Bali without a scooter - is that possible?

avatar by Alina / October 21, 2020 / 6 min read

Sure! Bali can be explored very well even without a scooter. There are different ways of transportation on the Indonesian island. You can arrange a private driver, a cab or a Grab, use the bus network in the southeast or simply explore the small towns on foot. Here are 5 tips for a great vacation in Bali without a scooter.

Our 5 tips how you can explore Bali without a scooter

A round trip in Bali, that is only possible with a scooter - at least that's what many people say when it comes to getting around on the Indonesian island of Bali. You have never ridden a scooter before, and you're not entirely comfortable with the idea of getting on a scooter for the first time in Asia? No worries! You can explore Bali without a scooter. We show you how.

  1. Organize a private driver.  Thanks to the Internet and WhatsApp, it is easy to arrange a private driver and negotiate the price in advance. So it doesn't have to be expensive and you won't have any unpleasant surprises. Just enter the city + cab in Google. That way you will find pages like Amed or Lovina and many more. The price for an full-day driver lies between 450.000-600.000 IDR, depending on your negotiation skills 😉
  2. Use the app Grab: You often read that Grab is forbidden in Bali. We have had different experiences and have often travelled with Grab from A to B. The drivers were always super friendly to us. Only in highly frequented places one should not necessarily book a Grab right under the nose of the "official" cab drivers.
  3. Walk a lot: In most cities in Bali you can walk comfortably. We have explored Ubud, Canggu, Amed or even the islands of Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembogan completely on foot. This is not only good for your health, but also for the environment 😉
  4. Travel with others: Look for like-minded people, for example in your accommodation, and make a day trip together. This way you can share the money for the driver and have much more fun together.
  5. Take public buses: In the area around Kuta and Denpasar there is a public bus company called Perama. You can use the buses to get to the harbor or the airport, for example. But also, other cities like Ubud or Lovina are served. Just look here for the timetable and times: Perama.  

Of course, we do not want to keep you from renting a scooter in Bali. On the contrary, a scooter has its advantages. You should decide for yourself if a scooter is useful for you or not. Here we would like to explain our reasons why we decided against the scooter. 

Why we have not rented a scooter in Bali

We have never sat on a scooter before and had no experience. That was for us THE decisive reason why we explored Bali without scooter. There are however still more things, which you should consider when making your decision.

  • The traffic on Bali is pretty crazy. You have to be aware that there are almost no rules, or the locals just don't respect them. On top of that, Bali has left-hand traffic, which can lead to some additional confusion for tourists.
  • Accidents are the rule - not the exception. We talked to so many people and all of them told us about scooter accidents. Most of them were just scratches and abrasions, but even that is not something to joke about (swimming in the sea is then over). And also on the trip itself we saw countless young people with injuries on their legs or arms.
  • The roads are very bad. You also must know that many roads in Bali are often very bad. Potholes, slippery dust and sand or stones are just some of the obstacles you have to watch out for. In addition, there are stray dogs or other tourists that just appear out of nowhere. Especially on Nusa Penida the roads are so bad that you can only ride your scooter at walking speed. One last point is the weather. Rain or even sudden torrential downpours flood most roads and make them so slippery that you can't drive.
  • Tourists are often ripped off. A further decisive reason for us was the handling with the tourists at the scooter rental. Because, let’s be honest - tourists like to be tricked or ripped off. For example, damages are often found on return that were allegedly not there before and for which you then have to pay. Not to forget the costs, which develop, if you actually fall with the scooter and something breaks.
  • Police checks on principle: Tourists are regularly pulled off the road on principle, because after all, it is easy to make money with them. Policemen like to stop you and actually always find a "violation of the rules". If you do not want to go to the police station, there is only one thing that helps: money. You should ALWAYS have your ID card and your international driver's license with you and of course wear a helmet!

We didn't want to risk our Bali vacation and so we decided to explore the island without the scooter right from the beginning. And we can say that it worked out wonderfully and also brought us some advantages.

The advantages of exploring Bali without a scooter

If you explore Bali without a scooter and walk a lot like we do, you will often pass places you would never have seen with a scooter. In Ubud we have discovered many small roads that we would never have entered with a scooter. And also on the island of Nusa Ceningan we had great walks and could enjoy the beautiful views and nature much better than with a scooter and a helmet on our heads.

Of course, you need more time without a scooter, but you should definitely take that time during your vacation! At the same time, the exercise is good for you and you do something for your health. Also, the nature in Bali will thank you if you don't go everywhere with the loud and "stinking" scooter.

Although a scooter on Bali definitely has some advantages, you can explore the island very well without a scooter. Everybody has to decide and weigh up for himself whether he wants to rent a scooter or not 😊




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