Living in Bali – Costs and Best Places for Expats

Victor Maxwell living in Bali postThe last time I visited Bali was so long ago that it was getting less than 1/10 the amount of visitors it does now. The Indonesian island has become a digital nomad hotspot though, a prime choice for many who want to live abroad. Here’s a cost of living in Bali guest post from a reader who started traveling the world after reading one of my books. Take it away Victor Maxwell!

Although Mount Agung has been erupting now and then, scaring some tourists away from the island, the tens of thousands of expats who call this Indonesian island home have good reasons for staying. Bali offers a rare blend of great cultural and dining options, tropical scenery, friendly locals, interesting expats, and cheap prices that is hard to match. The attractive cost of living in Bali comes with an extra something that many call the “Bali magic.”

the magic drawing expats to Bali

Island of the Gods

While Aussies can be in Bali in a few hours, and think of Kuta the way North Americans do Cancun, if you’re from the USA, Bali is just about as far as it can be and still be on the planet. Is it worth the thirty hours it takes to get there? There is definitely something not just exotic, but otherworldly about this place they call “the island of the gods,” and you just have to look a little past the clubs and traffic jams of South Bali to find it. Most of the island is still largely left alone by tourists, and a few places have a unique blend of Balinese and Western cultures that make them both otherworldly and very homey.

Part of the reason Bali might quickly feel like home is the profound welcome you’ll receive from the Balinese people. Even in tourist areas, the Balinese are warm and gently friendly. Many seem to feel it their duty to make everyone feel at home. They often attribute this to their religious beliefs; as Balinese Hindus, the majority believe “I am you” and act accordingly. Local people take their religion very seriously and spend a lot of time on religious offerings and ceremonies. The island is perfumed with incense, and you see (and step on) floral offerings everywhere, including all over the sidewalks. With a temple in every village and one in every family compound, much of the island has a spiritual vibe infusing its natural beauty, but the Balinese don’t hold visitors and expats to their standards of piety. This tolerance doesn’t extend to fully embracing the LGBTQ community, but the gay people from other Indonesia islands who frequently move to the largest city of Denpasar or Seminyak, a touristic beach town with a small but visible gay scene, find life much better on Bali, and many gay tourists enjoy visiting the island.

Living in the Ubud Region

Perhaps the best place to experience the deeper layers of Bali and still have a solid community of retirees, expats, and location independent workers, is Ubud. It is a place that is still very traditionally Balinese, but offers a great mix of East and West on a basic budget of under $1,000 month for a single person or $1,500 for a couple. This growing inland spiritual and creative heart of Bali surrounded by rice terraces had a history of welcoming foreigners long before Elizabeth Gilbert ate, prayed, and loved there, and continues to offer a wide variety of experiences to visitors and residents.

living in Ubud Bali in Indonesia

The Balinese arts, especially the hypnotically stylized traditional dancing with a gamelan orchestra are rooted in religion and viewed as an offering. Most of the islanders, and especially those from the villages around Ubud, have studied and practiced an art, and the best perform at the major temples of Ubud nightly. You can relax on pillows at the swank Lotus cafe and watch performance of Kecak dancing at the Saraswati temple across the lotus pond. Visitors are also welcome at all the temples and holy sites: many even take a purifying dip at the Spring Temple or climb the holy Mount Agung or the less challenging Mount Batur, and when you make Balinese friends, they will probably invite you to their temple for a ceremony.

For more new age ceremony and dancing, you can check out the very popular weekly ecstatic dance on Friday nights at Yoga Barn where a DJ/meditation leader gets over a hundred open-minded types from 18 to 70 to drop their self-consciousness and move like no one’s watching. Or experience Mayan chocolate ecstasy at a cacao ceremony.

Those looking for more mainstream entertainment can head to movie night at Paradiso, lounging on sexy, low couches while eating amazing vegan food ( including, of course, organic popcorn) from the adjacent Earth Cafe while watching documentaries and other films from around the world.

Other Balinese Areas for Long-term Stays

If you need to live and work near the beach, Canggu, just north of the crowds of Kuta and the more urban vibe of Seminyak, is emerging as the place to be for digital nomads, with co-working spaces popping up and a very hip young crowd drinking coconut milk lattes and eating in some great new restaurants that cater to them. The vibe feels a little protective if you have any doubts about your youth or hipster credentials, but Canggu has plenty of yoga, a small but emerging party scene in Echo Beach, and the chance to surf and sun on the beach.

