Bali — Transportation
Bali Taxis and Car Rental
While in Bali, getting around is best achieved by renting a motorbike. However, the next best option is to hire a car. There are plenty of car rental services in the major towns and hotels. Just remember to drive carefully.
An International Driving License is required to hire a car or motorbike. Such licenses are usually not required by rental dealerships, but by the police. If stopped by the police without proper licensing, an on-the-spot fine of Rp 50,000 may be issued. This is, regrettably, a common scam, with the local police finding all sorts of petty reasons to elicit fines from unsuspecting tourists, sometimes totaling US $50—way more than local Balinese could ever afford. Driving in the “touristy” areas is not recommended, as traffic jams often plague the roads.
Bali Water Taxis
Tourists can arrive to Bali by ferry. Most tourists arriving by boat disembark in the western settlement of Gilimanuk, with services coming from the Javanese town of Ketapang. Trips are offered every 15 minutes and run 24 hours. Journeys between Bali and Java generally take about 30 minutes to complete, but unloading and loading, and weather conditions can add to journey times.
Kuta’s Benoa Harbour and Padang Bai provides speed boat services to the Gili Islands. Western tourists usually take the speed boat option, but speed boat trips are much more expensive than catamaran and ferry services. Extreme care is needed when choosing boat operators here. Some are not licensed and are without proper certification. Issues with overcrowding and break-downs are common. In addition, weather conditions play a significant role in boat transportation between Bali and Lombok.
Bali Trains and Buses
Bus services are available from Java and Lombok to Bali. Sea crossings make this transportation option possible. However, when on the island, buses can be painfully slow, as the condition of the roads throughout the island is generally poor.