Getting Around Bali

Old Mar 19th, 2002, 05:53 PM
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Getting Around Bali

My finance and I will be honeymooning in Bali in May and I am interesting in learning more about getting around the island. We will be staying at the Four Seasons Jimbaran and Sayan and I am worried that we will not be able to get around easily without spending a lot of money on private drivers, taxi's (if they are even available), or waiting aimlessly for a bemo. I cannot get a definitive answer as to whether it would be okay for us to rent a car --at least see the north, west and east of Bali (I have read that the south is not a great place to drive due to the traffic, etc.). If anyone has any first hand knowledge about getting around in Bali -- especially from properties in Jimbaran and Sayan -- please let us know your experiences. Thank you in advance.
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:02 PM
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I think you are best off to get a car and driver. It's not expensive in Bali to do so. Driving yourself is a hassle, and not necessarily safe. If you get a car & driver from the Four Seasons, it will likely be more expensive that getting someone from an agency, but check out the prices. Sometimes it's worth it to pay a few dollars more to have the convenience.
Old Mar 19th, 2002, 06:18 PM
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Private drivers are readily available so don't worry at all about that. The Four Seasons properties have drivers that are available at a very high cost per hour, so if you have unlimited funds you can have them arrange the drivers for you. Other than via hotels, the going rate for the freelance english speaking drivers with an AC car is US
$30 for an 8 hour day. You can also arrange for your own tours or visits to ceremonies through the drivers. You should also plan to give at least Rp 5,000 (US50 cents) for driver meals.

I would highly recommend you not drive yourself, as the roads here are not that well marked and are pretty confusing. Also, in many places parking is difficult to find so having a driver lets you off the hook for that!!
Metered taxis are available in the southern areas around Jimbaran and Kuta, but not in Ubud. Most people here in Ubud rely on the freelance drivers, which as I mentioned above are not expensive.

If you want to catch a bemo to Ubud some day just for fun they are about 20 cents per ride (rp 2,000) for example from Sayan to downtown Ubud. They are often owercrowded with locals going to and from the market. They are not exactly comfortable transportation... when you see one here you will understand why.

Have fun on your honeymoon and you will love the Four Seasons Hotels here...they are wonderful.
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 03:57 AM
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Thank you both for your responses. How do I find a good, english speaking car and driver other than at my hotel? We would like to find someone we really like and plan to spend a couple days with him or her touring the island.
Old Mar 20th, 2002, 12:02 PM
Michael From New York
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Here's a list - you can do further research - by consulting other travel forums. Just type Bali Travel Forums into a SEARCH ENGINE and you'' find help. And likely you can ask for recommendations about specific drivers from this list:

I Wayan Kamar, e-mail, Mobile 081 239 10056, around 250,000Rp for a day - highly recommended - excellent driver with thorough knowledge of best Ubud area art shops and very good English.
Wayan Nama, e-mail. Kijang with aircon, 200,000Rp for a full day
Wayan Subagia, e-mail, Fax 978623, AirCon Kijang, Around 250,000Rp per day.
"Jaya" (I Made Adiwijaya), e-mail, 250,000Rp for a day (even 12 to 14 hours!).
Putu Arnawa, Tel 976597, Kijang with aircon, e-mail, 350,000Rp per day (highly praised as a guide).
Nyoman Sutapa, Tel 773637, 200,000Rp for 8 hours, car and van.
Wayan, Taxi number 313, Tel 724724 (home 701090), 150,000Rp per day.
Dewa Made Adiwisma, Tel 975140 (fax 975188), 250,000Rp per day, Toyota Kijang
Wayan Purya, Tel 945694, 225,000Rp per day, BMW, e-mail
Ni Luh (female "cultural hostess"), 350,000Rp per day, speaks French & English e-mail web-site
Jaya Adiwa, mobile 081 23912791, 250,000Rp per day, double aircon Toyota, e-mail
I Wayan Merta, mobile 081 1386761, 250,000Rp per day, Toyota Kijang, e-mail
Wayan Seniasa, mobile 081 2390857, 200,000Rp per day, Toyota Kijang
I Wayan Bagia Artha, home phone / fax: 461642, newer minibus, very good English, around 250,000Rp per day.

