Mar 17

Chart of Day-2-Day Item Costs for Surviving in BaliIn general, Bali is a beautiful place on our planet, where you can survive pretty well on a very small budget. The Cost of Living here is dramatically lower than in the US, old Europe, Australia or even some other parts in Asia.

I was asked many times by readers how much I spend here and what the Costs for my daily expenses are. There isn’t a general answer to these questions – after all it depends a lot on your personal preferences and demands.

Show me the money:

To putting that in a better perspective; I compiled a spreadsheet with the most common day-2-day items and put some real life prices behind it.

It’s a simple and subjective list of items, which of course won’t reflect completely your own lifestyle or spendings. But you will get the picture. ;-)

Please be aware that those are all local average prices – like everywhere else, you can spend a whole fortune here in a short time; if you don’t calculate, pay attention to your spendings or which channels your money goes.

Also bear in mind that prices go up all the time. The official inflation rate in Indonesia is currently 7.5%, in reality it’s probably even higher.

Good for you – if you earn your money in a country with less inflation and your base currency is stable or appreciating, you still save more or spend less over a year – even with rising prices in Rupiah.

Costs in Bali are generally higher than in other parts of Indonesia, with the exemption of maybe Jakarta. Some items are surely way more expensive than in other parts of Asia or the old World.

I would see Electricity Costs and Internet Costs (not in this chart – but more details here or for 3G internet here) falling into that category.

Would you like to see additional items or expenses in this list?

Please let me know via the Comment Form and I will update the spreadsheet accordingly.


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written by Chris

429 Responses to “Cost of Living Chart – Bali (in Rupiah, Dollar and Euro)”

  1. LindaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Great info here Chris. I think these prices are quite correct. Funny you brought in divers products, from eggs to hair extensions :D

  2. darcyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thanks! I didn’t realise rent was so cheap in Bali. You’ve gotten me interested… :D :D :D

  3. devari baliNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    yeah thats right dude, thats why Bali is a paradise for the rest of us, not only by the beauty of the island but especially because how cheap things are in Bali in regard to the huge difference of the exchange rate

  4. sophNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    hi, could you find the prices for toiletries like toothpaste ect? Also maybe waxing costs for us girls? great bit of information there!

  5. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Soph, I will try to get some waxing costs for you and add to the chart. What comes to my mind right away; a piece of soap (local brand) costs around Rp1.500, while some branded soap (Dove or similar) is around Rp6.000-10.000.

    Those differences apply to other toiletries as well. I use a local Toothpaste for Rp6.000, but you can also spend easily Rp30.000 for Sensodyne or other branded/premium products. Hair Shampoo similar. Will check the latest Flyer of Carrefour to get some more examples for you there….. ;-)

  6. Indonesia MattersNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    I guess putting it into a bit of perspective you’d have to take into account average wages on Bali as well, unless you don’t need to work or you’re on an expat package of course, then it might not matter, but to most folks it would.

  7. imsuryawanNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    You know the prices better than me, though! :D

  8. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Update: I added the requested toiletries and some Waxing costs, as well adjusted the exchange rates (19/03/2008: 1 USD=Rp9,254.09, 1 EURO=Rp14,509.47)

    @ Indonesia Matters: yup, that is an interesting point!

    Based on my readership I assumed that most foreigners interested in living here, will either be (semi-)retired (and live off their savings in USD/Euro) or have some sort of Income in hard currency via Online or Export Businesses. Only than it’s truly cheap or very affordable to live here.

    I have to say, that I don’t know any Expat in Bali, who works on a local job, besides voluntarily or for charity. With an estimated starting salary from Rp700.000 (or even less) and an average household income of Rp1.5-3 Mio. it’s easy to see, that many Balinese struggle to make ends meet, especially in the rural areas – and even with the above costs of living.

  9. MikeNo Gravatar CHINA Says:

    I wish I was there right now. Maybe after the Olympics…

  10. James GNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    You can easily live off of 500 USD a month (if you are way frugal) to “the sky’s the limit” in Indonesia. I would say that 1000 USD a month is probably the average if you want an apartment, booze, food, transportation, entertainment, DVD’s, ect, ect.., your basic middle class lifestyle

    If you want an Upper Class lifestyle with a big house, maid, driver, dinners at the Ritz Carlton and a generally large life you will spend around 5000 USD a month in Jakarta

    Personally I like Jakarta better than Bali (I have lived in Jakarta for over 5 years), but I am more of a city person. Plus the touts and hustlers in Bali annoy me

  11. JulieNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi! Your blog is so nice. I will be travelling to Bali by end of march. Would you know the best airline from Jakarta to Bali and how long is the flight going there? Thanks!

  12. James GNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    It should take about 1 and ½ hours from Jakarta

    As far as flights…

    Indonesian airlines are a bit scary considering there safety record but if I had to suggest one I would say garuda air because they have supposable gotten there safety back in order. I also like Lion Air, when I first moved to Indonesia I used to take them all the time. But my flying hobbits have changed after a few planes dropped out iof the sky – lol

  13. dennyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris, you know the price better than indonesian people like me. Two thumbs for you!
    I just want you to know that I’ve never been on Bali Chris :)
    But I’am sure that the living price in Bali is more expensive than Bandung.

  14. vicongNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yes that correct living cost in Indonesia is very cheap compare to Europe or US. Bali is region with high living cost for Indonesia standard (the others Jakarta, Batam, Surabaya). Income like $1000 a month is count high for Indonesia people.

    And also if you depend so much in technology like Internet, Indonesia can make your life ruin :D

  15. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    James G, thanks for helping out Julie, while I was traveling the last couple of days! :D

    I can only second your impression about Lion Air, they really seem to be the most reliable Airline in Indonesia currently.

    And yes, regarding Cost of Living, it seems that we have a similar thinking there as well.

    Julie and denny, thanks for the compliments! Yep, Bali is probably a bit more expensive than Bandung, but then here are also more foreigners and it’s further away from Java, so everything has to be brought here over longer distances. These points maybe drive the prices up as well. Still, for the average foreigner, things are still very affordable and mostly cheaper than in our home countries.

  16. Budi SNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Great Info , Chris …
    Chris …
    What is your job in Indonesia ??
    If you move from any country … from years to years …
    I wonder how you get incomes / salary to support your life ??
    Even if i work hard it will be very difficult to travel like you …
    I want to know how you manage your finance to do this nomad life :D

  17. DigitalnomadNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Holy crap, they need to re-evaluate the currency. All those zeros are crazy. Tell them to reprint some money.

  18. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    digitalnomad – agree with you completely. That idea was brought up already many times, but nobody decided on it yet. Let’s see another 5-10 years with 7% inflation each and the pressure to do something will surely rise. ;-)

    Budi S – I don’t work. Instead I live from passive income like rent, interest, dividends accumulated during my previous working life. I’m by no means a millionaire, but have low demands and don’t define myself by the material goods I need to possess, so I can survive fairly well from it. I tried to put this concept into some posts, which you can find under the categories ‘retire’ and ‘money’ on this site. Simply chose the category in the upper-left sidebar and scroll through the older posts for some more information on the matter.

    Oh yeah, I’m trying to earn some money from this site as well, thus the Google and other Ads. Although this income stream is improving quite nicely, it wouldn’t be enough yet to make a living from it. :-o

  19. rashmiNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hi there, really good information here =D>. I am going to be on holiday in Bali for 6 days. Would like to make the most of it . How much would you say it would cost me approximately (I dont need exact figures :)) for food , to check out the local nightlife and a bit of scuba diving and travel to some of the nearby islands and places of cultural interest? Thanks

  20. James GNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Chris – I put up a Cost of Living Example for Jakarta, Indonesia on my blog if you or anyone else here would like to check it out


  21. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    rashmi – figures for food and nightlife you can find in the chart above. As for travel to surrounding islands, that really depends on *where* (Lombok, Java, Flores, Komodo, Nusa Penida, …) you want to go and how – by ferry, plane, speedboat. It’s tough to give any general recommendations, as prices vary a lot. Although I would say that within 6 days, you won’t have enough time anyway to check out Bali AND surrounding islands. It’s easy to underestimate the size of the island and distances/time to get from A to B.

    As far as I recall Scuba Diving Prices are in the range of USD 25-55 per dive, depending on location and what equipment you bring/rent.

    James G, thanks for the link – looks interesting and very familiar! :D

  22. sophNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    wow thanks for finding that out! incredible considering a brazilian wax in the uk cost around $60 (£30). im off in two months and i cant wait!!!!

  23. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    soph – you may want to check out Bella Waxing Salon in Jalan Kunti (close to Bali Deli). That’s were the above prices are from. My fiancee tried a few other places but always goes back there for Waxing. Although the prices are generally quite low in Bali, some places really don’t seem to know what they’re doing, techniques vary a lot and you might experience some more pain than usual. ;-)

  24. Aron NatNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    Hi chris – we are planning to go Bali this week. We are from Malaysia. Do you think with RM500 (ringgit malaysia) can survive for 2days and 4 days in lombok. we are in tight budget…..TQ

  25. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Aron Nat – that may be manageable, if you have your transport options (flights/ferry) paid/covered already. It really depends as well where you are staying and what you plan to spend on food and entertainment.

    Sounds like you are at least 2 people, so is the amount for both of you or per person? Please also bear in mind that every person has to pay an airport tax of Rp 150.000 (about RM50) upon departure. All the best for your trip! ;-)

  26. RolandoNo Gravatar SPAIN Says:

    Hi Chris ,

    You seem to know so much.
    Would you have an idea about… much a maid-cook… much a gardener-driver….per month . If one rented a house , and it was not included.
    And – is it easy/difficult to find these for a 4 month term ?
    Muchas gracias !

  27. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rolando – thanks for the compliment! Actually I only put together what I deal with every day anyway. ;-)

    I don’t have a maid here, but you could probably get a full-time one for Rp 300-500.000 per month, if you provide a room and food. Or someone to come by once a week for Rp. 50.000 for 2-4 hours for cleaning.

    Gardener-Driver is a funny combination, but I’m sure that’s possible as well, I just don’t know the costs.

    But if you think about it that the average salary for housing staff is here usually below 1 Mio. Rupiah and the average office salary is between 1-3 Mio. Rupiah, you get the picture about what sums we are talking here.

    It shouldn’t be too difficult to find someone for a limited period like 2-4 months. I would recommend asking around, your neighbors, your landlord or other people you know. Usually they will try to help and come up with some relatives or other people they know with the required skills.

  28. KirstyNo Gravatar NEW ZEALAND Says:

    Hi there!
    I’m going to Bali on Sat for 2 weeks, the first week I will be in tanjung Benoa, the second week in ubud. I am having a budgeting panic, do you think $1000AUS will be enough or am I dreaming? Accomm is paid for already, I don’t plan on doing much sightseeing/shopping, just relaxing and eating!
    Please help!!!

  29. Indonesia MattersNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Don’t know exactly about Bali but elsewhere, say Java, a full time driver is going to cost you up to a million a month I think.

  30. Cutting Subsidies - Indonesia’s Government will raise Fuel Prices by app. 30% in June | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Cost of Living here is still highly affordable for the average foreigner and it will improve even more, due to higher inflation compared to your […]

  31. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Kirsty, 1.000 AUD is almost 9 Mio. Rupiah, that is almost double what I spend here in a *month* (if I count out housing and other costs you won’t have). I would say you can live perfectly well from that without being too frugal. But then – it all comes down to what you need and what your demands are in a perfect holiday. ;-)

    Indonesia Matters – many thanks for helping out with the estimated driver costs.

  32. KirstyNo Gravatar NEW ZEALAND Says:

    Hahaha, wow, thank you!
    I’m planning on spending a decent amount on food, but that’s about it really! :)

  33. DanielNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey Mate,
    Very impressive site, i imagine you would help a lot of people all over the world with your information. my girlfriend and i are seriously thinking of moving to Bali for around a year soon and i am investigating the surrounding costs.
    I was wondering what housing would in your opinion would suit a couple who dont want any luxuries and are on a limited budget? and the prices for a years rent and electricity?
    Also what types of employment are available for people in their early 20’s? i am willing to work in any conditions.

    Thankyou so much mate i really appreciate it

  34. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Kirsty – don’t worry, you will be fine then. Great food is really affordable here, especially if you are used to Australian prices. :D

    Daniel, thanks for the friendly words – I try my best to be of any help. ;-)

    For a young couple you could rent a small house for about USD 300 per month. If you look around you can even find one fully furnished, which would ease the initial reduction from your starting capital for new furniture. That’s what we did and are still happy with.

    But it’s really up to you. In the list above you can find some examples for what is available (as well as electricity), but don’t let yourself restrict by it too much.

    There are plenty of housing options available here, in fact supply is much higher than demand. So you as the customer are king – if you take your time, negotiate good and see at least a dozen places. There are plenty if overpriced deals as well, so it really pays for you to take your time. You could live the first month in a small ‘Koskosan’, which is actually a room with attached bathroom (around Rp.400.000-700.000) and look around first to find your right place for longer term.

    Regarding work, I wrote a few articles about that already in more detail. Basically it would be better, if you could generate an income in hard currency (EUR, AUD, USD) and use the softer Rupiah and higher inflation in Indonesia to your advantage. That means basically Online Business like Blogging, Daytrading, Webdesign, Programming for foreign companies or else.

    Here on the ground, there are surely local jobs for foreigners available, teaching English, Dive Instructor or similar i.e. in the Hotel Business come to mind. It depends on your skills of course. But it will also be more difficult to find these jobs as there is plenty of competition and – maybe more important – you will be paid local wages.

    This can be quite tricky, as the local average here is maybe between Rp. 750.000 up to 3 Mio. Rupiah.

    As an Expat that could mean a very frugal life for you.

    Some other people work in Import/Export businesses or in the Art Scene. But again – highly competitive and surely no guarantees for easy success.

    I know that maybe doesn’t sound too encouraging, but you’ll have to find your own way with the options that are there. :-?

  35. RodneyNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey Chris:
    Great info mate! Seriously I’ve been to Indonesia 3 yrs ago and man I’ve loved it………..I haven’t been to Bali or other islands in Indonesia mainly in Java in Jakarta for business with a friend. I know the prices in Jakarta I was there for 2 months living there and compared to New York that’s where I’m from, it’s cheaper than New York I gotta say. I’m trying to go back this 2008 hopefully at the of May or early June but this time for a get away on a backpacker budget really budgeting than the last time I was there. I was thinking $2,500 or $3,000 until mid August would be possible……….What do you think mate?? I will land in BKK first then off to Jakarta to vist some old friends then off to Bali maybe to the Gillis. Please tell me if it is possible on a avg budget of $3,000 is possible?
    Thanks a million!

  36. Chris ParrNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    My wife and I am looking to relocate from Singapore to Bali to retire I have found a school for my 7 year old daughter, a house, and pretty much everything I need to live a good life on the island. My concern is and it really is the only one, is safety, security, and the underlying coruption. Having read a number of blogs some of them have distilled the above to such a degree that know one would from any other country live here. This is clearly not the case 20,000+ expats seem to enjoy it. You nseam to be a level headed person with no particular axe to grind, I would appriciate your thougths,

    Kind regards

    Chris J Parr

  37. Cost of Living Chart - Philippines (in Peso, Dollar and Euro) | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] in the tradition of the Cost of Living Chart for Bali (which I updated with todays exchange rates for better comparison), you can find the costs for […]

  38. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rodney, I think you should get along with it, if you’ve been in Indonesia already before. It’s more than what I would spend in a similar period, if your flight costs are covered already. So don’t worry, enjoy your trip and your stay here! ;-)

    Chris Parr, first congrats to your decision to retire in Bali! =D>

    As an ex-Singaporean Expat myself – I can relate to your security concerns. Hardly any cities/regions come close to Singapore in that regard. But Bali shouldn’t be a problem for you. Of course you have the usual pickpocketing and overpricing for foreigners, mainly in the more touristy areas. But once you get the hang of local customs, you pay (almost) local prices and simply won’t leave the house with your gold necklaces or jewelry around your neck or hanging out of your pockets. ;-)

    Robberies are rare and usually not done by Balinese, as they would risk being alienated within their own communities. If you rent a Villa or house you can have your own security guard(s) as well, alternatively the local Banjar (community leader) will certainly approach you for using their services (patrolling around your house at night etc.).

    Of course, corruption is present, the most obvious examples are the Traffic Cops, but besides that it can be easily avoided. Don’t do anything illegal – especially drugs – and you won’t have any problems. But hey – there is no difference to that in Singapore.

    Getting by without bribing governmental institutions or officials (e.g. for Visa and other things) is very well possible – it just sometimes requires more time and patience. If you feel better spending money than your time, you can always engage an agent to do these things for you. It then simply depends what costs more, the bribe or the agent. So it’s up to you in which way you want to support the local ‘economy’. :D

    Just don’t expect a very efficient and quick bureaucracy like in Singapore and you are well set. Things will work here as well in the end.

    All the best for you move! ;-)

  39. EbonyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thanks so much for this information. As a potential first time visitor to Bali I found this so interesting and helpful

  40. JDNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi, I’m Indonesian-American actually. So sick and tired of this Western life now ;( OK, I have this question, how do you handle your tax as a German? Do you also know by any chance how the American fellow travelers like you handle their tax thing? Or maybe even a pointer or a link, if you have. I’ll start roaming again in 2010 I guess. So I’m trying to get armed with the right information.
    Thanks a lot!

  41. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi JD, there is definitely an advantage in the German Income Tax System here. I get only taxed in the country where I earn money. As I’m currently not residing in Germany I don’t pay any taxes there. If I would work in Indonesia I’d only have to pay taxes here, but I don’t. When I was working in Singapore I only paid my taxes there – so it’s really pretty straight-forward.

    The American tax system is – as far as I know – based on world-wide taxation. That means, wherever you work on our planet, the IRS will get its share of your income. I don’t know what would be the best way to handle that, probably via an Accounting/Tax Expert or Expat Support Service like ORCA or else. Maybe some of the American readers can elaborate a bit more how they do it?

  42. BettinaNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey Chris,
    Great Info…
    I’m just wondering what the absoult cheapest would be to live renting a studio apparetment, single person and still eating cleaning all that jazz :P would be for say a year?
    Working with the Australian $ …
    > . .< :)

  43. JDNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thanks Chris! Sorry for my late gratitude.
    BTW, I do wish to see less Aussie in Bali. No Aussie is even better. They are completely white-trash. You know what I mean, right?
    German like you is ok though.

  44. RaviNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Dear Chris,

    I am from Vancouver Canda with a wife and 2 year old and one on the way..I am seriously thinking of moving to Bali for a year. I have sufficeint funds to live there for a year so that is not an issue…the questions i have are regarding the aspect of raising kids there….ex pat Social scene for the young family type..also asshe is preggers with number 2 …due Dec 26th are there good facilites availble for a home birth? difficult question but any info would be most appreciated..

    The concept of living there for a few years whilst the kids are still young intrigues me…..

  45. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Bettina, just scroll down a bit in the chart above, you cam find the prices for that under Housing. With Studio Apartment it’s a bit a hit and miss, depending on the facilities. You can rent one from as low as Rp.300.000-500.000 (Kos Kosan, maybe the cheaper equivalent to a Studio) and up only the sky is the limit. An average I would say is maybe 2 Mio to 5 Mio, if you want a decent apartment (3-5 years old) with modern equipment.

    JD, I sometimes have a similar feeling with my fellow Germans as well. But then, you have black and white sheep in any herd, and let’s not forget the even more colorful ones. ;-)

    Ravi, I want to strongly encourage you to try that out. It’s really not that difficult, plenty of foreigners live for a shorter or longer period of time here. Myself, I wanted to stay maybe a year, now it will be almost 2. Kids are naturally welcomed here and won’t have difficulties of bonding with others, foreign or local alike. Bali has as well modern medical facilities, if you want to be really sure, use Australian-operated hospitals or medical institutes like BIMC. About home birth, I have to pass – I’m sure it’s possible, many Balinese do that also, but I have no idea about that concept. You might want to check with local hospitals, if they offer that as a service as well?

  46. RaviNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Dear Chris,

    Thank You for your prompt and courteous reply. Much appreciated. I will look into the Australian hospital facilites also.

    Can you recomend a place for a young family to live …close to the beach and amenites and ex pat community ….but not too close to the night clubs and noise..?

    Also what about car and driver…. do i have to buy a car? or should we cab it? how much to get a driver and car for on call duty?

    I will be working in Bangalore bi weekly also FYI. I welcome your thoughts and once again thank You for your valuable insight..we should meet up for beers when i get there? You rule…thanx for your help…

  47. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Ravi, you might want to check out Seminyak, Kerobokan or Canggu just north-west of Kuta. That’s where most foreigners live who don’t want to have the noise. It’s a pretty mixed area and taking your time to look around, you can still get good deals on housing. Jimbaran and further to the South can be interesting too, great scenery, but I heard that in the dry season, it can be hard to have water permanently. It’s quite rocky and dry in general.

    Plenty of foreigners live in Sanur as well, there is a substantial Expat scene as well.

    You can rent or buy a car – it really depends on your needs. A driver for a day can cost anything between Rp 80.000 – 300.000, so if you plan to have one permanently, it may be better to employ one. Thus you could get away with Rp. 750.000 to maybe 1.5 Mio. Rupiah, As well, driving yourself isn’t that hard once you get used to it.

  48. aliNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris, next year i’m planning on living and studying in bali for 6months-1year on a social visa. I was wanting to know how much is the cost of living per month for living in legian/seminyak/west denpasar (near nakula) in a 1-2bedroom indonesian style house or apartment or bungalow? I’ve got many friends that i’ve asked about this but it seems a get a different answer everytime. Food etc i’m happy with local food (nasi bungkus/campur etc) along with the occasional western meal. I’m also probably going to buy secondhand motorbike which i’ll sell at the end of my stay. Cheers, Ali

  49. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    ali, to help finding your own specific costs of living, I compiled the above chart for you. You may get different answers from different people, as only you will know your needs and demands. Do you smoke? How many pack a day? Like to drink beer? Party? Need 4 beer or 8 cocktails to enjoy your night out? See the point? ;-)

    There are people here surviving on USD 500 a month, most Expats I know need between USD 1.000-2.500 and other spend easily USD 5.000 or more. It all depends. Take your time to find the place you like and avoid touts and agents, you can save more money doing that. If you don’t have time, but plenty of cash, simply do the opposite. :D

  50. SydjapanNo Gravatar JAPAN Says:

    Hi….wow…talk about EXACTLY what I have been looking for! I was all over the expat sites and have been looking everywhere for this and other information about Bali. Thanks! I really like the large amount of info. that requires/allows me to sift through and make my own judgements. Lots of interesting stuff. Naturally, any additional “costs” for living in Bali such as internet/phone costs would be great. Was wondering if there is a section/article about visas on here? It is a VERY confusing but important topic. Thanks again!

  51. sophNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    just wanted to say thanks for all the useful advice and information in the chart. im off in 2 days and i cant wait, im so excited!!!

  52. Robbie MarshallNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    hi mate is there a limit on bringin rp into bali i have changed 5mil and have 800usd is that ok with the customs there

  53. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    soph – have a great trip and plenty of adventures! ;-)

    Robbie Marshall, if I remember correctly, the limit is 10 Mio Rupiah, so you should be fine. Just watch out for crook money changers, it’s most of the time better, to simply draw local currency with a bank or atm card. The fees are comparable.

    Sydjapan, just click on the ‘Visa category’ in the sidebar to the left. There are a few articles you might want to read first. If you have any specific questions, just post them in the comment form of the respective article. Thanks!

  54. Robbie MarshallNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Thanks :)

  55. aliNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris, thank you so much for the advice! I’ll be back in Bali at the end of the year and I have also have a strong social network up there whom all have said they’ll help me find somewhere to live. Just their idea of the cost of living in Bali is a bit different to mine (120USD per month !) I think i’ll plan for about 1000USD per month just be be on the very safe side. I smoke alot more in Bali than usual as its so cheap but dont drink that much, probably once per week or fortnight. I cant believe people would spend 5000 a month! Are they eating at ku de ta and drinking over priced australian wine every night?!? Again thanks for the advice. ali :)

  56. AANo Gravatar VIET NAM Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great information!!!
    My wife and I have been living in Vietnam for the past 7 years. I work in the furniture industry and she works in the hotel industry.
    We are planning to move to Bali to live there, for a year, or as yourself, for longer! We know South East Asia pretty well, are accustomed and love to be living here. I reckon from your info that we may live on about $2500 usd/month including house and home expenses (that’s now a bare minimum in Vietnam for 2 expats)
    We have a new born baby, so no bar hoping or anything like that for us. We are considering Bali for its beauty, generous spirit and access to a wonderful natural environment. We both love sea activities.
    I would like to ask if you have any resources for job hunting and what you think salaries are like in the furniture industry ?
    My wife wont be working, so I would need to make enough to live and enjoy the island. In any case, we are very excited and feel lucky to be even able to consider moving there!

