We knew about regular cabs, but the day we arrived in Bali, we paid $10 for a ride that cost $1.
There are many fake, rip-off cabs in Bali that imitate regular cabs.
In this article, I will explain in detail about how to avoid being ripped off, chartering a taxi, and fare rates.
I honestly want everyone who is going to Bali for the first time to read this.
The traffic situation in Bali
Bali is one of the most popular resorts in the world and is visited by many Japanese people, but the transportation system is not as well developed as in other rural areas in Southeast Asia.
There are no railroads on the island, and buses are difficult to use because it is difficult to find the times and bus stops, and the routes are limited.
Therefore, the main means of transportation is inevitably cabs.
Cabs in Bali are much cheaper than in Japan, and since they run everywhere, they are very convenient and easy to use.
However, because they are convenient and can be used by anyone, they can also cause a lot of trouble.
In Bali, you can also use the car-delivery app Grab.
In Bali, you can also use the car-dispatch app “Grab”. In the past, there was no other way to get around except to catch a regular cab, but now I think using Grab is the easiest way.
There are a lot of rip-off cabs in Bali that charge 10 times more than the market price.
In contrast, Grab is cheaper than regular cabs, and since the price is fixed in advance, there is no need to get into trouble with the driver.
Why Grab is so popular
- Anyone with an internet connection can use it.
- You can see the fare before you get on.
- Just specify your drop-off location in the app.
- You can know the identity and rating of the driver.
SMS verification (phone number required) is required for registration, so be sure to download and register while you are in Japan.
For your first ride, try using the coupon code below.
Coupon Code: GRABSEKAKIMI
Also, you need to be connected to the Internet to use Grab, so rent a WiF.
Grab is very convenient, but in some areas of Bali, it is prohibited to use it, so you will need to catch a cab.
If you want to take a cab, choose a Bluebird.
If you want to take a drift cab, look for a “bluebird cab”. Unlike in Japan, it is not always safe and secure to take any cab.
Taxi fares in Bali and basic knowledge you should know.
・There are two types of cabs in Bali: metered cabs and negotiated taxis.
・There are two types of cabs in Bali: metered and negotiated.
・The starting fare for a Bluebird cab is 7,500 Indonesian Rupiah (about $0.63).
・The additional charge is IDR 6,500 (approximately $0.55) per kilometer.
・30,000 IDR minimum if called by phone (even if less than 30,000 IDR, you can pay 30,000 IDR)
・The driver speaks Indonesian and a little English. Even if you don’t, you can show them a map of where you want to go and they will take you there.
・For cabs with a negotiated fare, the fare to your destination is discussed and decided in advance before you get in.
However, this often leads to problems, such as being quoted a higher price than the market price (which is cheaper than in Japan, so you may be convinced), or being charged a large amount of money after you arrive.
Blue Bird, the only cab you can ride without worry.
The only metered cabs in Bali are called bluebird taxis.
Bluebird cabs are metered, so you don’t have to haggle before you get in or worry about being charged an exorbitant fee.
Bluebird taxis are often seen on the streets of Bali, so you can catch one even if it is a drifter.
By the way, bluebird cabs are available not only in Bali but also in Jakarta.
Bali is full of phonies! How to recognize a bluebird taxi
Bluebird cabs are safe and reliable cabs.
There are a number of cabs that look very similar to bluebird cabs (or at least most of them do), taking advantage of the psychology of tourists.
These cabs are negotiable and usually charge exorbitant prices, so be careful. Here is a detailed guide on how to spot a bluebird cab.
By the way, the only absolute way to identify them is to definitely look at the words “BLUE BIRD GROUP” on the number 1 windshield, word for word.
How to identify 1. The words “BLUE BIRD GROUP” on the windshield.
The ultimate way to find out is to check that the words “BLUE BIRD GROUP” are written on the windshield.
If it has these words on it, it is definitely a Blue Bird cab. However, make sure it is correct word for word.
These letters are also imitated, and any cab that says BLUE BIRO GROUP, BLUE TAXI GROUP, or nothing is definitely not a bluebird cab.
(Very occasionally, there are bluebird cabs with no sign on the windshield, but I didn’t get into one because I was worried. After I passed by, I looked behind me and saw that it said BLUE BIRD GROUP.
They will almost certainly charge you more than the metered fare, because they mislead you into thinking they are bluebird cabs.
First of all, when you get into the car, please check if it has a meter. If the car does not have a meter, do not get in and get out.
If you get in by mistake, you can cancel the ride.
Bluebird cabs have a driver’s license with the driver’s name and photo on it. Be wary of cabs that don’t have this!
The best thing to do is if you feel even a little suspicious, don’t get in and wait for the bluebird cab to arrive.
If there is a four-star hotel or better nearby, go to the front desk and ask them to call you a cab.
