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Old Apr 5th 2017, 1:31 am   #1
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Question Where to settle down on Bali

After a couple of years of travelling around Asia, we're beginning to think that Bali may be the place we would like to settle down.

We've stayed in Sanur for extended periods and love it. It is getting busier and bigger all the time though and in a few years might be another Kuta (hopefully not). We also love Ubud and could see ourselves maybe living here. We'd have to try it for a few months and see how we feel then.

It would be very interesting to hear from expats living on Bali. Where you live, why you love it (or not) and any recommendations/information would be really welcome.

Thanks in advance!
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Old Apr 9th 2017, 11:03 am   #2
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

How easy is it to get residence in Indonesia ?
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Old Apr 10th 2017, 6:33 am   #3
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

You need to ping Davita.
He lives there.
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Old Apr 11th 2017, 12:28 pm   #4
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

Hi everyone...I'm currently in our place in Jakarta for some medical test not available in Bali so haven't paid much attention to this site.

Sanur would be my choice of location. It is a small town on its own and doesn't, anymore, require to go elsewhere for anything. It used to be for the more senior but as night-life, restaurants etc are more lively, it now caters for a more junior but sophisticated tourist than Kuta.
Hardly any long-term residents actually live in Kuta...most live in Kerobokan/Canggu/Seminyak or Sanur. Many also like Ubud and some even like more remote areas like Karengasam and Lovina although, imo, that is for those who enjoy some isolation.

Permanent residence is really only available for those over 55 under a retirement visa. It is possible to extend tourist visas but can be a pain.

Fire any questions...I'll be back in Bali on Sunday.
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Old Apr 30th 2017, 1:45 am   #5
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

Hi Davita - Hope you're well and thanks for your reply.

We do like Sanur but it seems to be getting bigger and busier all the time. We're back on Bali in a couple of weeks and are going to spend time in Ubud and, for the first time, see what's going on in the North (Lovina and surrounds) - Like you said, it may prove too quiet.

It's fun exploring with a view to eventually settling down though:-)
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Old Apr 30th 2017, 7:38 am   #6
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

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Originally Posted by Fenella View Post
Hi Davita - Hope you're well and thanks for your reply.

We do like Sanur but it seems to be getting bigger and busier all the time. We're back on Bali in a couple of weeks and are going to spend time in Ubud and, for the first time, see what's going on in the North (Lovina and surrounds) - Like you said, it may prove too quiet.

It's fun exploring with a view to eventually settling down though:-)
My medical news wasn't good but that's another issue.
You are lucky to have chosen to visit in a couple of weeks as the Bali weather hasn't been normal...we've had an extended rainy season but it is now looking like it's dried-up but still had a thunderstorm last week...you should be O.K. but it will be hot...33deg.
It does mean the groundwater will be pretty full so hopefully no water problems this year.
They are still talking about creating a new airport in the North so you should keep that in mind...that will certainly stimulate the economy there and consequently property prices will increase....but that's a long way off.
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Old May 1st 2017, 4:08 am   #7
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

We're currently in Cambodia where it's around 35-38℃ so 33 won't seem too bad :-) The talk of the airport has been going on for such a long time, I'm not going to hold my breath!
The next place we intend to visit with a view to maybe staying for a longer period is Langkawi (would make more sense as we have the MM2H visa). We've been before but you see things through different eyes when you're considering settling down.

Sorry to hear about your ill health. All bits crossed that everything will go ok
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Old May 2nd 2017, 8:33 am   #8
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

We also looked at Langkawi when we had MM2H but it's a bit too Muslim for us, much like Lombok, and a little too remote and quiet.
Did enjoy the duty-free status however but buying property is an issue there....due bumiputra ownership.
Could be great for sailors living on a luxury boat....nice marina.
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Old May 3rd 2017, 12:50 am   #9
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

Yes, many people have said that Langkawi is too remote. I'm not sure how busy we need. As long as there are a few good restaurants and bars and one lives in a nice property that may be enough for us. We'll have to try it for a year or so. We're not really considering buying property at this point, if ever.
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Old May 8th 2017, 2:19 pm   #10
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

