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Transfers from Bali’s Denpasar International Airport to the beaches are pretty much limited to taxis, unless you pre-arrange a shuttle with your hotel. Luckily, taxis are cheap, safe and plentiful.
Grab your baggage and head for the official taxi counter, where you’ll pay a set amount for your journey. The rates here won’t be particularly competitive, so if you’re counting your pennies, try booking your Bali transfer online in advance.
Once you’ve settled into your accommodation, there are several ways to explore. If you’re staying fairly local, taxis are ideal for getting around Bali. Look out for Blue Bird Taxis, the most reliable firm on the island, and always make sure the meter is running. Nowadays, you can even download the handy Blue Bird app and summon a taxi straight to your door.
If you’re planning a cross-island adventure, shuttle buses are a brilliant way of getting around on a budget. Bali is pretty pocket-sized, with the journey from south to north taking roughly three hours, so you won’t have to take any overnight buses. Shuttle buses zip between tourist hotspots and you can grab tickets from any of the self-styled travel agencies in Bali.
For a taste of truly local travel, try getting around Bali by bemo. These are vans with the seats taken out and replaced by benches along each side. Bemos follow fixed routes across Bali and you can jump off at any time. It isn’t glamorous, but it sure is fun – just don’t be surprised if you find yourself squeezed between two chickens.
You might need to change bemos several times and, as a bule (foreigner) you’ll pay more than the locals, but it’s still the cheapest option by far.
Snatch back some independence by hiring a scooter for short hops between beaches. Prices start from around £5 per day and, with your very own set of wheels, you won’t be tied down to bus timetables.
If you do choose this options, it’s very important to remember to steer clear of the exhaust pipe – you’ll see dozens of tourists wandering around Bali with ankle burns, so avoid joining their ranks by dismounting on the right side.