Bali and the art of motorbike loading

See our gallery of photos tagged with “bali”.

As I mentioned in our post from Ubud, we were struck by the swarms of motorbikes in Bali, as well as the way said bikes were used to carry people, animals, and random objects in need of transport. On the people front, it was incredibly common to see a motorbike carrying four people at once. The set-up was this: one child in the front typically standing in front of the handlebars, next was the parent who was driving, third was the second child, and finally the second parent at the end of the seat. Most striking about this arrangement was that almost invariably the driver would wear a helmet, but all others (including the kids) would not.

We never snapped a foursome, but here is a typical threesome:


It was also quite common to see women riding side-saddle:


Aside from people, we saw all sorts of objects being carried around town by motorbike. Among those we saw but were not quick enough to capture on camera were the following: crates of live chickens, a pile of used tires, a full-height ladder, and at least seven empty water jugs on one bike. Here are a few things we did capture:

Functioning restaurant:


Substantial greenery (my personal favorite):


Surfboards — many bikes had a special contraption for carting these around:


And the petrol? Why drive all the way to the gas station when it’s sold in used alcohol bottles all around town.

Absolut Petrol

And finally, here is a brief video that captures what it’s actually like to drive on the roads of Bali. This was shot during our day tour from Ubud. The greenery that you see on the dashboard is an offering that was given to our driver at what was basically a roadblock for blessings near the Besakih temple complex. It did its job, as we returned home safe and sound.

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