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by Steve Carrole

Where are All of the Balinese People in Bali?

Posted In:
Living in Bali


As traffic grows more congested and the air and level of noise becomes more polluted, people are often asking themselves why they come to Bali in the first place. For many people the answer is simple, the people and their culture. The Balinese people have probably been the most instrumental thing in making the island the tourist attraction that it has become. That is why some people are so confused as why they don’t seem to really cross paths with many Balinese while out and about during their stay in Bali. (more…)

by Steve Carrole

Considering Solar Power in Bali? Better Plan for Frequent Sun Outages

Posted In:
Living in Bali

Bali is the type of place where seemingly strange things go on all the time and after a while you stop noticing or realizing just how strange some of these things are. In fact, one of the best ways to tell if you have truly acclimated to the local culture is your ability to dismiss things that make little sense without much thought. I've gotten pretty good at that myself, but this message that I got from my satellite service the other day couldn't be ignored. (more…)

by Steve Carrole

Anatomy of a Motorbike Accident in Bali

Posted In:
Getting around Bali | Living in Bali

Given the chaos that is Bali roads, it is only natural that accidents can happen. It is amazing that there are not more accidents than there are, given the sheer amount of people and style of driving, but they still do happen and the entire situation is much different than that of a western country. The other day I observed an accident happen and took notice of all of the differences.

Usually, it is a bad idea for a foreigner to stop and have a look at what is going on if they observe an accident, due to many accidents being blamed on the foreigner whether they are at fault or not. For this situation, I was already off my motorbike when the accident took place, so I observed from a distance.

by Steve Carrole

Finding a Maid in Bali

Posted In:
Living in Bali

Most expats living in Bali tend to have at least one staff member under their employment. It is sometimes a controversial topic, as in western countries it is very rare to have a maid in your home, and some feel it is inappropriate to keep a servant. That is a very skewed way of looking at the situation though.

For an expat living in Bali a maid’s service can be invaluable, and it also provides a job to a local who may otherwise not have any work. As long as you treat your staff with the respect that any human being deserves, there should be no reason for anyone to think any less of you for employing a maid.

by Steve Carrole

Indonesian Visas for Living in Bali

Posted In:
Living in Bali | Moving to Bali | Visas

Visas are constantly the cause of much headache for many foreigners coming to live in Bali.

When it comes to Visas for living in Bali, there is very little official information from the Indonesian government available online. And on top of that, the laws are always changing as well.

They are many different types of Visas to choose from. Thankfully there a few that fit almost everyone.

Sosial Budaya Visa

The majority of expats living in Bali are here on what is called the Sosial Budaya Visa (Social Culture Visa), also referred to with the index of 211. This visa is valid for a term of 60 days (not 2 months) and can be extended four times for 30 days (not 1 month) each.

These extensions you can do yourself or for a little bit extra you can hire an agent to do it for you. If you decide to do it yourself you will spend almost one day a week in the immigration office doing paperwork so it usually better that you allow an agent to do it. An agent can handle this for around rp 500,000 – 650,000 a month which is not terribly more than you would pay to do it yourself although you will save yourself a big headache.

The Sosial Budaya visa requires that you have a local sponsor with a valid ID (KTP) for Bali. If you do not have a sponsor while applying for your visa at home, then you should apply for a 60 Day Tourist Visa, which you can then change into a Sosial Budaya within those 60 days once you are in Bali and find someone to be your sponsor.


If you are going to be on a sort of rotating schedule and never spending more than 60 days at a time in Bali, then you can simply get your visa in the airport when you come in. The 30 Day Visa On Arrival (VOA) which costs $25 USD can now be extended for an additional 30 days either at the airport immigration or the immigration office in Renon. The extension will cost you another $25 USD and you will save yourself the visa troubles for the most part. Overstaying your visa will cost you $25 per day however.


Business Visa

Another visa that many foreigners hold is the Business Visa. There is a bit of confusion surrounding this visa and whether or not it gives the foreigner permission to work while in Indonesia.

The short of it is, you do not have any rights to work while on a Business Visa, although you may conduct business for your foreign affairs while in Indonesia. They may sound a bit the same but they are different. What it basically boils down to is that you are allowed to meet with clients, buy materials and talk business, but if you are caught actually working then you will find yourself in big trouble.

There are two type of Business Visas, single-entry and multiple-entry with the single entry being very similar to the Sosial Budaya and the multiple-entry visa requiring you to leave the country once every 60 days even if just for a couple of hours or so.


For a foreigner in Bali, the KITAS is king

The KITAS is something like a permanent residency card and gives you privileges like local prices on things where there is a clearly marked dual pricing system, and the ability to own vehicles in your name, but not land. Most KITAS holders obtain their KITAS by being employed by an Indonesian company although you can also obtain one by being married to a local, although that one will not permit you to work in Indonesia.

If you have found a job, make sure they are willing to provide you with a KITAS. If they are not willing then do not accept their offer because they are putting you at a huge risk by asking you to work without the proper visa. Most good jobs will not only provide but pay for your KITAS as well, which is around 1200 USD per year.

Working with a KITAS

Note that when you have a KITAS, you are only allowed to work for the employer that has sponsored your KITAS, it is NOT a work permit to work wherever you see fit.

If you are caught working in a place that is not specified in your KITAS then it is just as bad as working with no visa at all. There are a few different lengths for the KITAS but the large majority of them are valid for one year.


Help from an agent

If you would like to seek out the help of an agent like mentioned above, there are many places you can do this with many independent visa agents located all over the place in Bali. If you feel more comfortable knowing that your passport and visa are safe in the hands of larger reputable businesses then the two most popular choices are:


Bali IDE
Jalan By Pass Ngurah Rai No. 100
Pesanggaran - Denpasar - Bali
Phone : +62 361 726 200, 726 500
Fax : +62 361 726 271

Bali Mode
Head Office

Jl. Sriwijaya No. 7 Legian - Kuta - Bali
Phone : +62 361 - 765162
Fax : +62 361 - 763562

Ubud Office

Jl. Raya Hanoman No. 27 Ubud - Gianyar - Bali
Phone : +62 361 970288
Fax : +62 361 970288

They are both great for when you are trying to get information on the process of getting your visa made and what sort of visa you should be on, but after that they are a bit expensive to handle your extensions. There are many cheaper options for Visa Extension Agents.


by Steve Carrole

Getting Internet in Bali

Posted In:
Living in Bali | Moving to Bali

Probably the most consistently complained about aspect of living in Bali, besides possibly the traffic, is the unbearably slow internet speed and the high price of such a slow service.  It can really be a thorn in your side especially if you are coming from a country that has blazing fast internet for about $30 a month.

The thing to understand is that Bali and for the most part Indonesia as a whole simply does not have the sort of infrastructure to be able to support many of these forms of internet that we are used to and that sort of technology is expensive.  While you may curse the high price of your slow internet compared to your home country, you must also think if the house or villa that you are living in would be available for such a low price in your home country as well.

Eventually the slower pace of things in Bali will set in and you will get used to it, but the good news is that Internet is getting better and better by the day in Bali.  Let’s take a look at some of the internet options available today.  Note that this only covers the provides for the southern area of Bali. (more…)

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