Sunday, August 24, 2008

Around Bali Transport

The main forms of public transport on Bali are the cheap buses, minibuses and bemos (a general term for any vehicle that is used as a public transport which is normally a minibus or van with a row of low seats on each side). They normally run on somewhat set routes within or between towns. Having your own transport can be arranged; there are cars, motorbikes, and bicycles for rent. Tourist shuttle buses that run between major tourist centres are more expensive than public transport but are definitely more comfortable and convenient.

Charter Vans or Mini Buses can be rented at a reasonable cost including petrol and a driver/guide. These are great for parties of 6 or more..

Motorcycles are a popular way to get around Bali. If you decide to rent one, drive slowly and defensively. The cost of hiring a motorcycle is negotiable and varies according to the condition of the machine, length of rental and time of year. Buying insurance is a good idea to avoid being responsible for damages, but be sure to test-drive the motorbike to see that everything is in good working order. A valid International Driving Permit is required or if you forget it you can spend a morning at the Denpasar Police Office to obtain a temporary permit, which lasts for three months, but the process can be a huge hassle. It would be wise to get an International Driving Permit in your own country before you leave home.

Seeing Bali by bicycle has become increasingly popular in recent years and the quality of rental bikes has improved. Some airlines will carry your own bike for free if you would prefer to bring one with you. The most common bikes offered are mountain bikes as their low gear ratios and softer tyres are better suited to Bali.

For something different hop on a traditional dokar. These small horse-drawn carts are still available in Kuta and Denpasar and a short ride costs next to nothing. It’s a novel, if somewhat slow, way to view the passing scenery and is always popular with children.

A helicopter ride is the experience of a lifetime. What better way to fully appreciate every contour, mountain and valley on this wonderfully picturesque tropical island than from the air. Trips vary from long to short and it’s a good way to transverse the island..

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