  57. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    AA, wow, where do you live right now in Vietnam, spending USD 2500 with ease? I would say you can survive fairly well on that money here in Bali, including your little family.

    For job hunting I would start with the Bali Advertiser, The Bali Times and other publications which advertise jobs. I saw that you posted on the forum as well, that’s also good. But check around with other Expats too. I’m not familiar with the furniture industry, but from what I see, it’s highly competitive. There are countless furniture shops in every main road all over the island, so unless you know what you’re doing and bring experiences/clients from other countries, I would see it as a tough bet.

  58. AANo Gravatar VIET NAM Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the feedback.
    We live in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon) and yes cost of living has climbed steeply in the past 5 years, and specially in the past 3 years.
    I will check for local furniture manufacturers etc… I have a good network of international clients and experience in international sales and marketing that I hope to present to companies in Bali.
    For housing, are there double pricing? Meaning a price for locals and one for foreigners? (that’s the case in Vietnam) Any good sites for house hunting?

  59. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    AA, oh yeah, here is plenty of double-pricing. I would recommend coming here and taking your time for house-hunting. Also try to talk to the owners instead of talking to agents. Agents will definitely inflate the rental prices to increase their commissions. Drive around the area you like and look for the rental signs with telephone numbers. Make calls and see at least 10-15 objects to get a better overview of the market. Don’t agree on the first price thrown in, but negotiate, negotiate, negotiate! ;-)

    I like HCM/Saigon very much, it has a nice laid-back charm. Didn’t know that it became so expensive though. Anyway – all the best for your move and all the new plans!

  60. AANo Gravatar VIET NAM Says:

    Thanks for the info Chris,

    If you do come by Saigon, let me know, we’ll grab a 333 Bia Lan!

  61. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    AA – thanks for the offer! I will take you up on that one day! ;-)

  62. Travel101No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I am making a trip to Bali in Oct 08. I had a few questions?
    I live in with your expense chart..i should be fine

    tell is the cell phone network? Do you get pre paid cell sims easily? Wats the cost? Am looking for an accomodation for 2 weeks max 1 week min. I doubt they have websites to get a decent house/bungalow. Where do you suggest i should search for these? I am looking for a furnished place.

    What about driving? Can you rent cars from airports? Do they have Hertz etc? What side of the road do they drive? UK or US Style? Is Bali a safe island?

    Whats the best way to travel to bali? Coming from LA?

    Thanks buddy!

  63. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Travel 101, there are at least half a dozen prepaid providers available here, you can buy a SIM card literally at every corner. You can rent cars or bikes (scooters), although more expensive at the airport. I’m not sure about Hertz, but there are some bigger rental companies at the airport, although I would take a taxi first and rent somewhere close to my hotel. It would be much cheaper this way. Driving is on the left side of the road. Best way to get here is surely by plane, but I’ve no idea, what’s the best airline from LA currently. Probably Singapore Airlines, Cathay or Thai – I’m not so up2date about American airlines per se. Is Bali safe? Safer than most American or European Cities, I would say. Burglary or Pickpocketing exist here as anywhere else, but hard crime is veeery rare. Regarding safety, there is an interesting thread over at Lonely Planet, for anyone who is interested. Anyway – all the best for your trip! ;-)

  64. ChrisNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris.

    Firstly may i say, many thanks for taking the time out and making this blog with all this invaluable info. It has really helped me a lot in assessing everything.

    I’m living in Australia at the moment and studying a very demanding course correspondence through a UNI in South Africa. So i just want to go somewhere inexpensive to just chill and study without having to worry about paying my way in a place like Sydney which as you probably know is ranked as one of the most expensive cities in the world to live in, and easily the most expensive in Australasia.

    Do you know any good sites I can check out for apartment/villa/flat/house rentals?

    Many thanks mate
    Keep up the good work

  65. BillyNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Very valuable information here. Any experience using VPN and Remote Desktop services as well as VoIP services like Vonage in Bali and/or Jakarta areas?

  66. Tim KNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thanks for the valuable information chris

    Also interested in answer to billy’s comment. I’m currently work from home and do all my work over the internet. I’m considering moving to bali and curious to know if internet access and mobile phone services is reliable since it’s vital for my job.

  67. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Billy and Tim K, not sure about the detailed VPN or Remote Service you require, but they shouldn’t cause any problems. You can get meanwhile reliable and affordable internet in Bali, the services you need are just another layer on top of it. So, you might want to check out these posts and valuable comments, regarding Internet Access Options and 3G Wireless in Bali.

    Skype VoIP for instance works very fluent here including Video Chat and I tried successfully as a remote services with computers of my relatives back in Germany.

    Chris, the better option is to check here on the ground. My experience is that you don’t get the real good deals per e-mail or online. Come here, stay 1-2 weeks and drive around to your favorite area, to check the available options and prices. Negotiate and try again. This way you don’t overpay and don’t contribute (too much) to the ever increasing housing costs here. ;-)

  68. BiejNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    It’s great what you have done,Chris.Very informative.
    I’m flying solo to Bali tommorow from Kuala Lumpur. Hope the prices from your chart are still current.:) I’m only taking a decent rp3.5mil to spend for 4 days. I haven’t booked any accomodations, but I’m only eyeing the budget Inns that are plenty around Kuta. Do you know by any chance wether it’s peak tourist season or not? I’d be worried that my chances of getting a room would be slim. :(( If I calculate my spendings according to the prices on your chart, I think I’ll survive,don’t you think? I’ll be moderate. The cheapest room I’ve seen on the net is $12 per nite at Suka Beach Inn. Could this true? If it is, I fear that it’ll be fully occupied. Any suggestions for spontaneous travelers like me in going about looking for a cheap place to stay? Could I just walk-in without reservations?This is my first trip out of Malaysia, I hope Rp3.5mil is enough to at least enjoy myself there, even a little bit. ;;) Wish me luck…


  69. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Biej, while I admire your adventurous side, it IS currently high season in Bali. It can be a bit difficult to find a cheap room, as there are heaps of tourists around. Your best bet is probably walking around the Poppies Lane/Kuta area, checking out the cheaper guest houses OR to get out of Kuta as soon as possible! Probably it will be easier and cheaper to find a stay in Kuta, due to more choice and easier access. Best of luck!! :D

  70. NadegeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    My family and I are coming in October to Sanur. This is our first time in south east Asia and we are very excited. My nine yr old daughter is concerned about snakes, should she be?
    What are the must see in Bali?
    No beach (we live in Honolulu, Hawaii).
    Thank you for all your help.

  71. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Nadege, although there are plenty of snake species in Bali, most of them are harmless. You won’t probably see any of them during a normal holiday.

  72. ginaNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    hi chris,

    i am a filipina (philippines) and had been offered a job to work in Indonesia in the garments industry.. i was having second thoughts because though there are similarities in culture and language, i dont have knowledge in the cost of living. Its great therefore to have found yoursite for the very informative piece there regarding costs and stuff… thank you!

  73. RelliesNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Very informative site man!!! I have been sponsored by a company in Bali and am moving over there in Nov 08 from Perth AU . My needs are simple as a single male, although enjoy the obvious party on occasion . If a furnished rental equates to $300 US p/m in Jimbaran or similar, what are the costs of other ammenities (power etc) ? Realistically $500-1000 US per/m – is comfortable??

    I wish to live close to the beach however not in the club / hussle regions – any areas you can recommend?
    Insurances – better from this end or are there companies there worth checking out?



  74. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    gina, thanks for the compliments and all the best with your new job! ;-)

    Rellies – all in all, your budget is perfectly realistic for a single male to get along!

    I can’t tell you much about insurances, as I don’t believe in the whole concept. But there are some Expat insurances here also, though it may pay to compare a bit with the ones offered in your home country. Medicine is overall cheaper than in the West, medical services are from very basic and local to what-costs-the-world-all-best-standard. And you could always fly to Singapore, if in need of some serious fixing. ;-)

  75. dimosNo Gravatar GREECE Says:

    hi there.very good site my gave me a lot of information which i really needed.well done =D>

  76. dodgy stooNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    $5000 a month, sounds a bit much i took just under $5000 for 6 weeks in bali with my wife and 2 children, i ate at restaurants, hired a bike, hired a car, took taxis , presents for my family, shower, tv, for there home, bribed the police, ate all day my wife went shopping everyday and bali women can shop harder then most women and i couldnt spend all my money , i came back with $1000, possibly $2000 if i wasnt giveing it away .
    =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D> =D>

  77. Patrick CannonNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris
    Your info is really great. Been looking at numerous sites re-early retirement ,Costa Rica, Dominica Republic, Ecuador etc but all are really to far from home. Except for Bali !! After what has been happening in the financial markets, things are pretty grim. If I brought over AU$350K could I really buy a small place (2 bed, 2 bath, aircon, telephone connection, laundry, outdoor area to have a BBQ) close to golf course and beach and live off the rest. I have no children or partner. I will not receive a pension of any kind for 9 years as I am 51 now. Small super in 4 years. What power do you have there? I would like to bring my electrical stuff etc. What would the cost be for a good piece of rump or fillet steak cost? Sausages? for a bbq ofcourse. The cost of a reasonable car to go to the golf club, food shopping etc? 5 year old and small. No need for extravagance there. Do you know any expats around my age from either NZ or Aust that is now living there who may wish to give me a hand via the internet?
    Am going to plan a 3 week visit to have a look around. During that visit, where do you think I should make my headquarters?
    Lets see what comes of this
    Many Thanks

  78. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Patrick, it’s good that you will come here for a short trip first, before making your decision to move permanently. This way you can experience the place firsthand and make up your mind, if Bali is for you. You should be fine with the money you have, although I would recommend against buying property. Sure, there are plenty of Villa Enterprises, who will tell you differently, but the facts remain – there is no legal and safe way for a foreigner to own land or a Villa in Bali.

    As well you won’t have troubles finding other Aussies or NZers to connect with, just use common sense, if people try to help you too much. As like in every holiday paradise, rip-off and other scam artists exist aplenty. ;-)

  79. Patrick CannonNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris
    Can you tell me of some websites to look at rental/lease properties?
    The ones I have found so far are very expensive compared to your list.

  80. IshaNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hi Chris…
    very useful information you have kept…
    I am from India..and want to plan my honeymoon in Bali..

    can you guide me for the same..??


  81. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Patrick, you won’t find the best deals on websites, as most of the better deals are offered by locals who either don’t know the internet or can’t afford agents. I would recommend a local approach as well on finding those deals. Rent a bike/car and drive around the areas you would like to live. You will find rental signs aplenty with the direct telephone numbers of the owners. No middleman, no agency, no overhead for internet advertising. Don’t forget to bargain though! ;-)

    Isha – wow, what a nice thought celebrating your honeymoon in Bali. Although I must admit that I’m the wrong person to ask on how to organize it. I’m neither married and I right now only one person I know come to my mind, who did that here in Bali – Travel Betty. Maybe you want to get in contact with her?

  82. TerryNo Gravatar not found Says:

    hello Chris, greetings from Mauritius. I have questions for the ‘other way round’. I would like to recruit 2 spa therapists to work in Mauritius, as expat for 1 or 2 years. How much do you think I should offer as wages for someone to work abroad, taking into consideration airticket & accommodation be paid by the company in Mauritius ?

    For a similar expat position in the admin department, how much would be a good salary? Would US$ 600-700 be interesting?

    Thanks, Terry

  83. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Terry, I have to pass on this one. For local Indonesians there are for sure certain formalities to comply with, of which I have no idea of. It could help though to ask your question again in the Bali Forum. There are always knowledgeable people glad to help. ;-)

  84. IshaNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hi Chris..

    Thanks for the information but that link is not opening.. :(


  85. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Isha, oops, just saw that you have to click through on the link which comes after. Or try only without the www in front. ;-)

  86. JustinNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hey, i’m interested in moving to either bali or jakarta, i am a chef with about 3 years experience. What type of salary would I be looking at there? And would that be enough to survive off of?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated…
    Also, how long of a process is it to get a work permit? (1 year permit)

  87. JohnNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Chris, this is really good info. I hope you have time to update it. Here’s a question for you, though. Is it significantly cheaper to shop for food – rice vegetables, tofu, tempeh, fruit,etc. – in local ‘pasar’ or in supermarkets? E.g., in Thailand now, in urban centers, supremarkets can actually be cheaper beacuse of their bulk purchasing power. And what about quality?

  88. Living the Good Life in Bali - a Wrap up after 2 Years | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] From Food, Drinks, to Housing or Transportation – Bali will give you plenty of bang for your buck. Your Dollar or Euro will go a long way here – if you want to calculate that in more detail, check out my Cost of Living Chart for Bali. […]

  89. russellNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hi chris, how much to rent a 3 bedroom standard indonesian house in bali for a year,bye russell

  90. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Justin, I’m sorry – can’t help you with that. Hoped that somebody would answer, that’s why my late reply. It all would depend on your international experience and skills. You certainly would be able to live comfortably off your salary. A Working Visa is usually furnished in short time, once you have a confirmed employer.

    John, it usually is cheaper to buy bulk on a local pasar, but supply can be unsteady and limited. If the Tofu is finished that day, it will be finished. That wouldn’t happen so easily in Carrefour or any other big retailer, but then it surely depends on how much you buy and what kind of products. Quality-wise you can have good or bad luck in both. I bought milk and cheese which was off in Carrefour, even before expiry date. Old fish hit us on our local market, Pasar Taman Sari, but the Cat had the worst of it.

    russell, too many factors to consider here. Location, layout, standard, facilities. It will probably be anything around Rp. 3-7 Mio. per month. More easily, if you engage an agent to find your special place for you.

  91. mitchellNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    heading to bali this saturday from perth and wondering if 3million rupiah would be enough for my basic living like few beers every day :) shopping, taxi and meals. already have a place to stay.

    thanks mate

  92. JasonNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:


    I am Jason a commertial pilot in usa . I want to fly at a beautiful place .
    although got a job offer too from a company based in Jakarta . They are paying on average $1000-$1300 Per Month, housing and food (local) is also provided .
    Is this enough to stay there and even save some money for my further training .
    Planing to work for 18 months .
    Is food a problem there for americans and what about local food , can we adjust with that or its totaly different from what we have

    How much will i be spending on average for a normal living habits


  93. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    mitchell, Rp. 3 Mio for how long? For a week for you alone I would say sufficient, for a month probably not. It all depends on your lifestyle.

    Jason, is that USD you are talking about? It still sounds a bit too low, if you are a commercial pilot, even though housing/food would be provided. I have no idea about salaries in the airline industry, but for Jakarta standards I would guess that it’s pretty low for a Pilot.

  94. mitchellNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    cheers chris
    it will be for 8 days cant wait man lol.
    but sounds like it should be enough money :) can u recommend any good places to shop?
    stayin in legian….
    or should i just play it by ear?
    dont live like a king just a beak from work and a few pressies and grog lol so should be enough u think?
    cheers for the info if i see ya there i’ll buy you a drink mate

  95. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    mitchell, for shopping, Erlangga Market in Denpasar is famous for cheap clothes and all the kinds of souvenirs you find in the touristy areas. Just that Erlangga has price tags, so no bargaining and no rip offs. Matahari or Ramayana shopping centers are nice as well for everything else. You can find them in Kuta or Denpasar.

    After 2 years Bali, I moved on to Goa already, so we probably have to postpone the drinks for now. Anyway – enjoy your trip! ;-)

  96. PhilNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    Such a good source of info………..i have no questions left.Thanks very much…..going to bali to surf and chill for a fair while!Cheers!

  97. RizkyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    thx for the info chris. i’m from jakarta and just got a new job at an IT company based in seminyak. i’ll be moving to bali by the end of this year. this article will be a great help to start planning my move.

    but i still have a few questions:

    1. where can i find more info about kos-kosan, rumah susun or other rented housing?
    2. i heard public transportation basically doesn’t exist in bali. should i buy a motorcycle?
    3. r u planning to add laundry cost to ur chart anytime soon? if u do, could u also add the cost of hiring a maid? here in jakarta there are maids that’s only hired to do the laundry (i dont know if this is also common in bali), so u might wanna add this too.

    btw, currently 1 USD == IDR 13.400 [via:]

  98. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Rizky, the smaller rooms are usually not offered via agents, you have to drive or ask around and find them yourself.

    You heard right, besides ‘bemo mini buses’ there isn’t much of public transportation, you would have to rent/buy a bike or a car. Maybe even with chauffeur, but coming from Jakarta, the traffic here shouldn’t be a problem for you.

    I currently don’t plan to update the chart with extra positions, as I can’t verify them (I moved to India recently). There are countless laundries everywhere in the main centers, most charge per Kilogram, or they have price lists. You will have to shop around and compare a bit. For a household of 2 persons, we spent around Rp 100.000 every 2 weeks for laundry.

    You can have a maid as well, again as live-in maid for 300.000 to 500.000 per month. It all depends, what you want the maid to do and if they live in your place or come (every day, bi-weekly or else) to your place to work.

    Yup, the Rupiah is much lower the last couple of weeks, I will probably update the exchange rates of the chart in a few days. I want to wait first, if the trend continues or reverses and the Rupiah will go back to more normal levels. I wrote an article about that just today. Have a great time in Bali! ;-)

  99. arthalienaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    how often do you update your currency chart?

  100. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    I will probably update it within the next 2 weeks, when I publish one for Goa/India as well for direct comparison.

  101. yotasyaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    hi chris,

    I’m from jakarta, but dont know much about bali like u. Well.. I must move to bali on dec 15th to start working at hotel there in tuban. can u give me some info about ‘kos-kossan’ for me around it ? i need full furnish+bathroom+ AC in my room. thanx

  102. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    yotasya, as I said many times earlier, you would have to come here first and look around for yourself. Kos kosan is mainly a one-room flat and never advertised on the internet or elsewhere, otherwise it wouldn’t be so cheap.

    There are plenty of them in the Tuban area as well, just walk around in the second row (away from the main road) or ask around. People are very helpful and I’m sure you won’t have problems finding some. The should cost anything between Rp 400.000 to 800.000/month, depending on how old, bath inside/outside, if AC, furniture, tv, electricity included etc.

    Have a good trip and good luck for your new job in Bali! ;-)

  103. Cost of Living Chart - Goa, India (in Rupees, Dollar and Euro) | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

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  104. QuickrouteNo Gravatar ARGENTINA Says:

    Good list – Of course being Irish I checked beer and am surprised local beer is so expensive in comparison to other food stuffs – must be an additional tax?

  105. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Yup! Beer is one really expensive item in Indonesia, compared to neigbors Philippines or other countries in Asia like Laos, Vietnam or even Thailand.

    Here in India, beer is cheap as well, although not so tasty like a precious Bintang or Bir Lao, due to the glycerne they use as preservative in India.

  106. RamonNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    You live in India now? I’ve travelled as well now but i’m now making my last stop in Bali. lots of respect to people like you though> how long have you been doing this and where else have you been or are you planning to be?
    have fun.

  107. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hi Ramon, just read the box “Who’s that guy?” in the left sidebar. ;-)

    There are no concrete plans for other destinations so far, but I will stay probably another few years in the Asia region. Simply love it here, weather, food, people-wise.

  108. ZuziNo Gravatar SPAIN Says:

    Hi Chris
    Your resourcefulness and easy approach are impressive and likeable.
    I am a Singaporean who have lived the last 20 years in Europe. I have 2 children and in recent years, feel a pull towards moving back to Asia. I still have family in Singapore but have no desire to live there with my kids (visits are OK). I am thinking of visiting Bali for a few weeks next summer with the children (June 2009) to have a feel of the place with the intention of moving there at least for a couple of years the following year.
    Since we would not have a lot of time to get to know Bali well enough to decide on which part to relocate to, I write to ask for suggestions. Ideally, near the beach but not too touristy and also preferably close enough to the mountains. Would you recommend looking into Ubud or Sanur parts of Bali?
    I hold a Singapore passport, speaks English as a native does, have done a TEFL course (though 8 years ago now) – how easy or difficult would it be for me to get a teaching job there?
    My kids are of schooling age and have no Bahasa behind them – would like preferably place them in a public school where English is also taught alongside Bahasa.
    Your information and suggestions are much appreciated. Thanking you in advance.

  109. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Zuzi, your approach, coming to Bali for a few weeks is the right way to do it! Some things you can probably clarify via internet meanwhile (see below). Sanur could be a good choice to live and even from Ubud the ocean is only 1-2 hours drive away. Another option could maybe be Singaraya in the North, which sees less tourists and is pretty nice and quiet. Seminyak or Canggu could be options as well, due to close proximity of international schools. So far so good.

    Now to the more difficult parts: job, visa and schooling. You can certainly try to land a better-paid English teaching job, but it could be difficult to get one (lot’s of competition). A local job wouldn’t be sufficient to supply you 3 guys, especially when you are used to Europe’s standard of living. Internationally paid jobs are very rare in Bali. The average salary is between 1-3 Mio. Rupiah, definitely not enough for a family of 3, who isn’t born here.

    Visa is another topic, where I would see need for clarification. Singapore and Indonesia are both ASEAN nations, but even among those there are different regulations. You should check, how long you can stay on your Singapore passport in Indonesia. Initially there is no VOA (Visa on Arrival) necessary for ASEAN countries, but if I’m not wrong, the time to stay is limited also. So you would probably need a different Visa for longer stay. And your children would probably need their own passports (what citizenship do they have?). Maybe you can check with the Indonesian Embassy or reader Channel 1 can answer that. You might want to contact him via his website (see link), as he is doing Visa services as well.

    The next thing is schooling. Although I think it is possible to get your children into a local school, teaching is definitely done in Bahasa Indonesia except maybe for English as a subject. That wouldn’t be sufficient for them. Another option are the international schools in Bali, which are mainly in the Seminyak/Denpasar area. They are more expensive as well, but lessons are done in English. Maybe you can contact them via the internet and inquire for rates and locations? Then you could check them out in detail, when you are here, visiting.

    You see, there is still plenty of homework to do, as well I can’t unfortunately answer all your questions. Sorry! :(

    Anyway, all the best for your next steps! ;-)

  110. robertNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    the only difference between Asean passport holders and others is 30 days free VOA…it used to be 60 days…

  111. The Best of Nomad4ever in 2008 | nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

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  112. Dave HNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hey Chris,

    Great blog. I’ve spent many months in Bali pre 2004 but have been off on other travels since then, but am coming back to settle for a few months before settling in Brazil (whoop!). Your costings are pretty much spot on and they haven’t really changed that much which is good news for everyone.

    My only advice to your readers is escape the kuta trap ……. many many pounds and dollars are frittered away there (we love to party). Hang out there a bit for sure, its amazing fun and i used to rent a room for a $3 as a base for the night to crash and recover but to settle for a while and experience Bali head out to a more rural area where its cheap and CHILLED.

    My question to you is about internet speed and reliability there these days. I know there is broadband, but is it fast? reliable? and are the wifi spots any good? I’m an intraday currency trader so reliable broadband is vital to keep me trading …….. and ultimately travelling.

    Thanks Chris. Keep up the great work!

  113. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Dave H, Brazil? Wow! That sounds to me like a great destination to settle down! I was only once for a week shortly before the South American Financial Crisis and the only thing I remember, that they fed me with lots of meat (stifado?) every day, until I couldn’t move anymore.

    Regarding internet in Bali, they have broadband (it’s called Telkom Speedy) and 3G as well. Reliability is both a mixed bag and depending on your location, although it was getting better with every passing year. You might want to check out my posts regarding ISP’s in Bali and XL’s 3G Service with more details and prices. A rant regarding reliability you can find here as well. Good luck! :D

  114. AJHinterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    what I read some of you have good access and experience to Bali
    maybe you can give me some advice..
    I want to move to Bali with my future wife (she is from Jawa Indo)
    I just dont have any income when I move how can i live has anyone got any ideas
    I have been offered a Hotel to rent or Villa which i rent and can rent out to other poeple but I am not sure if this is a serious business

    I will be thankful for any tips…..