Bukit Peninsula of Bali

Some expats have also made their way down to the island’s stunning southern tip, the Bukit Peninsula, previously well-known only to intrepid surfers who scramble down the dramatic cliffs for some of the world’s biggest waves. A few have chosen to live in traditional villages in North or East Bali, but the communal nature of village life requires a good deal of sensitivity to, and even love for, the Balinese customs, which revolve around temple ceremonies and family gatherings.

Visa Rules for Living in Bali

Since the cost of living in Bali is relatively low, a lot of people want to move here. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to do. Many people living in Bali for a time, including digital nomads, do so on 30- or 60-day tourist visas or sometimes social/cultural visas, which require a sponsor, but can be extended for up to six months. Work visas are notoriously difficult to get; starting your own business requires a very big investment of time and money, so many people just make visa runs to Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Singapore, often returning the same day.

While making visa runs isn’t always convenient, shopping or doctor visits can be taken care of on the same trip. If you’re 55 or older, the government of Indonesia is a bit more Balinese in its welcome. As long as you can show retirement income of $18,000 US per year, you can live in Bali if you agree to hire a maid or butler (less than $300/month) and live in a place that costs at least $500/month.

Places to Rent in Bali

Although many traditional Balinese homes are rather basic, the architecture of Bali is distinctive and quite beautiful. The aesthetic is rooted in spirituality, and there is a temple vibe to many traditional Balinese homes, many of which are room-sized buildings grouped inside a walled compound with a family temple. Their structure reflects the way the spiritual world is ordered, and the result is quite beautiful and peaceful. The bedrooms are inside, but the kitchens and dining areas are often open-air, and sometimes even the bathrooms are partly open-air.

Traditional homes use a great deal of beautiful tropical hardwoods, and the increasingly common Western-style villas use stucco over concrete, often with elements of wood and bamboo incorporating the spa-like tranquility of Balinese architecture. Both types are often placed in a rice field, a lush, jungly area, or in their own walled gardens, so that there is a sense of peace and quiet, even inside the relatively bustling center of Ubud. A budget room with a private bath in a “home stay,” inside a compound, starts at around $12/night including breakfast. A two-bedroom villa with a small plunge pool averages about $700/month.

Living in a homestay in Bali

Healing in Paradise

While Indonesia is by no means a medical tourism destination, and many Bali expats still fly to Bangkok or Singapore for Western-style medicine, a growing number of visitors and long-term visitors do spend time in the Ubud region to heal in more spiritual and holistic ways, and the array of options comes at a price that is a fraction of the price at home. For starters, there are some really good massages to be had for under $5 an hour, and for a little more you can have it done at a fancy spa. Traditional Balinese medicine people, called ” Balians,” use trance states to unlock spiritual energies and induce healing. Most will happily see Westerners. A big number of Western healers in a range of traditions—life coaches, astrologers, shamen etc.—have been drawn to the island and practice their forms of healing.

Being a Hindu island, Bali is a natural place to learn or practice yoga at beautiful, well-equipped studios like Yoga Barn as well as explore more esoteric Hindu practices like he Ayurvedic cleanses and colonics. The well-heeled pay as much as $180 a day for instructions to fast on clarified butter for a detox which includes consultations. Alternatively, you could learn yoga and meditation with Balinese high priest and yoga master Ngurah Sudarma for a fraction of the price of the big classes at expat-run yoga businesses which thrive in Ubud. He teaches in a small, pleasant studio attached to Sang Spa, a nice mid-range sauna group he owns with his wife, Asti.

People seeking recovery from addictions have discovered Bali’s healing energy, and there is a burgeoning recovery community and business. For those looking to get clean and sober in paradise, Kembali Recovery Center’s 28-day program with staff from Canada, the US, the UK, and Australia gets raves and costs far less than a week at home might cost; there are a handful of other centers that are well-regarded. Those who are into healthy living, yoga, and living on a higher plane consider this one of the best places to live in the world for a good price.

