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Is Bali Still a Good Place to Live as an Expat?

Thinking of moving to Bali? Don’t make things hard on yourself. Get The Ultimate Guide for Moving to Bali and learn how to make the move quickly and easily.

Ask an expat or long-term resident of Bali how much the island has changed in the last 10 years, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. Many will tell you about how much more traffic there is now. Others will tell you about how much more expensive things are, and how a Bintang used to cost 50 cents. Most of them will talk about the “good ol’ days”.

Then some of the more positive expats will talk about how the internet and infrastructure has improved drastically in the past 10 years. Or how many more and varied facilities for everything from sports to leisure are available on the island. Or the vast selection of food and restaurants now available from practically every country around the world.

All of the examples above are completely true, although many expats will choose to answer that question while focusing solely on the positives or the negatives.

After recently spending several months away from Bali while traveling, upon my return I was forced to reassess the island of Bali and expat life here in a whole new light. I’ve always truly loved living in Bali, but being able to compare it so directly to so many new places exposed a few of the island’s shortcomings. Those shortcomings were easy to recognize while away, but when I returned, I remembered immediately why so many expats call Bali home. (more…)

Moving to Bali Guide

EVERYTHING You Need to Know About Moving to Bali - Finally in One Place

Note: ebook updated february 2018.

  • visa section totally renewed
  • updated all prices
  • new chapters on residency /citizenship, taxes, ...
  • more info on finances
  • more info on looking for accomodation
  • expanded health & healthcare section...
  • 50+ pictures added
  • & more...

Eyes open.

A warm morning breeze blows in from the ocean, bringing the salty scent and sounds of the crashing waves into your room.

Another day of your new life in Bali begins.

Outside on the balcony of your beachside villa, the sun shines upon an ocean dotted with distant surfers riding cresting waves.

The scent of your breakfast being prepared by your maid (who you pay $120/month) leads you downstairs to your pool-side dining table. A delicious plate of fruits (picked that very morning, of course), a vegetable-packed omelette, bacon, and a cup of the famous Bali Kintamani coffee (totaling about $2 AUD) await you.


Today will be a good day.

After a $5/hour full body massage at the spa, you'll be meeting friends for a delicious Babi Guling (suckling pig, an Indonesian delicacy) lunch.

This afternoon? Maybe yoga. Or a book by the beach. Or shopping in the markets. Or climbing Mt. Batur. Or a night of dancing...you're really not sure yet.

You do know one thing though. Tonight, like every other night of your life in Bali, will see you collapsing into bed exhausted, smiling, and excited for tomorrow.

And this whole lifestyle: the beachside villa, the personal maid, the delicious healthy foods, the daily adventures...it’s all costing you less than $2000 AUD/month.


So you want to join us expats on the Island of the Gods? Great!

It's a good thing you've found this page.

You'll be living a life of tropical royalty. Delicious and healthy food, your own villa and staff, and a beach-going, coconut-drinking lifestyle.



It's not so easy to get set up here

Indonesian expat laws are a costly tangle of confusing rules and regulations that threaten to suck up your time, lighten your wallet, and stress you out considerably if you don't know how to navigate them.


Even basic questions have overly-complex answers…

These are not easy questions…and no one has ever organised their answers into an easy-to-use resource.

Until now.




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Five years ago, I stepped off the plane and onto Bali soil

Since then, I’ve made (or seen others make) nearly all the mistakes one can make in the face of these problems. I wasted a lot of time, endured a lot of stress, and got myself into legal messes more than once in the process of figuring out how to best answer them.


I've learned the hard way

But now I have a furnished three bedroom home for $1250 a year in my favourite part of Bali, a brand-new motorbike on rental, a Balinese girlfriend, an online-generated income, and a mastery of both Bahasa Indonesia and Basa Bali (the Indonesian and Balinese languages) that has earned me many local friends, connections and discounts.


Life is good now

My visa situation is secured and renewals are automatic. My home internet is 7mb down (fast enough for absolutely anything online to run smoothly).

I have a network of interesting and adventurous locals and expats that I spend my days with. I’ve even acquired a local license to cut down on police bribes!


Helping people to get set up here

I have helped over a hundred new expats set up their lives in Bali over the last four years. At first just friends. Then people referred to me by these friends. Eventually word got out and I became a go-to man for expats who needed help setting up and maintaining their lives in Bali.

Over the years, I condensed and refined the method you need to be completely set up in Bali, have all your questions answered (and know which questions to ask in the first place!), and be fully prepared to live in this island paradise for as long as you wish in any way you wish.

I organised and prioritised this method so well that I have been able to successfully and repeatedly get expats fully set up in Bali within 7 days of their first step off the plane.


At a fraction of the price for a consultation

And now I can do it for you… at a fraction of the price you usually have to pay people like me for consulting. All you have to do is read through and follow the easy and clear process I've created for you in The Ultimate Guide For Moving To Bali, and you'll be able to have yourself set up here in 7 days if you wish (or longer if you want to take it slow).