  115. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    AJHinter, that’s a tough call. The best jobs with better (international) salaries are probably in the hotel and restaurant business, at least 4-5 stars. If you can work online on the internet with an international firm, that would be a way also. Or you are a famous DJ or Artist to perform at one of the many Bali clubs. Teaching English – maybe.

    Other than that – if you don’t offer any unique services or possess unique skill set or are already financially secure – it will be tough for you to make a living here. The average local salaries are something you’d spend in 1 week instead of a month.

    Renting a hotel or villa to sub-rent is nothing to make a living from in my view – too much competition and serious me-too service. Import/Export is done by many, but I would say more than 50% don’t turn a great profit through that, again competition, customs and other hidden costs.

    Sorry to disappoint you, but without any current income streams to come and start here from scratch will only work if you have serious savings to keep you afloat for awhile (at least 1 year), to keep you going to buildup your future income streams.

  116. LisaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    This information is wonderful!! Thank you very very much! I am an MBA student in the US with a huge global project on Indonesia. This cost of living information is impossible to find anywhere else – & I’ve been searching for days!!! I do have to say though that this project has given me a whole new perspective about Indonesia. I apologize for bothering you, but I was hoping that you could help me with three questions….Do you happen to know what the hourly minimum wage is there? the price per gallon of fuel? and (this is a hard one…anywhere I could find how to estimate the costs of building a soda bottle cap manufacturing plant (land, materials, regulation issues, etc.) there, specifically in Jakarta – but I’m thinking that there is close enough :-) This is completely a theoretical project…and it has been very very difficult to obtain any information. Any help at all would be greatly greatly appreciated! I know very few people out of my state and no one that lives out of the country! Again, Thank You!

  117. camillaNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    yup cris all the prices is same as me went go to indonesia is perfectly cheap.and you know whwt tootpaste only Rp3000,00 so cheap i hope i can stay more longer then when i back to visit indonesia thanks chris very good blog

  118. richard tNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    hi chris keep up the good work, great information!

    im looking at being in indonesia in july for a month and after seeing jakarta and a few other places in java im going to base myself in bali and see lombok, rinca etc.

    i was wondering where you would recommend in bali to stay for two people renting a 2 bedroom place for around 2-3 weeks, we would like some mod-cons but nothing too luxurious. we are both quite young (mid 20’s) therefore we would like to be near some entertainment but nothing too crazy. how much would you think renting a place woud be?

    plus what would you say a rough budget would be for 3 weeks in bali.

    thanks in advance

  119. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Lisa, sorry no idea about that. An office worker may earn around Rp 1-1.5 Mio per month, working Monday to Saturday. But salaries vary a lot and most people would probably make much less. So I’m not sure if that’s enough to calculate an average for your project.

    Camilla, somehow your style of writing remind me of some other reader of this site… ;-)

    Richard T
    , you can stay almost anywhere in the Southern tourist belt. Rooms and Villas are available in all price ranges, hard for me giving you any good particular recommendation. Most action is naturally in Kuta, but Jimbaran or Sanur are maybe for your liking as well. Renting a 2-bedroom place would probably be a Villa (more expensive, starting minimum from USD 75-100 per day) or 2 Hotel Rooms (from Rp 50.000 each to sky-high). If you plan to go to Lombok, the ferries go from Padang Bai, which is further to the East. Despite some Reggae Bars, there is almost no entertainment in East Bali all the way to Padang Bay.

    Regarding your budget – it’s all up to you. See the prices above and calculate: how much you’d like to party, if you need 2 or 3 full meals every day, if you like McDonalds or prefer local food and you can get a much better picture regarding your necessary budget than I could get using my crystal ball. ;-)

  120. ZoeNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey chris… Wow ur site is amazing…
    Ok im goin to bali for the first time.. even the first time out of aus for me .. i have heard so many great things about bali… do u think ausD 1000 will be enuf for my one week stay.. and i would like to see the tigers over there but couldnt find price or info about it … and also what are ur top 5 things u would tell a newbi like me to do whilst on holiday at bali

    many thanx Zoe

  121. ZoeNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Oh and is Kuta paradiso hotel a nice hotel and area to be staying in ??? ;-)

  122. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Zoe, congrats for taking your first trip out of Australia! 1.000 AUD should be enough for a week in Bali, depending on your needs for accommodation, partying and other expenses. Sorry, no idea about hotels, I stayed in a rented place the last 2 years. Tigers??? You probably mean the Bali Zoo? There is actually 2 of them, but I’m not sure, which one has Tigers. The most popular one (the Bali Safari & Marine Park) – even recommend by the late Steve Irwin – is just East of Sanur, on the highway to Padang Bai, but the entrance fees are quite steep. Something around USD 25 per person, if I’m not wrong. Good luck and have a great trip!

  123. AJHinterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    still interested in Bali……
    Thanks for the infos, I am still not sure how i can get to Bali and stay, to live 2-3 years is not aproblem on my funds,
    I am an advertising expert but I think in this line of business in bali is not so good,
    I also do Day Trading from europe is this possable from Bali, and if anyone knows with which company or Bank i can do online handle with cfds which is easy to make money and how about the connection?

    I also would like to rent out jetskis is this interesting? as far as i can see there are 3 companies in bali doing this.

    One company in Bali have garanteed me if i rent villas they will rent them out with 55-60% a year making a profit upto 50000,00 USD a year, I am not sure if they are cheating, it sounds to stupid to be true and they garantee this, I think they are not serious.
    Hope to hear from you all with some tips

  124. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    AJHinter, are you serious??? You are kidding, no??? This offer “Villa Rent Guarantee offer” is obviously a scam, there are many cases like this, especially in Bali. Be very careful with something, that sounds too good to be true.

    Just think about it, why would anyone guarantee you a profit of 50.000 USD a year? You are the foreigner and give some local a ton of money. They will promise you anything but will run as far as they can and you will never have a chance to even get back what you put in. Even if you have everything in Writing. Even if you find them. Even if you have a (good! and expensive!) lawyer. Even if you know the Police Chief of Bali.

    Remember, this is not your home country, being right and getting right are 2 completely different pair of shoes. I can’t believe that you even consider that offer, it’s for me simply a joke to see, how far they can go with a ‘bule begoh’. :-o

  125. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    AJHinter, sorry, forgot to answer your other questions:

    I don’t want to disappoint you, but renting out Jetskis isn’t a new idea. As you mentioned yourself, there are at least 3 companies who do that already, so first you will compete against local businesses (not a good idea, as you can easily run into trouble and nobody will protect you – the foreigner) and second you have only a “me-too” business. Third – it will require a substantial amount of upfront investment. Sorry, but I just don’t see how you will even be able to make ROI within 3-5 years, not to talk about making a living from that.

    Regarding Daytrading, that’s perfectly possible, either with your trading system back in Europe (just login via a secure internet connection). Make sure that you have a stable internet provider. There is as well a service provider for the JSX (Jakarta Stock Exchange) and BEJ (Bursa Efek Jakarta). One of their offices is at Jalan Marlboro close to the intersection Jalan Teuku Umar. They provide direct access via trading rooms, trading screens or connections to your home as well. I’m not so sure about the initial costs, but everything is possible.

    Sorry, if I may sound a bit too negative, but you can more easily burn a lot of money with businesses in Bali than making some. What you need is either a unique product, service or skill, an online business which is not dependent on the local economy or something where you have costs in local currency, but income in foreign (hard) currency. Any other business, where you offer “me-too” services or compete with locals will most likely fail. And definitely no Real Estate. No joke! :-B

  126. MukriNo Gravatar UNITED ARAB EMIRATES Says:

    hi..chris are you stay along in Bali..maybe i will come in short period time there for working..Now i’m stay at Dubai,UAE..if salary goes to SGD 5800 are good for get a quality life..

  127. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Mukri, I don’t stay currently in Bali, but in Goa/India for the last 4 months. After this I will probably move to other countries in South East Asia before moving back to Bali. Anyway – have a great trip and sure, with that salary you can live almost anywhere very well, especially in Indonesia.

  128. JeffNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey Chris,

    So me and a few friends are going to Bali for 8 or 9 days for mid-semester break. I read about the Bemo “buses”. Are they reliable at all? Or should we plan on having to take a taxi everywhere? We plan on going from Denpasar to Jimbara/Uluwatu and Kuta then back up north to Ubud. What would be the cheapest and/or most reliable way to travel around?

  129. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Jeff, sure the Bemos are reliable, although open and without aircon. After all, the Balinese use them every day. Bemos take as many people as will pay/fit and are a reasonable fast mode of transportation, although a bit of an hassle, if you have plenty of luggage.

    For me the best mode is renting a bike, but I can understand if you don’t want to risk your life in the crazy Denpasar traffic. The Traffic Cops of Bali are a different topic with which you have to deal, when driving yourself.

    If you are a few friends together, even taking Taxis is relatively cheap, if you only stay in the Southern part of Bali. Just make sure they use the meter and you should be set. ;-)

  130. JayNo Gravatar not found Says:

    Hey Chris,howsit going mate..
    Listen probaly out of all the websites ive checked yours has got exactly the information ive been looking for..
    A mate and I are going to Bali in April this year for amonth,pretty stoked and can hardly wait to surf some of the worls greatest lefts..
    We’re quite easy going blokes with no need for luxauries and sorts so on say bout $500.00 each you reckon we’l be alright?We have agreat place to stay round Uluwatu’s bout $100 for 30days so thats accomodation you think we’l do ok on the remainder? We’re from Africa by the way :)
    Appreciate you giving me ashout back

  131. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Jay, thanks for your friendly comment! I’m sure you guys will be alright with the planned funds. Uluwatu is pretty laid back and cheap. Food is very affordable almost everywhere in Bali, especially a bit further away from the touristy aeas, Uluwatu included. If you get bored out there, for more action you can always swing yourself on a bike and drive to Jimbaran, Tuban or Kuta. Maybe 30-45 minute ride. ;-)

  132. SueNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris

    My husband and I are thinking of relocating to Bali and wonder how we would go. My husband is a young 70 year old. He is a carpenter joiner by trade and would never live without doing something. I am a few years younger than him and can teach internet/typing/sewing/knitting etc.

    What sort of things should be our main priority etc.

    Thanks. Love your site.


  133. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Sue, you will for sure enjoy it! The locals are friendly and very respectful of elder persons. Just make sure you have your visa papers in order and move a bit away from the noisy and overcrowded tourists scenes. For a bit more quieter area, plenty of people like North Bali.

    Handicrafts are mainly produced in the area around Ubud, which you might want to check out as well, if you are interested in these activities. Best thing would probably be to check it all out when visiting before making the big move. What in particular are your concerns?

  134. NatashaNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Im going to Bali in 2 weeks time we are staying in Nusa Dua, we were looking at taking between £1500 to £2000 spending money for 2 and a 1/2 weeks. We already have our accomodation paid for and it is on a b&b basis, going off your chart at the top i am guessing that this should be plenty…would you just be able to confirm this and am i right in thinking that Nusa Dua is a little bit more pricey?
    Many thanks

  135. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Natasha -definitely confirmed. And confirmed also. Have a great trip! ;-)

  136. ShaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Chris, I appreciate what you’re doing here, and it’s great to speak with someone who takes the time to thoroughly answer all of these questions by everyone interested in living in Bali.

    I currently reside in the U.S., and don’t have a whole lot of money. You see, jobs are being cut left and right and I have lost my job. What little money I had is almost all gone, and I feel that my only way out is to live elsewhere in the world where what I have left will go a little farther than it would here.

    If I were to get myself to Bali on just $2,000 to $3,000, how long will that last me while I settle in (finding a job, getting a cheap place, maybe eat only 2 or 3 small meals a day, etc.)? I know you have said that it all depends on how you live, but I’m saying that I can live on as small a budget as I can for as long as it takes to come up with some sort of income.

    As far as my skill-set, I know enough to be a health and fitness trainer, I’m pretty good with computers, fluent in English, and I do quite a bit of writing (maybe work as a newspaper editor? I don’t know…).

    Any help would be appreciated, and thanks again for all your insights! :)

  137. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Sha, you are welcome. I feel you – concerning your job, costs of living and life savings!

    However I’m not sure, if it would be a good idea to move to Bali with 2.000 or 3.000 USD only. That would bring you probably over 2-3 months, if you live thriftily and don’t have high demands. But then what? Getting a job in Bali as a foreigner is the hardest thing, if you don’t have special skills, as there is always someone who will work more, longer and harder for less money. The average salary in Bali is around 1-1.5 Mio. Rupiah, which is currently app. 85-130 USD/month. No way you as a foreigner would be able to survive from that, as you’d pay already more for day-2-day items.

    If you don’t have a working internet business, can do successful stock or forex trading or don’t have special skills in the restaurant, hotel or tourist industry – it will be especially hard for you to survive more than a few months in Bali on that amount.

    Seriously. Plenty of locals speak great English, have excellent computer skills. You could try to check-out English schools, if they need a native speaker, but competition will be tough.

    And we don’t even talk about your Visa yet (costs, sponsor).

    Health and Fitness trainer might be something, but then you would certainly more cater to the Expat community, as that’s where most of the money is. Not sure, if you can build up something within 2-3 months. Regarding newspaper editor, there are some (few) English newspapers (mainly weeklies) in Bali, you might want to check beforehand, if they have any job openings. Google for Bali Times, daily Jakarta Post (Bali office), Bali advertiser (distributed free, Ad-financed).

    I’m sorry, if my reply doesn’t sound too rosy, but I seriously hope you can work out a way that works for you!

  138. JayNo Gravatar not found Says:

    Howsit going again Chris..
    Listen thanks for the response on my earlier message,appreciated alot..
    been living like a beach bum for the last month and abit just to get my ass over there haha
    Regards and Respects mate

  139. SueNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    We will take your advice. We have been to Bali before so we do know a smidgin of the life style and if we did decide to move there we would have no problem with income.

    All the best.

  140. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Jay and Sue, you are most welcome! Enjoy your stay in Bali or wherever you may roam. ;-)

  141. ManniNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I appreciate your advice in general.
    I live in Bali already several years and can confirm that your advice – especially for tighter budgets – is great.

    However, when it comes to a (great) living here, it’s wise to avoid many traps. Especially if you want to invest!

    It starts with the understanding that Asian have a smile for every mood.
    It’s the culture to avoid direct conflicts or confrontation. (loosing face).

    A Peer Steinbrueck (the German Finanzminister) would have big problems here.

    Don’t insist if they might reluctantly say MAYBE (mungkin), it was probably a ”nicer way” of telling you NO!
    Sure, some of them consider the foreigner as an ATM machine and try their luck, but they are harmless compared to the foreigners doing business here
    especially in “helping” other foreigners.

    They easily get your trust because they are white and speak your language and know your mentality!
    I call them Cowboys.
    A lot of them live and work in a grey area.

    It starts at the airport when they promise (on big ads) you can own freehold land.

    Bali is a dream island and people easily get carried away.
    They do or accept deals they never would do in their own country.
    (I sure paid my own lessons some 9 years ago.)

    legal) things are changing in Bali too.
    As a foreigner you can ”own” land but only with the right of use! (Hak pakai).
    That’s the most secure way for a foreigner (the government remains the owner).

    Using a nominee (= borrowing a name is tricky and dangerous, even they try to convince you it is not).

    Ask for simple documents before you buy, like, was the construction tax paid, exist the IMB (building permit) aand is the swimming pool mentioned, was the land and building tax paid in the last couple of years!

    Since last October: for any land deal is a tax number required!
    (The same is valid for business and many foreigners are having problems now).
    Eg: doing rental business without a license was very common!

    Even if you rent: Clarify (at least) a fire insurance.
    The landlord usually doesn’t have one and if you check the electricity cabling, you understand what I mean.

    There are many things to consider, but when you could avoid the worst traps,
    Bali is the best place to retire (that’s what I do).

    I did trading via e-banking myself.
    Globalxtreme (ISP) is reasonable ok.
    I cannot recommend to trade on the JSX. (Jakarta bourse).
    (you mentioned the possibility in a previous blog).


  142. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Manni, great insight here! Especially being aware of other long-term Expats. And I can’t stress enough the dangers of getting involved in real estate and property deals in Indonesia. There is nothing what can make your money disappear faster (maybe only doing drugs). As a foreigner you will never ever own land in Indonesia and real estate property probably neither. Even as an Indonesian you will loose out in court against a Balinese concerning estate in Bali and if your skin is even white, prepare to be taken for a great ride! :-?

  143. VivNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris
    Where is a good place to start looking for rental accommodation on the net as we are just trying to put a budget together for later this year. We have been to Bali many times and know our way around reasonable well. Thanks for the costs they are pretty much what we were paying in January.

  144. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Viv, I would say, forget online! The best deals you won’t find there. Only overpriced houses, villas or accommodation in USD. Get a hotel room for the first 2 weeks, rent a bike and drive around the area of your choice. There will be plenty available. You will see a small sign ‘for rent’ or better ‘dikontrakan’ and the owners telephone number on available houses. If there is an agent’s name, forget it. It will cost you an arm and a leg. The longer you rent in advance, the cheaper for you.

  145. ManniNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Some rental information in addition:

    The online issue for expats living in Bali can be interesting to get a feeling for some rental prices.

    This link is pretty useful.

    I myself was looking for a while into another interesting option:

    Looking into overcontracts for some leaseholds!
    If only some years are left on the current contract (1-2 years?), very interesting prices can be negotiated. They are usually furnished or semifurnished.
    Not many clients want them.

    If you are flexible, that gives a lot of time to look around for the future home.

    Most houses are declared as a “villa” (even they are not) and the less expensive ones/simpler ones are called a rumah.
    (Usually the difference is an existing swimming pool ?).

    Most owners asked for a yearly rent in advance.

    Be prepared to be responsible for any maintenance, insurance or other costs
    (garbage, banjar costs, etc.)

    It also depends if you live rather in an expat area or within a local housing area.


    Again, to rent on a yearly base, no rental license is required by the owner.
    But any short time rental requires a license and I bet, not many owner got one.

  146. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Great advice, Manni!

  147. VivNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey Guys
    Thanks for your help we will try what you suggest

  148. johnNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hi chris,

    i’ve only just stumbled across your website ….i love it :) lot’s of great info. i see you’re no longer in bali so not sure if you’re still taking questions on it? i agree with your pros and cons of the place. i’ve just returned home from my last trip there. i visited lovina and then amed on the east coast this time and have to say amed is almost my favourite place in asia. do you know much about the place? i’m considering living there for a while.



  149. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    john, sure, try it out! Just make sure, that you don’t overstay your Visa, as that could lead to manifold complications. Other than that – you are welcome! ;-)

  150. johnNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    thanx for the reply chris

    i’m sure you answer many questions but i actually had a question in there for you……”amed” do you know much about amed or have any useful tips or information about it other than it’s a great place to snorkel :) and yes the visa issue is one i need to figure out…leaving the country for a day every month is a pain and is costly

  151. ChrisNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    john, sorry – I simply didn’t know what you meant with your question “knowing much”. ;-)

    Amed is a pretty quiet fishing village, without any particular action and it has a nice hill overlooking the whole scene (called ‘Lovers Rock’, as that’s where the Beach Boys bring their prey for a romantic evening). They produce some of the best Arak of Bali here and in the neighboring villages. It’s called Fire Arak. Besides exploring that and what you mentioned (snorkeling), nothing much you can do there, but that’s what many people come here for. Simply hang out, do nothing and enjoy the day and surrounding nature in a very basic way. :D

    For me the best thing about Amed is the view towards Gunung Agung. It appears very close. Seeing the clouds built up there and the changing colors and cloud formations is simply breath-taking.

    I wrote some more articles about Bali’s Eastern coast (including Amed), you might want to check out this one and this one here.

  152. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hay i am going there in 3 months bye myslef and i wonted to know what would it cost to do like tours and staff over there .. and what is over there to do

  153. ChrisNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    ricky, congrats on your decision to visit Bali. There are many tours, tour operators, destinations and what else in all colors and price classes. It will be difficult without any specific details to shoot an average price for you.

    For a bunch of possible activities, you might want to check out the following article, especially the 2nd section ‘The Good’ and corresponding links from there. ;-)

  154. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    i am to stay at club bali jayakarta bali residence.. is there anything close to that i can do and is it cheap over there becasue i am goign to take about $1500 aussie dollars over there,, cheers mate

  155. ChrisNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    ricky, if that mentioned Club Jayakarta is in/near the Jayakarta Hotel in Kuta, that’s quite an upmarket resort.

    Still for tours I don’t know what you are looking for – zoo, diving, camel ride, see waterfalls, swim with dolphins, roundtrip around the island, volcano climb, jungle trekking or else. There are millions of options. In the above link there are some suggestions, but regarding prices, there’s way too many options to give any concrete advise.

    Upmarket hotels usually charge tours in USD, while if you look around and check with independent tour operators, you can pay in Rupiah, even negotiate and save a lot of money. $1500 Aussie seems quite a lot to me, but then it’s not clear if you stay 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 months and if you are a big spender/clubber and what you prefer to spend your money on. Cheap is something else for anybody.

    Generally I would say for an 1-2 week holiday it should be more than sufficient, but your mileage may vary. :D

  156. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    yer i dodnt know anything about the hotel becasue i got time share so i didnt choose it..and it is in Kuta..andi am there for just under 2 i will have to get me money converted to usd ?? and will $1500 be enough if i have to covert it to usd i will have 1103.10

  157. ChrisNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    Convert to USD? Sure, why not – if you want to go on tours 24/7. Otherwise I would insist on paying in Rupiah, after all you are in Indonesia. Right? :D

  158. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    cheers mate thanks for the help

  159. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    i am going to take aussie doallars think it iwill better

  160. kevinNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Hows it goin. I’m thinking of heading to Bali for around a month in June. How much $AUD do u reckon i wud need for to have a good time and b comfortable. I enjoy havin a few drinks couple of nites a week and will prob stay in half decent hostel but not fussy!! Will take up some of the well known activities and tours but dont want to spend too much on them!! Just a rough Backpackers estimate of costs please in order to have a good time for a month! Thanks

  161. ChrisNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    kevin, again – these estimations are hard to make from my side. I don’t know you, your funds or your spending habits. Most cost items you have in the spreadsheet above.

    Also I would always advise not to bring too much cash (or cash only). A Bank Card is much better, just draw what you need. You will avoid the crazy money changers and still get a good rate for your day-to-day expenses.

  162. MichelleNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Great blog! Inspired me and helped a lot as I’m planning a trip to Indonesia in August.

    I was planning to split my 15 days in Indo between Bali and Yogyakarta. Of course, I was planning to use a domestic airline to fly between Bali and Jogja…until I read about the airline safety record.

    Now, I’m thinking of staying only in Bali and trying to explore as much of the island as is possible. Do you think it’s worthwhile to do this – or would it be worthwhile to risk flying to Jogja for a couple of days?

    I don’t know much about Bali – do you know of any good hikes there?

    Is it better to book accommodation in Bali before August, or can I just arrive there and then find a place/places to stay? I’m afraid the reasonable accommodation places might be fully booked by the time I arrive…

    If you can help with info – thanks!!

  163. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Michelle, actually most Indonesian airlines improved their safety standards significantly over the last couple of years. The most notorious Airline (Adam Air) was shut down a while ago. I can especially recommend Lion Air for cheap and reliable travel within Indonesia.

    Regarding accommodation: I wouldn’t recommend booking too far in advance, as you will pay more. There are so many options available locally, there will also always be rooms in any range available. Also most hotel websites are poorly maintained and rarely up-2-date. To have Bali fully booked, the tourism numbers would probably have to double, which is pretty unlikely in the current economic climate. Just come here, check out the area you want to stay with a taxi and negotiate a hotel price locally.

    For a better overview of activities in Bali, you can also check out this article, including links.

    For hikes, there are plenty of options in Bali. Either ask a tourist information, which are every few meters in the most touristy areas, or rent a car or bike and explore the island yourself. You can also rent bicycles in most areas, but check this with a tourist information.

  164. MichelleNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    Thanks Chris – that’s probably the quickest response to an enquiry in the history of enquiring ^^
    I’m flying with Garuda airlines, which I’m told has an okay record (if you don’t count the couple of accidents in 2007 – I’m trying not to think about it too much). If Garuda is actually an awful airline, please let me know.
    Otherwise, thanks for all the info. I look forward to exploring the islands – as much as is possible in such a short time.
    And thanks for your website – it has helped me more than even my Lonely Planet guidebooks.

