Hi! My name is Michael, a digital entrepreneur and recovering workaholic.

I leased a villa in Bali a few years ago after coming to a crossroads in my life, and like many people decided I wanted to spend more time living the life I wanted, and less time working insane hours for years on end without a break.

Michael - Bali Holiday Secrets

When my family and friends would come to visit (the attraction of a luxury 3 bedroom villa in Seminyak may have been a strong drawcard) they peppered me with questions. Was it safe to use ATMs in Bali? how do you exchange cash for Indonesian Rupiah at a money changer and what scams to watch for?

Then guests staying in my holiday villas asked me even more detailed questions. Where are the best waterfalls in Bali, and what was the best way of getting there? Which Balinese temples are most worth visiting and what is the etiquette for visiting them?

I also developed some pretty valuable local knowledge on arriving at Bali Airport and how to get from Denpasar Airport to Seminyak, how to catch a taxi and the best cafes, bars and restaurants (essential knowledge for everyone :)

So I started writing emails, and then I would cut and paste them rather than writing from scratch every time. Then I made this website and posted everything here, instead of replying to everyone by email.

The most useful, up to date, practical and unaffiliated information

Thanks for this email and for your awesome website. Of all the Bali websites that I have looked at, it has the most useful, up to date, practical and unaffiliated information, which I have referred to and used many times over during and whilst planning my trips to Bali. Thank you so much.

Just never forget the most important thing – Bali is always a good idea!

Safe travels,
Michael

I can’t recommend his services and his advice enough!

I randomly found Michael’s website a few months before our first trip to Bali and I am so thankful I did! We literally followed his tips exactly for getting through customs, buying a SIM card and getting out cash and it was so smooth. We booked an airport transfer and 4 full days with a private driver… which I was a little nervous about at first (just to be honest), but everything worked out perfectly. Having a private driver ensured we saw all we wanted without having to deal with the tricky local taxis and it gave us peace of mind knowing who we would be with every day. I can’t recommend his services and his advice enough!


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  1. Hi Michael, we are coming to Bali on Boxing Day for a week as a group of 6 adults. We are staying in Sanur in 2 villas and are keen to see as much of Bali as possible. We are keen on hiring a driver for at least 4 days to see Ubud and the surroundings, mount Batur, temples and waterfalls. Is the price per day $110-130 for the whole group or pp? Most of our group are keen on walking, hiking, cycling, rafting, snorkelling and zipwiring.
    I am also keen to look at a day trip to swim with mantas off Nusa Penida, is that something you could arrange? Thanks Helen

    • Hi Helen – Thanks for getting in touch.

      You need to book these separately, so here are my recommendations to see as much as possible over 4 days:

      1. Ubud day tour

      Choose the Tanah Lot itinerary to max out your day. You can get a short hike in around the rice terraces at Tegalalang.

      2. Mt Batur Sunrise Trek

      3. Aling-aling Waterfall Adventure

      Drop Tanah Lot from this and I’ll find a zip lining adventure for you.

      4. White water rafting

      I’m also putting together a package to do rafting and either ATV or biking on the same day.

      5. A Nusa Penida snorkelling adventure tour is being put together. We’re just finalising arrangements with ferries and snorkelling companies now that Bali is reopened for tourism.

      Hope this helps.

      Safe travels, Michael

  2. Hi I am keen to chat to you about Aling Aling Tour for 6 in Jan 2023. Could you please contact me to discuss further. Thank you

  3. Hi Michael

    Could I get in touch with you about travelling with a group of 7, one of whom is a disabled boy aged 4.

  4. Hi Michael
    I am visiting Bali in two weeks by myself and would like a private tour guide, happy to jump on a scooter with them instead of a car too! Do you offer this?
    Jessie

  5. Hi Michael!

    My husband and I are traveling to Bali from July 15-22nd and are looking to hire a private driver for the entire trip. We have a rough itinerary that we’d like to follow (4 days in Ubud and 4 in Seminayak) and were hoping to book your services. Would you be able to email me so I can send you what we are thinking and get your thoughts if it’ll work?

  6. Morning

    We are a group of 16 Deaf people, coming to Bali from 11-25 September 2022, staying in Kuta.

    Obviously while we are there we would like to visit the key places but difficult to know which places we should visit and whether we can do 2 or 3 attractions in the same area in one day – are you able to offer advice as to what our itinerary should look like please – so we have some idea ( will also be looking to book private taxis etc to help us get around – so if you can let us know what attractions we should plan for and where it would help us a lot

    Many thanks in advance

    Tony

  7. Hi Michael,
    I would like to get in touch about arranging a larger group for various tours and airport transfers to Tabanan. There might be a few different requirements.
    Cheers
    Shann

  8. Hi Michael,
    I need a driver to pick me up at my hotel in Ubud about 7:00pm, drive me to DPS airport to pick up a friend arriving at 9:05pm, then drive us both back to Ubud that evening. Wasn’t sure how to book this on your system, though. Could you let me know if you could do this and the price?
    Thank you,
    Courtney

  9. Hi Michael,
    we are a family of 6 travelling to Bali for two weeks arriving July 20th. I would like a driver for the whole duration and help with the planning. I want some of the already proposed tours but some other custom tours with things we have in mind.
    we will be staying two days in Seminyak and the rest in Ubud. How can I book the custom tours since I don’t know exactly how many hours they will take? Also, we will have 5 large suitcases that will travel with us for two of those days. Will there be room in the suv?

