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Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

Bali, Indonesia

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Sep 17, 2022

Summary: Expats, digital nomads and retirees discuss what it is like to live in Bali, Indonesia: Cost of living, Finding a home, Meeting People and more.

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What are the pros and cons of living in Bali?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Bali responded:

"Housing costs are very reasonable. I can easily get everything I need delivered to my door, and pay with bank transfer directly. The terms of rentals is sketchy, as it is generally month to month, with no real requirement to give notice, but which also makes it hard to move from one rental to the next when day of occupancy is usually NOW. Means you might lose money to move, if you have to move out early. Many rentals prefer tourists to long term, which puts pressure on long term rentals to locate something in an increasingly competitive market for long term rentals. There is no real niche being developed in the tourism profile for long term renters per se, as it is assumed that short term tourist turn overs can be much more lucrative. There is no long term planning in Bali for accommodating the capacity of the country to sustain the level of tourism that the country is experiencing going forward. Government is considering different kinds of visas for people who are like digital nomads. Visas are expensive. . My retirement visa costs $600 a year, and I use an agent. It is less expensive if you do it yourself, but also the Immigration Beaurocracy can be tricky. Important to get clear about what can and cannot be imported into the country. I bought a renewed phone from the United States and it is still sitting in Customs after over 10 weeks, and since they won't let me have it because it's used, I am subject to the whims of a beaurocracy that does not seem to want to return it but to run out the clock and confiscate it. On health issues, I have decided that I am no longer wanting to live in the tropics as my immune system is not strong enough to handle the level of exposure to parasites that I encounter. I as given inatravenous antibiotics during a nominal procedure at a hospital, and now my gut micro biome is destroyed and I have a horrible case of worms that no one seems to know what to do about. There is no one in Bali who can do a comprehensive stool test, and they cost $500 to be sent to Jakarta and back which takes over a month. The response to protocols for Covid is a huge issue, as Balinese don't understand social distancing, do not bother to use masks much of the time, etc. Despite the rules issued by the government. Being in a third world country during a pandemic, is dicey, and the government struggled a long time to frame a response and also rushed to acquire vaccines way too early in the phase of evaluating the vaccine's success rate. Also, the plan for how to vaccinate westerners is still vague and undeveloped and changing as Westerners will not be able to get the vaccines available from the government for Indonesians, and how and who and whether private companies can purchase vaccines that are not earmarked for Indonesians has still not been worked out," explained one expat living in Bali.

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What type of social life can someone expect in Bali?

When we asked expats and global nomads about their social experiences in Bali, they replied:

"Westerners are from all over. They are a quirky lot, and many of them are pandemic deniers," remarked another expat in Bali.

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Are healthcare and health insurance expensive in Bali?

"My kids and I all had dengue fever at the same time and were taken very well care of at BIMC, Nusa Dua. I am so pleased we had health insurance because the hospital bill would have cost us a hefty US $2100," remarked another expat in Bali.

Answer this Question

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Ubud on Bali Island, Indonesia

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