  165. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Michelle, you are most welcome. You also should be fine with Garuda! Have a great trip! ;-)

  166. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hay mate i payed off me trip to bali i am staying Bakung sari hotel kuta…. have u heard of that hotel? i am there for 10 days .. should be good

  167. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    ricky, no idea about your hotel! I never stayed in too many hotels anywhere in Bali. But I’m sure you will like it! Otherwise simply move to another, there is more supply than demand. ;-)

  168. rickyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    cheers mate

  169. ShaneNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Just wanted to thankyou for all the info on Bali. Just got back last week and took the costs sheet above with me and it helped out a lot, especially buying at the markets. Stayed away from Kuta except for the first night the Balinese were asking as why we were staying in Lembongan,Sanur and Ubud instead of Kuta with the rest of the Aussie’s LOL. I went originally as a cheap holiday, but was totally blown away by the culture, architecture and the friendliness of the Balinese people. I will definately be going back. Thanks again for a great website!!


  170. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Shane, wow – many thanks for your nice comment! Makes me really feel good and reminds me that it’s all worth it, coming up with new articles once in a while.

    I’m also happy that you enjoyed Bali and even better that you’re planning to return. It is truly a paradise island and over time you’ll love it even more. For me it’s also that when I’m away from Bali that I’m longing for it and can appreciate even more all the treasures it has to offer. Cheers mate! :D

  171. SueNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris

    How do expat Australians go in Bali for their regulation medications? i.e. blood pressure/cholesterol medication.

    You have done a marvellous job with all your answers.


  172. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Sue, thanks for the compliments! Regarding your question, tough to answer. I suppose they use (Australian-run) BIMC hospital or similar. I found them always at the higher end of my affordable price range. There are a few hospitals in Denpasar also, but it pays probably to shop around and compare prices first. ;-)

  173. darrwhylNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Great website.
    I have not read through all the posts above so I hope I am asking you to repeat yourself but…. What does it cost at an internet cafe in Bali for say a half hour or so?

  174. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    darrwhyl, if I remember correctly, it was between 3.000-6.000 Rupiah per hour, depending on location (Kuta more, Denpasar less)…maybe someone can update us with some current prices? :-/

  175. ajhinterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    Hi all
    I like this site very much, I like too see a well serviced site.
    I have written before a few times about livng in Bali, I asked for advice, and was not sure how i can get there, well things have changed to good and bad for me, i have a girlfriend from Java she stayed with me in Germany 1 year, now she says she wants to leave, our plan was to got to java where we have built a house together, she has paid a vast amount and me to, it was was a good project together i also helped her family with new accomodation in the new big house, in the time that the house was built i have concentrated on stock markets and invested my savings, with the hope i will be able to make a living in indo, well i studied so hard and took many risks and now i can say i make 100.000,00 euros a week which is crazy… just indo girls are a bit strange i dont know why they discard a clever good looking guy like me, who gave his sole, love and promise in making a good life for his future wife. What ever she do i will make a good life in Asia one day. Just don`t understand this culture..

  176. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    ajhinter, are you sure you’re doing the right thing? If you are in doubt it’s maybe time to assess where you are now and what you want to do?

    Surely Indonesians and all other Nationalities are different from our own (and other again also) and it’s hard to find someone ticking with the same wavelength like you. Just be careful with your money and don’t invest all your life savings at once (wherever you go)! As you found out already, things work different here and rules can change any time.

    Reg. the love and promises thing – sometimes I feel we Westerners are quite contrary to the typical Asian male, we allow for more independence and equality which for some maybe is too new/different a concept to grasp and deep down inside there is some insecurity in the female psych towards that (which can be overcome only over time together), but opens subconscious cravings for the established (role) models. Does that make sense somehow or sound to indirect or even macho-like? ;-)

  177. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris, I just arrived to Bali yesterday starting my nomadic life and wanted to update your list on two important items. Petrol went down to 4.500 Rps and a large Bintang went up to 17-20.000. Will let you know with more updates in the coming days.

  178. ajhinterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    Hi Guys and girls, Jurgen you must be German, but its does not matter, actually the Petrol prices are always around 4500 RP just in Bali the people get ripped off, I also have been ripped off in Bali at the petrol staion I filled my car which only can hold 120000 RP which I know but the Petrol boy turned off the meter and said 220000 RP I reported him to the police, but people be aware of the indos many will try to cheat because of there poorness.
    I have my life in Jawa its cool there but go shopping alone no way all are trying to make a fast Buck…… Jurgen would I be glad to meet up….

  179. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Jurgen, the Petrol prices were reduced again due to the Economic Crisis. Actually they should’ve left it at 6.000, as that would reduce their subsidies and increase the money available for other projects. But then – there are elections coming up… :D

    ajhinter, the petrol scams are everywhere. I had it also in Goa/India, where they simply ‘forget’ to reset the counter to 0 and add your fuel to the one of the previous guy. He paid already and you will pay yours and his and the petrol guy makes a quick profit. So always check, if the counter is set on 0. :-B

  180. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Chris, are you sure that petrol prices are subsidized in Indonesia? I always thought that they are just lower taxed than in the rest of the world. If you consider that on the momentary price of one liter petrol in Germany (Euro 1.30) the government takes nearly 70% in taxes from it, we are at net price about the same level as in Indonesia. Further I believe that, in case you’re right with subsidies, it’s better to let the common people have a real impact on their portfolios instead of making some corrupt politician or bureaucrat even richer.
    ajhinterYeah, let’s meet for a couple of drinks, maybe you can teach me in this occasion how to make 100.000 Euros a week… ;-)

  181. cyrylNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Nice website – congratulations!!

    I will arrive to Bali on July 3 and I am going to stay there for about two or three months. It would be too expensive for me to pay for a hotel for such a long time. Would you know if I could rent a studio or 1 bedroom apartment, furnished with internet access for two or three months only no more than EUR 200? What are should I be looking for?

    Secondly, I will have to do some medical checkup and I don’t have a good insurance so most of the costs I will have to cover by myself. Would you know about the costs of let’s say visiting a general praxis and doing some medical testing? I am asking coz currently I am staying in the Philippines and I was surprised when I visited a doctor here, especially the medicine was very expensive, much more than in some European countries for simply antibiotics. It is very hard to find some information about this topic in internet.

    And since I noticed that you are in the Philippines currently, how would you compare costs of living here and Indonesia? In general, where is cheaper?

    If too many questions, just getting answer to one of them would be already great. Thank you!!!

  182. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Jurgen, I’m 100% sure about that one. Even wrote an article about it some time earlier. The problem with Indonesia’s fuel is, that they are not very efficient in producing it. So even though the country has its own oil reserves, it became a net importer a few years ago. For more info, just google ‘indonesia fuel subsidies’. And yeah, you can’t really compare Germany and Indonesia, as the first practically imports 99% of its fuel, while Indonesia currently only imports a small percentage of its oil demand. ;-)

    cyryl, you might want to check out places like Canggu, Sanur or Nusa Dua (Village) for cheaper accommodation options than let’s say Kuta, Seminyak or Kerobokan. Try to find places directly from the owner (avoid agents) to get better deals and contract for the whole period instead of paying monthly, to bring the total cost down.

    Regarding medicals, you are right, the Philippines seem to be here on the more expensive side. Best thing for you in Bali would be to go to a general practitioner for instance in Denpasar or Kerobokan, you will pay around 50.000-70.000 per visit, medicine is extra. There are plenty of pharmacies, so best to shop around for the best price – you will be surprised, how much they can differ for the same kind of medicine. The Kimia Farma near the big Teuku Umar Junction (Kerobokan/Denpasar) has usually good prices – and they have practising doctors also or can refer you to a specialist, if necessary. For international standard, you could try the BIMC (an Australian-run hospital).

    Where is it cheaper, Indonesia or Philippines? Depends – Indonesia is generally cheaper, especially food-wise, accommodation (hotels) and overall cheaper costs of living. Cheaper in the Philippines is 3G internet (and more reliable, available also!) and beer (San Miguel of course), westernized/american-style food. That’s what I see so far.

    Have fun in Bali! ;-)

  183. KazNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    My partner and I are going to Bali next week for 7 days and were wondering how much AUD$ we should take. Accommodation is all paid for, will be looking at doing a few tours, eating and drinking out and a few spa treatments as well as a moderate amount of shopping.

    Fantastic website by the way :-)


  184. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Kaz, that’s hard for me to say and would solely depend on your behavior. I don’t know you and your drinking and food capacity, if you prefer local warungs, high-style restaurants, cheap stalls or Kartika Mall for shopping. My advice, bring some cash and a bank card and withdraw necessary funds accordingly. There are even Australian Banks, where you would be able to withdraw with less fees (aka Commonwealth Bank and others). Have lots of fun in Bali! :D

  185. MattNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    What a brilliant website Chris, thank you so much for the breadth of advice you have provided everyone.

    Just finished reading all the comments, I am 18 and travelling to Bali for the first time on the 7th of July for 8 days. Do you know the costs of branded clothing? e.g Quiksilver or Volcom
    Hoping to pick up a few bargains!
    Thanks again Chris, this is by far the best website for information on living expenses in Bali.

  186. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Matt, wow thanks for the friendly comment! Hope that you will have lots of fun in Bali and will return many times in the near future.

    Branded clothing – I don’t know the actual pricing, but there are some factory outlets of those brands mentioned in Bali (one near the airport at “Jalan Bypass” and several shops on Jalan Legian and in Kuta). A few years ago there was also Harry’s (or Hardy’s?) shopping center in Sanur for great bargains on brands, but I heard they stopped selling brands and concentrated on Bali crafts and souvenirs only. Anyway – shop around and compare, negotiate hard and don’t buy on the first days of your trip – you will most likely see what you like someplace else cheaper…. ;-)

  187. TimNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Chris, thanks so much for taking the time to answer everyones’ questions.

    Here’s mine… What one spot do you recommend I go for the remainder of July and August for the following: walk to surf everyday, exercise/run on the beach, live cheaply with my own private sleeping space, a relatively quiet place (night life is not very important). Should I rent a place for a couple of months or stay in a cheap hotel/losmen? And, are losmen like hostels with everyone sleeping in the same room?

    thank you very much

  188. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Tim, most surfing in Bali is either done at the West Coast (Kuta, Legian, Seminyak, Canggu), or Padang Padang further south to Dreamland. Some Pros go also to the cliffs of Uluwatu. The cheapest of those is probably Padang Padang.

    If you stay only for 4-6 weeks, it would make sense to either stay in a hotel or guest house or negotiate the whole term with your landlord (but make sure you spent at least a few nights in there, as bed bugs, roosters or other malices could make you forfeit your initial investment).

    No idea about losmen though, but with hotel rooms as cheap as 50.000 Rupiah per night including private bathroom, I would prefer to have my own instead of sleeping with a bunch of strangers in one room.

    Have a great trip! :D

  189. kenNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    HI Chris
    Im thinking of going out to Jakarta for a year under the TEFL teaching program – and as you can imagine its a pretty long way from Ireland, so Im just trying to find out as much info as possible before I make a final decision . Firstly – and its a bit of a wild one – have you heard of any pitfalls that TEFL teachers have come across when in Indonesia? . Secondly-they are offering a salary of up to €580.00 (per month!8,500,000 i think ) In your opinion – would this be a sufficient enough wage to get by without being on the breadline ?? Would this be considered a middle class wage ? Bottom line is im a bit concerned what my living standards will be under such a wage

    Thanks in advance


  190. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    ken, I don’t know about average salaries for TEFL teachers, but it sounds okay to me. I’m not sure, if you can survive on that in Jakarta, which is certainly more expensive than the rest of the country. For the rest of Indonesia (even Bali), I would say you will be fine, on top of the great life experiences you will make. Maybe they can throw in housing/accommodation or help you to find something also? ;-)

  191. davidNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    bali is great, cheap and paradise!! Would be perfect if the yanks would stay away….they are trash talkers!!!

  192. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    david, you are aware that many people say that about Aussies also? Not to start a thread about other stereotypes. ;-)

  193. MikeNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    This price guide is great, but it’s getting a little dated now. I am trying to an update list on my site:

  194. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Mike, sure go ahead – make a new one. It’s always good to be up2date. :D

  195. AnneNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    What an excellent site you have. I have beedn to Bali several times and often stayed in 3 to 4 star hotels. This time around I would like to stay in ‘homestays’ and the location will be in Sanur. I basically need a room with A/C and hot water. Do you know of any clean ‘homestays’ in Sanur with a ‘western toilet’ and not a ‘squating one’??? Ha! Ha! I will be travelling alone this time and hope to find a descent homestay in Sanur. You also mentioned about ‘Koskosan’, a room with attached bathroom for about Rp.400.000-700.000. That is pretty reasonable. I am not into pubs and beaches..Where can I find a ‘koskosan’.

    Thanks Chris, keep up the good work and look forward to hearing from you.

  196. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Anne, you simply have to look around – there are too many these days. Also most of them cater now to tourists and western-style toilets are becoming more common. ‘Koskosan’ look like small hotels/motels bungalow-style with simple rooms next to each other. If you can’t find any in the second/third row roads in Sanur; simply inquire inside the restaurants around. Most staff there know someone who rents out Koskosan. They are everywhere….good luck! :D

  197. AnneNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thanks Chris for your help. Will look around when I am in Sanur.

  198. JurajNo Gravatar SLOVAKIA Says:

    Chris, I would like to go to Bali for 10days with my girlfriend to see the country, ricefields, beach, tea plantation? have a cup of civet coffee, bali`s dancing,shoping… 1. do you think that 10 days is ok if I want to go to Lombok also? 2. we preparring our budget tight, so could you say how much we can spend on accomodation (with bath), food, local travel fee and so on.. please? `cause I am interested in I not sure I is better to go to Bali or Malaysia peninsula. We will arrive in Bangkok in October, but can not estimate the costs in Bali. Some people says that Bali is cheap, but I was in Thailand last couple of years, it was cheap. Is Bali cheaper, or eventually not, or the same What do you think :-? Please give us some suggestion… We will appreciate it because it will be our honeymoon but do not want to spend a lot of money… Thank you very much for your advice! Juraj

  199. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Juray, Bali is price-wise in my view comparable or even cheaper than Thailand. It’s hard for me to plan your budget, as I don’t know what hotels you prefer, what kind of restaurants are your thing and how much you will spend on souvenirs and else. All I can say is that you won’t probably spend much more than for comparable service in Thailand. I don’t know you as a person, so only you know what standard you prefer and how much money you usually spend. The table above can give you some suggestions regarding food and hotel prices, just choose your preferred category and add it up. Best of luck and all the best for your trip! ;-)

  200. JurajNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    First of all, thank you very much for your FAST reply Chris! Amazing! I see that you have a good local knowledge and if you do not mind I`ll take some of piece of your time again, hope I do not disturb too much (it is good people help each other, expecialy travelling for the first time into the country far away from home) Although Malaysia or Bali in October supposes to be our honeymoon we are on budget (as always unfortunatelly ;) but we like Asia since we have been in Thailand-food, people, nature, country etc…) which means that 2-3 stars accomodation is fair enough for us, basically room with toilet/bath and air-con, incl.breakfast but without a cockroach ;) I could not see any rooms on the net in Bali for the similar price like in Thailand – less than 900 THB. I would appreciate if you can say that it is possible to find an accomodation in Bali with this conditions too or not? if yes, could you give me some advice, web page please? Also, maybe I repeat some questions, I am sorry for that, but I am short on time to decide myself (whether Malay/bali) so please understand my long request ;;) Are beaches in Bali good for swimming or not, are they shallow all day long, are they clean? We do not want dive. Heared, that some nice beach belong to resort. Does it mean I can not access the beach, is the accomodation much more expensive? We have a 10 days do you think is it enough for Bali and Lombok pls? Is good to stay at one place and travel around the country from one spot or better is goes from one place to another one after couple of days (I mean what is cheaper) and how much costs taxi/car with the driver for one day or places like ricefields, vulkanos…how much time (days) I can spent on this attractions please? How much can costs rent a small motorbike for a day? Is it safe to leave it anywhere, are thiefs common in Bali (than it could costs me price of my all holiday ;) ? If I want to go to Lombok and do not want to spend a lot of time, is the flight cheap or very expensive, or some speed boat, could you please suggest some web page, transport companies please. Also one more question, I could not find in your price table basic food as rice and meat (which we used to eat in Thailand), noodles, laksa… normal local food. We do not want western food, we like asians food. How much can it costs normal meal 2x a day.
    Chris, hope you are not sick of me now `because of a lot of questions, but me and my girlfriend will be more than happy if you can get relevant answer on all of them and we can decide and go.
    ~ to answer your qestion and let you know us better :) we preffer local food, not high price restaurant, not wasting money for alcohol, want to see and know the country on the other side of the globe.
    Disadvantage to Bali is the higher price ofthe flight ticket from Bangkok to Denpasar compare to Malaysia and visa fee. We have already ticket from Europe to Bangkok, at the time of the buy it was special price (with airbus a380 – my desire flight with ;)
    Chris, I appologize for such a long comment I appreciate your willingness to help and your time. Thank you very much! You have a room if you stay in Bratislava, Slovakia for sue L-)

  201. JurajNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    fyi-the flag at my name is wrong. I am in Slovakia, just using other internet provider than yesterday :D

  202. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Juraj, yep the flag is sometimes mis-interpreted by the little plugin I use – don’t worry about it.

    Regarding all your questions – I’m sorry, but I will not answer them all. For starters: rooms in Bali are better to rent locally than over the net. As with everywhere, you can get good deals on the ground and most prices are negotiable. Just leave your fear of getting ripped off at home. It will happen anyway, but you can’t plan a perfect holiday on a budget in Asia. Maybe if you stay in 5-star hotels – then you can expect 100% service delivery. I would stick to one location (like Bali) also, as you have only 10 days – you could try Lombok, but it will be somewhat stressy.

    As for your approach – simply go and do it! I know it’s your honeymoon and all, but again – you can’t simply plan a budget holiday perfectly over the internet. If you are afraid that things might go wrong, you better spend more money or don’t travel to Asia. ;-)

  203. JurajNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    …see. but how much costs standard food (rice and meat); normal acc. room with bath and air.con, rent a motorbike in bali. so you dont reckon combine bali with lombok in 10days, right? and beaches are shallow in bali and lombok, no good for swimming. heared they are not so nice like as thailand…

  204. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Juraj, all those items are covered in the above spreadsheet, just scroll a bit down. And yeah, some beaches in Bali are shallow, some are quite deep – some are good for swimming, some are not. Have you thought about booking a package deal in Thailand for your honeymoon? I’m quite sure it will suit you better with less disappointments in the end. Seriously! ;-)

  205. JurajNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Chris, everything depends on money. We have budget 300 EUR per person for the stay in bali. I mean it needs to be incl. food, accomodation, transport and some sightseeting activities. Is this possible or need calculate less or more? I know, I have mentioned a honeymood, but it does not mean anything luxury, no. Just trip to bali, see another part of asia, or malaysia, truly asia?

  206. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    When I read again about your stay in Thailand above, you shouldn’t have any serious troubles staying on that budget in Bali, Juraj. Either that or Thailand again. I wouldn’t recommend Malaysia, as it’s fairly low key and without any action, but maybe that’s just what the doctor ordered for your honeymoon. Seriously – it all depends on what you like. You could also read up on all probable destinations via Thorntree/Lonely Planet forum also and decide then. Enjoy and have fun! ;-)

  207. chris coxNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    hi Chris

    i went to bali for a couple of weeks 10 years ago & loved it. I would consider living there. questions-

    how much is a half decent studio/ 1 bed in or around kuta per month?

    other good areas to live in? Ubud maybe?

    any jobs for tennis coaches in the hotels or elsewhere?

    whats the weather like in their winter?



  208. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    chris cox, the prices are in the spreadsheet above, just scroll down for housing. The area depends on your preference, Ubud is liked by many. But why not get your own ideas; take your time, rent a bike and drive around the island to find your own special place!

    Jobs are generally a difficult story in Bali, especially if you expect anything more than a local salary. The average local salary in Bali is around 1-1.5 Mio Rupiah/month, definitely not enough to survive for a Westerner. Without special skills you won’t have a chance to earn substantially more. Weather in winter? It’s the equator, pal – pretty similar, hot and humid – maybe a bit more wet than usual! ;-)

  209. LinneaNo Gravatar SWEDEN Says:

    Hi! My friend and I, we’ve just finished school this summer and wanted some place to travel that weren’t Europe because we are from Sweden so… but after some drunken nights and searching we found your page and decided why not. We booked our flights the next day, (a month ago) and our flight leaves this Sunday. Now I’m freaking out, I’m usually a control freak so maybe this is a good thing. But we’ll be there for 22days and the plane ticket is all we have booked.

    I’ve been trying to search as much information as possibly but I want an adventure! ;D so, my question, when we finally get down there how easy is it to gather information (internet off-limit) and make way on your own? Can we take it on a day-to-day basic and still not be stuck in one place the whole time? Hehe, and second, we should survive on 13.000.000 rph each right? Acom not incl. (;


  210. LinneaNo Gravatar SWEDEN Says:

    ops. it’s 17.000.000 (so many zeros ^^)

  211. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Linnea, you want adventure? You got one! Accommodation starts at 50.000 Rp per day, so if you both have around 75.000 per day, in general you should be able to survive 3 weeks on your budget and not starve to death. :D

  212. BenNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Chris,

    This blog is incredibly informative and by far the most useful blog I have come across yet.
    I am going to Bali next week for 20days. I have paid for the flights and accomodation (renting an apartment) and I am rather concerned about how little spending money I have (after an unexpected MASSIVE car repair payout- yuk!). I have worked out that I will have around £700 for spending money for the duration. I intend to party, drink, learn to surf and a few other actvities and I would like to visit other islands near by. Is this going to be totally unfeasible? I’m worried that this bloody car bill is going to jeopardize my 1st experience of Bali :(
    Any advise would be greatly appreciated please…

  213. BenNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    First of all Chris, I must say that this is the most informative blog I’ve come across whilst researching Bali- so thank you!
    I am heading to Bali next Monday for 20 days and I will have around 700 pound sterling to spend (I have already paid for accom and flights). I believe that 700 pound sterling equates to around 11,200,000…will this be enough for the duration I am there? I intend to party at night and do a few activities, see some of the surrounding islands and learn to surf.
    Any advice would be appreciated

    I cannot bloody wait! :D

  214. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Sorry for the delayed confirmation of comments and late reply, Ben. I was traveling for the last 3 days without access to a computer. With 700 Pounds you should be fine for 3 weeks, even though you intend to party and get around a bit. Even learning to surf is possible, Bali is cheaper than you’d expect. Have a great trip! ;-)

  215. BenNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thanks so much. This is very reassuring! :D

  216. Jonathan GohNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Hi Chris, I chanced upon your website while doing my research. You really knows Bali very well. I like to check with you, what is the average salary of a local manager? say someone that I can trust to manage my shop/company that I intend to set up in Bali?

    Also do you know of any business consultant in Bali, reputable and reliable ones to advise me on the procedures to set up an company/office in Bali?

    May be I’ll look up for you when I’m in Bali for a cuppa in the months to come… :)

    Thanks in advance for the information.


  217. RAYNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hi chris…….i am going to bali in 0ctober for 6months and have accomadation paid for as well as air tickets, i’ve never travelled OS before and am concerned about expenses ..
    i have budgeted about 200 AUD a week to survive on, thats going out eating , drinking and all the usuall stuff. do i have to worry about $$ at all

  218. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Jonathan Goh, average local salaries are around 1-1.5 Mio. Rupiah for Office or local Manger Jobs, Shop Assistant maybe even less. Unfortunately I can’t recommend or suggest any business consultant, you might want to check with local lawyers/legal consultants also, as setting up businesses is part of their work also. All the best for your venture! ;-)

    Ray, hard for me to judge, as I don’t know your preferences for eating out, partying, sightseeing or else. For myself, I would say that 200 AUD is at the lower end, but your mileage will vary, especially if it’s your first time. As you stay 6 months, you should be able to balance it a bit better during the duration of your stay while learning the local prices and negotiation techniques. Enjoy your time in Bali – it really is paradise! :D

  219. Jonathan GohNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Hi Chris, thks for d info. I;m currently still doing my feasibility studies on the venture. Will be going to Bali soon to get my nose, hand and feet into the ground to get a better feel. May be we can meet for coffee/tea? I sure can do with some more friends in Bali. Anyway, jus to chk, is it possible to lease house/land/property for only 5 years or so?

  220. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Jonathan Goh, I’m currently not in Bali but in the Philippines for another couple of month or so, so it would be hard to meet up anytime soon. But you won’t have troubles finding friends in Bali, most people are nice and open-minded. Just take your time and you will have a blast of a time.

