Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
much to pay for various amounts. Make sure to
check that the pump is reset to zero before the
attendant starts to put petrol in your vehicle,
and check the total amount that goes in before
the pump is reset for the next customer.
Tyre repair services can be found in almost
every town.
than US$60 per day with another US$40 per
day for a driver.
Europcar (
with you while riding. Make sure the agency/
owner gives them to you before you ride off.
Helmets are compulsory and this require-
ment is enforced in tourist areas, but less so
in the countryside. You can even be stopped
for not having the chin-strap fastened - a
favourite of policemen on the lookout for
some extra cash. The standard helmets you
get with rental bikes are pretty lightweight.
You may want to bring something more sub-
stantial from home.
Despite the tropical climate, it's still wise
to dress properly for motorcycling. Thongs,
shorts and a T-shirt are poor protection. And
when it rains in Bali, it really rains. A poncho
is handy, but it's best to get off the road and
sit out the storm.
Especially with cars, the owner's main con-
cern is insuring the vehicle. In some cases,
a policy might cover the car for 30 million
rupiah, but provide for only 10 million rupiah
third-party cover. Your travel insurance may
provide some additional protection, although
liability for motor accidents is specifically
excluded from many policies. The third-party
cover might seem inadequate, but if you do
cause damage or injury, it's usually enough for
your consulate to get you out of jail.
A private owner renting a motorcycle may
not offer any insurance at all. Ensure that
your personal travel insurance covers injuries
incurred while motorcycling. Some policies
specifically exclude coverage for motorcycle
riding, or have special conditions.
Hertz (
Motorcycles are a popular way of getting
around Bali and Lombok, locals ride pillion
on a sepeda motor (motorcycle) almost from
birth. Motorcycling is just as convenient and
as flexible as driving and the environmental
impact and the cost are much less.
Motorcycles are ideal for Lombok's tiny,
rough roads, which may be difficult or im-
passable by car. Once you get out of the main
centres there's not much traffic, apart from
people, dogs and water buffalo.
But think carefully before renting a motor-
cycle. It is dangerous and every year a number
of visitors go home with lasting damage - Bali
and Lombok are no places to learn to ride a
Motorcycles for rent in Bali and on Lombok
are almost all between 90cc and 200cc, with
100cc the usual size. You really don't need
anything bigger, as the distances are short and
the roads are rarely suitable for travelling fast.
In beach areas, many come equipped with a
rack on the side for a surfboard.
Rental charges vary with the motorcycle
and the period of rental - bigger, newer mo-
torcycles cost more, while longer rental peri-
ods attract lower rates. A newish 125cc Honda
in good condition might cost 30,000Rp to
40,000Rp a day, but for a week or more you
might get the same motorcycle for as little as
25,000Rp per day. This should include mini-
mal insurance for the motorcycle (probably
with a US$100 excess), but not for any other
person or property.
Individual owners rent out the majority
of motorcycles. Generally it's travel agencies,
restaurants, losmen (basic accommodation) or
shops with a sign advertising 'motorcycle for
rent'. In Bali, the Kuta region is the easiest and
cheapest place to rent a motorcycle, but you'll
have no trouble finding one anywhere tourists
regularly visit including on Lombok.
See Insurance opposite for details on rental
Very few agencies in Bali will allow you to
take their rental cars or motorcycles to Lom-
bok - the regular vehicle insurance is not
valid outside Bali.
See Insurance (opposite) for details or
rental insurance.
By far the most popular rental vehicle is a
small jeep - they're compact, have good
ground clearance and the low gear ratio is
well suited to exploring Bali's back roads,
although the bench seats at the back are un-
comfortable on a long trip. The main alterna-
tive is the larger Toyota Kijang, which seats
six. Automatic transmission is uncommon
in rental cars.
Rental and travel agencies at all tourist
centres advertise cars for hire. A Suzuki jeep
costs about 100,000Rp per day, with unlim-
ited kilometres and very limited insurance -
maybe less per day for longer rentals. A
Toyota Kijang costs from around 140,000Rp
per day. These costs will vary considerably
according to demand, the condition of the
vehicle, length of hire and your bargaining
talents. It's common for extra days to cost
much less than the first day.
There's no reason to book rental cars in
advance over the internet or with a tour pack-
age, and it will almost certainly cost more than
arranging it locally. Look to the tourist centres
in Bali and on Lombok for car-hire agencies.
In fact rental touts will look for you. Hotels
are usually a good source of options.
Shop around for a good deal, and check
the car carefully before you sign up. Rental
cars usually have to be returned to the place
from where they are rented - you can't do a
one-way rental, but some operators will let
you leave a car at the airport.
Big international rental operators in Bali
have a presence and may be worth investi-
Rental agencies and owners usually insist
that the vehicle itself is insured, and mini-
mal insurance should be included in the
basic rental deal - often with an excess of
as much as US$100 for a motorcycle and
US$500 for a car (ie the customer pays the
first US$100/500 of any claim). The more
formal motorcycle and car-hire agencies may
offer additional insurance to reduce the level
of the excess, and cover damage to other
people or their property, ie 'third-party' or
'liability' cover.
Road Conditions
Bali traffic can be horrendous in the south,
around Denpasar and up to Ubud, and is usu-
ally quite heavy as far as Padangbai to the east
and Tabanan to the west. Finding your way
around the main tourist sites can be a chal-
lenge, as roads are only sometimes signposted
and maps are often out of date. Off the main
routes, roads can be rough, but they are usu-
ally surfaced - there are few dirt roads on Bali.
Driving is most difficult in the large towns,
where streets are congested, traffic can be
awful, and one-way streets are infuriating.
An excellent way to travel anywhere around Bali is by chartered vehicle. It literally allows you
to leave the driving and inherent frustrations to others. If you are part of a group it can make
sound economic sense as well. This is also possible on Lombok but less common.
It's easy to arrange a charter: just listen for one of the frequent offers of 'transport?' in the
streets around the tourist centres; approach a driver yourself; or ask at your hotel. Many car-hire
places will also supply a driver as well.
Chartering a vehicle costs about 350,000Rp to 500,000Rp per day - although this depends
greatly on the distance and, more importantly, your negotiating skills. Shorter times - say from
Kuta to Ubud will cost less (one to two hours for about 100,000Rp). If you are planning to start
early, finish late and cover an awful lot of territory, then you will have to pay more. Although
a driver may reasonably ask for an advance for petrol, never pay the full fare until you have
returned. For day trips, you will be expected to buy meals for the driver ( nasi campur - rice with
meat and vegetables - and water is standard), particularly if you stop to eat yourself. Tipping
for a job well done is expected.
Drivers that hang around tourist spots and upmarket hotels will tend to charge more and are
rarely interested in negotiating or bargaining. Beware of tactics like claiming you must hire the
vehicle for a minimum of five hours, or assertions that your destination is 'very far' or that 'the
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