    • Hi Stéphanie. Thanks for getting in touch. My advice would be to book a private car and driver for the whole duration of your trip, making sure to select the slightly larger SUV option. That way you can go on any of the tour itineraries whenever you want, with the convenience of always having a driver and the flexibility to change plans whenever you like.

      Should you take day tours to North Bali, to Gitgit waterfall for example, you can simply pay the driver the extra IDR200k required on the day.

      And when you change hotels, transferring your 5 large suitcases, between my driver and I, we can arrange a 2nd car to help with the transfer from Seminyak to Ubud and then from Ubud to the airport.

      It’s a solid plan. Let me know if I can help with anything else.

      Safe travels, Michael

  10. Hello Michael
    Would you recommend a fasttrack to help go through customs? My son is arriving next week and I would like to help him out and get that for him if you think helpful. I was also looking at airport transfer is it advisable to book ahead?

    • Hi Lisa — unfortunately since Bali airport reopened for international travel I haven’t been able to connect with any fast-track services. That doesn’t mean they are not operating, they could be, but I’m not aware of any.

      You may want to read how to get through Bali airport, and yes, booking an airport transfer ahead of time is highly recommended.

      Safe travels (for your son:), Michael

  11. Hi,
    I am visiting Bali with my family of 4, and would like to do sight seeing in Bali, I was not sure if it would be good get a private car and driver and manage all the sightseeing ourselves in Bali, or it would be better to take package tours where the tickets and itinerary would be managed by the travel company.

    • Hi J – that’s a tough one to answer without knowing how long you are travelling here, with kids or adult children, what kind of activities you wish to engage in or where you are staying. However I highly recommend hiring your own private car and driver – my drivers are exceptionally knowledgable and can help build an itinerary for you on the fly, leaving you with the most flexibility.

      Safe travels, Michael

  12. Hi Michael,

    Thank you for sharing all your travel tips! I was trying to book a transport from the airport (DPS) to Seminyak but the site is not responsive ( it keeps spinning and never gives me a confirmation or error message ). Can you help? Thank you in advance.

    Caroline

    • Hi Caroline,

      Thanks for getting in touch. I. Apologise for the inconvenience. There was indeed a javascript error caused by a recent update, but that has been resolved and I just made a booking myself to test and everything works fine.

      If you try again and have any difficulty please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

      I also sent a follow-up email directly.

      Safe travels, Michael

  13. Dear Michael,

    we are staying in Jl. Gunung Agung, Baturiti, Tabanan.
    I couldn’t find this as a pick up place.

    We would love to book a day-tour with you.

    Is this possible from where we are staying?
    Please reply by email, I couldn’t find your mail-adress.

    Thank you for your reply, Michael!

    Best
    Lisa

  14. Hi Michael, I love your website. So helpful! A question about your book: If I order this do I get a hard copy (physical copy?) posted to me (I’m in NZ). Or is the $AU 19.90 a digital only download price?

    Also, do you have any updated info on the Covid 19 (and any mandatory testing) situation in Bali? We’ve a trip booked for July.

    Many thanks.

    • Hi Claire. Thanks for the feedback!

      The book is digital-only, all hardcovers are long sold out. If you sign up for the newsletter you will get a welcome email with the latest in the covid requirements.

      Safe travels – Michael

  15. Hi Michael

    I am trying to book a driver for 2 days but the site wont let me – its saying that my card is failing

    can you help?

  16. Hi Michael,
    We will need a transfer from Canggu to Candidasa on June 7th, & transfer to the airport from Candidasa on June 14th, if all goes to plan!
    Can you help with this?
    Cheers, Brian & Lyn

  17. Hello Michael
    Not sure if my message of 5 mins ago got through to you .
    Trying to book airport transfer to Canggu but no options on your dropdowns for Vietjet or Vietnam Airlines .
    Thank you
    Andrew

  18. Thanks so much for your informative site, such a great resource! I’ve booked our airport transfer through your site, and I hope this generates a small contribution to funding the site.

    • Hi Jenny. You are too kind! Of the 668 comments people have left on this website, you have left by far the nicest :)

      Your encouragement really means a lot. Terima kasih banyak ?

      Selamat jalan, Michael

  19. Hello! I hope you are doing well! I have a question. We booked a hotel in Seminyak for 4 nights and we will need a driver from Seminyak to Muduk (North Bali). If we purchase the 10 hour private driver, would this include the drive from hotel (Seminyak) to hotel (Muduk) + with whatever hours are left we can visit the area such as waterfalls? We booked hotels at very far locations from one another.

