Contributed by Deexplores
I’ve seen and gotten so many questions from different people about Bali travel but they all asked this same question:
“How do you travel around Bali?”
It’s pretty simple and easy.
Unlike other countries where public transportation is present and readily available, Bali is quite peculiar. The island does not have trains or metro rails. They have buses, yes. But when you’re a tourist visiting this beautiful paradise, riding a bus is not very efficient, especially when you plan to move around a lot.
I have not heard or known anyone who came to Bali for the holidays and tried riding a bus. It’s not that it’s impossible, but there aren’t really many “guides” that suggest taking buses in Bali.
So how should you travel around Bali, then?
Getting around Bali by bike or motorbike
If you are travelling to Bali alone or with a partner, renting a bike or motorbike could work for you — for as long as you know how to drive one and you have a valid driver’s license.
Renting bikes in Bali is easy. You can simply ask your hostel, hotel, resort, or villa personnel about it, and they will gladly assist you. If you’re sceptical, you can always ask around. Daily rental costs between US$10 and US$25, depending on the type of bike or motorbike you want to rent.
Daily budget: US$10-25 (₱500-1,500)
Getting around Bali by car
I find this option to be the most efficient way to travel around Bali. Availing of car services can make your whole travel experience better. You need not think about how to get from one place to another; you won’t have a hard time booking a Grab car or hailing a cab. And you can negotiate prices, too!
I only suggest getting a car, though, if you’re travelling to Bali in a group of three or more. Hiring a car will also be helpful if you’re going to far-off locations such as Lempuyang temple or the mother temple, Besakih.
Renting a car for a day (up to 10 hours) would cost between Rp400,000 and Rp600,000, depending on the locations you will include. Just make sure you’re making the most out of the service. If you’re just going to two nearby spots, I don’t think renting a car is a good idea, especially if you want to save some moolah!
If you’ll be needing help arranging car services in Bali, you can leave me a message and I’d be glad to assist you!
Daily budget: Rp400,000-600,000 (₱1,5002,500)
Getting around Bali by taxi
The first time my friends and I went to Bali, we rode cabs several times. We always ended up “contracting” the driver to service us for the entire day. Luckily, taxis are not that expensive in Bali. Personally, though, I prefer not to ride taxis because sometimes there are drivers who take advantage of tourists. If you’re not so familiar with this yet or haven’t made your research, you would probably end up paying more.
Also, note that taxi drivers dislike TNVS drivers. According to most of the drivers I’ve talked to, it has something to do with safety.
Daily budget: US$4 USD (For short-distance travels like Kuta to Seminyak)
Getting around Bali by Gojek or Grab
Many blogs and travel groups would recommend this form of transportation. But I don’t really recommend this if you plan to go out all day, moving from one place to another.
Grab should be fine, but I tried Gojek and it was super sketchy. I once tried to book a ride to bring us back to our villa, but the driver didn’t pick us up at the pinned pick-up location. Instead, he wanted us to go to a small alley to meet him. We found it creepy and scary, so we cancelled the booking and just hailed a normal taxi instead.
Are the TNVS illegal?
The Transportation Network Vehicle Services (TNVS) is a government-regulated form of transportation service. This includes Grab and Gojek.
Most taxi drivers will discourage tourists to travel with Gojek and Grab because they say it’s illegal. That part is still unclear to me. When I talked to several local drivers, they explained that most drivers, especially those who are from Bali island, are not supportive of this form of transportation because they bring in drivers from other parts of Indonesia, affecting the local drivers who are making a living. They even said that these “imports” weren’t screened well enough — that’s why they frown on the idea.
Disclaimer: I may not be the correct person to speak about this issue because laws in Bali are clearly different from ours. So if you want to know more about it, you can do your own research.
So far, I’ve tried riding a Grab car and availing car services in Bali. I personally prefer the latter as I find it more flexible!