The term “Digital Nomad” refers to someone who travels for an extended period of time while working remotely. They often live in places where there is little cost of living, or where you get the bang for buck with a luxurious life style. This makes it easier to travel in this case inside Indonesia and work while doing so.
what are digital nomads?
A lot of people think that digital nomads are just young people with lots of money who are traveling the world. However, this isn’t true at all. In fact, digital nomads come from all walks of life and all ages. Many are young at heart but enjoy spending time in new locations. Being a digital nomad does take skill and proven trust, so it goes without saying that there is some experience involved.
working in Bali as a digital nomad
Being a digital nomad in Balinese culture is not that easy. It requires a lot of planning and preparation. You need to make sure that you have enough money to live comfortably while you’re here. You also need to find a place where you will feel comfortable living. If you do these things correctly, then you’ll be able to enjoy yourself without any worries.
Best places in Bali for working remotely
Canggu is a top choice for digital nomads, it comes often with a luxurious life style, higher price tag (renting price of accommodation) as the general area is more expensive. It has a lot of co-working spaces and is a hip and on-trend place. However the tropical vibes are still there, and some rice paddies left, the lush green disappeared quickly and there is little sign left, that this is a part of Bali some would say
Canggu is not only interesting for the individual digital nomad, but also an interesting place in Bali as a work vacation or workation for companies. A workation is where you combine work and vacation on a different location. It could be combined with the following: conferences, team building, unwinding, networking, and meeting each other since work from home/anywhere is becoming more popular now.
Seminyak is also a popular place as you are inbetween Canggu and Kuta. You will be surrounded by a large choice of restaurants, warungs and places to stay. You could pick homestays, villas and all depends on your budget and choice of luxury.
Ubud would be the cooler place to stay. The temperature is more tolerable for those coming from very cold places. It’s still a convenient 25 degrees Celsius at least during most days, but being a more than a few hundred meters (~600m) makes the weather nice in a tropical place.
So are you thinking about moving to Bali?
Disadvantages of the more remote places in Bali
I just mentioned some of the more populated areas which are also at the same time more popular for tourism. But there are remote places like Amed, Candidasa and these places networking with like minded digital nomads might seem more of a challenge unless you find them online. Even when finding them online, meeting them would require some travel time.
Another thing is the stability of internet connection and speed, and your phone. Some places it’s very spotty, which means it comes and goes. This makes you not a reliable person to reach or to deliver work. So think about where you want to settle in Bali
How much money does a digital nomad make?
A digital nomad makes a lot of money. That being said note the the cost of living in Bali is very inexpensive. The minimum wage for a worker is around 3 Million IDR in Bali. That is working for a local company full time (5 or even 6 days a week).
Digital nomads can earn that in one day, depending on their employer / company they work for. Most have a specific skillset that foreign companies outside of Indonesia would love have. But some companies also offer 1200$ for full time (for beginners).
Most companies will try to justify the salary or earnings based on location. If you have an education an experience from outside the country they might attempt not to factor this in (on purpose). So if you are looking for a job, be sure to know this early on not to waste your time with going on with 3 interviews.
Should you get a job that allows you to work remotely do factor in the daily/monthly costs you are going to have. Factor in what you are leaving behind from your old place like secondary benefits, health and dental, 13th month, vacation money. These are now going to be things you have to factor in your salary.
Visa requirements requirements
As of last week, somewhere in the 3rd week of September 2022, The B221A visa will allow a foreigner to work in Indonesia, as long as the company has no footprint in Indonesia. Source CNN Digital Nomad Blessing or Disaster. And if you are reading that article, it even says Tax free!
This visa is also known as a Social Cultural Visa, which was used to stay for a longer period of time up to 6 months. For this you need to have a letter of sponsorship. This means a local on the place with a KTP from Bali will sponsor you, also known as vouching for you. You also need proof of enough finances (2000 USD), a passport valid for more than 12 months upon entry and 2 passphotos. More at the official immigration website about the B211A visa
The visa now for Digital Nomads allows you stay for limited time and is a single entry only:
- Single-entry with a maximum of 60 days is Rp2,000,000 per person.
- Single-entry with a maximum of 180 days is Rp6,000,000 per person.
That right there is $132 for the 60 day visa, or a $530 for the 180 days. If you are going to use an agent, you might end up paying more (up to double), but everything will be done for you. Lots of people that don’t want to deal with it do it, but there are plenty who do it themselves. You don’t need to learn the language in Bali for this, just show up at the immigration office and follow the procedures.
Advantages of being a Digital Nomad in Bali
Ok let’s make a list of the pros what is great about being here, working here for a foreign company earning a foreign salary. I know right, I just mentioned a few just now.
- Tropical vibes and beaches all around
- Can be cheap and affordable
- Travel inside Indonesia with your digital nomad visa
- meet like minded people in co-working spaces and social media
- Built a professional network
- Food culture that will amaze you (except when you experience the Bali Belly)
- You can be a tourist in your free time
- Choose your own work environment and times
- Tax-free! (source: Traveling Lifestyle)
These are just 8 of countless advantages
Disadvantages of being a Digital Nomad in Bali
Do think about the disadvantages as well. They might need some explanation but most are self explanatory.
- It can become lonely if you don’t make friends
- You can’t travel to other countries on a digital nomad visa and expect to return on the same visa
- It can be very costly experience. Some villa’s go for 2000-3000 USD a month
- Losing a job/assignment can cause a major setback and prepare for these
That being mentioned, it is a good thing to think about it. For many a dream and for those following the dream not as expected. Do consider everything before making any move, and be sure not to regret it. There are also some disadvantages for the locals, as the digital nomad drives up the price in the local area, some locals can’t afford simple things any more.
The loss of culture going on to the next generation is already visible and there are more concerns around this. Exposing young children to influences that the parents wish their kids don’t want to see or experience. So when going here, be mindful of it. But if you have made your decision, I hope you will enjoy your digital nomad adventure in Bali! take care and thank you for reading. let me know if you have any questions in the comments
Hi I am Dwi. I am a blogger, travel agent and a mom of a lovely daughter and wife to a supportive husband. I customize and plan tours in Bali and islands nearby for a living and have been doing this for more than 14 years. Get in touch via contact [at] taletravels.com