    Would this always include the drive to our next hotel + the extra hours to visit around? Thanks so much

    • Hi Claudia. You can use the South Bali to North Bali transfer service. Munduk is definitely in North Bali, so it’s longer than a 10-hour South Bali Tour. And yes, you can definitely use the time to go sightseeing and visit different attractions along the way.

      You may want to take get some inspiration from my custom itineraries for day tours.

      Just remember that a tour to North Bali includes 12 hours driving, but you need to leave your driver 2 hours to return home if being dropped off up North.

      Safe travels, Michael

  20. Hi Michael,

    I have a couple of questions for you

    1) Do you offer airport transfers from hotel/villa to the airport? Your site and the form to book an airport transfer only seems to reference transfers from the airport to hotel/villa.

    2) If we want to book a private driver for multiple days if we like the driver are we able to ensure we have the same drive for all of the days? Conversely, if we do not like a driver can we have a different drive for the following days?

    Thanks so much for your help and for the detailed guides!
    Jason

    • Hi Jason. Yes, we provide a transfer to the airport. It’s also linked to from the airport transfer page.

      We generally assign the same driver for multi-day bookings, and while we have never had a request to change the driver, I would be happy to do so should the need arise. All you need do is reply to me from the itinerary confirmation you will receive after booking.

      Safe travels, Michael

  21. Hi Michael

    I’ve been drooling over your different tour suggestions and just have a quick question before booking :-)

    Would it be a feasible itinerary to make the following stops in a day, when the starting point is Canggu?
    1. Lempuyang temple (Gates of heaven)
    2. Tirta Ganga temple
    3. Ulun Danu Beretan
    4. Tanah Lot

    Thanks for a some great guides to Bali!
    Louise

    • Hi Louise,
      I wouldn’t recommend that itinerary to anyone, to be honest. You are literally looking at 4 points of the compass and circumnavigating most of Bali.

      Looking at your aspirations, and assuming you wat an epic temple tour, I’d recommend (if you only have one day) Danu Beretan, Tirta Empul, Gunung Kawi, Goa Gajah, Tanah Lot back to Canggu.

      You can see the route map here. It’s a big day, but far more achievable than trying to get from Lempuyang to Danu Beretan and Tanah Lot on the same day.

      If you want, I’ll even make a customised tour page so you can book it through me. Or you can simply book a private car and driver with the East Bali option and advise your driver of your itinerary by return email after receiving the confirmation. What date are you looking at?

      Safe travels,
      Michael

      • Thanks for the prompt response?

        You make a good point. I have at least a day more to go exploring at a later stage, was thinking, as you rightly surmised, to start my exploring of with a boatload of temples ?

        Your suggestion sounds perfect, I’d like to book it through you, on this coming Saturday 18th if possible?

  22. Hello Michael. Is there a discount for hiring a driver for multiple days? We would be thinking of 5-10 days. There are two of us and the dates would be between March 14th and March 23rd.

  23. I’m travelling to Bali on 3rd Jan with seniors (group of 4). My mother is 80 year old. Checking to see what are the places recommended for sight seeing. Staying at Seminyak: 3-6 Jan; Staying at Ubud: 6-9. Appreciate ur response over email.

  24. Hi Michael – Great website and resources! I’m interested in booking a car/driver through you for a family trip to Bali in Feb 2020. Would like to review some more details and get your suggestions via email first.

  25. I randomly found Michael’s website a few months before our first trip to Bali and I am so thankful I did! We literally followed his tips exactly for getting through customs, buying a SIM card and getting out cash and it was so smooth. We booked an airport transfer and 4 full days with a private driver… which I was a little nervous about at first (just to be honest), but everything worked out perfectly. Having a private driver ensured we saw all we wanted without having to deal with the tricky local taxis and it gave us peace of mind knowing who we would be with every day. I can’t recommend his services and his advice enough!

    • Thank you so much Aimee.

      It was a pleasure providing you with both travel advice and a car and driver (the drivers are stoked from your feedback). And thanks for letting me know by email that arriving at Bali Airport was made much easier because of my insider tips.

      It’s because of the feedback from people like you that I keep writing this website. We very much hope to see you in Bali again someday.

      Terimah kasih banyak!

      Safe travels Aimee,
      Michael

  26. Hi. I’m interested in taking the aping along waterfall tour. I prefer to pay by cash instead of via your website. How do I book for the tour and pay by cash? I could pay in full.

    • Hi Hussain,

      Thanks for getting in touch. We only take confirmed booking paid with a credit card beforehand – but you can book the Aling-Aling Waterfall Tour with just a deposit, and the rest paid by cash on the day.

      This helps to avoid no-shows and last-minute cancellations which is unfair to our drivers. Hope this helps.

      Safe travels,
      Michael

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