If there is a four-star hotel or better nearby, go to the front desk and ask for a taxi. Of course, you don’t have to be a hotel guest to hail one.
By the way, although I haven’t used it, there seems to be an app for it. You can use it to call a cab or to see which Bluebird cab is closest to you.
How to identify 2. Bluebird cabs are light blue in color.
Bluebird cabs, as the name suggests, have a light blue body color.
However, there are also many cabs that are made to look similar to bluebird cabs, and some are closer to blue than light blue, while others are a little lighter, making it difficult to tell them apart at a glance.
In the first photo, the left side (the one with the back) is the Bluebird cab, and the right side is the cab it resembles. You can clearly see the difference.
The cab in the second photo has a blue body, but it’s a darker blue than the Bluebird cab. This is how it looks like.
How to identify 3. Look at the markings on the roof.
The photo above is from inside the car, and this is the mark of the Boulevard Taxi. On the roof, there is a mark of the cab company (so-called lantern).
This is another way to tell if it is a bluebird cab or not, but many of the designs are very similar and it is difficult to identify them from a quick glance or from a distance.
There have been many cases where I thought it was a bluebird cab, but it was not.
A picture in Ubud. The markings on the lanterns on the roof of the blue cab in the foreground are slightly different.
How to identify 4. All the cars are made by Toyota.
There are some words on the windshield, the body is light blue, and there is some kind of symbol on the roof… It almost looks like a bluebird cab, but look at the make of the car.
If it is not made by Toyota (no Toyota logo on the front) then it is not a bluebird cab. All bluebird cab cars are made by Toyota.
There are cabs that use Chevy or Kia cars, but they are not bluebird cabs, no matter how similar they look.
How to identify 5. Other checks to avoid getting into trouble.
In this section, we will not describe how to tell the difference, but simply how to avoid getting into trouble.
Avoid raggedy cars.
Avoid cars that call out to you.
Do not use a car alone with a woman.
By observing the above, you can eliminate any possibility of being involved in a crime.
Things you should know when taking a taxi.
This section explains what you should know when using cabs in general, including Bluebird cabs.
1. Check the amount of change on the spot. However, tips may be deducted.
Check your change on the spot, not just in cabs.
It is a fact that there are many people who want to cheat you out of your change if they can.
If this happens, just complain and they will (reluctantly) return the money.
However, there is a custom of tipping in Bali. Tipping is customary in Bali, and it can be as little as 1,000 IDR (about 10% of the price. It is about $0.1. In some cases, the tip will be deducted from the change and returned to you.
In some cases, the amount of change doesn’t match, but since it’s only about $0.1, it’s okay to give a generous tip.
Also, Indonesians are very generous with their money and will not pay you unless you give them change or pay you back the difference of about 100 IDR.
2. You can’t take the Bluebird from the airport to various places in the city (but you can take it the other way around).
I think most people fly to Bali.
However, bluebird cabs are not allowed to enter the airport, nor are any of the cabs parked there.
That being said, taking a cab that is being touted can cause problems.
At the airport, there are quite a few cab touts, but they are all drivers who try to rip off unsuspecting tourists.
If you want to go from the airport to various places on the island, it is best to ask at the cab counter.
The fare from the airport is set at a flat rate for each area, so if you apply at the counter, you can avoid the trouble of negotiating the fare.
For your information, the regular rates are as follows.
・Kuta: 70,000-80,000 IDR (about $6-$7)
・Legian: 95,000 IDR (about $8)
・Sanur: 150,000 IDR (about $13)
・Nusa Dua: 150,000 IDR (about $13)
・Ubud: 300,000 IDR (about $26)
The above rates are the official rates, and they are (supposed to be) set, but apparently they charge more than the official rates (100,000 to 200,000 IDR in the case of Kuta) depending on the passenger’s appearance, amount of luggage, time of day, and weather conditions.
It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s an official cab or not, they will try to rip off tourists who don’t know anything.
However, if you know the regular fare, it will be useful to know it when you complain at the counter or negotiate with the cab drivers, so there is no harm in knowing it.
If you really want to take a bluebird cab, you will have to walk outside the airport grounds and pick up a running bluebird cab.
However, at night, it is unexpectedly dark outside the airport and there is a risk of getting into other trouble, so the best and safest way is to apply at the reception desk.
On the other hand, if you are heading to the airport from anywhere on the island, you can take a bluebird cab as usual (metered, of course) as they will take you to the front of the terminal.
3. Open and close the door by yourself
As is the case with most cabs abroad, you open and close the door by yourself.
If you don’t close the door when you get in or out, you will not be able to leave for any length of time.
Car charter is recommended to go to various places in Bali in one day.
So far, I have explained how to use a cab for a one-way trip.
However, if you are planning to visit various places in a day, it is much easier to charter a cab by the hour (car charter) than to use a cab as usual.
