Unpopular opinion – Don’t hire a moped in Bali!
Updated: Feb 15, 2020
This goes against literally every blog post and “top ten things to do in Bali” but here it is. The reasons I think you shouldn’t hire a moped in Bali and why you should hire a car and driver instead.
I can see the benefits of hiring a moped, I really can, especially if you’re backpacking or on a budget but just hear me out.
- The roads in Bali are crazy! Apart from which side of the road you drive on (and even that is sometimes optional) there doesn’t seem to be many followed road rules. There are limited traffic lights and I’m not sure I’ve seen any roundabouts. It seems to be a free for all with people driving through any gap they can see, and mopeds certainly do not have right of way. We have seen so many close calls with mopeds. At least if you are in car you have that extra level of safety and the driver probably has more of an idea of what’s going on than you would.
- The drivers know where they are going. A lot of things in Bali are sign posted and easy to find but not everything is. So far, we have not had one driver who didn’t immediately know where we wanted to go. They were able to take us straight there and avoid the areas of traffic as they know where the traffic gets jammed.
- Local knowledge. I planned everything before we came to Bali, where I wanted to go, What I wanted to see but I was still open minded. When you hire a driver in Bali you can tell them where you want to go, and they will recommend other places along the way you may like to visit. I had heard about the coffee plantations in Bali and about the Lewak coffee but as I don’t like coffee, I decided I didn’t want to go. Whilst on one trip with a driver he suggested the coffee plantation and said it was a very good place, there was no pressure to go but he though we should. We had time to kill so we popped in for a visit and it was so worth it! (But I’ll do another post on that)
- More knowledge! Possibly the best reason the hire a car and driver is so you can talk to them. They will answer all your questions, we learnt about the offerings, the temples, the religion and even had some language lessons on our trips. The people here are so friendly and love talking. They want to know all about you and where you come from and are happy to tell you all about themselves and their country.
- The weather. There are two sides to this, the first is aircon, I’m not sure if there is anything better that stepping into a fully airconditioned car after walking back up the 200 steps from the bottom of the waterfall in the sun! You will want aircon! The other thing, if you are visiting Bali in the wet season or even the shoulder season, you will stay dry in the car. Because it sure does know how to rain in Bali and as nice as the rain can be to cool you down, I was glad that we were in the car and not on the moped when the rain came down heavy.
- Luggage. Now I have seen the way that the Balinese load up their mopeds. It is impressive, I’ve seen whole street kitchens on the back of them however, I wouldn’t like to do it myself. We brought suitcases with us and we were staying in different towns across Bali so needed transport. I would 100% recommend hiring a car and driver for the day when going from one hotel to the other. We were able to pop our bags and suitcases in the boot and make a day trip of travelling across the island.
- Avoiding scams. There are a lot of scams in Bali and plenty of posts detailing them. However, once a driver and car have been hired it is easier to avoid them. They will tell you exactly where you should be paying entrance fees and if you should be paying them. Many drivers will accompany you to different locations and scammers will tend to avoid you as you are with a local. You also avoid the potential moped scams that are rife in Bali such as random people demanding you pay for parking, having to pay for damages to a bike that may have already been there and some corrupt police will pull tourists over on mopeds and fine them for anything and everything.
So, there it is the reasons I have fallen in love with hiring a car and driver in Bali. The most we have paid for 10 hours is IDR 600,000 around £33. Now I know this is a lot more than a moped, but it is totally worth it and you can go as far and to as many places as you want and you’re certainly not paying that price for a taxi in the uk!