Travel from Denpasar (Bali) Airport – Taxi Fare
If you are flying into Bali (Denpasar) on an international flight, you will arrive at Ngurah Rai International Airport, located in southern Bali, 13 km south of Denpasar.
I was wow-ed by the airport – Balinese Styled! But my photos didn’t do justice to the nicely renovated airport. I couldn’t take my time to get nice shots because…
you’ll understand why as you read on.
The post is kinda long, but definitely worth the read if you are arriving at Bali International Airport.
READ ON if you don’t want to be cheated of your money.
We stepped out of the airport gate and saw the usual scene of people flashing name cards. Just that in this airport, there were also many blue-shirted men hanging around, who were obviously touters.
As we turned left to exit, we saw a TAXI signage pointing to a counter just before a stretch of DFS shops. They waved at us as we pondered if this is the official counter that we’ve read online. I noticed half of that counter was accessible in the public area, so I decided to pass through the DFS shops and get out first to see if there’s another booth. If we changed our minds, we could always go back to the counter. Once we were out, we were
bugged and pestered by the taxi driversss.
We were immediately approached by the blue-shirted guys, one after another, each of them asking where we were going. I just walked on, refusing to answer them. I did my research and knew I could buy taxi tickets at an official counter. We walked around (with the men buzzing around us) and couldn’t find any. We even tried to get some help from a DFS shop staff, but the taxi driver was eyeing him, and he hesitated for a moment and decided best to leave us at the mercy of the taxi driver. So we looped back to the counter we saw earlier on to get a taxi ticket, assuming that was the official counter I read online.
I was proud to have done my research and made it past all the touters to the official counter. Got a ticket like this:
It’s only when I came back to Singapore to write on this post, that I realised I remembered the amount to Seminyak wrongly!!!! Hence we agreed to a price that’s a…
total rip off.
We got a taxi ticket to travel to Seminyak area for about 150,000 to 170,000 RP! I thought it’s the standard price..
Only to find out from my further research online that the official kiosk is apparently gone! The official kiosk should have a fixed price list on public display as shown below.
Though the prices listed above were as of 7 August 2013, this board serves as a good guide.
There might be inflation due to the rise of petrol prices since 2013, but it shouldn’t be so much as a 100% increase! Ya…we paid more than double. ARGH!
But it’s okay, we always learn from our mistakes.
Tutoring fees for first time mistake.
But what to do on our next visit?
how not to get cheated the next time?
find the bluebird
There’s a blog comment by an expat in Indonesia at travelfish.org/blogs/indonesia that gave good suggestions (point 1 & 2).
- Flagging Bluebird Taxi at Arrival Hall: Firstly, go upstairs to the arrival area and wait for a Bluebird or Express metered taxi dropping someone off and hailing it. You can’t find them at the departure area. Why? Scroll down for the background story. The Bluebird taxis are the good guys and usually run on meter – save you the experience of bargaining and being cheated.
- Call/APP Bluebird Taxi: If you can’t get any from the arrival hall,
- Book Bluebird through phone at (021) 7941234; or
- Use their mobile app for reservation (Bluebird App on Google Play).
- Desired Pick up point: “Gedung parkir Sepeda motor” (Motorcycle parking garage). It is a short walk from the arrival terminal, just follow the signs. But worth the walk to save a few dollars or to avoid scams at departure hall.
- “Official” Kiosk: Get to that “official” kiosk just before passing through the DFS shops, or you can do it later after you passed through the DFS shops and touts – be prepared for some bargaining. Ask for quote (which is definitely inflated), then ask to see the pricelist, and insist on seeing the pricelist.
- Touts: Sometimes, if the kiosk doesn’t want to back down from its high price, going to the touts works better, if you know your price.
beware of another trap!
When we were walking to the taxi, we decided to push our own luggage, because we didn’t want to bother our taxi driver – since they were just 2 small pieces of hand luggage.
Then came two people wearing white, trying to push our luggage, at the same time pointing to the taxi driver and saying some gibberish. So I thought he was trying to say our taxi driver didn’t do his job by pushing our luggage for us. TL didn’t understand the situation but allowed that man to push the luggage for him, while I let go for a moment and suddenly remembered reading online about these men being luggage porters, who would sometimes asked for quite a bit of money (scam of RP 100,000 dated from 2009).
So I quickly grabbed back my luggage handle, to which he reacted by trying to snatch back the handle, and thus kept touching my hand, hoping I will let go. Ewwws, can I sue him for molestation?! In the end, he gave up. And I quickly ran to TL and told him to get his luggage back, because he would get money from him later on. US$5 might be okay for some people who need help with big luggage, but I never asked for help in the first place!
So moral of the story: Carry your own luggage if you want to avoid paying extra. Taxi drivers might just ask for tips with the help as well. Better be safe than sorry.
for the kaypohs and curious cats
So here’s the background story of the chaotic taxi situation at Bali airport, pieced together from comments found here:
“Unfortunately Bali airport taxis have the monopoly at the airport as the airport is run by PT Ankasa Pura and the taxi company is tied in with them somehow as well. As a result the airport itself doesn’t let other taxis have a stand. The organisation is quite well known in Bali for thuggish behaviour and have been known to physically abuse drivers of other taxis. I’m sure you all have experienced to a lesser extent the “mafia” type company culture when trying to get a taxi or when trying to pay!
Let me set one thing straight, these drivers are not poor. 10 dollars to go to our house which is 6 minutes drive away? Why should we give our hard earned money to these thugs?
While Bali airport taxis do have a stand, late at night this stand closes. This makes it even harder to negotiate your price as it will then be done directly with the driver with no sign to indicate the “normal” Bali airport taxi price (which is already double what you would pay over a metered taxi).
Blue bird is not welcomed at Bali airport. You can call and get Blue bird only outside the airport but not inside the airport. The driver won’t pick you inside the airport area. In Bandung, I experienced the similar situation when I called Blue bird taxi from a mall and was end up being told that Blue bird wouldn’t come except if I went to nearby area outside the mall, because Blue bird driver would be beaten by other taxi drivers to pick passenger in ‘their’ territory.
Similar thing happened to Blue bird in Bali airport. Blue bird was attacked and intimidated in 2010 for being the choice of customers while others were not ready to join fair competition to deliver the best to the customer. They just want protection to do their crime legally!
Blue bird was also not welcomed in Batam few years back.
It is not about the USD 1.8 or USD 2 difference but all what happened signaling you about safety and security. When you are cheated and ripped off, you feel angry because you feel attacked, like something has been taken from you. You feel unsafe and insecure.”
Updated 20 January 2015