No, Uber is not available in Bali or any part of Indonesia for that matter.
It’s not wrong to say the Uber app has become an essential part of life, when you think of ordering food or grabbing a ride, Uber pops right into your head – that’s how much it lives in our heads rent-free.
As a traveller, one of the main things you’d end up checking when deciding where to holiday is ‘does Uber function in this country?’
But even though Uber is no longer active in Bali – or Indonesia, it doesn’t really affect this holiday destination. Bali is not without options for convenient travelling around.
Why Is Uber Unavailable In Bali?
Let’s go back to when Uber was first introduced to Bali. Yes, Uber was available in Bali once upon a time – in 2015 to be exact. Uber launched its app along with its operations on the island of Bali and the major cities of Indonesia, like Jakarta (the capital city) and Bandung.
But the journey of Uber wasn’t much of a smooth ride (pun intended, obviously), as it began to gain much friction from the local taxi communities and other local ride-sharing apps. It eventually led to Uber being temporarily banned in 2016.
In 2018 Uber sold all of its Southeast Asia Business to a more locally popular ride-sharing app called Grab. So even if you try using the Uber app while in Bali or Indonesia, it won’t work.
Popular Ride-Sharing Apps In Bali
It wouldn’t be wrong/misleading to say Grab pretty much works like Uber. You simply download it to your smartphone, enter your details, and then start using it.
GoJek offers similar ride-sharing services. However, it seems to be the most locally accepted and used app amongst locals (both in Bali and Indonesia).
Other modes of transport available in Bali
Transportation In Bali
In addition to ride-sharing apps, Bali has plenty of other transportation methods available. Listed below:
Taxis are a popular mode of transport in Bali. You can hail one off the road or call a well-reputed taxi service and get yourself a taxi booked.
The Blue Bird Taxis (app available on Google Play and Apple Store) is one such taxi service that gets recommended to travellers frequently, thanks to their strong reputation amongst the locals and visitors.
Unfortunately, this particular taxi service is limited to the South Bali region.
Car or Bike (Motorcycle & Scooter) Rentals
Travel at your own time and pace? It’s more expensive, but it does free you from the constraints of depending on taxis. It’s also a great way to avoid falling victim to cab scams. But if you are not overly confident about the roads, refrain from testing tricky routes too much.
Renting bikes, on the other hand, is far less expensive than cars. It’s also a little less obstructed by narrow routes. Total flexibility and freedom. It can be risky so if riding bikes is new to you, we recommend you take it slow.
Tourist Shuttle Buses
In Bali, shuttle bus services are now available to destinations like Kuta, Seminyak and Ubud. These shuttle services are quite decent and offer fairly priced rates. Perama Shuttle is a reputed shuttle service provider that you can look to get a decent transportation service.
They are like minivans (colourful ones) and readily available everywhere in Bali for decent rates. However, if the driver figures out you are a tourist they will try to increase the price, so you might have to haggle with them a bit to ensure your travel costs remain fair.
Modes Of Transport Available In Indonesia
Buses are a cheap public transport option (Air-conditioned ones are slightly more expensive), and they are readily available. But they don’t stick to a strict schedule, and some can be notorious in their driving, but it’s also a great way to get first-hand experience in some of the local-everyday transportation modes.
(Mini-buses have the worst reputation – not many foreign travellers recommend this due to negative experiences).
Three-wheelers, come with peddling or motor-powered. An interesting and adventurous way to travel short distances. But given their nature, they are not allowed on main roads. (They can be quite reasonable, but make sure to settle on the rate before you begin your journey).
It is an insane mode of travel if you ask us. The cart has two wheels, and the travellers have to sit facing each other as the cart moves forward, with help of a horse, or pony being ridden by a man.
But there are many negative stories that keep occurring about how some horses and ponies are mistreated when being used to drag the Dokar, so we don’t recommend this – or any form of animal-driven transport.
Helpful Tips When Using Cabs In Bali (& Indonesia)
- ONLY use cabs with meters.
- Cabs without meters might charge you whatever they feel like – so settle on the rate before you get in. However, some drivers dare to change the price even once you settle on it, using longer routes, saying the journey was longer than they anticipated – so be aware of that.
- Some cab drivers show their meter – but halfway through the journey they may say that their meter has stopped working – so even if the cab you get into has a meter – make sure it’s functioning.
- Always have small bills – Cab drivers are notoriously known for never carrying change.
- Keep your Google maps on – if you are completely unaware of the routes, make sure they stay on the main roads.
- Cabs and other modes of transport are safe – but be mindful and take precautions to avoid being scammed or worse.