    Regarding purchasing property I don’t give recommendations, other than I advise against it; due to unclear and ever-changing laws. But that’s only me, everybody should do as one pleases. Have a good time and all the best for your business! :D

  221. BarbNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris!
    I am going back to Bali early next year to live for awhile. I am a psychologist and was thinking maybe with all the expats in Bali there may be a chance I could earn some cash by “counselling.” Do you think that is a possibility?” I would imagine a lot of people who end up living in Bali have “issues” as we say and may like an empathetic ear to listen while they dump some of their stuff. Just a thought…..would appreciate your view.

  222. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Barb, I don’t know if your request is serious, but I would say the maximum you can do is go there and try. I don’t see any particular higher number of shrink candidates in Bali, hmmmm maybe yes, if I further think about it. But then, the foreign population of Bali’s 4 Mio people is rather small and I’m not sure if you can sustain a business from it. But hey – go there, try and find out! Maybe you are the one needing a shrink afterwards?! :D

  223. BarbNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    I was serious, but, on second thought, Chris, I realise I want to leave my work behind and just enjoy the Bali lifestyle….forget about listening to a bunch of winging ex-pats! Man, what was I thinking?! Thanks for helping me see reality! :))

  224. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Hey, I actually meant it more as a joke also, but it looks like the topic runs a bit deeper for both of us than expected. ;-)

  225. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris, as many prices in your above chart are outdated, do you want me to send you an updated chart in PM?

  226. LouiseNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris, I’m considering coming to Bali in October with my two daughters who are 5 and 3 years old to live for 6 – 8 weeks. We’ve had a trying year and need some time out to relax and get back in tune wth the universe! We would like rent a small house near the beach but not in the heart of the tourist area. could you advise me where and how much per month? Is it possible to rent a house with hot and cold water, air-con, tv and furnished. Would we need to bring linen? We wouldn’t need a maid or anything but an occasional babysitter would be great. we would probably do some sightseeing, and spend a little time in Ubud. My kids are very social and easily adjust. Is there much there for kids for this length of time? And finally, would $1500 AUD per month be enough? We wouldn’t be spending big but also arn’t frugal. Thank you.

  227. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Jurgen, sorry for getting back so late to your offer. I’m simply without working computer at the moment (already 2 weeks and possibly for another 1 week) and rely on internet cafes or my cellphone to access the internet. To answer your question: yes, by all means, do so! I will update the spreadsheet accordingly.

    Louise, to all your questions I can answer ‘yes’, but your mileage will vary. The wonderful thing like with everything else – if you are here, you will figure those things out and get obstacles out of the way. So, please do it! You won’t regret it! ;-)

  228. LouiseNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Chris, Thank you for your reply. Just a couple more questions, how do I extend my visa? I think I can only get 30 days on arrival or prior. Which area would you suggest, I’m thinking of Tuban but I’m very green – haven’t been to Bali for 20 odd years!! I’d like to be a nice clean beach. And finally, how do I go about renting a house and or is it possible to be in a ‘compound’.

    I truly appreciate your help. Thank you.

  229. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Louise, check out this Visa Thread over here. The agents in Singapore don’t provide sponsors, so it would probably better for you to get an extendable visa, as the VOA is definitely not extendable!

    Tuban is a pretty busy area between Kuta and the airport, mainly frequented by a clientele from North Asia (Japanese and Korean) am not so sure if you will like it. Clean beaches are anywhere else, but not Kuta for sure. Regarding renting – sure, everything is available, just take your time to evaluate and negotiate before deciding to rent for a year or more. :D

  230. LouiseNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thank you for all your help. Very much appreciated.

  231. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Chris, can you send me the spreadsheet via PM? In this way I have it on my phone and can update it while in the “field” as many things like waxing or hair extension don’t exactly apply to me, so I don’t know the prices by heart… ;)

  232. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Jurgen, will send you the link for Google Docs to edit the spreadsheet, just give me a few more days until I configure my Netbook…

  233. JamesNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Yours is really a great blog and I admire your patience with all the questions! I really don’t want to take too much of your time.

    I’m moving to Bali. I’m becoming a technomad in the next week or so which has been a dream of mine for some time.

    I’m wondering about the best place to live, about which I have two questions:

    1. I need internet for work (I’m a web developer). I don’t need to up/download massive amounts but I need a reasonably reliable connection. Do you think the 3G services in Bali (Seminyak, Legian, etc.) are good enough for this or are they going to drive me crazy? I guess the real question is: do you think I should sign up for 3G or look for accomodation with Wifi?

    2. Where should I look for a place to live? I’m on a very low budget (your allowance of US$500 / month (for everything) sounds about right. Maybe a little bit more). I’m not looking for luxury accomodation (a Koskosan is fine) but here is my little dream: I’d like to live somewhere close enough to the sea to be able to surf when I like. I like the idea of cycling everywhere so a few miles from the beach is fine. I’m hoping to live somewhere quite peaceful but preferably within cycling distance of shops, restaurants, people. From what I’ve read I think I’m looking for kind of the opposite of Kuta! I’ve read your advice to other people and will start looking in Legian and Seminyak (although I think these places might be too expensive for my budget). I think I will probably end up in Kerobokan or whatever but I was wondering if you had any other suggestions? It doesn’t have to be close to Kuta / Legian / Seminyak (maybe it’s better if it’s not!) but a) cheap, b) internet access, c) a beach with surf.


    p.s. (friendly advice): you should set up a forum on your site! That way other people can answer the questions as well and save you time. (Also good for SEO).

  234. Amie M.No Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Just echoing what others have already articulated so clearly, when I got back from Bali on a destination wedding event (I photographed a charming couple there by the way) I was stunned when I stumbled on this chart and realized it truly was spot-on.

    Thank you for the superb work and excellent piece of information. I passed some of it on to my client and they thought it was spectacular!

  235. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    James and Amie M., thanks for the compliments. Regarding your questions James, simply check my articles about 3G Internet in Bali by clicking on the term ‘internet‘ in the topic cloud in the left sidebar or typing ‘3G Bali’ in the search box in the right sidebar. There are now 3 or more articles about internet in Bali. In short I would say it is worth it, even though it might not be the perfect solution. But then, what is perfect anyway?

    Regarding your preferred location: I won’t make any recommendation here, as you have to find your own perfect place. I would probably chose Canggu, Kerobokan or Seminyak, but your mileage, preference or budget may vary. To see the beach, your only choices may be Canggu, Sanur, Nusa Dua village or maybe even Jimbaran or the Bukit. Go there, check available places and then make a qualified decision based on what you saw. 3rd party opinions can only help so much, but don’t believe what anybody says (including me). :D

  236. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    James, I don’t want to discourage you but unfortunately many things have changed in Bali since Chris compiled his chart.
    As you’re a technomad like me I hope to be able to give you some advice.
    1. With a $500+ budget the only places you will be able to live are Kuta or very remote areas.
    2. You won’t find reliable Internet access in remote areas
    3. As Internet access in Bali is very expensive (825.000 Rp/month for a 1MBit DSL connection) you won’t find free Wifi in a budget accommodation especially not in a Koskosan. The same goes for cheap Restaurants but at least the expensive ones won’t kick you out if you stay there over a $2 coffee for the whole day ;)
    4. If you don’t have a KITAS (working permit Visa) you are not allowed to get a private DSL connection
    5. 3G services work relatively well in the tourist areas but very bad or not at all in remote areas including tourist hot spots like Lovina and Amed (in the north of Bali). The best is to get a SIM card from every provider and switch them accordingly to their relative reliability
    6. As this has been a record year in tourists incoming to Bali (despite the global crisis!) housing prices skyrocketed compared to one or two years ago, the ongoing rate for a 2 bedroom house in Seminyak is now $10,000 a year and $5,000 in Kerobokan while the cheapest Hotel in Kuta goes for $4 a day (quite a filthy place though)

    Feel free to contact me once you’re in Bali, I’m glad to help you out with further information. You can get my contact details from Chris.

    Cheers and welcome to Paradise… ;)

  237. GeorgeNo Gravatar SWITZERLAND Says:

    Hi Chris:

    I’m planing to go for a month or 2 to bali in march. I just want to know if it is possible to go out from bali to somewhere else and then not need to get a working visa.

    In addition to this, i would like to know if i could get an studio for march and may without problems when arriving there, and whats the current price of it, the last thing if you don mind is to ask you about the prices of a moped, i went to bali last summer and everybody was using them so it should be cheap to get one just to go the beach and so on, since it looks like the cheapest flats are far away (not walking distance) from the beaches.

    Hopefully you can helpme with this questions.

    Millions of thanks in advance!


  238. JamesNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Chris and Jurgen,

    Many thanks for both of your very helpful replies. Jurgen this is really useful information and you really answered what I was wondering.

    I didn’t realise you could get pay-as-you-go 3G (in London you have to sign a long and expensive contract so you’re screwed if it doesn’t work where you live). The idea of getting more than one SIM card is a really good one. It seems like the possible frustration of a bad connection is heavily outweighed by the advantage of having much more flexibility about where you live.

    Regarding living costs: I’m new to freelancing so I’m really trying to keep expenses down until (hopefully) I find more work. But after the rat race in London I’m really looking for a simple life: say 15,000rp * 3 * 30 = about $150 / month on food and drink, allow $200 / month for accomodation (although hopefully less). Say another $100 / month for internet, phone, other expenses. That’s $450 / month, so round up to $500 / month. Am I crazy?

    Just one other thing that maybe other people are interested in: does anyone share accomodation in Bali? Where would you find such a place? I was just thinking that would be a way to keep the costs down. Um, do you know anyone who might be looking for a housemate? I’m in my thirties, easy-going, clean… :D

    Thanks again guys, I’m really looking forward to this. Jurgen I’ll definitely get in touch. Cheers!

  239. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    James, though it might be possible to live on $500 here, eating like a local nasi bungkus (take-away rice in a brown sheet of paper) I do hope that especially for the beginning you do have some more at your disposal. As you will need to make friends here you’ll probably have to go out for dinner with them in order to socialize. Count for a meal in cheap Kuta 10-35k Rp excluding the eventual beer which goes for 16-20k. The problem is you won’t find any expats in Kuta, just the passing Surfer Tourists from OZ. The nicer restaurants in Seminyak or Legian where it’s easier to meet expats will charge between 40-100k per meal and 25-45k for a beer.
    First weeks sleeping: at first you have to stay in a Hotel until you find your place to rent, rates in Kuta start at 100k for a clean non-AC room but they are often full, so better count on 200-250k for the first nights. In Seminyak same quality rooms go for 250-500k per night.
    Housing rents: are you aware that the rent in Bali has always to be paid upfront for the whole period you plan to stay? This means you have to pay at least one year in advance, better two, five or even more as rates will significantly go down.
    Last but not least: Bali is all about bargaining, are you good at it and do you like it? You can easily wind up to pay 3-5 times the amount for the same product if you’re not good at it… Bargaining can be a hassle for many but it’s a lot of fun too, if you do it the right way.
    Anyway, don’t worry, get in touch with me once you’re here and I will give you a crash course into the do’s and dont’s ;-)

  240. Tempo duluNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Bali is expensive as there are so many tourists. Retire in Lombok instead and live in a hut by the beach for US$10/day.

  241. Kylee PNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris

    I am off to Bali in 3 weeks. Havent been for 15 yrs. I just wanted to know do you recommend any places that you can have body scrubs, facials, massages that a reasonably priced but fantastic. We are staying at the Hard Rock. So would like it to be walking distance if possible. I intend on going for a body scrub or massage everyday and drink every night. I will be in Bali for 7 days. Do you think $2000AUD spending will be enough? Breakfast and hotel are already paid for.
    thanks again Kylee – OZ Sydney

  242. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Tempo dulu, true – if you are a fan of beach huts, then why not? For me the options of Bali regarding culture, food, accommodation, people and quality leisure time make it one of the most unique places on Earth. To my knowledge it’s hard to find a place with so many things that interest me in close proximity. Other people will have different tastes and experiences though. :D

    Kylee P, hard to judge your financial needs, as I don’t know you. Hard Rock is certainly more at the upper level of the prices scale of accommodation options in Bali. A Spa/Massage/Sauna place I like is located at Jalan Bypass, next to an Indian restaurant, when you come from Carrefour towards Seminyak on the left side near the intersection before Jalan Kunti (sorry, I don’t know how to describe it better). It only opened about 2 years ago, is clean and well-run and has reasonable prices. Other than that – there are so many places, you better check out a new one every day. Have a nice trip! :D

  243. Simon CNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    may i know when is the last update on this expenses chart?
    thank in advance.

  244. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Simon, last update is from 1st December 2008. And yeah, like also mentioned by Jurgen and others, prices went up quite a bit here. Just didn’t have the time and zest yet, to update, as I just arrived back in Bali a few days ago. For now, simply add about 20-30% as a rule of thumb. I will try to post an update once I get a better overview… ;-)

  245. AsterhostNo Gravatar POLAND Says:

    it seems travel cost is bigger than living there

  246. Wendy JNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Chris,
    What a great blog you have here!

    I’m especially interested in prices for long-term rentals, and I know that your prices at the top of this blog are in need of updating. Would it be reasonable to assume that a 2-bedroom house, for example, would fall in the range of US$250-1500 per month (paid annually)? I guess it’s best to “ask around” when searching for rentals? I see very little information on the internet.

    Also, do you know roughly how much it would cost to get a landline telephone hookup? I know that in Malaysia, foreigners have to pay a hefty deposit to establish phones, electricity, etc. Is it the same for Indonesia?

    Thanks so much!
    Wendy ;;)

  247. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Wendy, that’s a very broad price range you are giving here for monthly rent and therefor the answer is definitely yes. For $1500 you will find something very luxurious while for $250 you’ll probably get only a 1-bedoom-house.
    Landline and electricity hookup is completely impossible for a foreigner if you don’t have a working permit Visa (it’s called KITAS), so the only way and the easiest is to have it done in your landlords name. Number availability is a big problem though in South Bali so you might be out of luck depending on your location.

  248. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks for helping Wendy out, Jurgen! Can only agree with what you said. ;-)

  249. Wendy JNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thank you, Jurgen and Chris! Quick response!!!

    I was thinking in terms of living there on a KITAS retirement visa, so I’m assuming that you could get hookups in your own name. Any sense of what the cost would be (fees/deposits for the electric, water and assuming that you could get a number for phone?)

    I’m trying come up with a rough estimate of costs to get set up in Bali as a retiree. Your blog has a wealth of information – thank you!

  250. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Wendy, why would you want to set up electricity in your name? Any house you would rent is already connected and the practical manner here is that you just pay the monthly bill from your landlord, that is if you are not good in bargaining otherwise you simply include electricity in your rent (me and Chris did so…).
    The only reason I could think of why to have a landline here in bali is in order to get a DSL connection. A 1 MBit download and 128KBit upload unlimited connection (the best you can get here) costs 825,000 Rupiah/month, but again you have to be very lucky to get an available phone number. Without it you’re out of luck. Connection time is several months as I heard, so better stick to the various cellular services for data and voice or find yourself a home with a phone line already connected.

  251. Wendy JNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Ok, Jergen, I get it now! :D There would be no reason why I’d get it in my own name unless I was buying (which being a foreigner, I can’t). So that makes perfect sense! So, like Malaysia, everyone just uses a handphone and utilities remain in the landlord’s name.
    Terima kasih!


  252. paulNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Chris your prices are way out of date…pls update as its misleading.thnx Paul.

  253. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    paul, you are right. The last update of the above table is now a bit more than 1 year old and prices went up quite a bit. About 10-20% for food, drink and transportation items and probably 30-40% for housing, I don’t see many changes in Clothes and Wellness items, while internet prices went down somewhat (although reliability didn’t improve much).

    Bali had an incredible boom over the last year, which is really quite unprecedented and this small island is now bringing in about 60-70% of all tourist income for Indonesia, which is really impressive.

    I’m still pondering how to best update the chart, it probably makes more sense to republish it completely or just let it be. :-/

  254. HazaNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris Haza here, We are coming over to Bali end of March 2010 from Mandurah perth. we are from NZ.
    we will be looking for for accomadation for our permanent move to Bali for a couple of years at least.

    Time share :-o Yes Time shared is how I came to Bali the first time and this time Iam coming to launch my own Business in Bali.

    Q:Staff to Advertise my Business? We have an online reverse auction site that we need to get out there. what will wages set me back.
    Q: Do they pay weekly per customer Monthly. what do I charge
    Q and what local papers do I advertise in.

    ps wicked site. love it.

    Cheers haza
    ;;) ;;) ;;) ;;) =)) =))

  255. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Haza, it’s not easy to answer your questions, as perception might vary. I will try:

    Q1: salaries in Bali vary a lot, but are generally lower than let’s say in Jakarta. Bali seems to attract a lot of job seekers from all around Indonesia and there is always one who agrees to do the same job for less. However, it’s difficult to find and retain good staff. Local starting salaries are around 1-1.5 Mio Rupiah/month, but I have no idea, what staff you are looking for, for your online business. You might find it in Bali, you might have to recruit staff online.

    Q2: no idea! It really depends on your business, market niche, competition etc. Only you would know.

    Q3: there are some weekly, bi-weekly and monthly advertising options, like Bali Advertiser, Bali Times etc, which cater to the Expat Clientel. There are also daily newspapers, but better get an overview, once you get here. I really have no idea, what your business is doing, who are your customers and what’s the best media to use for advertising. Sorry pal! ;-)

  256. Madalena TavaresNo Gravatar PORTUGAL Says:

    Chris, I’m amazed about the prices in housing. Are you sure you meant 1500sq ft :-o it seems so cheap for such a dimension of area. 195 euros only? Are they two floor houses? Thank you


  257. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Madalena, unfortunately these prices are long gone. Housing prices more than doubled in the last couple of years as there are so many foreigners trying to life here. You better count with 5-6 million/month now, payable in advance for at least a year.

  258. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Madalena, as Jurgen mentioned, those prices are somewhat history, Bali really boomed the last 3 years.While I rented a whole 2-storey house, fully-furnished from 2006-2008 here, which was 28 Mio Rupiah/year then – now the same place costs mid-40 Mio Rupiah, but is already rented out for another 2 years. By then it will cost probably in the 60’s Mio Rupiah….

    Still there can be good deals had, but you have to search far and wide for them, avoid agents and internet offers and go a bit more outside the main tourist areas.

  259. CaiNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hey man. Me and a bunch of my m8s where finkin of spending the summer in bali but we dont know wher to look for places to rent. Got any ideas?

  260. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Check any appropriate objects in the area you plan to stay, Cai? There are literally millions of choices available. Rent a bike, drive around, find a nice area and check for HP handphone numbers which advertise the object. Avoid middle men/agents, negotiate hard for longer periods and be prepared to walk away if ridiculous prices are quoted.

  261. BenjaminNo Gravatar NORWAY Says:

    Greetings from Norway! I want to live a place thats cheap, like kuta bali.
    Then i have some questions :)
    Low crime?
    How many rain days/yr?
    Cheapest way out of bali for a stamp in my passport?
    thats the most important things for me. The rainy days dont matter that much. Its just good to know incase i got to sleep outside couple of days :) oh and here’s some payment for the answers i will recieve!
    “Oh boy time for some flattering then, your pretty im ugly, your strong im weak, your attractive im not attractive”
    Looking forward for an answer good luck on your adventure!
    Regards from the mushroom eating viking *cheers*

  262. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Benjamin, the crime rate in Bali is very low. Practically nothing happens here considering that there are living 3,5 million people on this island and most of them in the southern part. Occasionally some motorbike-bag-snatching happens as well as break-ins and pickpocketing, but all in all I would guess the rate is not higher than in Europe.
    Regarding rainy days this is not predictable at all, the year for example it nearly never rained during daytime and even if than only for a couple of hours.
    The cheapest way of stamping your passport is flying to Singapore or Kuala Lumpur with one of the budget airlines and depends mostly on how long time in advance you book them. They start as low as 0 Rupees, same as Ryanair or EasyJet in Europe. If you can’t plan that long ahead consider 100-150 Euros for a return trip.

  263. BenjaminNo Gravatar NORWAY Says:

    Hello! Thank you Jurgen, great information :)
    Its the transport in and out of countries that will be the challenging part economic, but hey i just have to live and travel the cheapest way as long as i dont starve im ok! lots to see and lots to do!

    Regards Benjamin

  264. SandraNo Gravatar not found Says:

    Hey Chris,

    Cool site. It’s just dawned on me that I don’t have to have a regular job and with no real commitments I’m free to take a year off and go and live anywhere (depending on costs) as a newbie surfer Bali seems like a great spot to chill for a year. The date on the cost of living chart is from 2008, would you say those prices are relatively accurate for 2010?
    If I need to work in Bali to supplement my income, are there possibilities on that side of the world?

    Warm regards


  265. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sandra, have you read any of the comments here? Just a few lines up it’s clearly stated that the prices are not at all accurate anymore… Everything became more expensive.
    Regarding work to supplement your income, it’s officially forbidden to do so, you risk a hefty fine and expulsion from Indonesia.
    Better to come here and just enjoy the sun and the waves.
    Happy surfing! :-)

  266. The BIG MoveNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Well done on putting this together.. it’s a great help to many I’m sure :)

    I’ll be moving to Bali in March and will need to get a ‘very’ good internet connection (pref WIFI) with built in VOIP offering to make my calls too.

    This will be for business so the quality needs to be pretty good.

    Would love to hear your thoughts on the most appropriate company and also the process.

    Thanks in advance mate!

  267. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Congrats on your decision, The Big Move! I’m sure you won’t regret it. Regarding internet options, you might want to check out these articles, regarding ISP’s and Internet Access Options in Bali.

    It looks a bit outdated, but the funny thing is (besides the prices), nothing much has changed since then, the only exception being the addition of new 3G or CDMA services, none of which is reliable and suitable for business, maybe as a backup option.

    There are 3G services availabble by Xl, Telkomsel Flash, Indosat IM2/IM3, they might be fast, but they all lack reliability and can have outages of several hours, even if they are available in your area of choice.

    Your best bet would still be to have Telkom’s Speedy (a DSL variant, not available everywhere and needs mandatory landline) or a dedicated line from GlobalExtreme or Blueline, all coming with their own equipment and quite expensive, compared to international standards. But also those have no guaranteed SLA’s and you might struggle for bandwidth with other users in your area.

    If someone knows any better and reliable internet option, please let us know! :-?

  268. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi The Big Move, as Chris already said, Internet in Bali is really not very reliable and especially VoIP is not usable! I used VoIP in Europe for some years now and brought all my expensive Hardware with me but whichever connection I tried there is NO WAY to get a satisfactory phone call quality done here. Latency is just to high in order to use it. :-(
    The only voice service that can be used here with acceptable quality is Skype, but even this service is not working satisfactory all the time.
    In addition to that landline quality is worse compared to mobiles and if your out-of-country customers try to call you using a cheap alternative carrier (which uses usually VoIP for routing the call) you will be lucky if you understand him at all…
    All this is because Indonesia is not directly connected to the Internet by under-sea cables but uses Satellite connections to Hong Kong or Singapore.

    Welcome to Paradise…! ;-)

  269. JamesNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Well I just got back after two months trying to get setup working over the internet. For me it didn’t work out for a few reasons:

    1. It’s almost impossible (I found) to deal properly with clients when there is a 12 – 14 hour time difference. For people who know you, and know what the deal is, maybe it’s ok but I found that new clients were put off by the lack of responsiveness (because I / they are asleep) and communication issues.

    2. Aaargh, I hate to say it (I really do. I had very high hopes) but I didn’t like Bali that much. I loved the people, the food, the climate, the surf. I think that five or ten years ago I would have moved there and never left. BUT… now, I personally think that the place is extremely touristy, loud, noisy, generally dirty and polluted. I’d surf some days and literally find myself swimming in a pile of plastic and rubbish. It is extremely crowded with endless people, mopeds, traffic jams. I grew up in Malaysia and have travelled all over the world so I don’t think I have unrealistic expectations. I didn’t have the chance but I’d love to explore the rest of Indonesia to find less developed places (parts of Sumatra and Java are supposed to be nice) but… the way it is I’d take Thailand over Bali anyday.

