Didn't know it was illegal at the airport. As soon as I got out of Arrivals I was bombarded by drivers, more than I have ever been in the five other times I've been here. They wanted 300K to Seminyak and I refused. I happened to meet a girl who ran up to me asking if we could split a ride since it was really expensive. She had been waiting there an hour for someone to share a ride with. I got an Uber which was around 70K, but it never came and the pick up point was unclear, all the while we were harassed by drivers literally every step of the way. Uber was cancelled, we settled on 200K to Seminyak, which was still way too much. I usually book a hotel pick up for 100-150K, so a taxi should be less. I just wanted to get out of there. One reason huge reason why Uber is great is that the fare is stated up front, no haggling needed, no harassment from 672 drivers wanting to rip you off.
Uber in Ubud:
I saw the illegal signs, but the appeal of the up front Uber price of 180K to the airport and hotel pick up was appealing. Otherwise I would've had to go up and down the street and negotiate. I called the Uber and he immediately started messaging me on Whatsapp, which I knew wasn't a good sign. He wanted 350K for the ride, which I got down to 300K because it's what I've paid in the past. During high season I've been asked to pay 4-500K in the past, and didn't know any better. According to my expat friend, a ride the airport should cost no more than 180K from Ubud.
I was annoyed by the bait and switch with the Uber, but I already wasted time over it and needed to get to the airport already. He made a huge deal about not saying he's Uber. I asked why does he even use the app if he doesn't follow the rules. He said because the government will heavily tax him so he doesn't want to be tracked. I didn't know anything about the Ubud taxi mafia thing, so I don't know if he was telling the truth.
Within Ubud I used motorbikes taxis. I read that it should be 15K for a short ride but I couldn't get them past 20K, with 25K being the most accepted rate.
Uber in Seminyak/Denpasar:
In Seminyak I just hop into a Blue Taxi and meter it. Sometimes they try to overcharge me up front and I just hop out and get another one.
I had to go to the hospital in Denpasar and see a doctor because I was sick. For my ride home I called an Uber. 40K to Seminyak. Didn't really see many taxis on the street like there are in tourist central. Smooth ride and the guy was really cool and super sweet, but he also messaged me later on to try and sell me things. He said that only tourists use Uber and he loves to drive because he has alot of fun talking to tourists. He feels Bali should adopt Uber because it's modern and what the tourists want.
For my second ride to the airport using Uber, everything was fine, 60K from Seminyak, but he also had me pay 50K for the ticket to get into the airport. TBH, I couldn't read the ticket so I don't know if this price was valid. I saw 4R/6R 50,000. I assumed I had to pay 50K, although at the ticket booth I saw numbers 4000, 6000. Either way it was only 110K total.
Trying hard not to be a sucka, but I still get hustled 🤣