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City Transportation in Bali


Small dokar (pony carts) are still seen in parts of Denpasar and Kuta, but they're uncommon. Treatment of the horses is a major concern and there is no good reason to go for an expensive tourist ride.

The horse cart used on Lombok is known as a cidomo – a contraction of cika (a traditional handcart), dokar and mobil (because car wheels and tyres are used). A typical cidomo has a narrow bench seat on either side. Treatment of the horses is a concern, especially on the vehicle-free Gili Islands where they are the main means of transport. We don't recommend using cidomos.


Around towns and along roads, you can always get a lift by ojek (a motorcycle or motorbike that takes a paying passenger). Formal ojek are less common now that anyone with a motorbike can be a freelance ojek (stand by the side of the road, look like you need a ride and people will stop and offer). They're OK on quiet country roads, but a risky option in the big towns. Ojek are more common on Lombok.

Fares are negotiable, but about 20,000Rp for 5km is fairly standard.


Bemos are normally a minibus or van with a row of low seats down each side. They usually hold about 12 people in very cramped conditions.

Bemos were once the dominant form of public transport in Bali. But widespread motorbike ownership (which can be cheaper than daily bemo use) has caused the system to wither. Expect to find that getting to many places is both time-consuming and inconvenient. It's uncommon to see visitors on bemos in Bali but on Lombok they are an important means of transport for visitors and locals.


Bemos operate on a standard route for a set (but unwritten) fare. The minimum is about 5000Rp. If you get into an empty bemo, always make it clear that you do not want to charter it.

Terminals & Routes

Every town has at least one terminal (terminal bis) for all forms of public transport. There are often several terminals in larger towns. Terminals can be confusing, but most bemos and buses have signs, and if you're in doubt, people will usually help you.

To travel from one part of Bali to another, it is often necessary to go via one or more terminals. For example, to get from Sanur to Ubud by bemo, you go to the Kereneng terminal in Denpasar, transfer to the Batubulan terminal, and then take a third bemo to Ubud. This is circuitous and time-consuming, two of the reasons so few visitors take bemos in Bali.


Metered taxis are common in south Bali and Denpasar (but not Ubud). They are essential for getting around and you can usually flag one down in busy areas. They're often a lot less hassle than haggling with drivers offering 'transport!'.

Taxis are fairly cheap: Kuta to Seminyak can be only 50,000Rp.
The best taxi company by far is Blue Bird Taxi (701 111), which uses blue vehicles with a light on the roof bearing a stylised bluebird. Watch out for fakes – there are many. Look for 'Blue Bird' over the windscreen and the phone number. Drivers speak reasonable English and use the meter at all times. Many expats will use no other firm. Blue Bird has a slick phone app that summons a taxi to your location.
Avoid any taxis where the driver won't use a meter, even after dark when they claim that only fixed fares apply.
Other taxi scams include: lack of change, 'broken' meter, fare-raising detours, and offers for tours, massages, prostitutes etc.


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