Bali Uber? Finding success with Gojek and Grab.

Looking for Uber in Bali? Uber in Indonesia has been replaced by Gojek and Grab. A simple guide to transportation in Bali with Gojek.
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Is Bali Uber in Indonesia?

It’s easy to feel lost without Bali Uber but there are alternatives!

Gojek Indonesia is an incredible tool to have on your phone when visiting Bali and broader Indonesia. This article will help you set up the app, add your phone number and help you make your first transactions. Several tips will make your experience smooth as (like, how do I change my phone number in Gojek Indonesia?).

Uber is not available in Bali or throughout Indonesia. Two competing apps act as replacements for Bali Uber, Grab Bali and Gojek Indonesia. Grab Bali merged with Uber in March of 2018, and the App runs independently of the Bali Uber system.

It is also essential to know that in much of Bali, there are signs up stating that the local community does not want you to use mobile booking apps and instead use local taxis. This push towards local taxis results in fake profiles in the mobile booking apps, which leads to booking a driver that never shows up. Even with the occasional frustrations of using these mobile apps, they are invaluable.

Alternatives to Bali Uber

Benefits of Grab Bali – Download Grab here.

  • More drivers use Grab Bali in our experience in Bali. We have had fewer cancellations than with Grab.
  • The app allows you to input foreign credit cards, unlike Gojek Bali, where you need to “Top-up” your account at a convenience store or use cash. This is a big deal if you are looking for convenience over price.
  • Grab works across SE Asia without needing to download separate country-specific apps.
  • Grab auto-translate messages within the app.

Gojek Indonesia or Grab in Bali comparison

Disadvantage of Grab

  • The prices in Grab are generally higher than Gojek Bali. Grab seems to serve a more affluent local and international traveller.
  • We have an article here for you on how to use Grab.

We have a guide for how to set up Grab available here. (It’s about Thailand but the setup is the same as Indonesia)

Benefits of Gojek Bali – Download Gojek Bali iPhoneAndroid

  • If you are traveling outside of Bali, Gojek Indonesia is the way to go. With Gojek Indonesia you are essentially paying local fairs.
  • Gojek Indonesia offers just about every service you can imagine. From food (GoFood) to Gojek massage to pharmacy Gojek has you covered.
  • Both apps allow you to pay inside the app and with cash.
  • Gojek Indonesia has great promotions for food.

Disadvantages of Gojek Indonesia

  • No international credit card usage.
  • Language translation not native to the app.
  • Separate apps for different countries. In Thailand, Gojek Indonesia is called Get, for example.
  • Frequent cancellations outside of the main tourist areas in Bali due to fake accounts

Setting up Gojek Indonesia with your phone number, or without.

If you download the Gojek Indonesia App while in your home country you will be able to verify your account via SMS.  The only limitation to this you will not be able to receive SMS or phone calls from your drivers in Indonesia (Bali) which may lead to cancellations.

You will not be able to setup Gojek Indonesia without a phone number while in Bali. The app will allow you to use a foreign, Australian phone number for setup but this results in other issues. When you “Top-up” your Gojek Indonesia account at a convenience store they will say that it is not possible with a foreign number. On their terminal behind the counter, they will need input your phone number and it seems that the system does not recognize international numbers.

Whether you are using Grab or Gojek Indonesia I encourage you to purchase a local SIM card. In Bali, I find the best place to purchase card is actually at the airport, after customs. I’ve tried to go outside of the airport and have had trouble with dodgy providers. We have always used Telkomsel with success. You can change your phone number in the App if you return to Bali in the settings of the app.

To pay by cash, you will want to change the payment method before you click Book GrabCar.

Conversely, if you don’t want to pay by cash, double-check your payment method is your credit card before you click Book GrabCar.

How to add a credit card to Gojek

You can not add a credit card directly into the Gojek app (unlike with Grab). While this is a deterrent from using the app as a western traveller it does come with an advantage, lower prices. Gojek is intended for the local audience and the prices you will pay in the app are better than using Grab.

If you do travel to Indonesia frequently you may consider setting up a bank account with BCA. With a BCA debit card, you can top up your Gojek account on the go. Additionally, BNI, BCA, BRI, Mandiri, Panin Bank, Permatabank and a number of other Indonesian based banks. This information can be found in the Gojek app, “Top Up” and “Mobile Banking”.

Finally, if you are concerned about not having enough cash with you to pay for a ride you can always “Top Up” the app at Alfamart.

Can I use Gojek Indonesia without a phone number?

If you were like me, the first thing you did after you got your local SIM card was to dispose of the plastic sleeve it came in. Don’t do this! That happened to me twice! Usually, on my iPhone, the phone number associated with the device is located in settings > phone. The number never appears with SIM cards in Indonesia in my experience – the field is blank. Not knowing your phone number is a problem if you go to set up the Gojek Indonesia app while in Indonesia. You will need a SIM card and the ability to verify it via an SMS. The easiest way to find your phone is on the SIM card pack, and it begins with 08 (Indonesia country code is +62). If you’re like me and threw away the SIM pack you can call someone else which the recipient will then be able to give you the number.

For example, travelling to the night markets around 5 pm was 75 baht; however, going back from the night markets around 9 pm was 130 baht.

An example of when it was more expensive was when we picked up a Grab from the airport for 215 baht. We would have been better off to hire the airport taxi because their offer was a flat rate 180-200 baht.

Gojek change number

When you return to Indonesia, you will need to update your phone number in Gojek Indonesia after you have a new SIM Card. Your previously used number will not hinder your ability to use the APP; however, when the driver calls, you will not be able to receive it.

