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Hiring a driver in Bali

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posts: 4
Hiring a driver in Bali

Hello all

I'm new to this forum and wonder whether anyone could answer this question please.

My wife and I will be going to Bali/Lombok in March and we will be hiring a driver for a few days. My question is: how does this work exactly? We will be trying to fit in as much as we can and will probably be visiting more than one place/temple etc each day. Once we are driven to our first place of interest, what happens to the driver while we explore/take pictures etc for what maybe a few hours? Does he just sit and wait in his car or does he follow you around? I must admit I don't really want a walking guide, just a driver. How did you guys get on?

Any help much appreciated.


just outside NYC
posts: 308
reviews: 37
41. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali


I tried posting for you that my hsbs colleague liked Herry -- think it got lost in the shuffle.

Re: the Lotus -- I would only go for lunch -- the view is the thing as Brigid has said -- we liked the food as it was a change from other more Balinese meals we had had but only for lunch.

I wouldn't worry too much about the transport issue -- if your hotel or the restaurant doesn't offer it cabs are not all that expensive -- just offer them about 2/3rds of what they ask. We paid about $5 to get back to the 4S in Sayan one night.

We did like Ary's for dinner -- we did the tasting menu which was an interesting mix of Balinese/Indonesian/new cuisine. But if everyone is saying Dirty Duck -- everyone must know something :) I thought we ate there but I now think we got confused with the place next door, and the placement of the sign.

I so wish we were going back soon ! Have a great time.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 313
reviews: 19
42. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

Hi all, I am thinking of hiring a driver for a day during my trip in May, and the contacts listed in this thread sure come in handy for me. However, I need to know if a full day/8-hr booking at 400,000-500,00 rupiah will be enough to cover brief visits to Ubud, Tanah Lot and Uluwatu Temple, or at least 2 out of 3 destinations?

There is a travel fair ongoing in Singapore and they are offering a land package for accomodation and airport transfers which includes 1 free day tour to EITHER Ubud, Tanah Lot or Uluwatu, amongst others. As the price is slightly more than what I would have to pay if I book my accomodation online, I wonder if it's better to hire a driver for a day instead. Can someone please advise? Any help much appreciated!


posts: 4,160
reviews: 41
43. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali


Yes, you can definitely cover 2 of the places.

You may want to check the conditions offered by the travel agent at the Natas fair regarding the tour. Sometimes they have a limit - i.e. 6h tour, 3 hour tour, etc.

Singapore, Singapore
posts: 313
reviews: 19
44. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

Thanks, jade_du. I think we'll book our own accomodation and hire a driver, as the deals offered at the Natas fair is not of exceptional value.

New York, NY
posts: 2
reviews: 1
45. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

Hello. Just came back from Bali where we hired Dean for one day. As the other posts say, Dean was absolutely fantastic. He definitely listens to the concerns of his customers, finding out what the best places are to take them. We needed to do some shopping. Dean took us to the places, gave us bargaining tips and told us how much we should be aiming for. He was incredibly helpful in our search. We couldn't have done this without him.

Dean was also humble, fun, and quite pleasnt to be around. I would highly recommend him if you're able to get a reservation with him. His website is:


And my sister used Herry, one of the drivers that Dean recommends for a day. She said he was great, and that his English was very good.

New York, NY
posts: 2
reviews: 1
46. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

I apologize, but I made a mistake with my above review. Dean's webste is:

www.balisbestdriver.com (there is an "s) in this one

posts: 144
reviews: 57
47. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

Hi Blondejester, Yellow daisy & everyone!

We came back from Bali late last night. We had a wonderful time though the trip was a little short.

I recall that you two asked for my feedback on Herry so here I am...

On this trip, we hired Herry for one day and Dean for two. Both were extremely friendly and flexible, we felt very comfortable travelling in their cars. They also spoke really good English.

Dean is, as descirbed on this forum, very experienced and knowledgeable. He is also fun to be with, being rather humourous and gregarious himself. He is rather overbooked though. While he was with us, he had to entertain numerous calls from potential clients. When he wasn't available, he referred the clients to either Herry or Nyoman Sila or Weebee - members of his team. Coincidentally, we bumped into Nyoman Sila twice in the street and Dean introduced him to me. He too seemed friendly.

OK, more on Herry - he's a 23-year old high school graduate who has been working with Dean for about a year. He was driving either somewhere else or with someone else in Bali prior to joining Dean's team. He strkes me as someone very honest, so honest that he had a hard time fending off those sellers near the Batur volcano!! Ha Ha!! His vehicle is really new and hi-tech - you can watch TV or DVD in his car, if you like. We didn't have to cause we enjoyed talking to him, listening to him telling us how life was like in the village when he was young, about his family and his plans for the future. We started with him at 9 a.m. and he waited for us to finish the legong dance performance and sent us to Lemak for dinner before he drove back home. It was already 9 p.m. when he left. He actually wanted to wait for us to finish dinner so that he could send us back to the hotel! He wouldn't have gone home had we not insisted.

