F+T Interviews: Nyoman – Private Driver for tourists in Bali Island

I met Nyoman Rudita four years ago when was for the first time in Asia and visited Bali. While Bali does not have a proper public transport system that could be used also for tourists you can find lots of drivers in and around the airport or tourist spots that will want to take you on a day-trip.

I am not really a guy that would hop to the first car so before arriving in Bali I researched intensively to find a driver with good recommendations. So I found Nyoman back then.

After a couple of emails we agreed on the dates, I was really clear about the prize and services offered. Upon my arrival to Indonesia, I had a local number that I bought for something like 10$ and had internet & unlimited voice calls & SMS so I wrote Nyoman to set up the pickup point and the hour. Of course, the pickup point was the hotel where we are staying in Sanur.

Since then, I wrote on my personal blog the experience in Bali and mentioned about the private driver services for day trips and lots of people asked Nyoman’s contact, so I gave them. Everyone had an excellent feedback.

That’s why I wanted to make this interview, to learn more about the services and what are Nyoman’s recommendations in Bali.

FlightsPlusTravels.com: Hi Nyoman! Thanks for accepting our interview invitation. Can you please tell us how you became a private driver in Bali?

Nyoman: Hi Claudiu, thanks for adding me to this interview session. My story as a private driver starts when I was working at a villa as a gardener, here in Bali. I felt that that job didn’t suit me so I looked to discover and learn new things.

One day, one of the drivers at the villa quit his job and I applied for that position. It was the position I have always been waiting for because I can fulfill my hobbies while also doing my job. During that time I learned a lot of things – starting with how to speak English, directions around Bali and made lots of connections with people all over the country. Unfortunately, after my second daughter was born I was unable to continue this job at the villa because my daughter was born with a rare down syndrome called Cornelia de Lange Syndrome.

The problem with my daughter is that she can’t grow like other kids because her body can’t absorb the nutritions of the food and also greatly impacts her body immunization. This is the reason why she gets very fast sick and goes often to the hospital.
Because of that, I had to quit my job as a driver at the villa.

Unfortunately, we started to have financial problems after that – in Bali, we pay for the hospital and medication – but luckily my family and the people in the village gave me support. They really helped me pay the hospital and medication.

How I become a private driver?

One day my friend Wayan Tox came to me and said he will be making a page on TripAdvisor for his business. He asked me to join in his business. He gave me a job but never asked a fee, only to tell people to leave good reviews. With Wayan, I had the chance to buy me a car and join the business.

The job is very flexible because if the kids get sick I can take a day off as long as I want while leaving the car to a friend to make money by hiring/renting the car.

FlightsPlusTravels.com: What are the usual services that you are providing for tourists? I know that the usual tour day takes 8 hours.

Nyoman:  We provide tour packages such as Ubud Cultural tour, Tanah lot and countryside tour, Uluwatu tour, north Bali tour and all activities with reasonable price. We are also using big and comfortable van that can fit max 7 people (Toyota kijang innova). 

Please visit our website for more details http://balidriverseminyak.com/

FlightsPlusTravels.com: What are the usual fees for a ride for a day?

Nyoman: The usual price is IDR 600.000 for 8 hours but depending on the trip. But we also provide tour package for people who don’t know where to go in Bali. Our package is about to see all the nice places and to learn Balinese culture and way of life.

600k IDR means something like 45 US dollars.

FlightsPlusTravels.com: What you include in the fee? I know that the gasoline is included no matter the distance you are taking, is that true?

Nyoman: Yes that is true, the price includes, of course, the car, all the necessary fuel, speaking English driver and parking fee everywhere you want to go on the tour.

FlightsPlusTravels.com: Do you recommend the tourists spots or tourists are asking them?

Nyoman: Well some of the tourists know where to go so I will follow them with their request. However, most of the people they don’t know where to go so they asked my advice, with pleasure I will show them all the good places. I always advise people to see if there are new and nice places to go so not so many tourists there.

FlightsPlusTravels.com:  What are the five most asked tourist objectives for trips?
Nyoman: Tanah lot temple, Jatiluwih rice terrace, Ubud monkey forest, Uluwatu temple, ulundanu lake temple

Ulundanu Lake Temple
Ulundanu Lake Temple

FlightsPlusTravels.com: And what is your favorite one from these spots?

Nyoman: My favorite one is Jatiluwih rice terrace. That place is the biggest rice terrace in Bali, as far as you can see just rice paddy field with little bit cooler temperature than seminyak. The size around 30 km square and that place have unique water irrigation system what they called with Subak system. That place also remind me to my childhood before tourism popular my parent use to be a farmer, so I have spent a lot of time at rice paddy field.

Uluwatu rice terraces
Jatuliwu rice terraces

FlightsPlusTravels.com:  What about the beaches? Which one is your favorite and where do you recommend tourists to go?

Nyoman: Bali have so many nice beaches due Bali surrounding by beaches such as Nusa dua beach, Uluwatu beach, Kuta beach, seminyak beach, canggu beach and more beaches at north of Bali and east of Bali.

My favorite is Nusa dua beach and there is beach where not so busy called Melasti beach both located at the south of Bali.

Nyoman at Bali beach
Nyoman at Bali beach

FlightsPlusTravels.com:: Do you have any favorite restaurants in Bali? what would those be?

Nyoman: I like nature so I like a restaurant with nature view, what I like it is:
Boni Bali at Ubud close to the rice terrace and have rice terrace view with the authentic Indonesian food
Lia Cafe Jimbaran bay
Gong at jatiluwih
Grand Puncak sari, Kintamani Bangli
Single fin at Uluwatu

FlightsPlusTravels.com: What is the traditional food in Bali? and your favorite?

Nyoman: Most of the Balinese for are spicy due Balinese put lot of spices and using a lot of chili on our dish.
My favorite is Nasi Goreng, Sate Ayam, Babi Guling, Gado Gado, 

FlightsPlusTravels.com: What would be the best period for traveling in Bali as a tourist?

Nyoman: good time to me is around April, Mei, September due that day is dry season and not holiday season so fewer people and good traffic situation. Please avoid to come on the end of December due that day is the busiest month of the year.

FlightsPlusTravels.com: I know that you make bookings in advance for tourists. What would be the period before the trip when would you recommend tourists to come in contact with you for their trips?

Nyoman: it will be good if people book one month before so we can arrange our availability but we have few people join with our team and all of them can speak good English and know direction very well.

FlightsPlusTravels.com: Thank you very much for the interview! Hope to see you soon!

Thank you for spending your time for this interview. Looking forward seeing you again!

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