Riding a scooter or motorbike in Bali is the way to go, but getting stuck in dangerous traffic jams that leave you choking in fumes is not fabulous. Use these easy guidelines to keep yourself out of the thick of it.
Ah, the freedom!
Having a scooter or motorbike gives you the ability to live a little ways away from the center of Ubud, somewhere peaceful and cooler. But you will need and want to be in town quite often, from eating to shopping. Here are some tips to avoid getting stuck.
Daily Ubud market
At around 7 the daily Ubud market is on, and getting through the middle of town is a nightmare. If you are going to the market, park a few blocks away and walk. If you are not going to the market, avoid the area at this time.
High traffic hours
11am-1pm, 4pm-7pm. Remember these high traffic hours. Either avoid them, or if you are going to be in town, park at either end of the main drag.
For instance, if you arrive to meet a friend for breakfast at 9am, but you know you will then do some shopping and take a yoga class, which puts your departure time in the red zone, plan ahead and park your bike on the periphery, giving yourself easy, clear access to the direction you will be headed.
Alternative back roads
Even though there are only a few main arteries for traffic, there are back roads that will take you most places. Often, these are quite scenic and pleasant drives as well. Learn a few, as they will come in handy.
Have some alternatives for shopping and eating. For instance, from my house Penestanan comes before I hit the congestion of central Ubud, so if I need to shop or eat, I can head there pretty much at any time and not get stuck in traffic. Find places outside of the traffic net that you can access anytime.
Wear a mask
You can get a decent anti-pollution mask, with a carbon filter in it, at Bali Mart, near Radiantly Alive yoga center. There is no point of drinking all those green juices, doing yoga, and eating organic foods if you are going to subject yourself to breathing toxic fumes on a regular basis. Also, consider wearing riding googles. I bought a pair on Amazon and bring them everywhere I travel, they’ve lasted for ages. You do not want to get grit or worse in your eyes.
If you get stuck anyway
It happens. You forgot, or your schedule got pulled in a direction you didn’t plan. Now you are stuck in traffic. Relax, focus and get through it the best you can. Hati Hati!