For a famous destination that sees close to 10 million visitors annually, Bali doesn’t seem to care about investing on a reliable and affordable transportation for their visitors. There have been various stories of nightmare experienced by tourists visiting Bali. The most common one? Rip-offs. A lot of people had recommended taking taxi outside of the airport. Some people had even dubbed the Bali airport taxi as “taxi mafia”. Wow. Is it really that bad? Let’s take a look at some of the most glaring flaws of the ‘official’ transportation of one of Indonesia’s biggest airports.
Feels like a downright rip-off
So much for being an “official” taxi. The Ngurah Rai Bali airport taxis are arguably the most expensive option that you can get inside the airport area. Their fares are fixed. Which is the case of most of Bali’s transportation rates. The Bali airport official taxi is a monopoly. They’re the only taxi allowed to operate and get passengers from the airport.
The taxi is already the most expensive option, no? Regardless, prices can go up without notice. So the information on price you found before you board to Bali can be different. High seasons and low seasons are often what determines the changes in prices.
Right after you step foot outside of the building, you’re going to be approached by an untold number of people who will harass—I mean, who would offer you their services. They can range from an apathetic call of “Miss” or “Mister”, to a very enthusiastic and a very persistent “Taxi taxi, where do you want to go? Kuta?” As they follow you around until you brush them off or until they see another prey. They’re extremely annoying. If not downright intrusive. And many people have voiced that it does feel like being harassed. They would be even more intrusive and persistent if you’re a woman. Quite unsurprisingly.
If these taxis are “official” why do they still do this? Isn’t being official meant the service provider should establish a system and facilities so that passengers can board in a much more organized manner? Where is the value for those who chose to board the so-called “official taxis” with the rates double and even triple those of other options?
It’s the most expensive option
Prices are very expensive unless you’re going to a very faraway place like Ubud or Uluwatu straight from the airport. The fare to the aforementioned area is 300,000 IDR. However, the price difference is often not much with the metered taxi such as Blue Bird. Meanwhile, other options can go as low as 2,500 IDR (public bus). Why would anyone in their right mind should chose the most expensive option available?
Then what can you do?
If you dislike the idea of being ripped-off just as much as every other person, do some research regarding the alternatives to the Bali airport official taxi. There are plenty of solid options that you can try out. Pick one that works best for you. There are public bus known as Sarbagita, online taxis, among other choices.