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Bali Tourism Board Outlines Best Ways For Tourists To Get Around The Island

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Bali’s Tourism Board has issued new guidance about the best ways to travel around the island. The reason why this is big news is that for years, there has been discussion about whether or not tourists can use ride-hailing apps while on vacation in Bali. The tourism board has finally given a clear answer. 

GoJek Grab Taxi Bali.jpg

In an infographic, the Bali Tourism Board shared its top tips for navigating the island.

Travel within Bali is pretty straightforward, but with minimal public transportation infrastructure, tourists do need to be proactive when it comes to organizing their own transportation.

Public buses exist in Bali, but the services usually run between destinations that best serve local people and rarely go directly to tourism hotspots. 

The issue with public transportation in Bali is a hot topic at the moment. The Governor of Bali, Wayan Koster, has recently announced a new partnership with the Department of Transportation in Jakarta for a collaboration to establish a new MTR and LRT rail system within Denpasar City and between Bali Airport and key resort destinations like Seminyak and Sanur. 

Governor Koster says that Bali can learn a lot from Jakarta when it comes to transportation management, and in return for the collaboration, officials from Bali will be supporting the capital city with tourism development. 

The most significant element of the advice issued by the Bali Tourism Board is their confirmation that online ride-hailing apps are a viable transportation option for tourists in Bali.

For years there have been conflicts between tourists and local communities, local taxi drivers, and online app drivers about whether the services are allowed to be used in Bali’s most popular tourist destinations. 

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The Bali Tourism Board has said that motorbike taxis like Go-Jek and Grab Bike are one of the best ways to get around the island. They say, “Similar to ride-hailing services, you can use apps like GoJek and GrabBike to book motorbike taxis for short-distance trips. They are affordable and readily available in most areas.”

In June this year, residents and tourists in Bali were shocked by footage of a local taxi driver harassing a couple from Jakarta who had booked an online taxi to take them to the airport.

The local driver demanded the couple pay him an exorbitant amount of money in order for him to let them go. 

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Following the incident, the Bali Transportation Agency reiterated that online taxi services are legal to use in Indonesia.

The Head of the Bali Transportation Agency, Wayan Gede Samsi Gunarta, called on the transportation sector to work collaboratively moving forward. 

Speaking in June, Gunarta explained, “There is no prohibition for online taxis to operate anywhere [in Bali]”. 

 “That means if he (local taxi) is official [legally registered], yes, he must work together with online taxis [drivers] to be able to pick up passengers.”

No-Grab-No-GoJek-No-Uber-Sign-At-Taxi-Station-In-Bali

This being said, looking at the guidance given to tourists by the Bali Tourism Board, it is clear that the office wants to promote local, private taxis to visitors.

The Bali Tourism Board also suggests tourists should hire a private car with a driver and use traditional metered taxis.

The office writes, “Hiring a private car with a driver is a comfortable option, especially if you want to explore multiple attractions in one day. It offers flexibility and the freedom to create your own itinerary.” 

Grab-And-GoJek-Moped-Drivers

This advice is very much in alignment with Governor Koster’s proposal to ban tourists from driving themselves in Bali and instead make it mandatory for tourists to travel only with a government-approved driver and/or guide.

Although Governor Koster made impassioned statements about his vision, no legislative changes have been made on this point as of yet. 

Sign-At-Tourist-Tourism-Services-Shop-Offering-Taxi-Fast-Boat-Shuttle-Bus-and-Tours-in-Bali

The Bali Tourism Board also writes, “You can find traditional taxis in tourist areas, the airport and major towns. Make sure to use taxis with mires or negotiate the fare before starting the trip.”

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Exp

Wednesday 9th of August 2023

The gov. is making it difficult for tourists to rent and drive their own vehicle in favour of using online taxis. This is a gift to all the shady characters lurking around the tourist areas during the dark hours.

A female tourist was raped in Jimbaran by a grab ojol (online motorcycle taxi driver) 7 August, early morning around 4-5am.

The reality is that no female should travel alone late night in Bali with unfamiliar drivers.

George

Thursday 10th of August 2023

@Exp,

Correct, I was in a remote area alone on my mountain bike in an area that maybe I wouldn't go even as a man alone so early at dawn, and here comes some western chick jogging with all her high tech gear. I certainly would not allowy daughter to DJ that with all of the young horny imported java workers and others from the eastern areas.

Hugo

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

The governor will no doubt be tempted to make only government cars and drivers obligatory; laws which will be ignored by those from Indonesia but enforced on foreign tourists. That way the Balinese can extract even more tourists dollars from foreigners, while at the same time keeping local politicians happy by the drivers being forced to pay bribes. What the Indonesians haven’t understood is that foreigners who get ripped of probably won’t return; not that any of the Indonesians involved will plan that far down the road. They experienced a dearth of tourists only 2 years ago and it’s already long forgotten.

Saday

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

There are several cheaters in Bali. Be aware of the drivers and local travel agents. They will take you to some other place where they have the cut. Eg. Instead of Ulluvatu temple, they will take you to other place for Kechak dance. There is one fraud called Krishna Seminyak, Raya Seminyak no 14, Kec, Kuta, Kabupaten Badung, Bali 80361, Indonesia

He is a big fraud. Never get into his trap.

J West

Monday 7th of August 2023

Bali needs to grow up. Hop on Hop off bus free services would take thousands of bikes and cars off the roads. Penang has a great free shuttle service, from the airport and all around town, even to beach areas. Why not model around that?

JR

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

@J West, Cuz their to stupid and greedy

Mark

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

@J West, are you seriously compairing Penang with Bali? 😂

JoKer

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

@J West, Such simple solutions and yet the incompetent govt lacks imagination.

Ananta

Monday 7th of August 2023

Very misleading, as nothing is done by the government. Things continue to get worst, but is hidden by misdirection articles like this one. There are way too many tourist and no enforced regulations. Bali is chocking..we need help not misdirection.

Mark

Tuesday 8th of August 2023

@Ananta, what u recommend? Just whining and complaining about the many tourists that make your living is easy.