Lake Batur Spa in Bali

Working and Co-working in Bali

If you get around to working, there are some great co-working spaces. According to Alex, creator/editor of Homegrounds, a popular blog about coffee while traveling, young location indies can usually be found where there are great co-working spaces. There, location indies can find not just high-speed internet, but also colleagues, conversation, and even inspiration, and all on their own terms and timetable. Alex’s Amazon Affiliate business makes him money while he sips coffee in cool Canggu cafes like Canteen, which are for him probably a tax write-off. For those whose online business or freelance work pays in dollars or Euros, small income streams make a big difference on Bali. One of the most justifiably well-regarded around Southeast Asia co-working spaces is Hubud (hub in Ubud), a tropically-styled bamboo place with lightning fast internet, and more are on the way.

For your own internet, 3G and often 4G SIM connections are cheap with pretty good coverage. Cards with 4GB of data loaded cost less than $10. You can generally expect 1 mbps to 15 mbps download speed. Not terrific, but better than it was just a few years ago. Faster home connections are more common, but far from universal and take a long time to install. Do a speed test while you’re checking out places to live if you’re going to work there.

Bali Belly

Although the term Bali Belly usually refers to the traveler’s diarrhea that many travelers experience, the reality is that after spending some time on island you’ll probably be closer to a six-pack abs than you’ve been in a while, and it won’t be from starving. Whether or not you’re healthy when you come to Bali, it will feel easy to get and stay healthier on the island. The year-round warm temperatures and access to aquatic activities make it easy and pleasant to get lots of exercise, and the fresh food grown on traditional farms in the rich, volcanic soil help a lot, too. Bali is rapidly becoming a food destination, with over 570 restaurants featuring many of the world’s cuisine around Ubud alone and plenty of hip and local places in popular beach towns like Seminyak.

The local Indonesian cuisine, though less famous than Thai, is very tasty, and not all of it is spicy. Peanuts, tempeh, and a delicious blend of spices give it a unique flavor. Standard simple meals are nasi goreng (fried rice) and nasi campur (a kind of sampler of rice served with a variety of meats and vegetable dishes). These can be a dollar or two where locals eat. Padang-style restaurants allow you to point at the delicious meat and vegetable dishes you like from a white-curtained buffet, and the bill will rarely top $3, even if your eyes are bigger than your stomach. (Some people prefer to only eat at these places for lunch, as the unrefrigerated food will likely be fresher.)

The reality for many expats and long-term visitors living in Bali, though, is that sometimes a daily diet of very unfamiliar flavors paradoxically gets tiring. Even an inventive cuisine like Indonesian can turn into an awful lot of the same local fried rice plate. (Ask a Central American transplant about black beans.) It keeps the cost of living in Bali very low if you only eat local, but after a while it’s not just a matter of taste, but of health. While people have different ideas of what makes for healthy eating, almost everyone agrees that it involves eating a lot of fresh vegetables. In many countries, this is not a norm, and it can be tough to get big vegetable portions in restaurants, even in Western Europe. In Asia, vegetables are often treated like a flavoring for the heaps of white rice or noodles that start most plates of local food.

In Bali, though, especially in Ubud, the health-conscious types have shaped the expat and tourist food, often to great effect. Organically-grown vegetables abound and the offerings at many restaurants geared for tourists and expats are reminiscent of the best of Berkeley at a fraction of the price. If you’re a vegan, a raw foodist, a vegetarian, pescetarian, or flexitarian, you’ll be delighted at the freshness of the abundant organic veggies brought the 20 miles to Ubud daily. Kafe offers burgers and fries in addition to more plant-based options. A fresh tuna steak over an organically grown green salad is under $6. For that money, you could also get a nice all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet at Taksu Spa.

Bali rice fields terraced

Balinese Cuisine Choices and Coffee

Much of food in the expat- inhabited areas falls somewhere in the middle, much more yogi than paleo despite lots of free range chicken. Beef, often imported from New Zealand, is pricier.

Seminyak’s restaurants tend to be more expensive than their Ubud equivalents, but still a lot less than you’d pay at home. Many expats don’t mind paying a bit more to be in a place that feels like it dropped out of hipster Los Angeles, whether it’s high-end Vietnamese street food at Saigon Street or tacos and margaritas at Motel Mexicola in a town with a gorgeous beach. While neighboring Kuta is absolutely overrun with spring-break style tourists in a way that might make living there unpleasant for all but the most diehard partiers, Seminyak has a much more livable blend At sunset there are plenty of bars on the beach. Nearby Canggu is rapidly catching up to Seminyak, but the vibe is more digital nomad or flashpacker than Aussie tourist.

