Of course, living in Bali is quite different from taking a holiday there. However, there is no doubt that this island is an incredibly beautiful place to live and work, and it is not surprising that many expats from all over the world live there, but it is worth knowing the pros and cons. Bali has mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, parks, stores and beaches. You can hike, mountain climb, snorkel, dive, swim or just relax and sunbathe.
Services do not work very well. Public transportation is very scarce in Bali. The island is full of cabs, scooters, and private cars, most of which are old and not regularly maintained, resulting in significant air pollution. Private schools are expensive, and health insurance is not cheap either, but necessary given the low level of public health care. Bureaucracy can be difficult and requires time, patience, and often a lot of unnecessary paperwork. There are usually two ways to deal with the red tape. 1) Arm yourself with patience and time and complete the procedures in person. 2) Pay someone to do it for you.
Living in Bali is not cheap. Vacation accommodations are expensive. Products in supermarkets in Bali are not cheap either, as most things are imported. If you get used to eating only rice, shopping will be cheap, but if you want to buy something else, the price will go up a lot. It is possible to live on Bali on a shoestring budget by staying far from the beach or in a small inland town and getting used to eating like a local.
People in Bali are generally friendly, helpful and positive, everyone smiles and is ready to help you. Balinese people are among the friendliest and most helpful people in the world. Although 90% of the Indonesian population practices Islam, Bali is a stronghold of Hinduism.
Many foreigners would like to move to Bali and live there, but it can be difficult to find a job. The Indonesian government does everything it can to make it difficult for foreigners to work in Indonesia. Foreigners who come here to work are seen as taking jobs away from the local population. Most of the foreigners living in Bali have income from abroad or work abroad.vThe procedure for obtaining a work visa is expensive and not easy to obtain. For this reason, many people work in Bali without a work visa and hmany foreigners are expelled every year.
There are also some jobs for foreigners offered by companies willing to sponsor their visa, but these are few. The cost for a company to hire a foreigner is about $2,200 per year. So if there is a local worker with the same qualifications, it makes no sense to hire a foreigner. In any case, it is not impossible for an immigrant to find work in Bali if he has the right qualifications, but remember that there are no special websites with job offers for foreigners, so you should contact the companies directly.
The most accessible jobs for foreigners are:
- Diving Instructors: Bali is a popular place for diving and there are a large number of foreigners working as diving instructors.
- Cook: for experienced cooks there are opportunities in upscale restaurants and of course in big hotels that are looking for foreign cooks
- Tourism sector: in Bali, the locals mostly speak only English. If you know some foreign languages, you can more easily find a job in the tourism sector and sometimes even in a company that operates abroad
From a business perspective, Bali continues to offer interesting opportunities in the tourism sector, e.g. restaurants, guesthouses, diving centers, vacation agencies, etc.
Living and working in Bali – pros and cons
Living in Bali, pros
- There is good racial and religious harmony
- Low crime rate
- Multicultural and cosmopolitan environment
- Most people are quite relaxed, rarely get angry and are friendly
- More liberal and tolerant than many other places in Indonesia
- Good climate in summer it is hot but not very humid
Living in Bali, cons
- Higher cost of living than many other places in Indonesia:
- Inadequate services (school, health, infrastructure)
- Heavy dependence on tourism, the entire economy can be seriously affected if the number of tourists decreases, as happened with the Covid pandemic
- Corruption at various levels (police, government offices, etc.)
Living and working in Bali, conclusion
In Bali you live well, you’re surrounded by a positive attitude, life goes on calmly and without stress. When you live in Bali, you feel like you’re on vacation all year round. But there are also disadvantages: not everything you want to buy can be found, you can’t drink tap water, you have to fight with mosquitoes. Do you think that these small shortcomings are a reasonable price to pay for living in paradise?