    I did manage to get pretty good internet. I bought a 3G USB stick and the guy that I bought it from sold me 4GB / month access for $40 / month from Indosat. (I don’t know what the policy on advertising is but I got it from Techtron computer, phone 0361 7425271 for the address). What I found is that if you stream things in the background (i.e. torrent download or something) then it keeps your connection going. It was up and down, sometimes it didn’t work well, but for the most part it was really pretty good. It worked pretty well with Skype, sometimes I’d talk to people in N. America for forty minutes at a time with great quality, sometimes you’re getting cut off every two minutes.

    Accomodation is more expensive than you think it is although I found a pretty nice guesthouse for $220 / month. I don’t think you’ll get anything decent for much less than that. I did like the local food (from the food stalls – warungs) which is healthy and good. You can easily feed yourself well for $10 / day. I found it not too difficult to live on about US$600 / month.

    Anyway, it didn’t work out for me. Just my opinion and I’m sure there are others who still love the place. I’m going to check out South America and Eastern Europe.

  270. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    James, I’m sorry to hear that Bali didn’t work out for you though I can completely understand and confirm your thoughts in point 2. Imagine that only 5 years ago Bali’s population was less than 1,9 million and now it’s up to 3,4 million.
    Why didn’t you contact me or Chris while you were here? We could have had some fun together.
    Regarding your Guesthouse I’ve to say you got a pretty good deal, where was it and what’s the name of it? I would like to check it out for friends that might come and visit.
    With Indosat you have been pretty lucky to have already left, since 2 days their Internet is completely down and calling customer care, like always, they have no clue about it ;-)
    Anyway, hope you find your haven to live soon…

  271. DrewNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    Congratulations on such a succesful setup! There is almost an encyclopedic quality to the information I have found in your blog which is refreshing and has done a lot to answer most of my questions about life in Indonesia.

    However, I’m currently exploring the idea of spending some well earned annual leave in Bali for roughly 4 weeks and I was wondering if there as any information that you can offer regarding cost and comfort effective accomodation. Be it houses or bungalows, or anything suitable.

    I have no idea where to start and I’d really rather not spend ludicrous amounts of money in hotels when I would probably enjoy living amongst the locals and getting a feel for the real Bali. Advice is appreciated.

    I’m budgeting approx $1,500AU for the month which im hoping will cover all costs minus, obviously, air fare. Thoughts?

    I’m prepared to live like a (relative) nomad for the four weeks because I will probably be spending 80% of my time getting around taking photos and soaking it all up. In saying this though some creature comforts are highly regarded.

    I appreciate any feedback that you can provide. Congratulations again on such a great site.



  272. DrewNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Sorry I should point out that the $1,500 budget is after air fares :P.


  273. JamesNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Hey Jurgen,

    Aargh I was just busy trying to get setup and most of the people I was hanging out with were in Kuta. Maybe next time!

    I stayed at Surf Doggie Inn. It was on a back alley off a back alley so very difficult to find (the address is jl. kuta teater no 7 and the phone is 0361 752381). The accomodation is basic but clean, it’s a nice setup with a nice garden and the people were very nice and friendly. It’s a little far from the beach and the room was fan only but overall it was great.

    $225 was in high season (Christmas and New Year) so that was actually high. Assuming you’re not completely broke you can get some really good deals in some of the hotels in Kuta. I stayed at the Ayu Beach Inn (behind the ‘Swell’ restaurant on Poppies 1) before I left. The place had two pools, really quite nice and they were offering me an AC room for 3 million rupiah (bit over $300) a month. I guess the thing is to look around and, as ever in Bali, negotiate.

    One last thing for anyone who’s thinking of moving to Bali: it is a *huge* help to know someone local who knows where things are, how things work and can translate for you, etc. I met a super nice and helpful local guy who got me setup with pretty much everything: accomodation, internet, etc. He must have driven me over half the island. I’ve been searching high and low for his number and can’t find it but his name is Jon and he works at the Ayu Beach Inn (as mentioned above). He’s a driver but supplements his income driving people around the place (usually on a moped but I think he can also get a car). Anyway I had to mention him because he was so helpful. He seems to know half the island and I’d highly recommend him if you’re unsure of where to find something or need to get something done (he also seems to know a lot about different kinds of accomodation).

  274. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Drew, thanks for the compliments – but all what you asked, is answered here many times already. Your funds sound sufficient, but with anything, it really depends on what you make out of it. You can rent a small room, an apartment, a villa from as low as 500K Rupiah per month to a limitless sky-high amount of USD or EUR per day. Just drive and ask around and see what’s available in the area of your choice. Rent a cheap hotel room for 3-4 days (starting at 50K per day in Kuta) and find what you need.

    Shouldn’t be too big a problem, especially now during low season. There are substantially less people here right now than just 4 weeks ago, you should be able to negotiate good deals.

    Also read the comment of James above (#269 and #273), who did just that successfully. The only problem is, the options here are legend and what works for me or anyone else, might not work for you. Hope you find your own little paradise! ;-)

  275. Elizabeth CNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Chris,

    FANTASTIC JOB!!! I had been to Bali a few times when I lived in Australia ( I am Canadian), now I live in California with my hubby. We are seriously thinking of moving to Bali now!!! My husband is almost 55, and apparently that is when he could apply for a retirement visa….. I have read every sentence but I still am trying to come up with the solution. Do you think it is at all possible to buy with a Bali partner a house/????? I keep going in circles about this one. Obviously once we take a first trip to research, we should meet people and hopefully find something. Every comment seemed to point towards the negative and this is really pushing us far from our dream . Financially we will be ok there as we can live on our rentals . So really want to chill, be happy, return back to this beautiful land. Any suggestions??? Would I be better of connecting to the expat community in Bali for Realestate advise/??
    thank you for your help when you have a minute,

  276. SeanNo Gravatar IRELAND Says:

    hey chris
    congrats on a great website ,im heading to bali in 3 weeks and was planing on staying for 3 weeks,,,, as im currently travelling around the world was wondering on how much money to set aside for bali,,ive the first few nights booked into the galaxy in seminyak ,,,,also i’ll be doing plenty of drinking clubbing surfing ect..and my eating habits are not fussy the cheaper the food is the happier i am, more money for drinking and misadventure:D and is it better bring us dollars or euro

  277. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Elizabeth C, I would recommend against connecting with the Expat Community. You can do that anytime when you are here, but for a start it would probably spoil your objective view on things, as the Expat community seems to be rather disillusioned (some would say realistically pessimistic, hehe) and probably not the best way to start your Bali experience.

    Your plans sound definitely very exciting and you will have a ball of a time!

    Come here with open eyes, live in a hotel for a month or so and drive around to check out the areas of your interest. Make local friends and check your options based on your interest. Negotiate hard, don’t take the first offer and take your time before you make long-term decisions. Seriously! ;-)

    Sean, regarding budgeting, only you know what you will spend and what your demands are. Beach Hut, apartment, house, Villa, car, bicycle, motorbike, taxi – I don’t know your preferences. You can live on 500 USD per month here to only having the sky as the limit – only you would know.

    Regarding money or cash – I wouldn’t bring any of it, just your bank card and withdraw funds from ATM’s as you go. Money Changers are a pest here and bringing huge amounts of cash are contra-productive. Have a great trip! :D

  278. DominicNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hey Chris, really useful site. Im going to Bali on the 8th May for about a month with a few friends. We were planning to try and rent a beach hut – can you tell us how much a months rent of one would be? Im probably going to have about 450 pounds for the month, do you think this is enough for a comfortable lifestyle?
    Also any nice beaches or parts of Bali you would recommend?
    Thanks a lot, Dominic

  279. Varoon NasaNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Hey chris.. amazing setup man.. it has quite a lot of useful information..
    but i jus checked 1 euro is abt 12k rupiah right now… so i think euro fell
    but we have got a villa for 5 ppl in sanur..
    i was jus wondering how much wud it be if we have to stay in bali for a month.
    like 300 euro besides the rent, i mean excluding the rent.. is that sufficient .
    Thanks chris

  280. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Dominic and Varoon Nasa, I wish I could give you guys recommendations – but like I said many times before, I don’t know you guys. You can rent a place in Bali from 40.000 Rupiah a day up to the limitless sky and how much you spend per person per day is completely in your hands – thus the above table for you to judge your own spendings better. Just me, I can’t do that for you, as I don’t know, where you will stay (what area, room, villa, palace), what you will eat (warung, fastfood, fine dine, vegan), what are your transport needs (bicycle, taxi, scooter, car with driver) and entertainment demands. Still, I wish you a nice trip…Bali is still a beautiful island paradise and I’m sure you will enjoy it! :D

  281. Ido LeviNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey Chris
    Great website! I am considering to employ 2 to 3 people some where in Asia either Bali or Philippines or may be another place that you may suggest, I have this craft product that sell in shops in Australia where I live. At the moment I do all the labour myself. I am looking for a nice place where the hourly average pay is quite low and I could also spend and enjoy 3 months every year there. Do you have any tips for me?

  282. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Ido Levi, I know there are many foreigners doing that in Bali or the Philippines and making a living from it, although I’m the wrong person to ask for 1st hand advice, as I don’t work or employ any locals, am a mere tourist.

    From what I hear from others, the main problems are salary disputes and the retention/loyalty of employees, as they switch jobs quite often (for instance if they find someone who just pays a few dollar more). Most businesses here have troubles finding reliable and long-term employees, but I guess, those issues exist also anywhere else. People also seem to call in sick or don’t show up for work for the smallest reasons (hangover, ceremony).

    Other than that, you might want to check out Bali first, as the whole island is famous for hand or wooden crafts and there are shops and manufactures all over the island (after all, it’s THE biggest industry after tourism), especially also around Ubud and of course in Denpasar. In the Philippines I’m not so sure, it’s definitely more decentral/fractured, but the people also seem to be very flexible and able to improvise a lot, the hourly costs are maybe even cheaper here than Bali.

  283. Ido LeviNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Thanks Chris
    Any idea how much is the average hourly pay in Bali or Phillipines? just a guess.. ;-)
    Thanks again!

  284. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Salaries vary a lot of course. I know that the average salary of a Shop Girl working in SM or Ayala Malls in the Philippines is between 1.200-3.500 Pesos a month, for a 6-day-per-week/12-hour working day. In Bali an average salary is between 1.5-4 Mio. Rupiah per month for office jobs, usually on the lower end for sales reps in shops or boutiques. I have no idea about manufacturing and hourly wages though. Usually salaries are also paid per week or per month.

  285. dannyNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I see the government has just put up all the duties on local beer. Beer has gone up over 200%. What are the pubs selling a 600ml bottle of bintang for now?
    The duty came on 1 April 2010.

  286. WillNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Moving to Bali in August, please could you give me some recomenations for renting a 2 bed house for family of 4 as i see your costings were around the 200€ pm.
    I have 2 girlls starting at the french lycee in umalas, kerobokan so ideally need to be located not too far from there. Can you recommend a good place to stay for the first few weeks while we get our bearings and visit houses . I have seen villa cocos and been recommended byf riend but that is pretty expensive on the night. please help ?PS great site!! really helpful

  287. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    danny, good question: I wish to know that also. Being currently in the Philippines, where a 0.33l bottle goes for the Peso-equivalent of around 4-6.000 Rupiah any time of day and a 1l Grande for around 18-25K Rupiah, I’m afraid that I will be in for a massive shock, when coming back to Bali. :-/

    Will, hard to tell, as rental prices vary a lot based on location and time of season. Umalas is a very popular place meanwhile, new Villa projects sprouting up every week and it will take a while to get a good overview. In general, rental prices went up quite a lot over the last 2 years, so any recommendation would be outdated already. Take your time before committing long-term to anything, negotiate hard, compare and start all over again – to get a better feeling for the market, once you are there. Also daily prices can be completely different from monthly or yearly rentals. I’ve seen Villas, where the daily price is 50 Euro per night, but when you rent montly or yearly, they go as low as a daily average of 15 or even 5 Euro including all amenities.

  288. mohamadNo Gravatar ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN Says:

    hi chris.thank u for your interesting here to find a good and cheep place in east asia for som engineering courses,and i think even if i hadnt have such decision,i would read all these for intertainment.and i suggest u extend your country to all the world.

  289. WillNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    Thanks Chris for your help on costs.
    We are looking at putting our 2 girls in the French Lycee in September, have you heard any reports good or bad on the school ?

    and seem to have found a 2 bed property through David GIL
    Location Villa Bali

    Have you had any dealings with them. He said the rent would be 90 Million per annum for 2 bedVilla with pool,Seminyak / Kerobokan, does that seem a lot to you ?

    Also could you give me an approx idea of what it would be be to live for a family of 4 (2A + 2 children 7 + 4),really roughly, in € per month, based on just food and eating in , not including rent or schooling. I know hard to guess but living a very simple healthy diet, cooking ourselves.
    Any help much appreciated as we are putting the plan togther now and renting out our house as we speak, thank you.

  290. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Will, serious – there are literally tens of thousands of Villa developments in Bali. I don’t know 99.9999% of them. Also with children schools etc., I’m the wrong guy. There is a similar question by Marta in this thread here (starting at Comment #175), maybe that helps a bit.

    Your average costs per month only you can know. That’s what the above list of costs is about, to help you with your specific calculations; as I don’t know your usage of food, transport and other resources. Simple and healthy diet can mean completely different things for many and you can have a respective healthy and simple meal here from 6.000 Rupiah up to 250.000 Rupiah in this category, or even above. My experience is, that French people are very unique with their diet needs, especially in Bali. It also depends where you buy your fresh produce, local market, Carrefour, Bali Deli, Bintang Supermarket….prices vary a lot. Your family demands you can judge much better yourself (than me, a stranger to you), just take your current costs and adjust based on costs here accordingly.

    Anyway – my advice: enjoy your time in Bali, monitor your budget for a few months and simply adjust according to your financial and lifestyle needs and capabilites. ;;)

  291. martaNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hey there!

    Is it possible to buy a small, cheap car in Bali? Can I register the car if on tourist visa? If so, what price are we talking about? If not, how is the public transport like?


  292. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Public transport is available in the form of Taxis and Bemo (small buses), Marta. Besides that, it could be necessary, that you would need a proxy, when owning a vehicle as a foreigner. The registration process is not trivial and can take all in all a few weeks. I would recommend buying a vehicle from a branded car shop or bike shop and let them assist you with registration. I ‘owned’ once a Kymco bike here, which was bought from a Kymco shop – and it was officially never registered in my name, but the previous (local) owner. It was also okay, when I sold the bike again. Seems to be pretty common here, but as long as you have all the papers together, you should be fine.

  293. martaNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Thank you, Chris!

  294. rayoflightNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    @Chris – Thanks a lot for such a great compilation of useful information.
    I am planning to move to Jakarta with my wife and was wondering if you have similar forum/discusiion board for Jakarta.
    I would be relocating to akarta for 2-3 years and would be earning around 5K USD. Is this good enough? What kind of lifestyle I can live with this amount?
    I really appreciate your response.

  295. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Jakarta prices are pretty similar to Bali, as both are the most expensive locations in Indonesia. I don’t have a price spreadsheet for Jakarta currently though, rayoflight. With 5.000 USD/month you should be able to live like a king (I know, I would, lol!) – but your mileage will vary based on your demands, going-out, transport and luxury needs and the size of your family.

  296. rayoflightNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thanks a lot Chris. As always on this site, you have provided valueable info.
    Do you have rough idea on how much a husband+wife spend on following things with a decent lifestyle –
    1) Rent for a 2 Bedroom furnished Aptmt in Central/South Jakarta
    2) Transportation (20 miles per day)
    a) When using personal mid-size car (Monthly Mortgage, Gas, Insurance)
    b) When using Taxi/public transport
    3) Utilities (Electricity, Phone, Water, Internet)
    4) Food (Cooking-in for weekdays, Dine-out for weekends)
    I really appreciate your response.

  297. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sorry rayoflight, I never lived in Jakarta, never rented a room anywhere closeby there, never owned a car in Indonesia, used public transport, nor cooked myself. You gotta calculate yourself with the prices above or wait until you are there. People are just too different to give any more concrete estimations, as I really don’t know you, your demands, behavior or spending habits at all. ;;)

  298. ReneNo Gravatar PORTUGAL Says:

    Hi. Could you advise if postal codes are required when sending mail or parcels. I want to send a parcel from Portugal and thought of using a courier but they all say they need a postal code. (want to send to Kuta). Otherwise could you advise what method is best in sending a parcel. Also, would you know what one is not allowed to send (i.e. products that are banned – besides the obvious)
    Thank you

  299. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Letters and parcels should arrive without postal code, if your Street description is pretty accurate, Rene. It’s not easy, I know, as streets with the same name can be anywhere in Bali, like in Kuta, Legian or Denpasar. So it definitely helps to put the region on the envelope as well. There are postal codes, i.e. Kuta is 80361, but I’m not even sure if there are other postal codes for Legian or Denpasar. Just use the above and write whatever info you have regarding the location and recipient of your package, maybe even telephone number. The postal system is not that bad, but things can take anything from 2 weeks to 2 months to arrive here from Europe or even Asia. ;-)

    Things not to send are all drugs, pornography or violent graphical images. Just use common knowledge or google for it, before you send any specific or critical stuff.

  300. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Rene, the postal code for whole south Bali is 80361, there are no differences between Kuta, Legian or whatsoever. As Chris already said, write as much info as possible on the package. It should contain Name, c/o Hotel or Villa name, Streetname, Housenumber and closing with 80361 Kuta – Bali, Indonesia. This should be enough.

  301. RichardNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Useful information..Do you have a list of prices for facilities of outdoor activities such as rental jetsky, banana boats, surfboards, etc…?

  302. DewiNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Well, welcome to Bule island where bule spread all over the place there. With the power of their currency yeah they could live compfy there but for Indonesian who don’t have bule partner husband/wife well, wish you good luck for struggle of life there…

  303. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Richard, that would be useful, you are right. Will try to find out some prices for you in the next couple of days…stay tuned! ;-)

  304. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Dewi, I would say it goes both ways. It’s not only the Bules spoiling the prices here in Bali. Also the greed of fellow Indonesians is doing its part. Most businesses here are run by Javanese, as plenty of Balinese simply sell out to their fellow country men from Java and prefer enjoying their lives. Also the land and estate speculation is only possible due the shady laws here and the focus on Bali as the main and prime holidays destination of Indonesia. After all, it brings in close to 70% of the tourists income for Indonesia.

    And tourists are milked everywhere they go, Visa on Arrival Fees, Departure Taxes, 2-standard pricing system, cheat, scams, timeshare and whatever else – you name it, it’s here in Bali. As an Indonesian you will feel only the tip of it, but you came up with it. So who is to blame? ;-)

  305. abdlaNo Gravatar KUWAIT Says:

    Hi chris I saw the list it’s was very exiting but the date was 1/17/2008 if you don’t mind how about the price at the present so I can prepare cost in bali this year. Thank s for your help

  306. MelNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi, I’ve read all the posts, and got a lot of good info, just a few more questions.
    A lot of the posts talk about rentals in the millions, per year. Is it expected to pay up front for the whole year? That’s a lot of cash. Can you pay monthly for rental houses?
    And I’ve heard full kitchens (with stovetop AND oven, full size fridge) are not standard? Is that right? And what about hot water? Do houses have hot water heaters? Or only at the source, like at the shower head? Do houses come with Washing machines and other appliances? Basically, are there affordable houses to rent with western style “amenities”? Are they usually furnished?
    I’m looking to move there with husband and 2 year old, I’m American, but have lived in Costa Rica and Brazil and Australia, so I know the differences of each country’s “standards”, just wondering what Bali’s like in that aspect.

  307. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    abdla, the inflation in Indonesia was every year around 8-12 percent. Also rental property basically doubled in price here from 2008. So to be on the safe side, you should calculate at least 50% on top of the prices above. The problem with updating the chart, is that the whole permanent link and comments will be out of context, so it wouldn’t make any sense to update it. I’m planning to publish a new spreadsheet, but so far it’s not there yet.

    Mel, Indonesia is one of the few countries I know, where it is very common to have to pay a year or even more in advance up-front, if you want a real good deal. Usually you can also pay monthly, but expect to pay a hefty deposit (which you might not see again) and a (much!) higher monthly rate.

    Regarding standards: everything is available! Just for a price. It starts with squat toilets outside and cold water (if any), regular western standard showers, sinks and bathroom features made out of pure gold. It just depends on what you need and are willing to pay for.

    In that aspect, Bali is very much westernized and a supply-and-demand culture. You want it, you get it. Just don’t go for the first best offer and don’t book via the internet! Come here, take your time, compare, negotiate hard and be careful with long-term deals. ;-)

  308. AliNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Hey there.I am going to bali on september this year with my college friends.
    Well,basically this chart gives me a rough idea on the cost of daily stuffs.
    However,since this is our first time to Bali, I need to get more info regarding the cost of staying there for a week.since we going there to do shopping,a lot of clubbing ( which i heard that it is free entry for tourist ) and activities such as cycling,surfing.Do you happen to have any info on the cost of activities there?
    and should we stay in a cheap budget hotel (however most cheap hotel have max capacity of 2) or should we stay in villas?

    Some rough ideas will be appreciated! :)

  309. WendyNo Gravatar FRANCE Says:

    I’m in Europe, but need to hire a journalist to write some words for me on Bali. Does anyone know what is a suitable word rate for local writers? I’m at a loss as to what to pay that would neither be insulting nor over the top!?
    Any ideas?

  310. DanaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hello Wendy,

    I am a writer/journalist based out of Bali. I would probably need to get a bit of a better idea of just what sort of articles you are looking for to give you an exact rate, but my rates are not expensive by any means. If you would like to send me a short description of what you are looking for, I can tell you about how much it should cost for a writer. You can e-mail me at


  311. YvonneNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hi Chris, great info for so many different questions. I live in Aus and go to Bali at least twice a year on holiday. Would love to live there, but earning a living and working/finding work is definitely different to going on a holiday and laying around the pool and eating in restaurants each day! I love the people in Bali and have only ever had a great time. I take AUD$100 for each day I will be away so I can live like a queen, take taxis, hire a car and driver for all day trips, go to the spa, have the manicure, shop-shop-shop, and eat well. I enjoy buying local art, not the tourist items. The last few times I have come home with money despite my best efforts to spend it. I am going back in October with my hubby for 3 weeks (he works away from home so we reconnect mainly) 1st week – relax, 2nd week – get out and about, 3rd week – relax before we both head back to busy jobs. Back again in Feb ’11 with my sister for 10 nights to do girly things and get away from hubbies and kids….
    Anyhow would love to live there but think that I would not be able to because the living is not ever going to be the same as being the ‘rich’ tourist, you would have the same hassles as at home, still have work to go to and bills to pay.
    Not being able to own property is also a drawback but if all us ‘rich westerners’ bought property what would it do to the locals and their ability to afford property as I am sure that when selling it would basically come down to price and not where the buyer was from.
    Maybe I can win the lottery and live my dream!
    Good on you for being able to live in so many different places!
    I am only sorry I discovered Bali in my late 30’s and not earlier, but then I had my kids younger so I guess it was just not meant to be.
    Enjoy your travels.

  312. Nisha kediaNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    hi chris,i am going to bali for a holiday for 3 days.i wanted to know what currencey is accepted,like do u need to exchange ur dollars or they do accept dollars as well and at what rate generally

  313. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yvonne, yup – Bali is changing fast and with a constant and increasing influx of tourists, it’s getting more expensive every year also. But still a nice location to travel to or simply stay a longer while. Hope you will be back soon! ;)

    Nisha, the currency here is the Indonesian Rupiah. All other foreign currency can be exchange via Money Changers or simply withdraw the local currency from ATM machines, which exist here in great abundance. For current rates, simply check online converters like, but there are countless others also.

  314. pawanNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    What would be the expanses on schooling /education in good english medium school in Bali per kids

  315. martaNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hey there!

    Is there any international school either in the north or west Bali?


  316. martaNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:


    Could you or anyone on the forum recommend a property agency that could help me find a house for rent near Kerobokan area.
    Thanks a lot,


  317. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    There are plenty of Estate and property agents in the area, they are all our out to make money and as much as possable, my advice would be to shop around and get some price experience, there are laws in Indonesia how much the m² can cost and the Landlord will certainly try to get the best price, which will be upto 400% more then any local indonesian person would pay. My advice if you find something you like haggle the price knock off 300% and if the Landlord refuses to accept just walk away, he will run after you for sure.
    Good Luck…. and Best wishes from East Jawa

  318. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    pawan and marta, am not so familiar with International Schools and their fees in Bali. There are quite a few, most of them naturally in the South and in/around Denpasar, that’s where most of the Expat communities are.

