Things You Need to Know – Bali

Hidupid – Bali, an island of Gods and Goddesses, where modernity coexists with nature and culture. It’s a perfect place to live, but do you know everything you should know before moving there? See our tips below to help you settle in smoothly;

The cost

There is a thing called kos, a bedsit-type apartment you can afford for 500.000 rupiah for a month or you can several times that amount to live in a luxury villa. Bali offers accommodation options to suit all kinds of budgets, and the same goes for food and other living expenses. However, the average price for food and most living expenses are very low compared to the Western World and that is one of the reasons Bali is such a popular place to live.

Road signs

Road signs can be confusing to expats as the symbols can be difficult to interpret and difficult to read. Road signs also change regularly and street number seem inconsistent. Roads are often routinely closed for ceremonies which contribute to traffic jams.


Imported wine can be quite expensive in Bali at 1-2 times the price you would be used to paying. Other alcohol can be slightly high-priced however local beers are very affordable at only a couple of dollars per drink.


There is no official limit to how many times you can enter Bali on a tourist visa. As of July 2015, many nationalities can now enter the country without paying for a tourist visa as long as the stay is no more than 30 days in length. You also need to enter and leave through specific airports.

Other options are a longer tourist visa which you need to apply overseas that lasts for 60 days, and a social-cultural visa that provides an initial 60-day stay plus a 30-day extension, but you need a local sponsor for the latter such as a company.

You also can have multiple entry visas, such as KITAS which is a resident VISA for employees, retirees, or people who are studying or running a business in Bali. The other option is a multiple business visa which allows you to stay for 60 day, but you may leave and return on the same day when your 60 days is up. You cannot earn a salary or money on a multiple business VISA, but you can meet with business partners and conduct business research.


ATMs in Bali dispense either 50,000 or 100,000 notes. A sticker will clearly indicate which one is distributed from the machine. Most ATMs in Bali allow a maximum withdrawal of 1,250,000 (50,000 bill machines) to 3,000,000 rupiah (100,000 bill machines) per transaction with a total maximum of 6,000,000 rupiah withdrawal a day. The ATM’s have been known to ‘swallow’ cards and people often forget to remove their cards as the machine disperse the cash before allowing you to retrieve the card. If you take the number and location for the ATM and then phone the bank concerned you should be able to pick up your card in person from the bank within a couple of days. If the bank has your card they will keep it only for 24 hours before destroying it. Just go to the bank with your passport and they should return your card.


Although electricity rates are not excessive you may be required to pay for the electricity you use in villas for long-term stays.


The Indonesian Rupiah is the currency of Indonesia and therefore Bali. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Indonesia Rupiah exchange rate is the USD to IDR rate. The currency code for Rupiahs is IDR, and the currency symbol is Rp.


Banjar is essentially a type of Hindu parish council. Every resident in Bali pays monthly Banjar fees and may be asked to contribute to the cost of ceremonies.

Bottles on the Roadside

You may find a lot of Absolut vodka bottles being sold at the roadside stands in Bali. These bottles are filled with petrol and are sold to passing motorbike and scooter riders at a small premium on the petrol station price.

Foreigners cannot own property

According to Indonesian Law, foreigners cannot own land or property in Indonesia, although you can take out long-term leases.

Sales Tax

Typically, high-end businesses will charge 11-21% tax plus 10% service on top of thier baseline prices. Smaller businesses will charge less and no service while most small street-side family businesses will charge no tax or service fee at all.


Locals don’t normally sterilise their dogs so it leads to the mass breeding of cute puppies that foreigners sometimes adopt. Unfortunately, the dogs are abandoned when their foreign owners leave the country, and this contributes to the number of dogs roaming the streets.

Pricing is Random

You will find identical items at wildly varying prices and usually, food gets more expensive around Idul Fitri because muslims are saving up money to return home and are preparing for enormous evening feasts (Iftar). And if someone builds gigantic 3-bedroom villa with a great scenery surrounding and rents it for 100 million rupiah, so it will become the normal price for a 3-bedroom villas. The price of petrol will also lead to other prices for groceries and other living expenses.

Loads of international schools

Due to the large expat community in Bali, there are many international schools, which is great for parents as it gives them plenty of options when it comes to their children’s education.

You need insurance

Home and contents insurance can be a little expensive in Bali due to the design of the homes and villas, however many villas resorts and gated-communities have extra security to keep things safe.  You should also consider expat-oriented travel insurance and health insurance for peace of mind while you are living in Bali or anywhere in Indonesia.

Respect the sea

Bali is well-known for its amazing reefs and waves and is therefore very popular with surfers and divers. Even though the beaches are relatively safe, very few beaches have lifeguards, so you should be extra careful when swimming in the ocean as waves and currents can sometimes be unpredictable. You should also swim, dive or surf within your ability and never go alone.