Indonesian coffee is some of the world’s best due to the climate and volcanic soil of their mountains (Java, get it?). The local version, Bali Kopi, is ground very fine, mixed with hot water, and served in a glass. When it settles, it’s heavenly and strong, and costs 50-70 cents. There is a dynamic cafe scene where you can get perfect espressos and organic coconut milk lattes that will set you back $2. It’s worth a visit to one of the plantations which dot the hills up from Ubud.

Drinking and Nightlife

Although Bali isn’t a Muslim region, Indonesia is a Muslim-majority country, and that usually means alcohol is no bargain. What’s worse, if it is cheap, there’s a chance it’s a potentially lethal concoction being passed off as booze. Although rare, every year there are some serious and even fatal cases of tourists being poisoned by fake alcohol inside some of the sketchier nightclubs and bars. Stick to established places.

Expect to pay what you would at home for a local beer, like $1 each in a store and three or four times that in a bar. Cocktails can be a bit less than home but just because of labor costs: prices in the stores will be higher than you can find at Duty-Free. Most beach towns have some kind of beachfront nightlife, and the clubs of Kuta can make you feel more like you’re in Southern Thailand than living in Bali. While many drugs might be on offer, partaking can land you in giant trouble that there’s no way out of, especially if the drug dealer is working with the police. The views are not so nice from Bali’s notorious Kerobokan Prison, and your embassy will be powerless to help.

Language in Bali

While many locals speak Balinese to each other, it’s a complicated language with a lot of variations across regions of Bali and rules of formality that are daunting to most outsiders. Nearly everyone on the island speaks Indonesian, though, as do the other 257 million Indonesians. (The 31 million Malaysians speak a variant that is mutually intelligible.) Learning Indonesian is not too difficult–there are no tones like many Asian languages, the grammar is pretty simple and straightforward, the pronunciation is easy, and it’s written in the Roman alphabet. It will take a bit of effort to memorize the words, which are mostly unrelated to European languages, though.

In areas with a lot of tourists and expats, you can get by with English, as the people are very helpful, and more and more Indonesians are learning English.

Fellow Travelers Living in Bali

While digital nomads tend to be younger and a bit more party-oriented, the expats who make Bali their home for a time tend to be an adventurous, well-traveled, independent lot, many of whom are pursuing a life of creativity and/or spirituality. Polly Green, a psychic medium and counselor from the US by way of New Zealand, practices shamanic healing on the island after enough adventures around the world to last her many lifetimes. She not only enjoys the vibe of Bali, but she’s studying in the local spiritual tradition with a Balinese priest, as well as writing and making documentary films about her experiences.

Beth Rosselle, a Californian freelance writer and jewelry maker who is learning to surf the world famous Bali waves, says, “Ubud is a great place to be an artist — it’s a supportive community of creative expats and locals, and it’s also a place where you can actually afford to be an artist. She’s paying $500 a month for a small villa, and about $35 to rent a motorbike (the standard, if somewhat hair-raising, mode of transport for expats and many visitors.) The tank takes a buck worth of gas. Long term leasing owners will generally knock at least 15% off if you pay upfront for a year, and many rent out their homes on sites like Airbnb to generate extra income. After years of coming to Bali, she decided to let go of her LA home and car. She earns $250-$2500 per project writing web copy and features, so she can work when she wants. She makes a little extra from Punk Sophisticate, her jewelry line.

While Bali’s charms are far from a secret, as the summer traffic will attest, the presence of so many interesting expats and digital nomads contribute a great deal to the inspiring and beautiful blend of cultures in Bali. It’s easy to find a community, and they tend to be a fascinating group. Bali is a great place to heal, relax, retire, or maybe even work a little in between those yoga classes.

Victor’s Cost of Living in Bali Update

In 2019, Victor sent me this:

I made it back to Bali and rented a 2BR/2 bath open plan villa 10 minutes from the center of Ubud on a rice field for $267 a month including air conditioning, electricity, cable, and gas.. The scooter is setting me back another $42 a month to rent and fuel is less than $2 a tank. Here’s what I picked up from the market for $2.30:

What US $2.30 gets you in Bali for vegetables

Want to compare living here to other options? See a detailed post on the cheapest places to live or retire around the world.