    AJHInter is right about the property agents. My experience is also that you probably will overpay many times the real rent for a property, when you use an agent. Commissions vary a lot but are usually around the 10-20% mark for more serious agents, while others simply try to get for themselves as much as possible. Also all if not most internet offers for real estate have inflated prices. Normal houses/apartments directly from the owner are still not advertised on the internet.

    Still your best bet is to come here first, rent a car or bike and drive around the areas of your choice. You will find more interesting objects this way and save millions of Rupiah.

  319. JamesNo Gravatar VIET NAM Says:

    This site is a work of art. Thank you.
    What is the cost of inexpensive long-term accommodation for a couple in North Bali, or Bali generally, lately (July 2010)?
    I am Australian and my wife is Vietnamese. Would there be any difficulty in obtaining visas?

  320. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    I have friends in north Bali they pay 15 million a year for a decent hut, about the visas well you can be lucky if know the system and look after the clerk in immagrasi..

  321. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    James, the North is a very quiet tourist area. Depending on location, the size (1-room KosKosan, apartment, house, villa) and facilities (western toilet, air con, hot water, kitchen, etc.) of the place, it can be anything from 6 Mio Rupiah to 200 Mio Rupiah per year. Long-term contracts are usually paid for 1 year in advance. AJHInter‘s number sounds like a good mid-range option.

    Regarding your visas: long-term visas are not a trivial thing in Indonesia. You might want to check this article and its many comments to just get a glimpse on what is available. If you have detailed questions, better ask in this article, as its read by a few specialists on Visas, who also answer questions.

  322. MekdadNo Gravatar QATAR Says:

    Hi Chris and everyone here. I got a question for you Chris and any student or indonesian living in Bali. I am planning to do my last 2 years in Hotel Managment in Bali. Do you think that I can survive with 400 USD per month? I can accept any kind of small studio anywhere around the university. I would eat 4 days at home and 3 days in local or fast food restaurants. I would also go for party once a week and i would use local public transportation. Do you think I can survive and live with that much?
    Thank you…

  323. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    Hi mekdad,
    If you are doing some kind of job experience in a Hotel or Apprenticeship in Bali then you will be entitled to eat at the hotel for free this is the main tradition in Indo that the boss must feed and look after his staff, if thats not the situation you should find another hotel, anyway, if you need to rent and live on 400 a month it is not so hard, you can rent for as little as 300 000 IDR a month, also eating on the street stalls is very cheap if you keep away from the tourist areas Bakso can be sold at 6000 IDR and Nasi Goreng around 5-8000 water is 1000 a liter so if you say you want to live and still have some money over at the end of the month you should calculate your low budget at 100 USD for food, 40 USD room rent, water 20 USD, Washing articles, health 60 USD
    For 200 USD its possable. but you must know your way around and be strict with the budget.

  324. CedNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey AJHinter,

    Rent for as little as 300k IDR a month??? Did you mean 300 USD a month instead ? (since mekdad was asking about living with 400 USD / month)

    If not, I would be very interested how/where to find such a deal hehe ;-)

  325. MekdadNo Gravatar QATAR Says:

    Thank you AJHInter for the reply. No, I am not doing some kind job experiance or apprenticeship. I study International Hospitality and Hotel Managment in Stenden University – Qatar. Our university has the main campus in Holland, one in South Africa, one in Thailand, and another in Bali. My plan is to do the last two years in Bali. I love to explore new cultures and locations. I have lived in Hungary for almost 6 years, and living expenses for me were around 350-450 USD per month. I lived in a nice one room apartment and enjoyed my live with that amount. That was from 1997-2003.
    My budget is not more than 400 USD per month and I hope i can have a good life with that much there in Bali. I don’t look for luxarious accomodation and I dont dine in 5 star restaurants every single day. I dont use taxis and rent cars…
    Anyways, Are you telling me that I still can survive with 200 USD/month??

  326. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Ced, AJHinter is completely right, you can easily find a so-called Koskosan, which is basically just a small room for as low as 250K IDR nearly everywhere in Bali. These rooms usually lack of bathroom and kitchen which are outside and shared with others. For a little more (500K-800K) you can find them even in the main tourist areas and with private bathroom and kitchen. Just consider that the average income of a worker here is about 1 million IDR/month and they can live from that and maybe even send some money to their families. Obviously you won’t be able to ever see a Restaurant from the inside or having a beer in the evening if you would like to live on that amount, but it’s definitely possible… ;)

  327. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    I am sure you can survive on 200 USD evan on 100 USD if you are really good. If you want to see some culture maybe a visit to Jawa could be eye opening, and will be cheaper than Bali, I have a house in Kesamben with my wife its near Blitar and Malang in east jawa things there are very indonesian I only see western people once in a while when i am there. But all are very friendly and generous i like fishing in jawa many people have there own fish farm and let me fish for free, normally i get a fish every 2mins then we fry them and have a party, I feel like a part of the society and its good fun. I drive to Bali alot to get some western culture now and then, the roads are slow not like my home place which is germany if I drive 400 KM i need 3-4hrs in Indo I need 17 hrs but its all good fun if you like motorbikes and finding your way around.

  328. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    But now a message to Chris,
    I think you have a great website, and hope you don`t think i want to take over, just its great fun to answer and read these great blogs. Good work mate!
    (tolle Webseite)

  329. MekdadNo Gravatar QATAR Says:

    So I can’t party even once a week if my budget for living expenses is only 400 USD? :(

  330. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Mekdad, this entirely depends upon your understanding of how to party. If it means to get drunk in a club then the math is quickly done: except a few time-limited special offers in some clubs, consider that a small beer will cost you between 30-70K per bottle depending on the club you choose. A cocktail will put you down between 50K-100K, again depending on the location.
    You’ll probably be best off choosing a club near a 24h supermarket where you can “refill” yourself between dancing sessions :D ;-)

  331. ChrisNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    AJHInter and Jurgen, thanks for helping out Mekdad. All replies are welcome of course, don’t be afraid of talking over here! As long as it can help for other to form a better opinion, contributions are very well appreciated. ;-)

  332. martaNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hey there!

    Could someone please recommend the best- price-wise airlines that fly between Singapore and Denpasar.


  333. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    you can nearly walk from there… lol
    try Lion, Garuda they are the cheapest and safest.

  334. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    marta, my cheapest options are AirAsia and JetStar. Just arrived last night with AirAsia from Singapore.

    Depending on when and from what country you book, you can fly as low as 25SGD one way. In May I secured some flights like that with AirAsia for early next year with this promotion. Personally I like AirAsia, they are cheap, on time and offer great food options (for a fee). And they have leather seats.

    JetStar is also not too bad, but usually a bit more expensive.

    KLM currently has a promotion for SIN-DPS-SIN for a bit more than 220 SGD, but I didn’t use them long time.

    Lion Air can be cheap, but they cancelled their direct flights between Singapore and Denpasar a while ago. All flights go via stopover in Jakarta.

    Garuda is in my view the most expensive option. Also their website is pretty cumbersome to use.

  335. DavidNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Has anyone compiled the cost of travel to Bali from UK, any idea how much it will cost

  336. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    David, what do you mean? An economy class ticket – depending on carrier, season and booking location – currently can cost anything between 800-2.000 Euro return.

  337. Cost of Living – Bali 2010 (in Rupiah, Dollar and Euro) » nomad4ever UNITED STATES Says:

    […] Add comments I was asked many times over, to update the Cost of Living spreadsheet on this page. Time is ripe for sure, as prices in Bali soared over the last 3 […]

  338. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Okay guys – you asked for it – you got it! There is an updated spreadsheet available with adjusted prices for goods and services in Bali, updated on 5th of August 2010. Click here to be taken directly to the new update.

  339. Yan SusantoNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Greetings from an Indonesian who lives in Malaysia but contemplating to move to Bali…..

    Chris, I’m really impressed with the time and effort you put into this conversation….. and the way you handled those comments and questions are indeed commendable..

    Anyway, I stumbled upon your blog while I was looking for a reliable internet provider in Bali….. Oh, I’m an internet marketer by profession so a good internet connection is pretty much a necessity….. ;)

    Thanks for the great info, Chris…..Hope we could meet up one day….and yeah, keep up the good work…..


  340. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    it would be good fun to write about East Jawa maybe is anyone interested

  341. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yan, thanks a lot for the friendly words! Makes me feel very good this evening! I must admit though, that it’s sometimes easier to just concentrate on the comments than coming up with a new interesting topic again. Anyway, enjoy your time in Bali and best of luck with your search for a reliable internet connection! ;-)

    AJHInter, what do you have on your mind? :-/

  342. Yan SusantoNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hey again Chris,

    No, I’m yet to settle down in Bali…..If everything goes well, we’ll be there before Xmas….. Seriously, I pick up quite a bit of free info from your blog and I thank you…. I’ve now subscribed and look forward to your upcoming posts…

    Till then….

    PS: It’s time to get a Threaded Comment plugin…. that would make the job of answering to those comments a whole lot easier…

  343. AJHInterNo Gravatar GERMANY Says:

    Hi Chris nothing on my mind,
    just in Jawa are so many places and alot cheaper than Bali.

  344. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Yan Susanto, you are right. I was thinking about the threaded comment plugin quite a while. Let me ponder about that some more and I will test a few over the next weekend. Can you recommend a good one?

    AJHInter, yup, Java is always on my travel list. Borobodur, Bromo, Pambanan, Surabaya, Jogyakarta and other spots are just waiting to be explored. If I just wouldn’t be that lazy. Bali is simply too convenient in a way, that it lulls you into a constant stream of non-activity. :D

  345. AdamNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Once again, thanks for maintaining this blog. There is a lot of good information here. I’m not sure if you can help me with this, but I have a question about getting a Visa to visit Indonesia. My wife will be studying at a university in Indonesia from February 2011 through June 2011. Her school in Indonesia is sponsoring her to get a limited stay Visa. However, her school has told us that they can not sponsor me. I know about the Visa on arrival, but I have read that it is only good for a maximum of 3 months (after two renewals). I would very much like to stay the full 5 months with my wife, and I am wondering if you might be able to offer me any advice. So far the embassies that I have talked to have not been very helpful. Thanks in advance, and I hope you can help!

  346. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Adam, you probably would have to apply for the Sosial Budaya or an Extendable Tourist Visa, before you enter the country. Check out the following article here, regarding more info about Visa. If you have specific questions, you can also ask there and you will get qualified answers very quickly. :D

  347. ShayanNo Gravatar NETHERLANDS Says:

    Hi I would like to go to Bali for study in Universitas Indonesia (UI) do you know howmuch is gonna cost for international students each year.

  348. DeeNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    You people cant be serious! I’m sorry, I only read half the comments and I was shocked!! I live in the Caribbean at the moment and I live with my boyfriend in a upper class residential area. We have a studio loft for 800 USD a month, Elec runs to about 100-180 USD a month, water luckily is included, cable is 25 USD. So for that alone is $1000 a month. Internet is $60 a month, food is at least $250 a month (this is really budgeting), going out doesnt happen every often if we do its to the cheapest places. Gas for my swift is about $80-$100 a month depending where I drive. Anyways, we spend an average of maybe $1,500 a month and things here are very expensive!! And you people are telling me you need $1000 to even $5000 a month to live in BALI!!!!!! REALLY!!!! Were you born with a silver spoon in your mouth??

    I’m sorry but to live a nice life in Bali, I believe you would only need about 1000 USD a month for 2 people.

    BTW looking into moving to Australia, maybe surfers paradise, whats the average cost of living there and how much do people usually make in the hospitality sector? Hope someone can help me out on this! Cheers!

  349. martaNo Gravatar POLAND Says:

    Hey there!

    Can anyone advice me on what is the best way to transfer money from the UK to Bali? Is it best to just withdraw money from the cash machine in Rupiah and if so what are bank charges/currency rate used in that case?

    Also, does anyone know of a place in Jakarta where I could get good deals on electronic equipment?



  350. CedNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Sorry if I’m a bit off-topic but on another hand handling visa issues are also part of the cost of living when you are not indonesian citizen :-p

    I’ve read in some places that it’s possible to find agents in Singapore that arrange a Social Budaya visa, sponsor letter included, within 1 to 3 days… however I’m unable to find them (as in physical location) through google or anything, I’ve even asked many travel agencies in Chinatown, none were aware of this. Anyone knows where in Singapore I should be able to do this ?


  351. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Marta, you might want to check out this article here for some more detailed questions to your answer.

    Ced, in Singapore you can call Hanna Visa Express +65 9654 0870. They usually meet their clients in Orchard Road under the red umbrellas at the McD next to Hilton hotel. Although they have no website or e-mail, I used them several times without any complain. I know that they operate already longer than 10 years and one of the guys is a former embassy employee. You have to be there before 11am and will get your Passport back with Visa sometime around 4pm. Costs around 100 SGD more than the usual Visa, but it’s well worth it, if you consider, that the normal Visa takes 3 working days to process and hotels in Singapore charge usually more than 100 SGD, except some Hotel 81’s in shady areas. For other visa topics,check out this article here.

  352. CedNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Thanks Chris, are you really talking about Social Budaya Visa (with sponsor letter from the agent or someone related) ?
    I’ve also found some “shady” places where can get visa for 100 SGD but they just do the tourist 60 days visa application (so actually it’s 35SGD more expensive than doing it myself at the embassy for 65 SGD – a bit cheaper and less troublesome than doing VOA + extension at Denpasar).

  353. JurgenNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Ced, the Tourist Visa 60 days is actually much better than the Social Budaya Visa. They both contain the Index 211 on the sticker which means they can be extended 4 times for up to 6 months here in Indonesia. The mayor difference is that with the Tourist Visa you can extend anywhere you want, while with the Social Budaya you have to extend in the city of your Sponsor’s residency. This can be a big problem when travelling or when your supplied “fake” sponsor lives in an island 1000km away from your place of choice. Ask Channel One here on this board, he is a professional Visa agent here in Bali and will confirm what I just said.

  354. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Valuable advice by Jurgen. Ced, if you need further expert assistance, please ask your question via the comments of this article. Channel One is a visa agent who is reading comments there and will for sure be happy to help you out. ;-)

  355. ABNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:

    Hey Chris

    First off, monster thanks for this site.

    It has helped my girlfriend and I immmmensily as we’ve learned a ton of important stuff while scheming our move to Bali, and just scored a sweeeet house in Berawa Beach/Canggu lease beginning 1 November.

    A question: Transport $s. We have a one year old boy, and while I know a Bali scooter seats 6, we’re thinking car.

    That said, any insights you could shed on the following questions are tremendously appreciated:
    1. approximate costs for a driver per month, using his car?
    2. approx cost to buy a cool old Toyota LandCruiser that’s been rehab’d?
    3. cost to buy new or used Bali’s ubiquitous Suzuki AlienVsPredator (APV)?

    Monster thanks Chris. See you in MagicalBeautifulBali! -AB (and Martini and Dragon)

  356. ABNo Gravatar SINGAPORE Says:


    Tourist Visa vs Social Visa: Is it correct to say the only difference is Tourist Visa is roaming friendly? -AB

    (AB is a California citizen living in Tampines Singapore and dreaming of Berawa Beach Bali.)

  357. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    AB, am not familiar with car prices at all, you might want to check out the bi-weekly free magazine Bali Advertiser to get an overview.

    Usually, if you rent a car on a daily basis, a driver would cost no more than 100K Rupiah per day. The price goes obviously down, if you rent ‘him’ for a longer time, so I would say, it’s pretty uncommon to pay more than 1.5-2 Mio. Rupiah, if you employ a driver the whole month.

    Regarding Visas, check out this article and comments with much more details and info.

  358. SharonNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi Chris
    Thanks for making your great website here! It’s so much more informative and personable than the usual tourism sites.
    If we come to Bali in mid March, would I be advised to book before we arrive?
    Will it be quite easy to find accommodation for a four week stay or will places be booked out, leaving us little choice?
    We were thinking of staying in Ubud. Our requirements are simply Air conditioning and cleanliness, and up to 1,5 KM from town.
    A big question I have is about the cost. Everything we look at from the internet costs about 30 euros a night -or more! which seems rather expensive for this part of the world so I am of the mind that there are probably a lot of cheaper places, but they do not advertise on the internet. Am I correct?
    Thanks again.

  359. RubenNo Gravatar ITALY Says:

    Hey There!
    I will probably come to Bali for work for an Hotel chain like chef.

    Can anyone tell me how many days of vacation has normally a working year? and how many working days in one week?

    many thanks :)

  360. AuroraNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Dear Ruben,
    I have no idea about the day off given in the hospitality Industry. But for the white collar employees, mostly they’ve got 2 weeks off a year, plus some of the national holiday also…

    Here are the national “calendar” holidays in 2011 :

    * 1 January (New year’s day).

    * 3 February (Chinese new year 2562).

    * 15 February (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday known as Maulid Nabi).

    * 5 March (Hari Raya Nyepi 1933 / Balinese New year) day of silence.

    * 22 April (Good friday).

    * 17 May (Vesak day 2555 – Buddha’s birthday).

    * 2 Juni (Ascension day of Jesus Christ).

    * 29 Juni (Ascension of the Prophet Muhammad / Isra’ Miraj 27 rajjab).

    * 17 Agustus (Independence day of Indonesia).

    * 30-31 Agustus (End of the Ramadan / Idul Fitri 1-2 shawwal 1432 Hijriah).

    * 6 November (Idul Adha 1432 Hijriah). feast of sacrifice..

    * 27 November (Islamic New year 1433 Hijriah) 1st day of muharram.

    * 25 Desember (Christmas day)

    xoxo Cheers :D ;-)

  361. myraNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hi Chris,

    we are a family of 5, and we are seriously looking at Bali, we want to live somewhere near the water, or on the water that is quiet and family friendly. we will need good primary schools and high schools…. can you recommend or direct me to some good international schools, do u have any idea of school fees/cost?

    what kind of rent & living expense can we expect to pay in $AU, we have a decent standard of living now, and would want to at least maintain it- we’d have a cleaner 3 times a week and a driver if possible. what kind of budget should we realisticall look at monthly including rent….

    btw, ur terrific thanks for this site….

  362. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    myra, I’m not so familiar with school fees, but most Expats who need international schools, stay around Seminyak/Kerobokan/Canggu area, as it’s the closest to the international schools. Rent and living expenses would depend on your requirements, I can’t calculate that for you, as I don’t know you and what you would consider basic or luxury. Hence the table above. For your calculations you might want to check out the spreadsheet with the updated numbers for 2010, which can be found here. Good luck for your research and have a safe trip and nice time in Bali! ;-)

  363. AB in BerawaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Chris: Big thanks for your Oct 8 reply about the driver costs. We rented a car for two months (3M) and are now like, what were we thinking! as you are correct in the 1.5M-2M max for a monthly driver.

    Myra: A bit of perspective, and suggestions.

    House: We’re in Berawa (beach, just a bit north of Seminyuk) and with a reallly nice 3B including pool paying 145,000,000 a year, which turns out to be about 1200US a month. Bigger house, bit more. And as Chris said earlier, please skip the realtors and use Bali Advertiser as well a driving around, you’ll save bucketloads and get a better place. (we found this on our own, realtors showed us tons of overpriced places.)

    School: Check out GreenSchool,, super cool option. 18kilometers from our house. If you stick to side roads, an easy mellow drive.
    DayCare: Skobiedo. Can not say enough great things about it. Downtown

    Canggu, 2K from our house. About $200US a month for maximum time, worth every Rupiah.

    Housekeeper: 1,000,000R / US110$ a month. Best dollars we spend.

    Hope that helps. Good luck. -AB

  364. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    AB in Berawa, thanks for helping out myra. I’m glad, that everything worked out for you well! The good thing about Bali is, that there is something for everyone – for every demand and every budget. So that’s why it’s hard to give any concrete recommendations, but like you did it, it’s good! Because that is what worked for you and everyone could compare and make his own comparisons and research further, if not happy with it. Thanks again! :D

  365. AB in BerawaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hey Chris

    Thank you man. This adventure is made possible in part with your immense knowledge.

    Myra: One last thing. House prices (we found) vary greattttly according to distance to beach. We wanted walking, and pay higher for it. If you feel like a 5 minute drive is ok, you’ll save a lot of dollars/get a bigger place for your dollars. That said, prices also vary greatly according to how much the owner is willing to wait for suckers to say yes to a crazy price, so do your homework. See lots of places.

    Also, highly highly recommend you negotiate to a short lease, pay more to get it if necessary, as Bali 1. surprises lots of “I know I’ll love it” people and 2. until you live hear you really can not know for sure (again, meaning long lease) where is the right spot. We were pretty set on Kuta, and I am beyond happy we bailed for Berawa. Everyone is different.

    I say this as, when we were looking for a home to lease (and we negotiated the owners down to a one year lease, 30% as deposit, 50% more at move in, the final 20% 6 months later) we met a lot of people who are trying to get their “we paid 10 years up front and want to bail” bucks back.

    But, if you love it, odds are the house you’re in, like our situation, you can call the owner and add another handful of years to the lease. -AB

  366. SamNo Gravatar HONG KONG Says:

    Hello Chris,
    I will be visiting Bali for 5days during chinese new year. Can you please refer me a good money exchange place in Bali. Is it better to exchange money from HKD to Rupiah outside indonasia or reach Bali and exchange there i.e. get a better rate for USD or HKD?
    Thanx for all the info posted above.

  367. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Sam, I’m sorry, I never use money changers anywhere, as I simply don’t trust them enough. I normally use ATM cards which let me draw money anywhere at minimum fees.

    If you must use Money Changers in Bali – again, be aware that lots of them will try to cheat you – I heard good things about the company ‘Central Kuta Money Changer’, they have several branch offices in the South of Bali and a red-and-blue square logo. They seem to be the most reliable of the bunch, although I also heard, that they sometimes don’t updates their daily rates before 11am-1pm and simply use the rates from the day before, if those are in their favor.

    You might want to read the articles I linked above and consider your options. ;-)

  368. BeccaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hello Chris! Great site! Just wondering if you heard of the English First Online Center in Denpasar. I’ve seen a few ads posted on Dave’s ESL Cafe and everyone states that it’s not enough to live on. I think they pay around $300-400/month after the housing allowance. The prices you’ve posted seem to suggest it would be enough, but…

  369. Koenraad HendriksNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi there,
    thanks for setting up this great site.
    Short version of my story and a question.
    I’m a Dutch national living for the last thirty years in CA
    My dad served in Special Forces during the Sukarno days and also lived on
    Java for three years. He’s no longer around.
    I grew up around lots of Indonesian culture, the islands really put a spin on his head and he always wanted to return.
    I’m to the point now that I’m ready to leave and follow my (and his) bliss.
    I understand all the financial parts etc., but what do I do with the medication
    that I have been taking here in the US?
    Can my doctor direct my script over to Indonesia?
    Do I need somebody here send my meds to me and is that legal?
    Thanks for any help you can give me, I love your site!!

  370. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    Becca, good question and one I can’t answer. Did you try googling/e-mailing/calling them?

    Koenraad, that sounds like an interesting story! Regarding medication/medicines, Indonesia is actually quite well stocked with meds, compared to other Asian destinations. You have big franchises like Kimia Farma and plenty of pharmacies in most cities. You should be able to get most meds OTC here without prescription or they will order it for you. Alternatively you could always order via Online Pharmacies.

  371. KoenraadNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Wow Chris, your on the ball, didn’t expect to hear back from you so fast.
    Thanks for the info, I’ll try to get in touch with Kimia and see what they have to say. I’ll let you know what I find out. Online is probably pretty much out of the question since my meds are considered narcotics ( not sure why but here in the US things are a bit tight with online meds.)
    My mom, my only family and quite the little trekker, still lives in Holland but has a nack to travel low to the ground and ferret out deals. She’s almost ninety but took off yesterday for North Afrika. She was on Bali last year ( did not like it as much as a few decades ago) but anyway, she wants me to go to Sumatra and told me Irian Jaya has opened back up. I could not get a visa a few years ago when I needed to be there for work. PNG was no problem.
    Thanks so much for the info Chris, and I’ll keep you abreast.

  372. ChrisNo Gravatar PHILIPPINES Says:

    You are most welcome, Koenraad! Enjoy the trip and your stay in Bali and Indonesia, am sure you won’t regret it. ;-)

  373. BeccaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Thanks, Chris! I’ve been doing a bit of research on EF Bali and they seem legitimate. You list a monthly rent of under $30 for a two bedroom house! I’ve checked out where some of the prices are quite reasonable at under $2500 for a year! I’m guessing these prices are contingent on actually being in Bali and being able to bargain.

