Bali - Move around

by - 21:02

There are some main transports, you can and should take on Bali

1) rent a scooter
Everyone recommends you to rent a scooter and drive around on Bali. That was my plan as well, until i finally came there. On my way from the airport to Ubud, i just got shocked about how people drive in this country. First of all it's leftside-traffic, i did not knew that. The people are driving super fast, with their babies on their arm or huge water bottles attached with some small ropes at the back.
So we made our way out of Kuta (would never drive there by myself) and i thought it would be more calm on the way to Ubud. It is true that there is always a lot of traffic, especially when driving into Ubud. Most of the roads are only one way, which does not seem to care the scooter drivers. They prefer the sideway anyway. I had never driven a scooter before and asked my driver if the traffic was always that bad. I somehow already canceled my plans for the next 2 days to move around with a scooter and got super disappointed and frustrated. My first day in Ubud i walked around everywhere to explore the different roads and directions. The second day i took a driver and really tried to remember all roads. So in that evening i asked my host Putu, if she can help me rent a scooter, and she organised one from her sister-in-law. They showed me shortly how to use it, and of course i was scared, but that did not put me off.
I got up super early the next morning at 7 and took the scooter at 8 already, the streets were totally empty, so i could get used to the scooter first and then later to the traffic rules. I drove only 20km/h all the time and everyone just passed by, but i did not care, since the landscape is so amazing and the slower you drive, the more you can see the details of your surroundings. I drove up to Tegalalang rice terrace and to the elephant safari park, since that was one of the major things i wanted to see. On the map it seemed pretty simple, just following the street out of Ubud to Tegalalang and then just going north and left once. I did not see the road, where i was supposed to turn left to the safari park, because actually there was no road, it was still in building process. So i thought this could not be right and moved more north for half an hour. Then i asked some woman around and she told me to take above mentioned piste. Well i really, really wanted to ride an elephant, so i felt more secure on my scooter and drove down that hill. I felt like a motorcross driver and nearly got stuck in the mud, but finally made it to the part, where the road was ready. They had started building from the other end. During my way back from the Park i wanted to take the other direction of course and got lost, but there are always people you could ask how to go to Ubud.
I got special price because of my host, so renting the scooter was 70.000IDR, around 5€ and filling the Tank was around 2€

2) take a driver
As mentioned above, i booked a driver on the second day in Ubud. My host also organised that for me, the whole day was 700.000IDR (49€). It was the same Driver that picked me up from the airport and he was a super nice and friendly man, so i felt more comfortable as a women alone in a taxi.
We drove to a lot of temples and he really knew a lot of nice spots. I would have never find my way through this labyrinth of not even real streets, so i would recommend a driver to see all the temples around Ubud. In the streets of Ubud there are hundreds of people that offer you a taxi drive, so if you are in a group of people, you might get even cheaper price than above mentioned, but i did not want to go alone with a stranger. Also there are a lot of agencies that offer group trips, so you can join that as well. Since i wanted to do a lot of stuff on that day and i was too late for a group tour, i took the private tour instead, which has a lot of benefits, since you can see each place as long as you like and don't need to rush or wait because of other people.

3) island-hopping by boat
I knew i wanted to go to Gili Air, since i had booked my Air BnB there. My host Putu did offer me to get a better price, since she has a cousin or friend in a good company offering hopping to the Gili Islands. So she went to the agency and booked a transport from Ubud - Padang Bai - Gili Air for me, for a price of 500.000IDR (35€), the prices offered directly from the agencies were around 700.000IDR.
So they fetched me in the morning, with a bit of delay and it took us quite long to get to Padang Bai harbour. There were so many boats and different companies, that i was super happy Putu booked for me. So i went into the office and they gave me a sticker for me and my bag and i just had to wait until they called for my sticker colour. On the pier, there were hundreds of people squeezed in the hot sun, so waiting there for 2hours until the boat finally went, was quite annoying.
It was a large speed boat, i would always only recommend those. It took us approximately 3hours to go to Gili Air, time is always depending on the sea and waves. That tour was really quite calm and i arrived happy on the Island.
If you want to hop between Gili Islands, there are some boats that go around in the morning and in the afternoon. Hopping between Gili Air and Gili Meno was 200.000IDR (14€) both ways.
On my way back i needed to leave a day earlier, since the boats are not so realiable, especially timewise. It was a very good idea to leave a day earlier and stay one night on Nusa lembongang instead.The husband of my hosts daughter was working in the boat company and got me a transport from Gili air - Nusa lembongang - Sanur - Denpaser Airport for 700.000IDR (49€)
He signed me up already 5 days before for the Gili Air - Nusa lembongang boat, since there is only one connection and it is quite popular. The rest of the journey was open-ticket so i could leave Nusa with any boat the next few days.
The weather turned quite bad on the last day on Gili Air so the boat got stuck at Gili Trawangan and did not came to Gili Air. We got a super small wodden boat to Gili Trawangang, and i definitly thought it would crack with every wave. Normally i do not get sea sick, but this was insane.
So when we arrived at Gili Trawangan, all men had to help to push out the boat that got floated on the beach and after another hour, they finally managed to start the boat. That journey to Nusa Lembongang took me 6hours instead of 2 and a half and as the sea was totally wild, i felt really, really sick. I had planned to explore Nusa for a day, because normally i would have arrived at 1pm, heading off at 10.30am, but i arrived at 4pm. So don't rely on these boats, if you need to catch a flight and always travel with the biggest boat available. I met a lot of people at the harbour telling horror stories about the small little speed boats jumping over the waves.

1) if you stay with local people, they always know someone who knows someone ect, that can give you a better price
2) no matter which country, transport is never on time, so always calculate a lot of extra

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