10 Things to Consider when Moving to Bali
So, you have decided to pack your bags and move to the one of the world’s most beautiful islands. Congratulations! Living on the island of Bali can be a most rewarding experience and what could be better than warm weather all-year round, beaches at your fingertips and living amongst some of the most peaceful people on earth? Not much. But do make sure you have done your research before moving, as there are a few things to keep in mind…
- How much will day-to-day life on Bali cost me each month?
This is one of the biggest questions expats ask before moving to Bali. Depending on your budget, Bali is considered to be a relatively cheap island to live on, but it all depends on how much you can spend. You can rent a kos, which is usually one room without hot water and air conditioning for under $50USD a month or you can rent a sea-view villa with a pool and a daily cleaner for around $2500USD a month. You can buy all your food at the local markets for around $10 a week or you can dine out at some of the Bali’s most exclusive restaurants for around $100 a meal. In general, the cost of living for a single person is around $500 to $2000 per month.
- What is the visa situation like?
The visa situation in Bali can be a little tricky for expats. The most common visa is the Free Visa Entry and the VOA (Visa on Arrival). This visa applies to most tourists who come for tourist or social purposes. The Free Visa Entry is valid for 30 days and is free for people from most countries, but it is not extendable. The VOA is $35 and is valid to extend once for another 30 days, meaning you can extend the visa for a total of 60 days. After the 60 days, you must leave and re-enter the country. However, for most expats who want to stay on a longer-term basis, the social-cultural (Social-Budaya) visa is an option, which lasts for 60 days and can be extended for 30 days up to 4 times. If you would like to legally work for a company in Bali, they need to sponsor you and apply for a KITAS (Kartu Izin Tinggal Sementara) for you, which is a Temporary Stay Permit Card.
- What happens if I get sick?
Bali, just like the rest of Indonesia is still classified as a ‘developing country’. The health care system in Bali has certainly improved in the last decade for expats and tourists and most medicines and anti-biotics are relatively cheap, but the local hospitals are usually not up to scratch and it is the big international hospitals you should visit. However, if it is major surgery or something more serious you require, it is best to arrange to have it done in neighbouring countries such as Singapore or Bangkok. If you are taking medications before you arrive in Bali, make sure all medications are clearly labelled when you pack them. It is best if you bring more medication than you need, as finding some medications (particularly the latest contraceptive pills and anti-depressants) can be hard to find in Bali. It is also highly recommended to take out health or travel insurance before you arrive.
- Can I own or buy property?
Legally, a foreigner cannot own property in Bali, they can only lease either a villa for mostly 20-30 years or lease land and build on it. The most common way foreigners invest in property is by having a leasehold agreement under the title of Hak Pakai (Right to Use) or Hak Sewa (Right to Lease). Read more about ownership titles in Bali here.
- Can I rent property?
Yes. This is the most common method of living among expats. Rentals prices depend on what sort of accommodation you are looking to rent and on what part of the island. Major towns like Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu and Ubud are obviously going to be more expensive as opposed to the smaller, more rural villages. You can rent a room or cost for around $100 per month or a whole villa or house for around $600-$2000 per month. Be prepared to pay for a whole year’s worth of rent up front. Some landlords do require this, while others are happy for you to pay month-to-month.
- What are the options like for international schools in Bali?
Due to the number of expats living on the island, the demand for international schools has risen in the last decade and the standard of the schools are excellent. The majority of the students at these schools are usually the children of expats, as well as wealthier Balinese. If you would also prefer a Montessori or Waldorf education system for your children, this is also possible. Please note, that most international schools use English as the main language in their classrooms, so your child should have a basic grasp of the English language.
- How do I get around the island?
Most expats use a scooter to get around, or they drive a car. Scooters can be rented for around $50 per month and cars can be rented for between $200-500 per month. Taxi’s or go-jek’s (scooter taxi’s) is also a popular form of transportation.
- Can I bring my dog into Bali?
The short answer is yes, the long answer is: it is not advisable. Bali’s climate is hot and can be harsh to Western breed dogs and because rabies is still on the island in some rural areas, it makes it nearly impossible for you to take your dog off the island once it is in. There is a huge street dog problem in Bali, with many dogs needing homes. If you would like to adopt a Bali dog once you arrive, that is a better option. Bali dogs are tough, independent, very loyal and loving.
- Is the internet reliable?
This is an important question to know before you move to Bali, especially if you work online or digitally. The internet connection can be very fast in some parts of the island, and not so fast in other parts. If you need solid, fast and reliable internet, your best bet is getting a membership at one of the co-working spaces, such as Hubud in Ubud or Dojo in Canggu. These spaces are scattered over the island, making access easy.
- Is everything cheap?
No, not everything. Alcohol – excluding Bintang beer and Bali wine – can be quite expensive. Any bottles of wine from outside of Indonesia are not cheap and neither are spirits. Cheese also comes at a high price and can be harder to find. Basically, anything that has to be imported into Bali is expensive.
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Whether you are searching for a long term rental or want buy property and looking for villas for sale & land for sale in Bali – we are happy to help. Contact us by mail firstname.lastname@example.org and follow us on Facebook.
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