Local Transportation

Taxis and Hourly Chauffeur-driven Cars Airport Transportation Service
Busses Mikrolet, Oplet/Bemo and Colt
Motorcycles Bicycles
Ojek Bajaj and Becaks

Taxis and Hourly Chauffeur-driven Cars

In most bigger cities taxis are available, though only in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya are metered taxis common.. For metered taxis the flagfall is 1500 rp., plus 500 rp. for each additional kilometer. For taxis without a meter you must bargain the fare in advance.

In many other cities and in tourist areas you can hire a car and driver, usually paid by the hour or for each one-way trip. Rates differ from city to city, but they are usually from Rp. 5.000,- to Rp. 8.000,- per hour for use within city limits. Other rates apply when going out of town. Bargaining is necessary for these cars, the final price depending on the year, make and condition of the car.

Airport Transportation Service

Limousine service to and from the airports of Jakarta and Surabaya are available. They are comfortable and air conditioned and cost less than half the taxi fare, but chances are that you may not be let off at exactly are address you are heading for. In this case, combine it with a taxi by getting off the limousine at a spot closest to your destination. Many major hotels also offer airport transport as a service to their guests.


Large busses aren't used much as a means of local transport except in major cities, where the standard fare is about 300 rp. Express and AC buses along major thoroughfares are slightly more expensive, about 1800 rp.

The quality and condition of inter-city busses will vary considerably depending on where you are in Indonesia. On Java and Bali, and in many popular tourist destinations, comfortable AC busses with built in video and karoke systems are common. In more remote areas only public busses are available. Check with your hotel desk or a local travel agent for availability, schedules and prices.

Mikrolet, Oplet/Bemo and Colt

These different names all apply to the same type of vehicle, depending on where you use them. They usually operate on routes between a city and its suburbs, and can seat up to 10 passengers per vehicle, but are often filled far beyond this number. This is, in fact, part of their charm, a trip by bemo will give you first-hand exposure to the local population, as this is by far the most popular means of land transport across Indonesia. Fares are not uniform, depending on the distance covered by the passenger. Bemos are often available for charter, however, you must bargain the fare in advance, after having obtained information on the approximate rates from your hotel clerk. They should cost less than hiring a chauffeur-driven car or a taxi.


Renting a motorcycle can be one of the most exhilarating and interesting ways to travel in Indonesia. In many major tourist areas, such as Bali and Yogya, they are readily available for about 15,000 rp. - 25,000 rp. a day, depending on the make and condition. Insurance is usually covered in the rate. In Bali you do not need a driver's license and in Yogyakarta it is easy to receive a temporary one for a small fee. At many beach resorts motorcycles are also popular, and can be rented by the day.

A word of warning: extreme caution should be taken in renting a motorcycle for a number of reasons. Indonesians drive on the left side of the road, like in most Commonwealth countries, but even this is familiar to you, the local conditions, driving habits, traffic laws and road signs are not. In most cases you will be held responsible for any damage to the motorbike, whether you feel you are responsible or not. Therefore, if you prefer to stay on the side, hire one with a driver and wear a helmet.


Bicycles are available in Bali, Yogyakarta and many other tourist areas. They rent by the day for about 5,000 rp. There is no insurance on the bike or rider, so make sure to ride carefully by keeping left most of the time. The best aspect of bike touring, aside from the exercise, is the leisurely pace and direct contact with the landscape and people. A pleasant ride in the countryside, surrounded by rice paddies and stops in small villages could easily be one of the highlights of your travels in Indonesia!


An Ojek is a motorbike hired with its driver. You may pay him for one single trip, a maximum of 1000 rp, or by the hour or day. Be sure to bargain beforehand. The agreed upon fare depends on distance covered. Ojeks can be found in cities and suburbs, usually at intersections or side roads. Ojeks come in handy where roads are either too narrow or bumpy for four-wheel vehicles. Rarely, if ever, will ojek owners rent our their motorbikes without driving them themselves

Bajaj and Becaks

Another mode of transport is the Bajaj (pronounced bahji), with the driver in the front, and room for two passengers behind, powered by a small motorcycle engine. Make sure to bargain for the fare before climbing in!

A much more common form of local transport in cities and towns throughout the archipelago is the Becak (pronounced "baychahk"), a three-wheeled cycle-rickshaw seating two people, without luggage. Becaks are found in most small cities and towns on Java, having been here for over four decades. Unfortunately becaks are gradually disappearing in the big cities, giving way to motorized transportation. In Jakarta they have practically disappeared all together, but can still be found in the suburbs, where streets are narrow and other public transportation is rare. In other cities like Surabaya, Bandung, Semarang and Denpasar they can still be used for short distances. Make sure you agree on a fare before you get in, and expect to be charged more for two people than one, and for every extra piece of luggage you have.

Becak drivers are notoriously hard bargainers, and remember it is their muscle power that is getting you to your destination, not a motor!


No longer available in Jakarta, dokars, or horse-drawn carts can be found all over other parts of Indonesia. They differ in size and shape from place to place, either two-wheeled or four-wheeled, but are usually drawn by one horse. Depending on the size of the cart, a typical dokar can seat between two and four passengers. Here too, bargaining is necessary, the starting fare usually being around 1500 rp., with an additional 400 rp. per person per kilometer being the norm.

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