Bali without wheels

Old Aug 14th, 2018, 11:49 PM
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Bali without wheels

I've got 9 days to spend in Bali which will be the last island I'll visit in Indonesia. Through research, I've discovered that it's difficult to see Bali without having your own wheels as there isn't much in the way of public transport. I'm not keen on riding a motorbike due to safety reasons (never rode one) and don't have a bike license. Although I have a car license, renting one for 9 days will be costly particularly since I have nobody to share the costs with.

Can you guys suggest some places where I can base myself without having to rely too much on drivers to explore the surrounding area? I reckon I can spend 3 nights in 3 different towns and just use taxis to travel between towns but I'm not sure which would be the best towns to base myself in. I'll be there in the second half of October and want to do a mix of trekking, beaches and culture/temples. Would Seminyak, Ubud and Sidemen be ideal? Thanks!
lambada is offline  
Old Aug 15th, 2018, 12:24 AM
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Ubud will probably be on your 3 night list. Easy enough to reach by public transport from Sanur, takes about an hour.

For a bit of beach time, Sanur would be my choice. Places like Kuta, and Legian are best avoided imo, Booze Central.
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Old Aug 15th, 2018, 03:41 AM
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You are correct that public transportation is woefully lacking in Bali. There are buses that go between Ubud and the southern beaches, Sanur on the eastcoast and I think Legian on the West coast.

Ubud refers to both the town and the general area. The town itself is quite walkable, but in order to get to the surrounding countryside you will need transport. In Ubud the car transport is not metered so you need to negotiate up front. There are plenty of drivers all around the town. Out of town your resort will make arrangements for you. If you stay in the country side you'd be able to walk or bike from the resort, through the rice fields to from village to village.

For short distances you can also consider taking motorcycle taxis, called ojek. They're meant to provide a helmet for their passenger.

Sidemen is a beautiful area. It's about 2+ hours from Ubud town, 3 or so from Seminyak. Again, there are no metered taxis. Transport is best arranged by your resort.

I would also recommend the Munduk area, about an hour north of Ubud, for rain forest trekking.

All of the southern beaches are developed for tourism. Taxis are metered and widely available. Blue Bird is the best company. If the driver doesn't want to use the meter, get out and find another.

Seminyak is a lively, sophisticated area with a lot activity, though not as crazy as Kuta. Sanur is quieter. Seminyak is a big wave surfer beach with a wide tidal reach which makes it great for long walks (at low tide), especially around sunset. Sanur and Nusa Dua have off shore reefs and calm water. For a less developed beach I'd suggest Amed, on the east coast north of Sidemen.

Last edited by marmot; Aug 15th, 2018 at 03:44 AM.
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Old Aug 15th, 2018, 07:01 PM
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I'm very glad I spent 6 days in Ubud. If you haven't already seen it, you might find some useful information in my (long, but searchable) trip report:
A Memorable Solo Month in Singapore, Java, and Bali

I wholeheartedly recommend the driver with whom I worked while visiting Bali, Amik Bagoes. You can reach him at:
Email : [email protected]

Hope that helps!
kja is offline  
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