Bali with Kids - Guidebook

Finding your way around Bali

When you first arrive in Bali, it can take some time to orientate yourself and finding your way around the island can seem a daunting task. However, there are some basic principles when traveling further afield in Bali. It is also worth remembering that as it is often when you are lost that you stumble across the unexpected and surprising that go to great holiday memories. At the same time if you have a car full of kids excitedly anticipating their arrival at an activity, you do not want to spend ages lost desperately searching for a location.

You are not obliged to drive yourself, you could take a taxi for shorter journeys or hire a driver for longer trips. However, some families prefer the autonomy of driving themselves. In this case here are a number of tips in terms of maps and working out where you are.

1.Buy a good map. Periplus bookshop sells a detailed road atlas of Bali. Although the price is not cheap, it a must if you are driving around the island. The maps are accurate and well organized. There is also an extensive index listing address, businesses and other points of interest.

2.If you have internet available, check out you planned journey on Googlemaps. You can print maps at different resolutions and this can be very useful. Also many of the activities and locations in this book will come up on a Googlemap search. Another good site with several free maps is

3. Plan your journey before you leave. This sounds like an obvious piece of advice but since you are probably staying in the south of the island the most likely place to lose yourself will be at the beginning of your journey where the roads system is quite complicated. Take some time to work out how you are going to get to your location, it will save time in the long run.

4. So what do you do if you are lost? First of all don't panic. You are on an island and you will find your way home eventually. Driving conditions in Bali are challenging and so if you are lost take your time and drive carefully. Asking locals for directions is not a bad idea but don't be disappointed if the person giving directions, whilst being very friendly, does not know where your destination is. The worst-case scenario is to follow a taxi driver with your car.

5.Remember the basic geography of Bali. There are mountains and these descend to the sea. Once you are out of the South of the island you are usually going uphill or downhill, this gives a strong sense of the direction you are traveling. If you find yourself going down very steep hills and then back up the other side you are traveling across the general slope from the mountains to the sea. The Balinese orientation is traditionally Nature and Environment , By the Sea, Left and Right and this works well when traveling around Bali. 

Traveling around Bali independently can be a wonderful experience but plan carefully before setting off and drive carefully!