Taxis in Java and Bali, Indonesia

Arriving at any of the major international airports in Indonesia, you will find yourself inundated with offers of taxi cabs. As per most places in South East Asia, it pays to know who to use and who to stay away from, given the countless taxi cab ‘scams’ such as the erratic or jumping meters or re-negotiations after agreeing a price (usually done in a less than reputable area or on a main highway).

Bluebird Taxis are well known for being safe, reliable and trustworthy. This reputation means that the queue for Bluebird can be ten times longer than for other taxi cab firms. At Jakarta International Airport (Soekarno-Hatta), we waited for 1 hour and 45 minutes for our bluebird taxi cab (admittedly we had arrived during evening prayer time, when there are usually less taxis available).

We used Bluebird taxis in Jakarta and Yogyakarta in Java and in Denpasar and Kuta in Bali.

We had read on Trip Advisor (not a forum but an actual page) that the scams of the Denpasar taxi were no longer a problem as there was an official taxi counter. Upon request of a taxi to our hotel some 14km away we were quoted 500,000 Rupiah. When we informed the gentleman at the counter and taxi drivers that it should cost only 80-100,000, we were told that we were wrong, that our hotel location was ‘wrong’ and where we were staying had ‘moved’. Eventually after talking to over ten taxi drivers and walking further away from the terminal (it got gradually cheaper in the terminal as well), we managed to talk a driver down to 120,000 IDR. Sometimes it pays to do a little research and to stick to your agreed / suggested price. It doesn’t hurt to bargain a little, just don’t lose your cool.

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