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Here's what people who have bought "The Ultimate Guide for Moving to Bali" have to say:

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Buy eBook - 19.99 USD

(for EU customers: VAT will be added on top of this price)


Resource for a stress-free move to Bali

Have no fear of wasting your hard-earned money on problems you didn't know to expect or didn’t know how to avoid. I show you how to avoid the problems you can, and deal with the unavoidable ones as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Have no stress or worry about having to navigate the many rules and customs that confront us Balinese expats. I give you a guide of how to deal with both Balinese social customs and Balinese expat laws so you're not stumbling into trouble.

Have no time wasted running around town looking for solutions to problems. I've mapped out where to go, who to talk to, and what to pay for every single problem you'll encounter.


Money back guarantee

In fact, I'm so confident in my tried-and-tested Ultimate Guide For Moving To Bali that I'm going to offer you a 100% money back guarantee.

Yup, if you don't absolutely love this guide for any reason at all, just email me and I’ll give you every cent you paid for it right back…! I'll even let you keep the guide.

If you're coming to join us in Bali…if you're even thinking about it…The Ultimate Guide For Moving To Bali will tell you everything you need to expect, and all that you need to do to make your move here as smooth, inexpensive and worry-free as possible.


It can save you thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours

In fact, it would be unusual if it didn’t.

And if it doesn't? Well then you get 100% of your investment back. Not a bad deal, eh?


This is your chance

Click the Buy Now button below, and you'll have the PDF guide on your screen immediately.

From there, just spend a couple hours relaxing and reading it on whatever device you like (it looks great on iPhones, iPads, Androids, Kindles, even computer screens). Then keep it to refer back to whenever you have a problems. And use it as your step-by step guide for what to do during your move to paradise.

And, hey, let me know when you land in Bali. We'll go out for a few Bintangs beers and chat about just how awesome life is here in Bali.

Buy eBook - 19.99 USD

(for EU customers: VAT will be added on top of this price)

- Steve Carrole


P.S. Just in case you run into a quandary without a simple solution, or have a custom question you'd like a custom answer to, I’ve made myself easy to reach. All my contact info is listed in the back of the book, as well as on multiple pages.


Making the Decision to Move to Bali

After deciding what your reason is for making the transition to Bali is, you need to think long and hard whether moving there is really the right decision for you.  This section is in no way trying to convince anyone to not make the move, but it is a pretty big situation and one that needs to be taken seriously.

Most people that have been to Bali before on holiday are filled with beautiful memories of sitting around the pool sipping drinks, finding great bargains while shopping and living a carefree couple of weeks.  While all of those things are still more than possible for the expat lifestyle, things will tend to unfold a little bit differently for the long term resident here.  Many people fall in love with Bali during their initial visits, which could be referred to as a sort of honeymoon period.

Getting Your Stuff to Bali

One of the questions that most people have about their move to Bali, is how to get all of their stuff over here.

Unfortunately, there really isn’t one simple answer to this question.  Of course the most popular method of shipping goods overseas would be to pack all of your stuff into a container and send it by boat.  If you choose to use this method then your goods will not be able to be shipped directly to Bali, as even though Bali is a popular tourist destination it is still not equipped to be able to handle that level of import and customs.  Your container will arrive (slowly) to the city of Surabaya, which is located in the eastern section of Java, the large island located to the west of Bali.


Now most people will assume that since their good are already in the country of Indonesia that the hard part is almost over, but reality, the struggle is just beginning.  Indonesia has a notoriously corrupt government and this goes especially for anything having to with importing goods and dealing with customs.  Horror stories can be heard from many people who have spent thousands of dollars trying to ship their valuables in for their new life in Indonesia only to be faced with numerous problems.

One of the main problems is that customs and import laws in Indonesia are constantly changing and the process of getting your stuff to the port in Surabaya can take so long in itself that the laws often change within that time (or are said to have been changed).  Many people have tried to ship containers over, only to be met with problem after problem until they have just given up and decided to ship their container back to their home country.

Unfortunately there is no right or wrong way of getting all of this done and there is no way of knowing if things will go smoothly or not.  There are agents to smooth over many of these problems but some people have reported experiencing problems with customs that even the agents couldn’t get past.


Do you really need to bring everything over?

Things are not all bad though, because you may find it completely unnecessary to bring all of your furniture and personal effects to Bali in the first place.

Many houses and villas for rent in Bali will come completely furnished for you already which would mean all of that furniture that you brought from home would just be taking up extra space.  Also if the place you are interested in renting does not come furnished, it is quite cheap to furnish an entire house with locally made Balinese style furniture.

Of course it may not have some of the memories of your furniture from back home, most agree that living in a Balinese style house complete with Balinese style furniture really helps to make their stay here all the more authentic.

In actuality, it would generally be much cheaper to furnish your entire house with new furniture than it would be to ship all of your old furniture over.

Plus if your lifestyle leads you elsewhere and you eventually decide to leave Bali you can sell your furniture and get a large chucnk of that money back, and not have to worry about dealing with the hassle of shipping all your furniture back home, where it may not arrive for many months.


Continue on to What to Bring With You to Bali