Bali is quite a large island with three main roads around it and many smaller roads in the interior. Whilst conditions on the major roads are fairly good, there are often traffic jams and hold ups, particularly in the popular tourist areas. The roads themselves can be in very poor condition, especially during the rainy season when there is a lot of debris and the potholes are at their worst. There are various ways of getting around the island, the best of which are discussed below.
Best Ways To Travel Around Bali
Hiring a Private Car and Driver
A private car with a driver can be hired by the day or the week and is really the best way of seeing the island. Sometimes hotels have cars and drivers available, or can recommend a local driver. Otherwise you can use an agency, although this may be more expensive. Most of the drivers are English speaking and it is a good idea to check how well they can speak the language as well as ensuring that they are properly insured and have all the necessary paperwork in place before agreeing on the price they will charge. This should include the vehicle, insurance and fuel and you will also be expected to pay for the driver’s food and accommodation, although this is usually quite inexpensive. A driver will be able to act as a tourist guide and recommend places to visit as well as helping with any translation you may need. This is a stress free way of exploring Bali and even just three days will allow you to visit the major attractions of Bali.
Hiring a Self-Drive Car
Officially you will need an International Driving License or a tourist driving license plus passport to rent a car, but many firms will just require to see your National Driving License. Traffic in Bali drives on the left, but there are few formal rules and Balinese drivers do not always check for oncoming traffic or obey traffic lights. Street lighting is not very good in many parts of the island and motorcycles often do not use their lights, so driving at night can be very stressful. If you decide to hire a car, ensure that you have all the relevant documentation and keep it with you in the car. The police often do spot checks and will fine foreign drivers for any infringements. If you are stopped, you should try to remain calm and only pay a standard fine the police may try to get more money from you.
Using a Taxi
In southern Bali, taxis are a good way of getting around, but they are few and far between in the north of the island. If you decide to use a taxi for the day negotiate a price before you start and if just taking a taxi for a short journey ensure that the driver uses the meter. You should also make it clear to the driver where you want to go, otherwise you may be taken to shops or businesses belonging to friends of the driver.
There are other ways to travel around Bali for example on the buses or bemos which are minivans that operate like buses but without fixed routes or timetables, but these are less convenient and do not necessarily cover the destinations you want to visit. A further alternative is to hire a motorcycle, but although this is cheap and can get you around the island quickly, it is dangerous and there are many accidents every year. If you do hire a motorcycle, wearing a helmet is mandatory.
If you’ve been inspired by this article and already have visions of yourself on the road in Bali, head over to Cheapflights Australia and compare the best prices on flights today.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post.