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Victor Maxwell is a writer, theater-maker, and teacher who was inspired by Tim Leffel’s World’s Cheapest Destinations book to travel often and cheaply. With the help of lots and lots of airline mile credit card bonuses, he’s traveled to over 70 countries, most of the time spending far less than he would staying at home. Writing this article convinced him to spend much more time in Bali.

  1. Alex

    Amazing blog Tim!
    Lots of great information on Beautiful Bali, especially on the part of balinese cuisines and coffee. One of the most important things on traveling are to experience and taste different dishes and drinks from what you are used to. I’m a coffee lover my self. I will definitely try the java when I visit.

    • Victor Maxwell

      Thanks, Alex. Enjoy the Bali joe.

    • MA HAMID

      sad to see no mention of the fact the NKRI are using tourists money to assist in carrying out Genocide in some of the Islands and the spread of the Mongol horde across all the Islands in the region.. but it often seems pointless mentioning any of this to the fazed out xpats just interested in a ”fantasy” .. until they usually end up dead or under a truck.. sad to see over and over again in Bali yet the Bules never seem to learn..

  2. Chris Edwards

    good assessment- have spent the past seven winters in Ubud- it is the life!

    • Victor Maxwell

      Thanks, Chris! Maybe I’ll run into you in town.

  3. A K

    Can’t climb mount Agung at the moment – and for the last 10 months – as it has been erupting and there is a 4km exclusion zone.

    No mention of the rainy season in Bali which runs November to April, when some digital nomads and medium-termers leave.

    Another area popular with expats in Bali is Sanur.

    • Victor Maxwell

      We mentioned those eruptions. Glad they haven’t been too serious. I guess the stuff about climate got cut, but yes–two seasons, wet and dry.

      Sanur felt a little sleepy and commercial to me, although I know a lot of retirees like it. I’ve heard it’s nickname is “snore,” but it’s a pretty place. I’d head to the smaller surrounding islands if I wanted that level of beach chill, though.

      Thanks for your comments!

  4. Sara

    Great article! I’m spending this year in Indonesia, I’m in Ubud now and am moving on to Yogyakarta next month. I thought I’d share my budget, just in case it is useful to anyone else. The price of rentals in Ubud has gone up considerably over the last few years, but the quality of the accommodation has too. There are lots of villa-type long-term rentals that cost between 7 to 10 juta a month.

    I am on a tight budget and I spend:
    3.3 juta on a large room (without AC or pool) at a guesthouse right in the heart of Ubud
    2 juta on food per month. (I eat out once a day and get food from the market to prepare breakfast and lunch)
    400,000 a month on motorbike rent.
    650,000 a month on visa extension (ouch!) This includes the agent fees.
    And, about 700,000 on other stuff. So, life is fairly cheap, but it can be as expensive as you want it. (I don’t eat at the more expensive, hipster restaurants, because it is just too expensive for me.)

    • Tim Leffel

      What’s a “juta”?

    • Victor Maxwell

      “Juta” is one million, and one million IDR is about $69 or $70 US dollars. Sara’s total budget would be about $508 per month at today’s rates including visa service. Well done, Sara! Great to have your example of what sounds like a pretty nice budget lifestyle.

      • Jenny

        thank you Victor for explaining what the price in USD$. Pretty amazing.

  5. Natalie

    Hi Tim,

    Thanks for the article, very helpful!! :) We are looking to move to Bali and have heard that rent is very affordable – however, when searching for apartments or villas online, (we don’t want to share) they seem to be rather expensive. Is there a particular way to find good places to live before coming out or is it recommended to stay at a hotel/Airbnb first and find longer term accommodation once out there?
    I have also read something about having to pay all the months’ rent up front. Is this the case?
    Thanks for your help!


    • Tim Leffel

      It’s seldom easy to find long-term rentals in advance over the internet, in English. Better to look around and ask around after you get there for that.

    • Victor Maxwell

      Facebook groups like this one for Ubud can give a more realistic picture. As Tim says, looking at “retail” property sites geared for people looking from abroad tends to give an unrealistic impression.

  6. pat heaney

    you don’t mention SANUR why ?