If I change the phone number in the Gojek Indonesia app, would I lose my credits:

No. I have changed SIM cards and updated the phone number with no impact to the credits several times. You’ll want to keep your app up to date with your phone number as the drivers will often contact you.

If I my phone number changes and I can’t remember Gojek phone number will I lose my credits:

Possibly. In the support section, you can email Gojek directly for help. They will ask for your old number and a new phone number. It is important that you don’t register your new number. Also, if you entirely forget your Gojek phone number, as I did there may not be a way to retrieve your credits.

Top-Up Your Gojek Account or pay in cash

Now you’re all ready, and you have your verified account and an active SIM card. Soon you realise you have no money to pay for a trip! Unlike Grab or Bali Uber, you can’t just add a credit card into the app. That is unless you have an Indonesian bank account – which case you probably don’t need this guide!

If you have the cash, there is no problem paying outside of the app directly to the driver. Request your GO-RIDE (the moped option is located in the “Favourites” tab) and when they arrive to let them know you will pay cash. They often won’t have the correct change I have found. A benefit of the app is that just like Uber it will quote you the price of the fair so you will not need to haggle. Toll roads and entrance fees do happen, and the driver will expect that amount in cash.

Using Gojek Indonesia without cash

If you’re like me and prefer not to deal with cash for every GO-RIDE, I would recommend you get set up with some GO-MONEY.  Again, you can’t directly transfer money into the app at this point with any method you are familiar with. Your best option is to type in Alfamart into Google and go to this minimart for a “Top-Up”. At the counter, I found it pretty straight forward to show them the app and say “Top-Up” while pointing at the app. I never had a problem with not speaking Indonesian in this situation or the attendant’s lack of English.

Don’t go small, put several 100,000 rupiahs into the app, you will use it. They will also charge you 2000 rupiah to complete the transaction. Payment must be in cash. You will receive a text message notifying you of the “Top-Up” and the app will update in the top right-hand corner.

Check your balance in the Gojek app

Using a translator App in Bali

The dreaded call! One thing that never ceased to worry me was the dreaded call from the driver, as I speak no Indonesian. Nearly every driver will message you. To prepare for this, I would recommend getting the Google to translate app ready and set up a note that says “Sorry, I don’t speak Indonesian if you message I can translate”. “Maaf, saya tidak bisa bahasa Indonesia, jika Anda pesan saya bisa menerjemahkan” as translated by Google (if anyone has a better translation, please message me). After that, be prepared to copy and paste a series of messages back and forth. “Ok” seems to be the most common response, and then they show up as expected. Sometimes the driver will cancel your ride, and another driver selected by the app for you.

We have an article with useful Indonesian phrases that might help.

The trouble with Gojek Indonesia cancellations

The app works almost everywhere in Indonesia. I found that in Ubud, the app was useless as the local taxi drivers have a campaign to stop the use of it. In Kumai on the island of Borneo, it also didn’t work so, ’s back to asking a reliable person for help getting a taxi. In Kumai, my friend Andi jokes that they have “Ojek”. A guy sitting next to the road offering you a lift on his moped for a cost. Technology changes but our needs don’t.

Order food in Bali with Gojek

Sometimes in my travels, I need comfort food and the safety of my hotel or homestay. In many of these situations, there is no food either at the hotel that fits the bill. GO-FOOD in the “Favourites” section of the app is the answer. I type in vegetarian and in every city across Indonesia where Gojek Indonesia worked I was present a list of fast-food vegetarian options all ready to be delivered to my door. Again, expect the phone call to try to hit the off at the pass with a message. Unlike with Bali Uber the driver will place your order at the counter and wait for the food. By the driver placing the order, it leads to the occasional questions, “which sauce or drink” and so on.

Order Go Food in the Gojek App

Car vs. scooter in Gojek Indonesia

If you are thinking of using the GO-CAR option, it’s great! However, unless you have a specific reason to use a car I wouldn’t recommend it. The GO-RIDE option is the way to go. You will are driven on a moped around town. People here live on, and I have never felt unsafe. It comes down to time, not money in choosing this option. It will cut down on your travel time substantially over using a car. Do check with your travel insurance.

I recommend you explore the app once you get comfortable with it. There are countless other services like Gojek massage and package pickup that make this app mind-boggling in its depth.

Is Uber in other parts of Indonesia?

Uber in Yogyakarta.

Like the rest of Indonesia, Uber is not available in Yogyakarta. Additionally, you will not be able to use Uber Yogykartra airport either. You will have two major options for ride-hailing apps, Grab and Gojek.

At Yogyakarta airport, you would be best to get a taxi directly from the rank. If you do have Grab or Gojek downloaded you will need to meet the driver outside of the airport, on a major road. While this is doable, it’s not ideal.

In my experience, at the airport, the pickup area for Gojek and Grab are about 700 meters away from the airport along, Jalan Raya Solo. The app will tell you exactly where to meet the driver but they will not come into the airport terminal.

When is the Gojek IPO?

With many years of experience using Gojek it was only natural to want to invest. There hasn’t been a Gojek IPO yet! We have been researching Gojek’s merger with Tokopedia and eventual IPO. If you’re interested have a read of our Gojek IPO articles.

An avid explorer, investor and leader Josh founded Post Nautical in 2018. After a seventeen year career at Apple Inc, Josh spent two years traveling across South East Asia, the Indian subcontinent and Tanzania. This journey inspired Josh to focus his energies in investing into companies in emerging countries.
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