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by Steve Carrole

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

Posted In:
Living in Bali | Moving to Bali

Bali still a good place to live?

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…)

by Steve Carrole

Moving to Bali Guide

Posted In:
Moving to Bali

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…

  • Where should you live? In Ubud for the wonderful yoga expat culture? Uluwatu for the surfer's paradise? Kuta for the night life? Somewhere else?
  • When you do choose a town, how will you buy a home when non-Indonesians can't own land?
  • What Visa should you get? And how will you deal with the frequent renewals they require…avoiding the rules that ask you to leave and re-enter the country every few months?
  • Should you learn the Indonesian language? How?
  • Do you want to navigate the chaotic roads yourself, or hire a driver? Either way, how do you find a high quality and inexpensive way of getting around?
  • How should you deal with the corrupt Balinese traffic police (who will pull you over and ask for bribes, regardless of how law-abiding you are)?
  • What happens if you fall in love in Bali? If you want to get married?
  • What should you do in the case of a medical emergency? If you need medication, how will you find it here? Should you invest in vaccinations?
  • How should you manage your money? How can you make more of it? How can you avoid "Tourist" prices wherever you go, and pay what the locals pay?
  • How can you get the fastest home internet in Bali? And the best phone plan?
  • What should you bring with you on your move here? What is cheaper and faster to buy on-island?

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

Until now.




Buy eBook - 19.99 USD

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


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).


Buy eBook - 19.99 USD

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


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

Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.51.36 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.52.05 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.52.36 AM Screen Shot 2014-07-31 at 11.53.04 AM
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.


by Steve Carrole

Making Money in Bali

Posted In:
Money | Moving to Bali

Making money in Bali


One of the most important things to your life in Bali, will be how you are going to make a living here. Finding a job in Bali is not easy, as the Indonesian government would rather give jobs to locals whenever possible. For the jobs that they will allow foreigners to do, it can be hard to find an open position as so many people want to be here. Don’t get discouraged though because it is possible, even more so if you are willing to think outside of the box.


by Steve Carrole

Indonesian Abbreviations for House Hunting Explained

Posted In:
Bahasa Indonesia | Moving to Bali


Just like in your country, when placing real estate ads in the paper, Indonesians will abbreviate so that they can save space.

Trying to find a house in a paper that is printed in a language that you don't speak is hard enough, but it is even harder when things are abbreviated and you can't look them up in the dictionary.

So here is a list of some common terms that are often found in the newspapers when looking for houses:


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

Vaccinations to Consider for Bali

Posted In:
Health | Moving to Bali

Before you get on the plane you know that there are already a whole bunch of things that need doing first. The most common question that people ask is about vaccinations, which ones are required, which ones are recommended and which ones are not entirely necessary.

The answer is different for different people and will end up with what you feel comfortable with. Many people have lived for years in Bali and Indonesia without ever having a single vaccination or a single problem related to not having one. Your health is important and if you feel that you are better safe than sorry then you should start your vaccination regimen at least a month before departing.

by Steve Carrole

An eBook Reader Can Be Your Best Friend

Posted In:
Moving to Bali

One of the things that was frustrating to me in the beginning of my stay in Bali, was the low selection of books available in Bali. There are two main book stores here in Bali, Periplus which features the broadest selection of English language literature and Gramedia which mostly sells books written in Bahasa Indonesia. As an avid reader, I managed to get through the selection of the books in these stores pretty quickly and the high price of the books was not appealing either. My solution was to buy an eBook reader and it has easily become one of the best purchases I have ever made in my life. I can carry around thousands of books on something smaller than a netbook that weighs less than half a kilo. I have an unlimited library at my disposable thanks to the internet and have been enjoying some of my favorite classics.

by Steve Carrole

What to Bring With You to Bali

Posted In:
Moving to Bali

Now that we have covered how to get your stuff over here (or maybe more practically, not getting your stuff over here), it is time to take a look at things that you should really looking into bringing over with you before you get here.

Despite how beautiful Bali is and how great life can be here, Bali is still part of Indonesia, which is a developing country and some of your western amenities will not be easily accessible if accessible at all here.

by Steve Carrole

Relationships and Marriage in Bali

Posted In:
Moving to Bali

Out of all the reasons people have for relocating to Bali, one of the constant ones always seems to be love.  Whether moving to Bali to be with a current lover, or moving to Bali to find new love, there is never a shortage of interracial couples to be found on the island.

There are some challenges to overcome for sure just like any relationship, but throw in all of the cultural differences and there are many problems, situations and even happy events that can arise from it all.

by Steve Carrole

Reasons to be in Bali

Posted In:
Moving to Bali


One of the first things to consider when moving to any new place, not just Bali, is what are your specific reasons for moving there?  One of the great things about Bali is that it has something to offer just about everyone.  Many people decide to move to Bali to enjoy a much more relaxed lifestyle, although that will require some amount of money as a cushion to support your relaxing and carefree lifestyle.  Bali is a cheap place to live but you can easily spend a lot of money in a short amount of time if you don’t plan things well.

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