    • Victor Maxwell

      Sanur is a nice, quiet beach area. I didn’t find it as interesting as Canggu or Ubud, but many retirees from abroad seem to like it.

  7. Carol

    Great article for a 55+ woman considering an adventure in Bali in 2019/2020. Am considering doing a yoga teacher training course and then living in Bali for 6 months to a year. Could do coaching work as an option, yet not sure about how that works. Is it safe for me to consider living in Ubud alone? I have a decent budget so could afford renting a villa in a quiet area (preferred) yet still be able to get around to yoga classes, restaurants and expat gatherings. Any thoughts on whether Ubud or Sanur would better suit me? Enjoy yoga, meditation, reading, coaching work, and great food.

    • Tim Leffel

      Carol, the best thing to do it go there and see. Nobody can really tell you from afar whether it will work and in a service business like this, face-to-face and word-of-mouth are what will make it successful. Do some research ahead of time, of course, but there’s no substitute for feet on the ground. Take a vacation and make a research trip out of it. Go to both places, and maybe more. It may take less time to get established in a place where there’s not so much entrenched competition already.

    • Victor Maxwell


      Ubud is really the yoga capital of Bali, and becoming a hub for yogis and yoginis from all over the world. It’s also the spiritual heart of Bali, so many coaches are drawn to it. You’ll definitely meant like-minded folks. Sanur is more a quiet beach town favored by tourist families and retirees.

      The teacher I mentioned in the post is doing a teacher training in November, but I don’t know if you’ll be there by then. There are many great yoga studios with Yoga Barn being the most well-known.

    • Gina Wijgerse

      Great blog! Really enjoyed reading it as a frequent visitor to Bali. I have to say though, Sanur is actually a pretty cool place with more and more of a younger crowd moving there. We are in our early 40s and our best friends of the same age group actually relocated from Ubud to Sanur because the former is really, really crowded with yoga /life seekers these days. We find Sanur excellent because of its close proximity to the islands, airport, Padang Bai etc. Not to mention all the amazing warungs and great accommodation. And yes; yoga! Don’t get me wrong, Ubud is lovely for a couple of days but I wouldn’t want to live there. We’re actually considering a move from New Delhi to Sanur in the near future.

  8. Kirth

    Interesting information, thanks.

    You compared Bali to Cancun.
    Although Cancun is more beautiful than Bali, Bali has two main advantages;
    First, it is more affordable than Cancun, and second, thanks to the distance away from the west, a lot less Anglo-Northamericans (excluding Canadians, which are always welcome everywhere).
    Luckily, the vast majority of U.S. americans that come here are not prejudist, gun loving, trump supporter nuts. They are the good kind.
    Sorry Cancun, I guess they are coming your way.

  9. Robyn

    Just back from Padma Legion/Ubud 6th time.. adore the people but prefer beach as my passion.. yoga done 70 young an Aussie world travelled.. many are couples in Sanur .. Dutch .. Aussies galore our no.1 destination.. such happy people full of family love & support.. poor in money but not in love & spirituality. Would love to rent in Legion/Seminyak as feel comfy cozy.. went alone last year felt safe security everywhere! biggest hurdle for me is my beloved dog.. not allowed back to Aussie! Great article.. I have lovely Balinese girlfriend with family but would not stay her compound as need aircon pool & few luxuries.. I have earnt it! The dentists In Denpasar are fantastic so clean @ great job so cheap! Life back home near Grandprix feels hectic & news negative after 48hours!! Bali is great on hols 5star but grass greener but many single women hold their properties & try it out.. I would too but my dog fretted for 12 days.. Looking at lease 12 months next year so short breaks often.. Padma Legion & surrounds feels home.. at least wet is warm .. just experienced Nepeti day.Fab

    • John

      Cancun more beautiful than Bali?? The color of the water, but I don’t see what else you may have in mind.

  10. Linda

    Shame on you Kirth. You are the one with prejudice. How insulting you are to your fellow citizens. Very sad to read anything like yours in this article about traveling to Bali. Leave your hateful speech behind or stay home please. It sounds like a great place to explore and relax and experience something different the world has to offer. Island life is so peaceful and laid back. It has a calming effect on me. Many happy trails!