Why I recommend car chartering
There are two reasons why I recommend car chartering
(1) You can move around efficiently and
(2) You can act freely (unlike a tour).
This is especially important if you are going to Ubud. The reason for this is that in Bali, the area where cabs are allowed to operate is decided by each company, and it is very difficult to find a cab in Ubud.
Even if you are lucky enough to find a cab, it is definitely a negotiated cab, so it is tiring to get in.
Also, it is unexpectedly far from the airport to Ubud, Taman Ayun Temple, which is registered as a World Heritage Site, and Tanah Lot Temple, where the sunset is beautiful.
On the other hand, if you charter a car, you will not be charged any additional fees during the time you are in the car, so you can ride with peace of mind.
There is no need to look for a cab at each location, and if you decide on a meeting place with the driver in advance, you can travel almost as planned.
How to car charter.
There are many companies in Bali that arrange car charters.
For example, I was able to charter a car at KKday for $60 for 10 hours. (Reference: Bali, 1 day charter car tour for 9 passengers)
At $60 for 10 hours with room for 9 people, I think that’s a pretty good deal!
KKday is a company that sells local tours in over 80 countries around the world. With their Japanese website and customer support, you can use their services with confidence.
We also always use KKday for our overseas trips.
What you need to know about car charter in Bali and what you need to know in advance.
If you want to charter a car in Bali, you need to know what to expect.
How to decide on the route (how far to go)
It’s okay if you tell us roughly where you want to go (Ubud, rice terraces, etc.) (also the order in which you want to go and the time you want to go, if any).
If it is a difficult itinerary, they will give you advice. In general, you can visit 2 or 3 places in 8 hours.
Available Japanese speaking guide
In Bali, it seems that a special qualification is needed to be a guide in the ruins, and a different person from the driver will come.
In Bali, it seems that you need a special qualification to be a guide in the ruins. If you need a guide in Japanese, you can ask for one as an option (plus ＄3,0 for PT Hirochang).
This is a good option for those who want to understand more deeply or who want to have their photos taken.
By the way, we used the following service.
Price: $70 *High season fee (handed over to the driver before departure on the day)
Time: 8 hours (12:00 – 20:00)
Route of the day: Hotel in Kuta → Ubud → Taman Ayun Temple → Tanah Lot Temple → Hotel in Seminyak
We wanted to go to Rice Terrace, but it was too far from Ubud and we couldn’t visit all of them in time, so we gave up.
Japanese speaking guide: None. The driver could speak simple Japanese.
We hired a company called “PT HIROCHAN” which we found on the internet.
The company is run by a Japanese, and the level of the driver and the way he treats you is Japanese quality, and if he takes you to a souvenir store that you didn’t plan to go to, the charter fee will be refunded.
I felt that the number of places we went to was not enough for the time we spent chartering.
(1) The time spent sightseeing is included in the time.
(2) Each spot is surprisingly far away from each other.
(3) The roads in Bali have surprisingly few route options, so we decided to take a route with plenty of room in case we had to make detours or got caught in traffic jams.
(3) The roads in Bali have fewer route options than you might think.
Since we had different hotels for the first and second nights, we asked the driver to take us to different hotels on the way to and from the hotel, but it seems to be possible as long as it is within the time limit (I recommend you check if this is possible in advance).
There are many drivers who can speak Japanese, and there are also cab companies run by Japanese people, which gives you the peace of mind that you can communicate with them in Japanese in case you get into trouble.
Points to keep in mind when using a car charter service
Remember the car model and license plate number! Make sure you know where you want to meet!
Honestly, this is what I want to tell you the most (laughs) I’m lost to say the least! Of course you need to remember the license plate number and the type of car!
If you don’t know where to go, ask until you do! If you don’t know, ask until you do!
If you don’t know where you’re going, ask until you do! We looked around a lot in Ubud and Tanah Lot (lol). If you can, ask for the driver’s cell phone number so you can get a hold of him in case of emergencies.
Give yourself plenty of time to plan your itinerary.
It’s okay to be greedy about the places you visit, but it’s also a good idea to plan your itinerary well in advance, considering the road conditions along the way and the fact that you may end up visiting more than you expected.
If you want to visit many places, it is recommended to make a contract for a longer time.
Parking, highway, and entrance fees (for the guide) are not included.
There is a parking fee for Tanah Lot Temple. Also, if you take the highway on the way to the temple, or if you have a guide, you will have to pay the entrance fee.
However, unlike in Japan, each fee is not expensive, so you don’t have to worry too much. If you pay attention to the above, you can just go sightseeing with peace of mind.
Credit cards are recommended for shopping in Bali
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Credit cards can be quickly stopped with a phone call, so basically paying with a card is recommended. In Bali, there are many stores where you can pay by card. .
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