From Kuta to Ubud for 28,500 IDR! Travel locally for dirt cheap!
And here's another tip for independent travelers. This time on what is the cheapest local way from Kuta to Ubud. Today, to the previously described transport options in the article "Public Transport in Kuta," I add a proven local version. And for half price!
Popular travel agencies such as Perama Travels sell the cheapest tickets on this route for 60,000 IDR per person. If you stay in Kuta and don't mind walking a few hundred meters to the bus stop, maybe waiting a few tens of minutes, then I have a relatively comfortable alternative that will cost you less than 30,000 IDR!
Worth to mention that even if you book your way through Perama or Kura-Kura bus, most likely you won't miss the traffic jams blocking the main road towards Denpasar anyways. Therefore, the travel time of an organized tour doesn't have to fundamentally differ from the local variant described below.
How to do it?
To transport ourselves from Kuta to Batubulan Terminal in Denpasar, we will use the regular service of Balinese public transportation company - Trans Sarbagita. The nearest bus stop in Kuta you will find 1.5 km east of Jl. Popies 1 right HERE. On the Jl. By Pass Ngurah Rai roundabout look for a rusty steel construction with a ramp. You might mistakenly get a false impression that this bus stop is not used any longer. Do not be mistaken. Every 30 minutes stops here a comfortable, air-conditioned, large blue bus number 2 (Koridor II Batubulan - Nusa Dua - PP) which will take you directly to Batubulan Terminal (1h, 3,500 IDR - fixed fare).
Trans Sarbagita's buses operate on this route every day from 5 AM to 9 PM, and such a low fare for almost 20 km is absolutely unbeatable.
I noticed that the bus stops at this stop in Kuta every hour quarter to an hour (e.g., 9:45 AM).
At the Batubulan Terminal, where all the routes to the east and the northeast of Bali (Amlapura, Padang Bai, Kintamani) are coming from, a little bargaining is waiting for you. The scammy bemo drivers will come up and harass you with a tourist tax 100,000 IDR for a private bemo (bemo spesial) for two people to get you to Ubud.
Don't be afraid and tell them that you have no problem waiting until the bemo is filled up. For a lower price of 20,000 - 25,000 IDR per person of course (locals pay about 9,000 IDR). They might protest - in that case, go and find another driver. Alternatively, you might wanna try waving down a bemo right on the main road behind the terminal.
We waited for a few minutes. While we were bargaining the price down to an affordable 25K and waiting for other passengers, another driver showed up out of the blue. He took us without a struggle in an empty van for the same price (25K each), and we hit the road immediately.
On the Batubulan - Ubud route, count with about 45-60 more minutes (even if it's only 13 km).
The journey from the Ngurah Rai Airport to Ubud
Travelers who arrive at Ngurah Rai and continue straight to Ubud can find the nearest Trans Sarbagita's bus stop HERE (bus number 2). The fare from here is the same, 3,500 IDR per adult.
It's a 2km walk from the airport, but who would want to pay 200,000 IDR for a taxi to Ubud, right?
You can also take a Trans Sarbagita bus number 8 (towards the Terminal Tagal) departing from the airport, which you will later change at Sentral Parkir Kuta for a bus number 2.
As of now, there isn't much official information available on Bali public transport. For the basic idea of how Trans Sarbagita buses operate, check out the route map.