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Traffic Is Backing Up In Bali – Here’s How Tourists Can Survive It

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It is getting busy in Bali. The island welcomes more and more tourists every day as the peak vacation season is in full swing, and traffic is backing up in the island’s popular resorts.

Tourism leaders are raising concerns that traffic congestion in Bali could give the island a negative public image, but there are solutions for tourists. 

Traffic Congestion in Canggu

Local leaders in Bali, especially those responsible for law and order in areas like Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu, and Ubud, have spoken out about the conflicts between tourism and traffic congestion.

Local leaders are working to establish new ways of managing traffic and the roads in busy tourist areas to help ease congestion. 

It is not only the volume of traffic on the roads that causes congestion but also the number of obstructions on the roads.

This can be from street vendors setting up stalls on the roads and pavements, but in many areas, it’s due to illegal parking on roadsides. 

@eattraveladventur What happened?? Ada apa ini?? #traffic #canggu #canggubali #canggulife #kutautara #trafficjam #bali ♬ Love Is the Answer – Guitar Electrixation

Putu Winastra, on behalf of the Bali Leadership Council of Indonesian Travel Agencies, has spoken to reporters about the increasing traffic jams in Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, and other tourist areas all the way to Bedugul. He noted the situation has been gathering complaints from local people and tourists. 

Winastra explained that he is calling for more traffic officers to be stationed at busy intersections in Bali’s most popular areas.

He is also calling for officers to handle people who are obstructing the flow of traffic.

“For example, selling on the side of the road, then there are people shopping and parking their vehicles, automatically triggering chaos and leading to traffic [jams]” he said.

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Winastra is calling on all stakeholders to come together to figure out swift solutions to the issue of traffic across Bali’s busiest tourism resorts.

It is not only in Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, and Canggu but also down in Uluwatu, Sanur, and along the Ngurah-Rai Bypass Road.

In the mid-morning and late afternoon, traffic also backs up at nearly every junction in the tourism villages surrounding Ubud as visitors leave and return from their day trips. 

@emma_gracce A little taste of the wild traffic in Bali #bali #balitraffic #trafficjam ♬ original sound – Em.grace 🦋

In recent weeks traffic officers in Ubud took direct action against illegal parking in the town center that was causing tourist traffic to back up.

Traffic officers issued fines and even towed vehicles. While new parking facilities have been made available, the volume of tourist traffic on Ubud’s narrow roads is causing congestion to return.


These concerns from Winastra have been formally echoed by Chairperson of the Tourism Village Communication Forum, I Made Mendra Astawa, who told reporters, “Stakeholders need to immediately find a way out…Tourist visits have increased. Hotel occupancy has also improved. That’s positive.”

“It means that our tourism (Bali) is coming back to life.”

He noted that quick handling of the issue of traffic would help improve the island’s public image further. 


How Can Tourists Survive Bali’s Traffic Jams?

Leave Extra Time – It almost goes without saying, but if you’re planning to get from A to B and GoogleMaps says it’ll only take 10 minutes, allow for 20 minutes.

Drive Outside Of Rush Hour – Where possible, drive outside of rush hour. Rush hour in Bali had two phases, local rush hour traffic followed by tourist rush tour traffic. Local rush hour is really between 6-8am and then again around 5-7pm.

For tourist traffic in popular resort areas, congestion builds up around 8-10am as everyone leaves for their day trips and builds up again around 4-7pm as visitors return and start to head out again for their evening activities. Evening rush hour is often worse than the morning. 


Avoid The Famous Shortcuts – In many cases, the shortcuts, like the famous Canggu Shortcut, are just as congested, if not more congested, than the main roads.

Many drivers advise sticking to the main roads, especially if traveling by car given that many of the shortcuts were only ever designed for bikes.

Bring Snacks – There have been a few viral videos of tourists ordering takeout to their cars as they have been stuck in slow-moving traffic for too long. Amusing as it is, this is a pretty solid rule for life; bring snacks, bring water!

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Friday 8th of March 2024

Blame the street vendors is nonsense. The biggest problem in Balis traffic is the lack of a reasonable public traffic system. Even a small bus can take as many passangers as 4-5 cars.

The massive traffic suggests that there actually would be enough demand to run some public transportation. But I assume the local taxi mafia lobbies against it because that way they could not steal money from tourists. Its a shame for this otherwise paradise island.


Tuesday 31st of October 2023

Get 50% of the "cruising" taxi's off the streets. Create taxi stands at regular intervals. Nothing slows traffic like a taxi cruising for a fare.


Wednesday 12th of July 2023

A small, yet important step would be to ban ALL cars and motorbikes from outside Bali coming into Bali

Wayan Bo

Tuesday 11th of July 2023

Before arriving in Bali tourists could exercise traffic in places such Dacca in Bangladesh.


Saturday 8th of July 2023

Would it be possible to build above congested existing roads to allow faster moving traffic eg taxi, tourist operators, mini bike to keep flowing. I’ve noticed every time traffic is slowed it can be from some U turns and trucks ect. I know they are important to, but it may give them some relief with their daily duties.


Monday 10th of July 2023

@Todd, Where do you get the $$$