expat life in bali

What is Living in Bali as an Expat Like?

  • InCorp Editorial Team
  • 9 November 2017
  • 4 minute reading time

There’s no doubt that Bali has increasingly grown popular as a favorite holiday destination for tourists from around the world. In fact, Bali has become a dream destination for many people, including those wanting to find that perfect retirement place or the ideal business center, or simply the most enjoyable place to live at. Either coming in for the holidays or to live in Bali as expats, the percentage of foreign nationals on the Indonesian island continues to grow every year. Do you ever wonder what could be the reasons for this? What is living as an expat in Bali like? What could possibly be attracting many people to come to Bali? If you’re considering moving to Bali as an expat, read on to know more.

Life in Bali Is Diverse

If you have not been to Bali yet, for sure you are wondering about the lifestyle there. Your mind is full of questions and you are maybe desperately searching for a clear answer to the most important question “how is expat life in Bali?”.

Simply put, life in Bali is diverse. In fact, Bali has become synonymous with the term “melting pot”. On one hand, the influence of incoming visitors and expats has westernized the island; On the other, Bali has not succumbed to this trend completely. The small island has been proudly protecting and keeping its culture, tradition, and its indefinable Balinese atmosphere.

Enjoying or Relaxing?

Denpasar, the capital of Bali, is not the right place for you if you prefer calm and the traditional Balinese atmosphere. However, you will find it your dream destination if parties and Western lifestyle are what suits you the best.

Under the pressure of tourism, Denpasar has changed a lot in the past decade. In Denpasar, you can find a relatively fast and stable Internet connection, Western amenities available in most supermarkets, and basically all the convenience of a big city.

Nevertheless, you should be aware of the biggest obstacle you should be ready to face in the city: the traffic. In general, the whole area of South Bali, which includes Kuta, Seminyak, Canggu, Denpasar, Sanur, Jimbaran, and Uluwatu, is more populated, life is more fast-paced, and the traffic is so much heavier.

If parties and a Western fast-paced lifestyle are not among your reasons for coming over to Bali, then North Bali or even East Bali might be a better fit for you. There are far fewer expats in those areas, and things are much more traditional Balinese.

Moving with the Family

A few years ago, only the bravest adventurers considered moving to Bali with their families, especially those with small children. But things have significantly changed in the region, kids can enjoy more and more new available facilities and amenities. As a result, Bali attracts even more foreign families. Children are never bored in Bali, there is an abundance of water parks, playgrounds, and international schools. Living in Bali as an expat Bali seems like no heavy burden adapting to the culture.

If you have your family’s health on top of your priorities, you should feel secure with Bali’s increasing number of international hospitals and medical facilities. If there is a serious accident or urgent need, you can take advantage of Singapore’s proximity to the region.

The Language Barrier

There is no need to stress about the mutual understanding between locals and expats in communicating with each other. Bahasa Indonesia is one of the easiest languages in the world. This means, when you arrive, you should not find it hard to communicate with the locals. Also, as mentioned above, Bali has become a popular tourist spot that the majority of locals are able to speak at least basic English.

In fact, there is no reason to make you stress in Bali. As opposed to Western societies, time is not a priority here; what matters here are relationships. You should not be surprised when your Balinese colleagues will come an hour later than their set appointments with wide smiles on their faces. The real Balinese culture is slow, calm, and friendly.


Do all these sound like something you would like to experience? If there are still many things to consider, ask your friends about their experience living in Bali as an expat. Don’t miss your chance, contact our friendly staff at Cekindo about the visa requirements of moving into Bali.

Pandu Biasramadhan

Senior Consulting Manager at InCorp Indonesia

An expert for more than 10 years, Pandu Biasramadhan, has an extensive background in providing top-quality and comprehensive business solutions for enterprises in Indonesia and managing regional partnership channels across Southeast Asia.

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Frequent Asked Questions

The sponsor must be a company for single and multiple-entry businesses and working visas. The sponsor company is the legal entity that invites you to a business meeting or the business you will be working for. Regarding social-cultural and retirement visas and KITAS & KITAP stay permits, the sponsor must either be an Indonesian legal entity or a citizen. If you need a visa sponsor, InCorp provides sponsorship via HR Outsourcing and manages payroll for your foreign employee.