Bali Car Rentals – Driving Tips For a Self-Guided Tour
If you’re planning a vacation or business trip to the Indonesian island of Bali, you’re choosing one of the most dynamic tourist destinations in East Asia. Bali is but one of the more than 17,000 islands that make up the Indonesian archipelago, but it is the primary destination for Indonesian tourism, with millions of visitors each year. 80% of the island’s economy is dependent upon foreign tourists, and the island’s residents have gone out of their way to provide a warm and welcoming environment for all visitors. One of the best ways to experience all that Bali has to offer is by taking a self-guided tour with any of the affordable Bali car rentals.
Still, if you are anticipating a self-driven tour using Bali car rentals, it is important to understand some of the more common driving courtesies that will make your driving experience more enjoyable. The life of Bali’s residents is rich in ceremony and tradition, which can often be awe-inspiring enough to distract foreign drivers unaccustomed to the visual splendor of the many processions and events. In addition, driving in Bali will be a unique experience for foreign visitors – particularly those from the West.
The first thing that you must do if you plan to drive yourself around with your Bali car rentals is to make sure that you have obtained your International Driving Permit (IDP) before you arrive in Indonesia. You will need to have both your IDP and your State’s driving license with you at all times when driving in Bali. The IDL can be obtained for a minimal fee of $15 (USD).
Be especially respectful when you encounter any temple ceremonies. Refrain from becoming impatient and honking your horn – whether these processions take place on foot or using vehicles, they will occupy most of the road and take some time to complete. Try to think of them as an opportunity to take pictures and learn more about Bali culture! Driving with your Bali car rentals will not be difficult through areas in which ceremonies are being conducted, since the Pecalang security forces generally direct traffic through any of the areas where such ceremonies and processions take place. Always be sure to follow all of their directions!
When driving your Bali car rentals vehicle, be alert at all times. Dogs often roam the streets at will in Bali, as do many cows, chickens, and other livestock. You also need to watch for pedestrians – especially children. There are few posted crossing areas for those on foot, and children are particularly likely to wander into the street, sometimes just to get a better look at you.
If you need to ask for directions, be sure to get out of the car as to remain in the car is considered rude. Be aware that any residents of Bali who provide directions will often do it in terms of north, south, east, and west, as opposed to right and left. If you’re one who has problems with compass directions, make sure that you bring an actual compass or a gps navigation with you – and learn how to use it!
Finally, when driving on the island with your Bali car rentals, don’t even bother looking for parking spaces! As a general rule, you are allowed to park almost anywhere on the island. And, of course, if you ever need help finding a space to park, you can generally locate an officer ready to assist you.