Both Dean and Herry didn't send us to those places where they could get commission. They also didn't solicit for a tip. It's all up to you, really!

All in all, my husband and I were very pleased with their services and would not hesitate to recommend them to anyone on this forum. With Dean - you will get tips on places to eat/shop, fun, good spot for photo-taking at scenic places, etc. He also has that plan-as-we-go-along ability. He's truly a pro. With Herry - you get honest/reliable service, attention to your well-being, and a lot of personal warmth. I like both of them, that's it.

Hope this helps!


posts: 144
reviews: 57
48. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

Hi, Jenskar,

Thanks for your reply on Dirty Duck, etc. We didn't see it before we left for Bali though...

Well, this is what I have to say about Dirty Duck - it was NOT GOOD. We landed in Bali late and reached the restaurant by about 9 p.m. Everything served was cold (and I don't mean lukewarm) - including the fried rice, the satay and the grilled pork rib. Can you imagine? We actually told Dean about it cause he too recommended Dirty Duck. My husband and I figured that the chef might have gone home by the time we ordered!! My advice is - don't go there late for dinner.

On this trip, we ate at Lemak, Cafe Wayang, ku-de-ta, Cafe Lotus, La Luciola. My husband thinks ku-de-ta is the best, I kind of agree but Lemak is very good as well.

We had the best capuccino at Cafe Wayang and their spring rolls were very good.. We were at cafe mocha one morning - the capuccion was not too bad but the one at C wayang was a lot better. La Luciola is in front of the beach and has great dessert, service is not great though. Lemak offers wonderful food and great service.

We had a light breakfast at Cafe Lotus - piseng goreng (fried bananas) but would agree with jenskar that the menu looks limited for dinner.

OK, that's all from me on restaurants.

If anyone wants to know more about our stay at Tegal Sari, let me know and I will provide details.

Going to bed now...


Eugene, Oregon
posts: 1
reviews: 1
49. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali


We recently returned from a wonderful 3 1/2 weeks in Bali.

Regarding drivers: I had read all the great Dean reviews and contacted him first. He is very busy and must be contacted well in advance...but we did email back and forth and i used some of his other drivers: Webee and Sila. They were both very good, but because of scheduling I ended up using Webee more(8-9 times). He was great.

He has a top notch car, and provides iced towels(which in the Balinese heat can be wonderful), chilled mineral water and was utterly professional in every way. His English is good. He is not a constant talker( for us this was a positive aspect) but, he was always very responsive to our many questions about Balinese culture and life. Also, an excellent driver...took us to some beautiful restaurants with dramatic views and settings and generally gave us lots of good advice on places to go and some to stay away from. I grew quite fond of him and was always happy to see him when he came to pick us up. He even helped me find a particular pearl i was looking for right before we flew home. (He will pick you up at the airport and drop you if you like also)

We remember fondly his good humor and smiling face.

You can reach him through Dean or email directly:

webee@dps.centrin.net.id Mobile:081-23640160.

A few other tips: Great Indonesian food in Ubud at Batuan Waru.

Also, Alam Jiwa is wonderful in every way.

I thought Taman Sari in Pemuteran was very nice..much more low key and less crowded on that side of the island and the snorkeling on Menjangan Island is not to be missed.

Lastly, the people of Bali are wonderful and very uplifting to be around. Tourism has still not recovered, so Go Go Go and support these beautiful people. They need us!


Singapore, Singapore
posts: 6
reviews: 18
50. Re: Hiring a driver in Bali

Hi All,

My husband and I have just returned from our honeymoon in Bali. We hired Sila as our driver and are truly, truly pleased with Sila's services and are very glad to have engaged him after reading the feedback here on Tripadvisor.


We booked Sila for 2 days of tour. Sila turned up punctually to meet us. He was so friendly and put us totally at ease. We didn't want to visit any temples at first but Sila explained to us about Balinese temples and that really helped us. He brought us to visit Uluwatu Temple where the kacek (fire) dance was. It was really beautiful! We simply loved it. Sila also brought us to have a look at the volcano and lake and explained the geography to us.

Sila provides very personal service - he is not just a driver. He would always ask us where we would like to go, buy or eat before proceeding. And he tries his very best to help make your trip as memorable as possible. He also gives great suggestions on restaurants and shopping! We loved the restaurants he brought us to and also bought some really nice paintings at the art gallery he recommended. He told us what to look out for especially the usual tourist traps and what to bargain for.

To us, we felt that Sila brought us to places that he loves to go to - not just because it's a job or we're tourists. We felt like we had a friend bringing us around to show us a land he loves. Sila is passionate about what he does and constantly looking at how he can improve as a guide to those who engages his services. We highly recommend Sila and would definitely use his services again!

You can reach Sila:

Email: yomansila@dps.centrin.net.id

Tel (mobile) 081 239 161