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Ten Tips When Driving in Bali

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Ten Tips When Driving in Bali

If you haven’t been to Bali before then, you’re in for a treat! Lush jungles and iridescent sunsets are mixed with charging waves and unbeatable local hospitality. Bali is a thriving tourist spot, and the exchange rate is generally favourable which means you can get luxury accommodation in swanky villas like these ones for about a third of the cost you’d expect to pay in Australia.

A word of warning, however, the roads on the stunning island of Bali are quite unlike anything newcomers will have seen before. The phrase “organised chaos” comes to mind, so it pays to be aware of what you’re in for before you arrive at Denpasar airport!

Below are our best road safety tips and tricks to keep you safe and sound while you visit us in paradise!

1. International License

 
First of all, if you want to drive a scooter or a car in Bali, you’ll need an international driving license. These must be applied for in your home country before you take off. They are quite affordable in most countries and should be carried on your person when you drive in Bali.

2. Bali Tourist License

 
If you forget to secure an international license, you can visit the police station in Denpasar and obtain a temporary tourist license for around AUD 30. This usually only takes a day and will protect you from traffic fines.

3. Road Stops

 
The police frequently set up traffic stops to catch people who aren’t wearing helmets or are driving without the right license. If this happens to you and you’ve broken a rule, the best thing to do is stay calm and be apologetic and respectful. If you aren’t wearing a helmet and dont have the correct license and bike registeration papers or your bike is not road worthy, you risk being issued a court summons and they can take your bike registeration until your court date.

4. Signals

 
The police frequently set up traffic stops to catch people who aren’t wearing helmets or are driving without the right license. If this happens to you and you’ve broken a rule, the best thing to do is stay calm and be apologetic and respectful. If you aren’t wearing a helmet and dont have the correct license and bike registeration papers or your bike is not road worthy, you risk being issued a court summons and they can take your bike registeration until your court date.

5. Speed!

 
Because of congestion, traffic rarely goes faster than 35 km/h, and on the main roads, it can reach speeds of 70km/h. This means more safety, but it also means you need to display more patience and plan for longer trips to reach your destinations.

6. Sharing the Road

 
You’ll be sharing the road with hundreds of other scooters, many cars, street vendors and also chickens, cows and dogs. This means you should never expect to have a whole lane to yourself and will need to keep a lookout as everyone zig zags on their way to their various destinations.

7. Protection

 
Wear a helmet and if you can, wear glasses to protect you from flying insects or stones that are kicked up from the road. You should also try to wear closed-toe shoes as the most common road injuries are to the legs and feet. If you’re riding a scooter or motoribike then be aware of hot tail pipes. They can cause nasty burns on your calves.

8. Road quality

 
The roads are simply not created to the same standard as they are in the west. This means you’ll have to deal with potholes, scattered gravel and even dirt roads. Be prepared by keeping your speed low and your lights on at night. It’s especially important to go easy on the brakes so you don’t slide out by hitting the front brake too hard!

9. Gangs vs. Jalans

 
In Bali, there are main roads referred to as Jalans and smaller lanes that we call Gangs. There are also unofficial roads known by locals as shortcuts. Be aware that the more minor access pathways are simply too narrow to handle cars so you should be prepared with alternate parking and route options. On the shortcuts you can expect a bumpy ride across uneven paving stones.

10. Security

 
There have been some cases of bag snatching in Bali, so be wise and wear your handbag on the inside of your body rather than flying loosely behind you. Also, don’t hold your phone in your hand as it could be tempting to any potential thieves that are lurking in traffic.

Navigate Your Bali Holiday with Style

We always tell our guests to make the most of their Bali experience by relaxing and kicking back in one of our premium villas. If renting a scooter or car to drive feels like too much hassle then you should know that part of our service is to provide guests with anything they need.

That means you can quickly speak to our villa managers about hiring a driver and a car to take you anywhere you like. At Asia Holiday Retreats we make it our business to offer end to end Bali holidays that will leave you feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, without having to worry about a thing! If that means delegating the driving to one of our capable staff then we’re happy to assist and we look forward to hearing from you!

3 October 2019

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