    Could you give me an idea of the cost that would go into the upkeep of a $2500/year house? Does the house usually come with a stove, fridge, etc. or is it usually completely bare? What about safety? Is it really necessary to have a live-in maid to watch over everthing when I’m gone? Controlling pests? Denpasar seems to be the most reasonably priced area.

    I appreciate the help!


  374. DavidNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hi Chris,

    I am in the very preliminary stages of gathering information regarding moving from USA to Surabaya. I was wondering if you would possibly be able to give me ANY info I may need, especially regarding costs of renting, where the better areas are to live, costs of vehicles, etc. Any info or advice is welcomed. Maybe you could tell me what your thoughts are on a good amount to have to be able to live comfortably well, not rich or extravagant but middle to upper middle class, for a year without income. And what a good salary is to maintain that lifestyle while there.

    I know it would be vague…But as I said, any info would help.
    Thank you very much!!

  375. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Becca, it all depends and is highly negotiable. You got to find the place that suits you and make it your own. Some come empty, some partially, some fully equipped. Hard to give any recommendation!

    David, sorry – I have no idea about Living Costs in Surabaya. Never been there. You could take the above spreadsheet or the newer one here as an early estimation, as Bali’s prices are normally on the higher end for Indonesia, only comparable with Jakarta. Most other places, especially also in Java are cheaper compared to those 2 destinations, so you should be okay for a start, until you can verify it yourself on the ground. Good luck for your moving, sounds like a great experience!


  376. MuleNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hey mate hows it going?
    Im planning around the world trip basing it alongside surfing, ive read what you’ve included into your bali budget and its awesome, epic stuff! just wondering, what do you kno about Kerobokan? i wanna stay away from the touristy areas but stil be near the waves, is this a safe bet? any info is much appreciated, cheers!

  377. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Mule, what do you want to know about Kerobokan? I lived there 2 years and had a good time there. Although it saw quite some development the last 2-3 years, there are still good deals and houses, apartments or Kos to be had. Depends all on your preferences.

    Kerobokan is quite well developed, close to Kuta or the beach, close to the highway (Jalan Sunset), there are cheaper shopping options and lots of Warungs to eat locally and you are also very fast in Denpasar. Traffic on the main roads is sticky…but where is it not these days in Bali.

    For updated prices, check the newer spreadsheet for 2010 here.

  378. DenizNo Gravatar REPUBLIC OF KOREA Says:

    Hi Chris
    We’ll go Bali 3 days later, and we gonna stay day min.1 year with my husband and two sons.
    Please gove information about the housekeeper and babysitter sallary :)
    And is there any good international kindergarten ( ENGLISH) in bali?
    Thanks in advance!

  379. arnanNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Guys..i live in bali.. I am looking for house- mate. i have 2 more rooms available for rent for short or long term. located in the city of Denpasar. 30 minutes to kuta beach and 30 minutes to ubud. Email me if you are interested.



  380. Sammyand KrisNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    Great info, the posted rate for the Stana Puri Gopa Hotel is $42.00 CAD per night or 370,267.73 IDR. Would it be wiser to go there upon arrival in hopes of a better rate. Or, are their better accomodations in general for a better cost.
    Thank you
    Kris and Samantha

  381. Sammyand KrisNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    RE Kindergarten

    It seems that Indo has a strong network of Montessori based schools. You should be able to find one to suit your needs IF you are a dedicated Montessorian or choose to raise your children under this guidance. I know IF I can talk my husband for staying longer then a month our three year old will be enrolled upon arrival. Here is a good link for some very basic info on Mont. or (international)


  382. SEANNo Gravatar MALAYSIA Says:

    Thanks buddy for such a great post, without this I wonder how much the millions worth in Malaysian ringgit. Which is the best opening to discover a new culture. So now I figured a formula:

    10 000 (cut off the 3 decimals) = 10
    then 10 /3 = 3.3

    so basically 10 000 rupiah = 3.3 Ringgit (app.)

  383. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sammy and Kris, thanks for helping out Deniz. Regarding the salaries, local salaries for housekeepers, babysitters and similar in-house stuff are usually very low, between 500K-1Mio Rupiah per month, especially if food and accommodation is provided. Ranges vary quite a lot, so it’s better to ask around, what others pay in your area.

    About the hotel rental, normally it’s cheaper to just get a walk-in rate, most published internet rates are inflated and way too high for 3/4 of the year. It all depends on occupancy, which nobody of course will tell you. In my view it’s always better to go there and negotiate at the front desk.

    Sean, glad you could take something out of it. Please also check out the updated spreadsheet here.

  384. Sammyand KrisNo Gravatar CANADA Says:

    We are not seasoned travelers…So I will do my best to research before asking my questions.
    Upon landing we will get our hotel then start looking for a house/villa. Our only concern weather we are in Calgary, London or Bali… is the Saftey and Health of our toddler and with any luck by the time we get there an infant.
    Will someone please give us a heads up on some popular areas that attract expat familys with young children.

    Thanks Samantha

  385. LnorNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    @sammyand from a 4 week tourist…

    My first time to Bali now. 3 days in saminyak, love the Area, but kind of rural when u Get 15 min walking distance from the sentral area, but seems to be many expats with families here (arround town and on beach) . From norway so used to low crime, but never felt as safe as here on vacation. But, traffic is insane, Even on small roads, and pricing is times insanity for tourists, but you Get the hang of it pretty fast. Would really like to live here for a year. If it’s your first time to Asia, like it is mine, it was very strange the first night and day, but now it’s just fantastic, would recommend it to anyone!!!!! book 7 days stay before arriving to be sure to have an easy start, then just walk in to the endless number of lobbies to bargain for much better rates for the rest of your stay, or rent a private residence at extremely lower rates… Blue taxis use a meter and have decent prices. Travel guide said to order official prepaid taxi at airport arrival, found no such thing… Porters at airport cost 5000 rp so dont let them carry bags if you have no currency :) 1 usd arround 8500 rp at the moment, many atms in arrival area, after immigration but before customs, but better to have some cash when landing, less stress (i didnt) Good luck :) Bali <3

  386. aaronNo Gravatar ISRAEL Says:

    I have read that the average salary is $200 per month in there, that means I can live on bare minimum with $200 per month spendings (eating only fruits, eggs and 1br apartment)

  387. AB in BerawaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hey Aaron
    If you’re Balinese you can. That means 1. you own your own home, passed down through generations, and 2. your own land from which you collect eggs, meats, rice etc/what you don’t grow/raise, you trade for 3. you have local friends and trade freely etc. As a non Balinese, $200US will not last you more than a week.

    Kost: $100± a month is your minimum dwelling cost. Electric, food, etc, count on another $200 absolute minimum a month. Add in transport, fines, visa renewals, etc, and you’re looking at $1K bare minimum.

    Bali is not the place to go when you want to spend nothing. Bali is the place to go when you want to become everything. – AB in Bali and Santa Barbara

  388. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Great tips and update about Bali, AB in Berawa! I especially love and agree with your last paragraph. Bali has simply everything to make and keep you have For me there is no other place like Bali, which really has it all. ;-)

  389. Monica RayNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Wow – great information, appreciate the link to the update cost of living table too. Bali sounds like an amazing place to live.

  390. AB in BerawaNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Thanks Chris. :D

  391. AshleyNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    Hello, after reading hundreds of the above comments from 2008 i was surprised to scroll down and see that it has continued into 2011 i wanted to try and read as many as i could so you may not be answering and me asking the same question twice, as many other people have FRUSTRATING a little. I have planned a trip for about 7 days for mine and my boyfriends one year anniversary to bali, I found a hotel deal that is about $600AUD for 6 nights in a standard room in a 3 star hotel with both way VIP airport transfers online. Now i think it’s an ok deal. It looks nice and stuff etc. but i was wondering if anyone knew if i just went there with no prior arrangements and tried to find something, a hotel, would i be able to find a better deal or is that kind of the best it can get? As you have previously said the best way is to go there and kinda see what you can find but is that the same for hotels? also having to find a place with your luggage and with a short time limit.

  392. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Ashley, you will definitely get much better deals here on the ground. 100 AUD per day comes out to about 920K Rupiah currently, which is a lot of money per day for a 3 star hotel. If you checked online, it’s understandable, as most local hotels have no websites and prices for hotels on the internet for Bali are generally inflated.

    The going walk-in rates per day for a 3 star hotel are somewhere in the region of 300-500K Rupiah per day – even cheaper if you stay more than a couple of night. With a week to go you can easily negotiate better deals, depending on the area in Bali.

    Transport from the Airport to everywhere in Kuta/Legian/Seminyak is around 50-60K one way with official taxi, directly bookable at the taxi stand at the Arrival Gate. VIP Airport transport means nothing else than a small minibus from the hotel would pick you up. It’s no higher standard than any Bluebird Taxi around.

    For other price changes you might also want to check the updated spreadsheet for 2010 here.

    What area in Bali would you like to stay?

  393. Leo MoradoNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    HI Chris;

    I´m looking to move to Bali I have only one question what about taxes?, Thank you, best regards….

  394. Shikku KuriakoseNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    hello everybody here,
    i am appointed as assistant finance manager in one of the company in jakarta, indonesia will earn salary of 25,000,000 rupiah per month so can u say how much i have to spend for normal living which should include rent per month of 1 room food articles and transportation.
    I am singgle not yet married so expenses of one guy… please suggest my expenses…..

  395. PavelNo Gravatar not found Says:

    Hi Shikku, I am on Bali and I spend 10mil. rupiah per month. It should be less, but alcohol drinks are expansive here (so every party is expansive) and if you want to do something (surf, travel), it cost money too, etc. I think that if you count with 10 mil. rupiah, it’s ok. If you are sparing person, you need less. If you need luxury restaurant every day, you need more. 10 mil. is absolutely OK for normal living in European standard I think. Question is the rent. If you are ok with one room, 3 mil. rupiah will be the rent I think. If you need big luxury apartment, you can pay 10 mil./month only for rent.

  396. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Pavel, thanks a lot for helping out Shikku Kuriakose and giving some real-life examples. I”m sure with his kind of salary, he could live like a king, if he wants to. ;-)

  397. ChrisNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I do not find these articles very useful… Cigarettes, clothes and beer? C’mon already! That’s not the cost of living. What is housing and utilities, food and cell phones in the area? That’s what someone needs to know to decide whether or not to go there! :(

  398. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Chris, maybe you didn’t see the scroll bar on the right side….the spreadsheet contains more than 80 items which cover the other topics you are asking, although not cell phone prices. There are just too many options and I covered some of them in other articles on this site. You also might want to check out the updated spreadsheet for 2010 here. Enjoy your day and please ask questions, if anything is not clear and you will be helped. ;-)

  399. CarolineNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi Chris what a great site you have here. I was hoping you could help me as I’m starting to have a budget panic!! Me and my husband are coming to Bali for 3 weeks with our 2 children aged 10 & 12 end September. We will be traveling around but staying mostly on the north side. Would you think £3000 is enough. In this budget as we will be paying for Accomadation/Food/Jeap Hire/ Days out ect. The lot!!! Getting worried now we will not have enough. :-o

  400. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Caroline, 1000 Pound per WEEK should be way enough, even for a small family. The North is definitely cheaper than Southern part of Bali and you wouldn’t have any troubles to negotiate competitive prices for tours, transport and such. Just shop around and haggle. I know, many people can spend lots of money in a very short time, but I guess you will be alright. I normally spend 1000 Pounds per month, okay I live frugal, but I also spend quite some amounts for entertainment and else. By the way, there is an updated spreadsheet with prices for 2010, you might want to click here.

  401. CarolineNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Chris thank you so so much. You really have put my mind at rest. You are a star and this site is such a great find. Will be sending friends your way. Best of luck in life.

  402. SeanNo Gravatar UNITED KINGDOM Says:

    Hi Chris. Found a deal online to rent a car in Bali. Would it be cheaper to wait until i get there or are they about the same. It works out 325 USD for 18 days. Its a Jeap.

    Many Thanks

  403. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sean, $325 for 18 days sounds about okay, although I’ve yet to see a real Jeep here for rent on Bali. Makes me suspicious. The most common brands for rent here are the ones in the list above. I also would never ever rent anything online in Bali and not at all when payment in advance is required. Scams and rip-off that way are legend. In my view you are always able to get cheaper deals on the ground. Rental companies are in the hundreds here at every corner and when negotiating prices, just don’t ever take the first price offered, take your time and and make use of the oversupply of rental cars to your advantage. Cash is king when renting cars/bikes!

    Caroline, thanks for the nice words! I’m glad I could help and hope you enjoy your trip! ;;)

  404. MariseNo Gravatar not found Says:

    Hi Chris

    What would you pay for dinner at a hotel (4star)?


  405. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Marise, I would probably not pay for that, as I prefer the local cuisine in simple Warungs….much cheaper and probably healthier. But you can expect to pay anything around 500K-1 Mio Rupiah for a dinner for 2, depending on location and brand of hotel. Alcoholic drinks not included. ;-)

  406. DionNo Gravatar not found Says:

    thanks Chris for your sharing. this’s nice info. ;-)

  407. ZissisNo Gravatar GREECE Says:

    Hello my friend. I’ve just been suggested for a job at surabaya as a pastry chef with 3.500 usd. I am from Greece which we have euro currency.
    Do u think that with that usd i can live there with the ability to store cash? Ofcourse only speaking if i have a room payed by the buissness

  408. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Zissis, from my point of view and also because you might be working most time of the day anyway – with this kind of salary you should be able to live like a king in Indonesia. With family and all, but even more so, if you are single. It’s definitely an Expat salary, 90% of local salaries are way below the 1.000 USD range per month. I wouldn’t think twice about it and take it, if the region, job offer and employer interest you.

  409. ZissisNo Gravatar GREECE Says:

    :-o it seemed that something didn’t felt right and i refused.
    but thanks for the info

  410. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Ooops! Okay then. Better luck next time. :-/

  411. ronak singhviNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    I am an architecture student from india and planning to do my 6months training in Indonesia. Can you please suggest me some of the firms and the type of visa i would require to do training there for 6 months.
    Hope to hear from you soon …

    Ronak Singhvi

  412. joleneNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    I have been considering moving to Bali permantely. I was wondering if you could tell me the average price for a villa? Or something equally as nice. And what steps would I have to take as an American to legally make the permanent move? Thanks in advance. :)

  413. andrewbaker77No Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Villa Prices, from one who’s been through hell and back scouting for a house worth renting. A tip. Villa/house/kost/jailcell rates vary tremendousllllly, and with zero consistency. Unlike US and elsewhere, here, you do NOT get what you pay for. Do yourself a tremendous favor when you push to move here. 1. Get a monthly rental. It’s rare to find, but locking yourself into a year or more pay up front villa is the WORST move you can make for a million reasons, money being the biggest. You will pay too much and get too little, because you don’t know what to look for. The rice paddy next to you that is so pleasant will become a construction zone the day after you sign the lease, meaning 24/7 workers. etcetc. Come, stay monthly, learn the way the Bali Sewa (rent) system works, as well as obvious other stuff, like where is a good place for you, if you actually like Bali, etc. Then, when you know enough, do not talk to real estate agents. Ask cabbies. They allll have a million “brothers/uncles/cousins” and guaranteed know of at least 5 homes in the area you like. And then, look, and look, and look, with patience, until you find a house you like. We JUST scored a really nice house in Perenenan that’s 40% of the cost of our first place, and way nicer for a bunch of reasons. Please take your time. The worst thing new arrivals do here is to rush in to everything only to find out to late they know nothing and are stuck with something they don’t want. -AB in Dalung about to move to Pererenan.

  414. SarahNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:


    I am a certified elementary teacher in the US but am also certified to teach math, social studies and art through 8th grade. I would LOVE to move abroad to teach, since that was my original plan when going back to become a teacher. How difficult is it to land a teaching job in Bali. Also, do you know of any companies that work directly with schools in Bali or do most teachers have to call the schools directly?

    Any advice would be really appreciated!


  415. AliciaNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Dear Chris,
    Thank you for compiling such a wonderful and informative site, very impressive! I am planning a one month trip to Bali Feb 16th-March 16th. I am a single female who will be traveling alone. I have traveled Europe extensively and lived abroad as well, but this will be my first trip to Asia. I have chosen Bali because I feel that it is a safe place for a solo female traveler. I am also very interested in India, Kerala and Goa. How safe is Bali compared to Goa for a woman? I am thinking Ubud is the place I would like to stay in Bali, but I am unsure how far Ubud is from the beaches. I do not feel safe driving myself and I am concerned with the cost of “getting around.” My budget will be around $1,000US, maybe a bit more. If I eat frugally and do not smoke and rarely drink, do you think this is enough money for an entire month? As far as hotels, I will most likely look into something relatively cheap. I am concerned with recent news that Bali has been trashed by an overwhelming surge in tourism. How true do you think this is? Is Bali really a dirty, overly crowded place now? If so, do you think I would enjoy Goa more? One more question, what are the absolute medical necessities for protecting oneself from mosquito bites? I was overwhelmed by the recommendations for Hep A, B, rabies and a million other vaccinations that I cannot afford. Should I be concerned with any of these medical worries?
    Thank you so much in advance!

  416. andrewbaker77No Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Bali vs Goa for a woman. Oh man, that’s funny.

    Hi Alicia

    Couple quick thoughts.

    Dollar wise, 1K = $33 a day. In Bali, that can disappear in 10 seconds, or that can last for 10 meals, depends on the person. To be honest, it will be tough to find both a room and transport and keep to that dollar amount. A suggestion: Halve your time here and double your daily budget. Bali is pretty small so if you’re really full of energy you can see a lot a lot in two weeks. Now, at $66 a day, you’ve got a room and a driver/car so you can look see look see, as there is just so much cool stuff all over Bali.

    Food. The best and safest is also the cheapest. Warungs (food stall.) Roadside, about $1US a meal, and really delicious. You must like spicy, and you must be courageous, but hey, adventure is why you travel.

    Rooms: Try A very cool way to bump around the island, a few nights here a few nights there, and a driver in between. Seems like you can find plenty of $25± rooms, and vs a local hotel, much better change of nice rooms vs crabby run down cheap Bali rooms.

    Transport. A half day driver will be about 250,000 Rupiah, which today is $28US. Maybe four or five different places, so four or five days with a half day drive is $125 of your 1K.

    Safety. I can not imagine a safer place on earth. (Yes there are stories of murder etc, but overall, your biggest safety challenge will be to survive “hello misses” from every little kid when in the non-touist areas.

    Non-tourist areas. Honestly, if you’re not a clubbing and scoring person, Kuta is done in a day. Spend your time and money exploring well past Kuta. Balian, cool surf spot on the south coast about 2H West of Kuta. Amed, great diving, about 2H North of Kuta. Perenenan, where I am about to move, chill beach chill village about 30M West of Kuta. (and by Feb, we’ll have a room to rent if you want, pool, cool house etc) email me. Lovina. North side of Bali, say 4 hoursish, Dolphins, slow, chill. Craters. Center of Bali, 2+ Hours. National Park, furthest point from airport/Kuta, but wellllll worth the effort. (you could line up a seat on a tourist bus, guessing 250,000Rupiah??) And it goes on and on.

    In other words, don’t get one place and sit. Keep in motion. Which, brings my last suggestion. 7K (16 lbs) or less in the pack. The less you bring the more you see and if you need it they sell it and sell it for less than you’ll pay at home. (with the singular exception of size 45 sandals.)

    Good luck.Have fun! – AB Do What You’ll Remember.

  417. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Sarah, I’m sorry, I can’t help you with your question. Your best bet would probably be to contact international schools directly and see what they can offer you.

    Alicia, I can only recommend to listen to andrewbaker77‘s advice. It’s all so true and I couldn’t imagine a better way to say it. Hope you have a nice trip! ;-)

  418. ArunNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    I am a Software Engineer from Bangalore ,India.I am planning to move from India to Jakarta for a project . I would like to know the salary scale for the Engineers in Indonesia. Also Would like to know how much will be my monthly expense ?how much will be the rent and food expense now.
    Expecting a quick reply..
    Arun V S

  419. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Arun, I have no experience with salaries for software engineers, it depends a lot on your skills, the company you work for and under what conditions. Usually in that industry salaries are decent and you shouldn’t be worried to not being able to survive. Although for Jakarta, I wouldn’t start for anything less than 3 Million Rupiah per month, better 5 Mio. Anything above should be plain sailing. Expenses depend on you, maybe take the newer chart here and add about 50% for inflation and Jakarta-factor. If I were you, I would go for it. Money isn’t everything and working in another country/culture has more benefits than cons, it will definitely widen your horizon, especially if it’s only a limited period of time. I’d say, go for it! ;-)

  420. ArunNo Gravatar INDIA Says:

    Hi Chris,
    Thanks for the info…I would like to know , how much will be the tax for the foreign employees.Is thre any rule that u must spend a % of ur salary thre in INdonesia.

  421. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Arun, as I was never employed and never worked in Indonesia, I have no knowledge about the tax rates here. But I don’t think there is any law, that you have to spend a certain amount of your salary here. You might want to check with your employer or google the respective websites of the tax revenue office.

  422. EmmyNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    hai Chris,
    you must be update for cigarettes price list he..he..he…

  423. AJHinterNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Cigarettes Marlboro lights are 13000 idr a packet the cheapest are around 2000 idr
    if u like cloves

  424. Donna RutgersNo Gravatar AUSTRALIA Says:

    hi there Chris my partner and i have 4 kids age range 15,11,4,3 and we are seriously looking at buying a villa in Bali in the next few years to rent in beginning and then retire too in years to come. any ideas?
    also i heard there is an australian school there? best person to contact about moving to bali?
    thanks heap s look forward to ur response :)

  425. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Donna, I would be careful if someone offers you to ‘buy’ a villa. Foreigners are not allowed to own any real estate in Indonesia, if not part of a company – and even for those there are more shady deals than legit ones. You can either rent or lease long-term.

    My advice is always the same: come here first, take your time, drive around and check out areas and places, rent for short-term first until you get a better overview and understanding of the market, avoid dealers, try to contact the owners of interesting properties directly, negotiate hard without any time pressure and involve a lawyer or notary when signing long-term deals. The area of your choice depends on your needs and interest. And yes, there are Australian and other international schools available. All in all, you will like it, if you depend on your own common sense and don’t do deals that seem to good to be true. ;-)

  426. MassimoNo Gravatar SLOVAKIA Says:

    Hi Chris,

    First of all compliment for you blog and lifestyle!
    Me and my wife would like to take a 6 mont gap year in Bali or Lombok.

    Some question:
    1)best place to settle : Bali or Lombok. Safest area?
    2) prices of long term houses.
    3)average monthly budget to live in a modest way.
    4)I’m sailing and I was considering to open a small watersports business( hobie cat rentals) what do you think?

    Thanks for your advices


  427. Travis RamseyNo Gravatar UNITED STATES Says:

    Hey buddy. I’ve been living a similar life but have not been to Asia yet. I have my eyes set on Bali. I want to rent a nice house in I think seminyak for couple months in around June 2013. I read there is surf in that area as well as nightlife and restaurants. Also I read biz net offers the fastest Internet in Bali? Is this info true? And most important what is the best way for me to find a place to rent. Online the prices are much more than what you have listed here. I’m looking at Can I find this before arriving and where?

  428. ChrisNo Gravatar INDONESIA Says:

    Hi Massimo, sorry for the late reply! Didn’t notice your comment earlier. Hope you found meanwhile *your* place. As per your first question, there are no definite answers. Only you can answer those for yourself, based on your wants, needs and luxury demands. The above table can only give you some hints for that. As for your own business, I’m not sure. I never went down that road. Basically, running a business in a foreign country (in Asia) can be tricky, if you don’t offer a special or unique service, that can’t be easily replicated.

    Hi Travis, yes, Bali is pretty popular with surfers, not so much Seminyak, but it’s the same beach further down in Legian and Kuta, which is popular with amateurs and pros alike. The fastest internet depends on the area where you are in, I wrote a few articles a couple years back about internet in Bali, but then, it’s changing too fast to keep track for me. Online prices for housing and accommodation is usually inflated compared to prices on the ground (if you don’t count hotels and daily rentals). I would recommend to come here, stay a few weeks in a hotel and scout the areas you are interested in for appropriate properties. Good luck, man! ;-)

  429. siljeNo Gravatar NETHERLANDS Says:

    Is there websites you recommend to look for long term housing? Also what areas are nice to live on Bali?

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