I hate that this is my first post on Bali but you’ll see why I had to share this with you, first and foremost, in this post.
Yes, Bali is one of the most magical places on Earth – I will get to that later this week in a different post. However, if you are planning on visiting Bali and renting a motorbike to get around the island – which I highly recommend – I am going to share with you some tips on how to have a safe experience and avoid the mayhem we just encountered.
I flew out to Bali 4 days ago to meet up with one of my best friends Jinna Yang – whom you all know about – to work and play. She has been here a month now and was already a pro at riding motorbikes. She suggested I just ride with her but I’m a control freak and decided to get my own for peace of mind.
We go to rent the bikes, mind you, I have driven a motorcycle once in my life when I was 18 and it was in a parking lot – aka I have no idea what I’m getting myself into but I’m down for the adventure. So I get on the motorbike, in Seminyak, during rush hour traffic and have no idea what I’m doing BUT Jinna said it was easy so I didn’t want to be the difficult, retard friend who sucks at life and traveling – not my style. I quickly am forced to learn how to ride on our way to get gas in the mayhem of Bali. She had to stop about 7 times to make sure I didn’t get left behind but I slowly became faster and more fearless. We make it to the gas station, go get some food and then drive to catch sunset. It starts raining and I have to accept the fact that I am about to look like a drowned rat at Potato Head Beach Club. Hot mess. Awesome. I managed to survive and deal like a champ and by the end of the night I had already figured out how to hold my GoPro in my bikini top for sick footage. I’m a rather quick learner – especially when it’s something I give a shit about – aka – my life. And legs. Phew.
But the real story I have to share with you happened tonight, a few hours ago, around 9 PM on a Saturday. Jinna and I were coming back from an amazing day in Uluwatu – which is about an hour ride away from our hotel in Seminyak – and we’re cruising through the dark, lush hills loving the open roads. Jinna is leading the way as I try to stay as close as possible to avoid getting lost. She is about 300 yards in front of me, goes to turn down a steep hill that led into another sharp turn, looks back to make sure I’m close behind and suddenly skids off of the side of the road into the gravel but somehow manages to avoid the boulders and trees. It all seemed to happen in slow motion yet extremely and horribly fast. I yell out to her for any type of response, honestly hoping it wasn’t really Jinna. My heart drops as I pulled up to the side of the road. She stands up immediately, completely unphased by the fall, smiles and says she’s fine and ready to ride. A nice, older man then pulled over to make sure everything was okay and Jinna tells him it’s just a knee scratch, no worries. I’m still freaking out about the whole situation as she rides off hoping that she’s actually okay and that it’s not just her adrenaline pumping that is pushing her to continue. Then the 3 dogs that were barking at us the whole time continue to be aggressive af, barking, growling and snarling. One mutt starts to come towards me as I wait to merge back onto the highway and lunges at my leg. I was not about to let some mutt ruin my newly tanned legs so I sped off for dear life a bit shakey, yet extremely focused on getting Jinna and I home as soon (yet safely) as possible. We continue riding and I yelled at anyone who was getting too close behind her just in case anything went wrong.
So we’re riding on the highway through Kuta and are about 10 minutes away from the hotel. Jinna and I are separated but I know where I’m going so I chill out a bit, knowing that we are almost home safe and sound on the home stretch. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a twat in a navy blue hoodie pulls up on my right side and reaches for me while I’m going full speed – on the mother-fucking highway. I immediately curse him out, brake and slightly swerve to avoid this unfavorable situation – extremely pissed and confused as to why he was basically trying to kill me – an innocent white girl from California. This guy is majorly killing my vibe. He then swats at my headphones I’m wearing – which are connected`to my phone – which is in the cupholder on the right side. It was then that I realized this peasant was trying to steal my phone – on the mother-fucking highway. His swat ripped off my headphones from underneath my helmet and onto the highway but my phone stayed in the cupholder because my current case is heavy duty. Major win – thank you Otter Box. After this fiasco I pull over to lose him and pull my shit together. Then I merge back onto the highway and pull up to a red light where I find Jinna. I tell her what just happened and then two guys in navy hoodies pull up behind us. So we are currently surrounded by beggars and hoodlums in the most ghetto part of Bali at a red light. Glorious. I start cursing everyone out (horrible idea) as Jinna goes off on the hoodlums but we get no responses – just blank stares. The light turns green and we stick together the rest of the way home and make it safely home and are currently in the most comfy beds – so don’t freak out fam – we slayed. Any who, here are some tips on how to not get killed on a motorbike in Bali.
Step 1: Avoid Kuta at all costs because it’s dirty, unpleasantly crowded and full of hoodlums.
Step 2: Download Google Maps and know where you are going ahead of time.
Step 3: Travel with a friend or tell someone where you will be at all times as a safety precaution.
Step 4: Be alert and aware of your surroundings at all times.
Step 5: Do not wear headphones unless they are wireless and do not leave any valuables out.
Step 6: Avoid driving at night.
Step 7: Learn how to use your blinkers and horn. You should beep often to let people know you are coming up behind them as a warning.
Step 8: Get used to driving on the opposite side of the road.
Step 9: Try to avoid dressing like a foreigner. Dress as low-key as possible to avoid being an easy target.
Step 10: Stay confident and in control.