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How to Travel Around Bali, Indonesia

Transportation in Bali comes in plenty of flavors, some more tourist-friendly than the others. If you’re not relying on your hotel to get you around—not that there’s anything wrong with that—you can get around town on foot, on rented bike or motorbike, or via bemo.

If you’re seeking to go between towns, you can catch a ride on a public bemo (bus), a private bemo, a taxi, a car/driver rental package, or rent a car to drive.

Due to its large and spottily-regulated tourist industry, Bali hosts an endless number of short- and long-distance transport entrepreneurs, each jostling to get your business. Some of them are honest brokers; some are not. Follow our tips to ensure you don’t get ripped off by unscrupulous Balinese transportation providers.

Emily Roberts / © TripSavvy


Riding a taxi in Bali works the same way it does everywhere else: you hail a taxi from the curb; a taxi stops to pick you up, and off you go.

Unfortunately, some taxi drivers are dishonest. Two favorite tricks are claiming to have a broken meter or taking a long way around. The blue taxis marked “Bali Taxi” (known as Blue Bird Taxis) are the most honest, so much so that other taxi operators try to make trouble for these guys.

You can use your smartphone to summon a Bali Taxi, visit their official site to download the app.

  • Range: Limited to within South Bali and Ubud
  • Cost: Flag-down rate of IDR 5,000 (about fifty cents in U.S. currency), then IDR 2,500 (about a quarter) for every added kilometer
  • Pros: Best way to get around South Bali—fast and available everywhere
  • Cons: Limited mostly to South Bali, so, if you’re planning to go to Kintamani or somewhere similarly distant, you’re out of luck

Ride-hailing apps like Grab (the Southeast Asian answer to Uber; official site) and Gojek (the motorcycle taxi equivalent; official site) are available in Bali, but many areas sympathetic to taxi drivers ban the entry of any Grab or Gojek-summoned rides. Before hailing a ride from an app, find out first if your destination will allow entry.

Car Rentals

If you have cash to spare, you can hire a car in Bali, with the option to drive it yourself. If you rent from a reputable car company, you can have the benefit of driving your own vehicle to Bali’s less-traveled destinations, with your range being limited only by your gas budget.

Don’t bother, though, if you’re not used to driving a right-hand-drive car or panic easily when other motorists break the road rules. Bali’s traffic is both chaotic and dangerous. Get a car with a driver if you’re not up to it.

  • Range: Anywhere in Bali you can drive a car through, as far as your gas budget will permit.
  • Cost: Daily rates range from about $20 for a small car to about $60 for a large van, gas not included.
  • Pros: Great way to explore Bali on your own; allows you to create your own