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You’ve decided to retire in Bali or have found your dream job, you’ve found the perfect place to live, but what happens once you make the move to Bali? How do you go about settling in Bali with the least amount of hassle and stress?

Settling in Bali

Moving to another country can feel a bit daunting at first, but with a few pointers about how things here work your arrival can be made to be something to look forward too.

In this article, I’ll go through a few useful things to give you a ‘soft landing’ and help make your arrival and stay here go smoothly and be hassle free.

We’ll take a look at the fundamentals such as where and how to buy electricity to pointers about socializing and where to get great food.

So let’s get started.

The Banjar

Bali has a local system of governance in place, called the Banjar. The Banjar is the smallest formal social entity of Balinese society and watches over the cultural values ​​of society.

Get in touch with your local Banjar as soon as you move in and say hi. They are always very friendly and are there for you if you need any help or advice.

They may request a small monthly fee (usually around IDR 100,000), which they use to run the Banjar and spend on things such as supplying people to help out at festivals and events.


Most villas have a meter system for their electricity supply, which from time to time will need topping up with more credit.

This is easy to do. Once the meter is running low you can just go to your nearest Circle-K convenience store with the slip from a previous purchase (you landlord will give you the first one if you’re renting) and request to have pulsar electric. Simple and easy.

For a 3-bed villa with pool and AC running in one room during the day, and one at night, electricity comes in at around IDR 1,000,000 per month, but this of course varies on usage.

Mobile phones

If you have a KITAS you can get a phone contract, or alternatively opt for a top-up service. There are little top-up shops all over so easy to do.


Banking is easy to setup, and Bali has ATM machines all over the place. One word of caution regarding ATM machines. It is best to use an ATM in a bank lobby if you can, as there are unfortunately a few instances of card skimming. I’ve never heard of a case of anyone having trouble recovering their money, but it is a hassle so better to go to ATM machines that you know are properly monitored

Drinking water

The tap water here is ok. I use it for showering, washing up and cleaning teeth.

For drinking it’s recommended that you don’t use the water directly from the tap.

It is possible to have filters fitted to your supply, or you can order water from someone who will come and deliver bottles to your place.

The guy supplying water will probably be able to supply gas as well.

Ask a neighbor who they use, or get in touch with your Banjar for advice.

Cooking Gas

There is no mains gas supply, instead people use gas bottles for their cooking needs, which are delivered to your door when needed.

The guy supplying gas will probably be able to supply water as well.

Ask a neighbor who they use, or get in touch with your Banjar for advice.

Rubbish collection

You’ll need to pay to have your rubbish taken away, usually around IDR 100,000 per month.

It’s fair to say that refuse collection and waste disposal is an issue in many parts of the world, and Bali also faces the issues with ongoing efforts to improve the situation.

Ask a neighbor who they use, or get in touch with your Banjar for advice.

If you are concerned about how your refuse if dealt with there are services available that offer ecofriendly ways of dealing with waste disposal.


Over the last few years more malls have opened up in Denpasar (the main city of Bali), catering for a wide range of quality goods.

Level 21 is a good place to go, with lots of stores, restaurants, a cinema and kids activities all found in one place.

There are also lots of boutique clothes stores in Bali showcasing some extremely talented designers and with some fantastic bargains to be had.

Berawa Luxe is well worth a visit if you’re in Canggu, they also have an online store if you’re curious to see what stock they hold before visiting, or fancy a quick online purchase.

Food shopping

The local markets are well worth visiting as they offer a large range of meat, fish and vegetables, often at much cheaper prices than the supermarkets. They are also great place to find some of the more local items that you may not necessarily come across in the big chains. Local colour and great food at very affordable prices.

There’s also no need to live without the comforts of home in Bali. If you are looking for favorites such as Branston pickle, or marmite / vegemite they can be found in many of the island’s supermarkets.

Pepito, Papaya, Artesedana are all supermarket chains, with locations all over the island.


For pre-schooling there are lots of options.

My reccomendations…

Skoebi-doo: https://www.skoebido-childcare.com/
Little starz: https://littlestarsbali.org/

Bali also has a number of international schools, here are a few of the most well known.

Bali International School: http://baliinternationalschool.com/
Gandhi International School: https://www.gandhibali.org/
Green school: https://www.greenschool.org/
Sanur Independent School: https://sisbali.sch.id/

Social networking

One aspect of an international move can be the worry that you may feel a bit isolated on your arrival.

Bali is a very friendly place, with a strong expat community.

There are many ways to reach out and meet people, with business organizations such as Rotary and Skal, and also social organizations such as Bali hash.

There are lots of mums groups on Facebook who meet up on a regular basis.

One of my favorites is the book swap for kids in Sanur arranged by a lovely lady called Vici Tanner. (Dad’s go too!)


Vici is also a life coach, specializing in helping women to settle in, If you are a little worried about how this may impact your move I can highly recommend having a chat with her. www.victoriatanner.com

Things to do in Bali.

Bali is full of things to do once you’re here. For some ideas have a look at our article 10 things to do in bali.

Settling in Bali

If there’s anything not covered in this article that you’re curious about then get in touch and say hi, I’d love to hear from you.

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