In addition to the above, the following are personally known to this forum's administrator;
"Mardi" (I Made Darmawan), Hm 976640, Fax 974923, 250,000Rp for full days tour, Car / Minibus with double air-con, e-mail
"Ketut" (I Ketut Keneng), Hm 976591, Fax 974923, 250,000Rp for full days tour, Toyota Kijang with air-con, e-mail

Old Mar 21st, 2002, 12:14 AM
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Take this list with a big grain of salt. The Bali Travel Forum has had this ongoing controversy over driver recommendations, since so many are posted by girlfriends or others who have good intentions but aren't aware that their drivers are actually taking them to commission shops. There have even been girlfriends who have "come clean" a few months later after they find out their boyfriend already has a wife and kids and regret making so many false postings. I'm sure many of these drivers are fine and great people, I don't mean to imply any of these listed are anything other than examplary. However, my best advice is to talk to the drivers you meet in person and ask them about suggested itineraries, etc etc. If they put emphasis on shopping or going to "trditional" villages like Mas they are hoping for a big commission. We have a joke in Bali that if you want to go to Kintamani, it's Rp 150,000, if you want to go shopping, the car and driver is free! (as they can make literally many times more in commissions than they can by their driving earnings.

If the person speaks good enough english, you like his personality, his car is in good condition, etc etc then try him out for a day. If you don't like him you can try someone else.

How to meet drivers? They will be waiting for customers in front of every hotel and most restaurants in the main tourist areas. At the hotels you can ask if any of the personnel have friends who can drive, instead of using the official hotel car. There is a 100% certainty they have friends standing by, as driving is considered one of the best jobs in Bali. Even the teachers who drive will cancel classes if they have a job for the day.

Also, by finding a driver from in front of your hotel or restaurant, that means they are familiar with the area. Many times drivers who know Legian or
Seminyak well don't know Ubud very well or vice versa.

Sorry to give you too much information, I hope this is helpful.
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 09:40 AM
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The Four Seasons will get you a taxi. They are really not that expensive and they are plentiful.

Do not, I repeat do not, try and drive in Bali; at least not near the Jimbaran location. 80% of the vehicles are motor cycles that weave in and out. There are few traffic signals. It could be a nightmare for an uninitiated driver as the roads are confusing.

Perhaps near Sayan (Ubud), it'll be easier as it is less congested.

As an aside, here is part of my Rant on the Four Seasons.

"Here's a tip for those who do go: Make sure you request a villa that is on the opposite end of the resort from the restaurants and the beach access. They'll be to the left of the reception area as you look at the pool and the bay. I can see some people having a right to complain as you can clearly see some plunge pools from common walkways."

We had a connection that knows the General Manager and he made sure we were given one of their better rooms. (I don't remember the number but it was on the same level as the art gallery)and was on the left side of the resort. That area definately gets less foot traffic.

BTW, if you are into cooking or want a unique view of local culture, take the early morning tour with the Chef to the local market. It's pretty neat. (He also taught me how to make several Balinease dishes.)
Old Mar 21st, 2002, 06:36 PM
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We walked off our hotel property and found a driver, near the hotel at some shops. We checked his english and took a short trip with him. the following 2 days, we hired him to take us all over. He was reasonable and we had such insightinto the island because of him. I must tell you we are independent travelers and prefer to do it ourselves, but feel this wasther best experience in Bali. We discussed drivers and cars with our hotel concierge and felt they were unreasonable, but found this great alternative.
Good luck and trust your instincts.
Old Mar 22nd, 2002, 06:51 AM
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Thank you all for your helpful responses. I truly appreciate all this insightful information and think it will help to make our honeymoon the trip of a lifetime. Thank you again. Tricia.

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