortable options (if you do not carry luggage, of course) and the option that gives you more freedom . On a motorcycle you reach the end of the world. Not only does it allow you to take shortcuts , explore or park in any hole , but you can access secret beaches and trails through which a car cannot. You do not depend on schedules, filling the gas tank can go to 16,000rp and it is even useful to move at night when the street has no lighting. To move around Ubud works especially well, instead of walking because the sidewalks of the streets are uneven, undercut or broken.
As the locals are absolutely lazy and the habit of walking does not exist, everyone has a motorcycle or else they use that of a family member or that of the neighbor if necessary. There are many places where you can rent for 50,000rp a day and you can get a good price if you rent it for longer . I did not ride a motorcycle because I was a little scared and I appreciate that in the end I could always go with co-pilot people, but for the next time I will think about it.
Recommendations : Be cautious when driving, wear a helmet and do not drive without an international license , since lately there are many controls and the Balinese police are among the most corrupt . If they stop you and do not carry the license with you, they will offer you to take the motorcycle to the Denpasar deposit or they will ask you for 250,000rp and so you can continue driving (every time you stop a police officer you will have to pay the same amount until you arrive at the destination, such as happened to some friends).
It is a small and dilapidated public bus very cheap . In Ubud there is no bemo terminal, but the stop is at “Jalan Suweta” street and these buses arrive to Ubud from Gianyar or Batubulan. The main terminals are in Kuta and Denpasar and are regularly used by local people and children. On the first trip to Indonesia, in 2012, we crossed from Java to Bali by Ferry. A bemo took us from the port of Gilimanuk to Lovina and was a good option to see the landscape .
Recommendations : Due to itsslownessand thelack of information on schedules and routes, I would not use it to move from one place to another, but it seemed like afun experience.
Transarbagita is another HOW TO GETTING AROUND IN BALI
Large, modern air-conditioned bus that has started to work very recently. It covers the Sanur – Kuta – Nusa Dua tour for a very affordable price . I did not get to try it, but it has been recommended to me by some locals to reach the south of Bali, where until now there were not too many economic options.
Agencies and tours in Bali
Many hotels and agencies offer transportation and excursions of all kinds on the island of the gods. The advantage is that they can be hired on the spot , however I prefer to organize the trip on my own, since I always travel on a tight budget, that is, it seems unnecessary to pay more to hotels to do what I can do. It does not cost so much effort, fun and also I can spend everything I save on something else I want.
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