Before making the decision to move it’s wise to find out the pros and cons of living in Bali. Living in another country is always different than vacationing there.
It’s advisable to assess the pros and cons to avoid the possibility of discovering that the disadvantages outweigh the benefits after relocating. As for myself, I had visited Bali on two occasions before moving, therefore I knew the island pretty well before I moved.
This blog post outlines some pros and cons of living in Bali to assist you in determining whether it’s the right place for you.
During COVID we started thinking about what we really wanted to do for work. We were both tired of forcing ourselves to get up at 5:30 am to go to a 9-5 job we were not passionate about.
Our ultimate goal is to generate income online, affording us the freedom to travel and reside in different countries. Working remotely would also alleviate the challenges of navigating between our families who reside in separate countries.
To achieve this, we required ample time and an affordable location to call home. Having previously visited Bali, wI recognized its appeal as an idyllic, budget-friendly, and livable destination.
Balinese locals are the friendliest people you will ever meet. Every local that you pass by will smile, wave, and say hello.
The majority of Balinese are Hindu and they believe in Karma – “A good deed will lead to a future beneficial effect, while a bad deed will lead to a future harmful effect.” This is why the locals are notably kind, helpful, and hospitable.
In addition to its delicious local cuisine, Bali has an abundance of restaurants featuring a diverse array of international fare, including Thai, Mexican, Italian, Indian, Japanese, and more. The chefs are highly skilled in cooking, resulting in an authentic and flavorful dining experience.
Bali is a food lover’s paradise, with countless dining options to choose from. You’ll never have to worry about finding something to eat, only the challenge of selecting which restaurant to dine in.
Maintaining a healthy diet is a breeze in Bali, thanks to the low cost of fruits and vegetables. Moreover, the island is home to numerous vegan restaurants, making it an ideal destination for those adhering to a plant-based lifestyle.
It’s remarkably cheap to live in Bali! Bali is considered to be one of the cheapest places to live in the world!
We find that we spend about 1/3 of the price we would pay in Canada for such things as food and rent etc. For more information about how much it costs to live in Bali see my blog post: Cost of Living in Bali.
There is so much to explore in Bali with its stunning rice terraces, towering waterfalls, tropical beaches, and dreamy sunsets.
If you love being in the jungle Ubud is the place for you! If you love the beaches then you’ll find plenty of tropical beaches south of Bali. You have the best of both worlds living in Bali.
There are also many islands to explore nearby that are only a boat ride away such as Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan as well as the Gili Islands.
In Bali you’ll always be on an adventure from finding waterfalls, walking around rice terraces, enjoying the beaches, shopping at markets to exploring new areas, and experiencing new things!
Your perception of Bali’s climate may be a downside, contingent on your personal preference for warm temperatures. Bali is invariably humid and hot, with occasional instances of warm weather.
Even during the rainy season or in the midst of the jungle, Bali remains warm, and temperatures never dip to cold levels.
Many villas have outdoor kitchens and bathrooms therefore these areas can especially attract bugs.
There are lots of ants in Bali and they will get into anything! Make sure you’re always storing food in the fridge or areas they can’t get to them.
In the rainy season expect to see termite swarms at night every now and then where the air will be filled with flying insects with long wings (flying termites). They are attracted to light and there will be swarms of them!
The best thing to do is turn off all outside lights especially if you have an outside kitchen and bathroom. If you don’t you will probably wake up to a bunch of dead flying termites and wings everywhere.
Geckos may look cute but they make loud dinosaur-sounding noises that keep you up at night! They are everywhere in Bali.
Bali is also home to a significant mosquito population. To avoid being bitten, it’s advisable to use mosquito repellent or don clothes that provide coverage. Fortunately, there have been no instances of Malaria on the island, but Dengue Fever has been reported.
You can’t drink the water from the tap here because it will make you sick. It can be easily forgotten when brushing your teeth.
It’s common to get Bali Belly as a foreigner. I recommend buying Travelan. Travelan reduces the risk of Bali Belly.
I also recommend bringing some Imodium or Pepto Bismol in case you do get Bali Belly as it will help relieve the symptoms.
Coming from Vancouver, where rainfall is abundant, the rainy season in Bali is not a hindrance for me. However, for those planning on travelling and exploring the island, the rainfall can be an inconvenience as there may not be many opportunities to venture out on pleasant days.
The rainy season in Bali is characterized by a lot of precipitation, resulting in limited activities. Nonetheless, this climate is beneficial for digital nomads and expatriates who can concentrate on their work without distractions and not be tempted to explore the island.
Bali’s waste management system is inadequate, which is why you will come across a significant amount of litter on the roadside and beaches.
The situation worsens during the rainy season as the rain and winds exacerbate the issue by carrying the garbage onto the beaches.
The abundance of stray dogs in Bali is a noticeable issue. The sight of these malnourished and sickly animals can be heart-wrenching.
Traffic in Bali can be a significant challenge, as what would typically take 30 minutes might take up to an hour during peak traffic hours. This can be especially frustrating if you’re on a tight schedule, so plan accordingly. Be aware that popular tourist areas like Ubud, Seminyak, and Canggu tend to have the worst traffic.
Now knowing the pros and cons of living in Bali do you still want to move? Living in Bali is an adventure and I encourage anyone who is considering it to go for it. I even have A Complete Guide to Moving to Bali and A Complete Guide to Living in Bali so you don’t have to figure this out for yourself!