Kuta to Padangbai
57 km, 2.5 hours
Ferry to Lombok 5 hours
Regardless of whether you want to ride in Bali, you are probably going to arrive there. The great majority of international flights arrive at Denpasar, and there’s a lot more bike rental companies there compared to any other place in Indonesia. If you plan to rent, it’s the logical place to start.
If you decide to ship a bike, it will arrive at Surabaya (Java), which is about 12 hours riding time from Bali, plus a one-hour ferry crossing. It’s not so hard to get the bike freighted between the two locations – the cost will be around $200.
If you intend to ride in Borneo, Surabaya is a good starting point because ferries shuttle between there and Banjarmasin (Borneo) a couple of times per week. There are not many international flights that arrive in Surabaya, but frequent shuttle flights between Denpasar and Surabaya.
My route was Bali to Dili, so I had to start at one or the other! I was able to get a bike delivered to my hotel in Bali, so that made the decision easy.
The Ferry leaves from Padangbai every hour, although there are options to get speedboats. This must be the easiest ferry onboarding in Indonesia – none of the pushing and shoving that’s common at other ports.
Note: this was the only time on the whole trip I was asked for my international driver’s license.
The ferry from Bali to Lombok is quite spacious. We secured a cabin for the trip, which gave us some respite from the ubiquitous smokers.