Getting around in Bali can be a bit of challenge. With no public transport to speak of and sidewalks dotted with giant manholes, you really need to figure out the logistics if you’re looking to explore the island beyond your resort. If you’re planning to spend any extended period of time on the island, a motorbike really is a must. Before you head out onto the road though, there are a few things to consider.
Where to Rent
Finding a motorbike is really not problem as you generally can’t walk a block without seeing at least one sing advertising bike rentals. You can choose if you want the bike for just a few hours, a few days or maybe even longer. You usually get a better deal if you rent for longer. Always agree on the price beforehand, preferably in written form. Also agree on the terms and conditions regarding any possible damage to the bike. It’s also a good idea to snap photos of the bike with the owner present, taking special note of any possible pre-existing dents.
What You’ll Get
Most rental bikes are basic small scooters with automatic transmission, which is also the easiest op-tion. You’ll most likely get a helmet of some sort with the bike, but it’s worth noting that these freebie helmets are usually quite worn, so investing in a new one is not a bad idea. When you park your bike outside, store your helmet underneath the seat if possible as they are a hot commodity on the island.
What Are The Rules
First things first: In Bali, you drive on the left side. Beyond that, it’s very common to hear visitors say that are no rules when it comes to driving in Bali. But in fact, people who think this are the very root of the problem. There are road rules in Bali – most visitors just don’t know them and as a result, most probably don’t follow them either. It’s good to keep in mind that you are a visitor here, so take cues from the locals and follow their lead.
Where To Buy Gas
Petrol is really cheap in Indonesia. You can fuel up at the red and white Pertamina gas stations or buy petrol from the roadside shacks selling it in Absolut Vodka bottles (yes, really). If you’re filling up at the station, remember to keep an eye on the meter to avoid being overcharged.
Drinking and Driving
“Do As I Say, Not As I Do…”
In a nutshell: don’t do it. When you’re heading home after a late night and more than a few beers on the beach, it’s easy to feel like nothing bad could ever happen here, but it can. The traffic gets especially hazardous around Kuta after midnight when locals and visitors alike head home under the influence. If you need to be convinced of the risks, take a trip to one of the many emergency rooms in Kuta. The broken arms and shattered knees should set you straight.
So keep your wits about you and drive safe – or hati-hati, as the locals say.