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Public transport options

Hiring a private driver is the way to get around in Bali as you'll get a personal pick-up and drop-off service whenever you need it. Most drivers offering this service will speak good English and will offer local insight as you go. Buses are available to most destinations, which run at set times at a set price. Or you can hire a motorbike.

Traffic in Bali

Bali traffic is notoriously bad, as are the roads. From the airport, it will take 15 to 30 minutes by car to Kuta, Legian, Sanur and Nusa Dua, depending on traffic. If you're going to Ubud, it will usually take just under an hour. Hiring a motorbike might get you where you need to go faster as you'll be able to beat the queues but this is risky business. Bali Police will pull you over at random so be prepared to line their pockets.

What does public transport cost?

Shuttle buses in Bali tend to run 5 or 6 times a day between the more popular destinations, for example, from Kuta/Seminyak to Ubud, Candidasa, Amed, Padangbai and Denpasar. Most journeys on the public shuttle buses will cost between 50,000 to 150,000 rupiahs and most will be small, air-conditioned vehicles, holding between 8 - 12 people. For a private car with a driver expect to pay around 400,000 Rupiah a day.

Car rental in Bali

Car rental in Bali is best arranged before you arrive so you can pick up your car at the airport. Alternatively some car hire companies will provide a pick up service at the airport and will deliver you to your hotel, where they'll introduce you to your car, give you maps and tell you some interesting places to visit. Shop around for the best prices.

Go on a bike tour

Bali Eco Cycling will get you out and about on two wheels to explore the real, authentic Bali in an eco/educational cycling tour. Ride through stunning emerald rice paddies, visit the locals in their villages, hold a giant tree spider and visit the coffee plantation. Will you dare drink luwak coffee, made from the poop of an animal?

Head to the Gili Islands

Just 2 hours from the harbor in Bali's Padangbai by speedboat lies the Gilis: 3 islands off Lombok's mainland. Gili Trawangan is a renowned party destination where diving, snorkeling and all night boozing are prime attractions. But for peace and quiet, plus white sands and great food, Gili Meno and Gili Air are less touristy options for an extension to your Bali beach holiday.

Diving in Bali

Dive enthusiasts will get a kick out of the shore dives in Amed, a half-moon shaped haven offering panoramic ocean vistas. Explore the Japanese shipwreck just 10 metres from the shore, and the USS Liberty wreck at Tulamben. Snorkelers are also welcome and you'll find beautiful coral reefs in both places, not far from the beach.

Ubud Monkey Forest

If you're looking for a one-on-one with nature, you should swing on over to the Ubud Monkey Forest. Buy some fruit from the fruit sellers outside for the funniest photo opportunities, as your fuzzy friends will go ape for it. Kids will love this attraction, but watch your cameras and sunglasses unless you want to have to rescue them from the treetops.

DAY 1: Cleanse at Tirta Empul

Tirta Empul is one of the most sacred places on the island of the gods. Hire a driver to get there via a pretty mountain drive. If you're a romantic couple, purify yourselves by taking a dip in these sacred fountains, waist deep in holy water. The price for not wearing a sarong at Tirta Empul is the sacrifice of a chicken, so dress respectfully.

DAY 3: Have an Eat, Pray, Love day

In Ubud, hop in a cab and ask the driver to take you to Ketut Liyer. This medicine man, made famous by the movie Eat, Pray, Love will boost your ego before you head out to the Elephant Safari Resort. Julia Roberts spent a lot of time here during filming. Get up close and personal with the elephants and even go for a ride. You'll feel like a Hollywood star.

DAY 2: Tirta Gangga and Candidasa

En route to the black sand beaches of Candidasa take a couple of hours to stop at Tirta Gangga, another sacred spot hidden away in Bali's lush greenery. Here you'll have great fun take photos on the stepping stones that wind their way over the sacred ponds, filled with giant koi. Once in Candidasa, settle in for sunset with a nice cold beer.

DAY 4: Bike the rice paddy trail

For the brave, hire a motorbike/scooter in Ubud. This should only cost you 50,000 rupiah for the day. Fill up with petrol for just 15,000 rupiah, buy a Bali Pathfinder map from any Circle K store and follow which ever road you like out of town until the scenery turns luscious and green. Find a small warung and eat a Nasi Campur and prepare for a day of nature, waddling ducks and smiley locals. Welcome to the real Bali.


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