  11. Kartik

    Outstanding summary.. thank you…
    my first visit to Ubud was just few weeks back – and now am searching all over the internet how can i find quiet living in Ubud. – this is under 3 weeks of my travel and its really feels like a calling …
    Many website suggests volunteering, working in digital space (hubud) or kind of conservation projects . Unfortunately , i do not possess any of these above mentioned skill sets or knowledge ( other than volunteering) . What options do you reckon i can explore in Ubud- for someone who has been in banking ( not a trader) industry all my 15 years of career. – any leads would be greatly appreciated. Intend is only to explore quiet , healthy living, yoga, complete change of lifestyle. away from all mad corporate rush .

    • Victor Maxwell

      There are many opportunities to study and practice yoga and all those other wonderful spiritual practices. You can’t legally work, though, not even as a volunteer.

  12. Leslie Harris

    Kartik. What you said resonates with me! I’m also considering relocating to Ubud.

    Thank you for this helpful blog!

    • Victor Maxwell

      Glad you enjoyed it. Ubud has a strong call.

  13. iain

    Ubud can be as expensive as the first world.
    Great place if your a cashed up artistic, single, baby boomer tho !!!

    • Victor Maxwell

      There are many ways to spend money in Ubud, but it can still be easily less than half what you’d spend in Western Europe or North America, etc. Check my numbers above!

  14. i made widana

    Heloo there very great article please welcome to bali my name is I Made widana one of local apartment or villa property agency person who taking care of any apartment or villa you need for living.. if you like to stay in Bali for long term period let say 6 month to 1 year.. my suggestion is to rent long term villa in further far from the center of tourism point.. for example you want to stay in Ubud.. so find apartment ,guest house or semi villa a round Tampaksiring area which is still 10 minute distance from Ubud but the living cost much more cheaper..
    other example let see you want to stay in Canggu area.. so don’t search the villa around Canggu .. but you search villa around Dalung or Kerobokan because these 2 location still very close with Canggu around 10 minute ride to Canggu center beaches such as Echo Beach, Batu Bolong Beach Berawe Beach etc.. if you need more advice about where to find best budget villa or home stay please contact me i will do my best to find you best price villa direct owner with out any fees.. I do This because i really appreciate all the expat want to stay in Bali so that Bali economic Will also running better .. i just do start up on my web site to help expat to find their best villa or any property hope this can help any question please contact me .. WA 24 hrs +62(0) 81-288-183-502 .. txs

    • Victor Maxwell

      Suksma, Made!

  15. Rhaud Macdonald

    Victor, my dear and respected friend from Ubud
    am impressed and glad to see you sharing the amazing experience that Bali is! My heart full wishes to you! ????

    • Victor Maxwell

      Thanks, Rhaud!

  16. annita zamora

    Hi Victor! Thank you for writing this article. Can you give me so additional advise ? I am looking to stay for 45 days or so. I need to find a place that is on or near the beach? However ever i don’t mind a cheap place for accommodations. I really want to spend as least as possible. I am going through a tough time with teenagers and my husband and need some time to regroup and gather my life. I am also turning 40 and just lost my job so i think with all these factors it’s perfect for me to find some alone time.

    • Victor Maxwell

      Look into Seminyak, Canggu, and maybe Sanur if you want to be by the beach in a developed area.

  17. Don

    Thank you Tim and friends for this informative article and blog,
    I look forward to reading more from you about this interesting lifestyle and beautiful

  18. David Smith

    Sad I am retired and only receive 1.340 a month from Social Security funny the consulate worker did not mention I have to make at least 18,000 a year and hire a maid and pay at least 500 a month for a place to live and the maid up to 300 a month ? But in fairness to her I did not read everything she sent me as for a maid I don’t know if I can afford a maid as I want to bring my fiancé and her daughter to live with me in this beautiful place Sad seems only the rich can live in this world forget beating cancer and being stuck on such a low monthly budget. Wish I had been born with a silver spoon and not had to support my parents for years. I would have had more money. h well maybe some other place anyone who knows where a couple and a teen can live on 1,300 a month please let me know I am an American and she is Russian LOL what a mix she is not a model like they show but her heart is very beautiful and so is her daughters I think we could survive in Russia with what I make but I hate cold and Americans are not well liked there or anywhere can’t blame the world for that Thank you for any help David and my Rottweiler Clyde very friendly and very spoiled a rescue dog

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