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In most bigger cities and some towns as well, taxis are available, though only in Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang and Surabaya metered taxis are commonplace. In other cities and tourist areas one can hire cars, usually chauffeur-driven and paid by the hour or for each one-way trip.

At any airport, railroad station as well as bus terminal there will be public transportation available of one kind or another. Another mode of transport is Bajaj (pronounce Bahji), a minicar tricycle seating two passengers rather tightly with its driver in the front. The rate for Bajaj should be bargained beforehand. For Taxis the flag-fall rate is various between RP 1500 - RP 2000 and for buses fare are also various from RP 700 - RP 2500 (for Air-Conditional Buses).

These different names probably apply to the same vehicles, depending on where you use them. They are usually employed on tours between city and suburbs and can seat up to 10 passengers per vehicle, sometimes even more than its capacity. Fares are not uniform, as here it does depend on distance covered by the passenger. One advantage over the bus routes is that by using these smaller vehicles you may be let off anywhere you want to, making it a slower vehicle because of its frequent stops. If you care to charter such a vehicle, you may do so, however, you should bargain for it after having obtained the right information on the approximate rates from your hotel clerk. They should cost less than hiring a chauffeur-driven car or a taxi.

In Bali and Yogyakarta for instance, motorcycles can be rented, usually on a daily basis, costing about US$ 5,50 (year 1996). Weekly rates are probably less. Insurance is usually covered in the rate, whereas in Bali you do not need a driver’s license and in Yogyakarta it is a small formality to issue a temporary one at a fee.

Around beaches motorcycles are also popular, so here too, they can be rented for only the day’s use. Although motorcycles are already popular at tourist spots, these individual rentals are not recommended for safety reasons. Aside from the fact that Indonesians drive on the left side of the road, like in most Commonwealth countries, it would still be unfamiliar terrain for the tourist, not to mention the local driving habits, traffic patterns and road signs. Therefore, if you prefer to stay on the safe side, use one with the drivers instead of riding it yourself, and sit behind him equipped with headgear.

Bicycles or bikes are rented in Bali and Yogyakarta on a daily basis. There is no insurance on the bike or rider, so make sure to ride carefully by keeping left most of the time. A ride to the countryside to see the pleasant and paddy fields is certainly recommended.

Curiously, bicycles at small villages are also used as “commercial vehicles”. For a small fee, the rider is the one who pedals the bike, whereas the passenger hops on the back of it.

An Ojek is a motorbike hired with its rider. You may pay him for one single trip (minimum is RP 1000) or you may hire him for the day, or by the hour. Be sure to bargain beforehand. Ojeks can be found in cities and their suburbs, at intersections or at the mouths of certain sideroads. Rarely, if ever do ojek owners rent out their motorbikes without themselves riding them. Ojeks usually come in handy to go to places where roads are either too narrow or bumpy for four-wheel vehicles.

Pronounced “baychahk”, it is a tricycle pedaled by a man who sits normally behind the passenger. It could seat two persons, however, rather tightly. Becaks are mostly found in suburb cities of Jakarta or smaller cities/towns on Java and Medan, and have been here for over four decades. Unfortunately this means of transport is no longer appearing in big cities as motorized transportation has rapidly taken over public transportation everywhere in the country. Make sure you have bargained before with the becakdriver for the agreed upon fare.


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