Hi Fenella,
We have just returned from Sanur - it was our second visit and, like you, we absolutely love it there.
We obviously don't have anything like the expat experience of the place, but I do know that if it were possible for us to move to Bali, Sanur would without doubt be our choice (we can't do that move because we have pets that we are not prepared to give up and Bali has an import ban in place at the moment).
We went out at all times of the early morning to late evening and it was absolute heaven to be honest. We've been to Kuta, Legian and Seminyak and whilst they're all nice to visit, we found them to be too 'touristy' for us. Sanur still has a real laid-back feel to it and we didn't find it to be too busy at all although compared to Langkawi it was heaving!!! I don't think it will turn into another Kuta really, simply because the surf isn't there for the youngsters and the beach is on the 'wrong' side for the sundowner brigade. We felt so at home, we didn't want to give the keys back to our villa by the time it came to fly home.
We were eager to try Langkawi and although we didn't warm to it like we did Bali, we would live there for sure, given that Bali is out of the question for now. We didn't like Pantai Cenang as much as Sanur though and found that it was really quiet when we were there in April last year. Many restaurants were deserted and the nightlife was virtually non-existent (not that we need much but it was nice to have the choice of LingaLonga/Casablanca/Onion for a bit of tourist night-cap beery entertainment from time to time. Funny that Davita mentions the marina in Langkawi as we are considering the option (if Mr H relocates for work as he'd like to) of having our boat shipped out and living on it in Langkawi. Problem solved for property, cats and the yacht club bar was rather nice as I recall. For us, warm sun, cold beer, tasty food and stunning scenery are available in abundance in both locations.
Have been engrossed in your blog Fenella - Mr H is Dutch and we live in England. We have travelled to many of the destinations you've been to and are dying to give it all up and do what you have done (within reason when you have pets)...one day! Keep it up, it's a fascinating and entertaining read.
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Old May 8th 2017, 4:05 pm   #11
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

Hi mr....sh and welcome to this part of BE.
Nice to hear your comments about Sanur are in agreement with my own.
Yes, rabies is still a problem in Bali so pets are not allowed to be imported although they are accepted in Jakarta/Java.

If interested in the boating lifestyle I'd keep an eye on Penang as they're building a luxury marina there. There is already one established in Johor but I'm not so sure the Iskander development is successful as the Chinese are shying away, due to limitations on exporting their money.

This part of the forum isn't terribly busy so any comments you'd make, in future, are very welcome.
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Old May 9th 2017, 12:48 am   #12
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

Hi mrandmrsh,

Great reply and great to hear from you. Sounds like we're like-minded people! Our one regret is that we can't have pets (would be dogs in our case) but one can't have it all and maybe one day.

We'll be back in Sanur in a week or so and will raise a glass to you when there :-)

Thanks for the comments about the blog and glad that you enjoyed it. We have great fun writing it.

From what Davita wrote, it sounds like all your problems may be solved. Would you consider Penang ? We've visited but I'm not sure it's a place we'd like to settle down. Might be different on a boat though. Would love to hear your observations.
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Old May 9th 2017, 10:58 pm   #13
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

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Originally Posted by Fenella View Post

From what Davita wrote, it sounds like all your problems may be solved. Would you consider Penang?
As it happens we definitely have considered Penang, only problem....we haven't actually been there yet, so therein lies a bit of an issue. It sounds pretty fabulous and it has the added attraction that we could drive the cats from KL without having to stress them out even further with a second flight (if we went to Langkawi). But I think that however good it sounds 'on paper', I'd want to visit it first to get a feel for whether I could make it 'home'. Nicer problem to have eh?
Interested in the marina option, although we are still waiting to hear from a shipping company on the cost of having our boat shipped out to Asia...I'll be surprised if it's not prohibitively expensive.
Do you have a favourite Sanur bar? Yes, be sure to raise a large Bintang in iced glasses for us.....going misty eyed just thinking about it!
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Old May 10th 2017, 1:30 am   #14
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we didn't want to give the keys back to our villa by the time it came to fly home.
Hi,
Do you mind me asking where you stayed? We're looking for an alternative to where we normally book (Aleesha Villas) and want somewhere with a private pool.

So many restaurants and bars it's hard to say which is a favourite. The first place we'll visit will be "Warung Beach Breeze" Great atmosphere, food and very cold bintang. For a treat we go to "Char Ming" restaurant. Let us now if you have any suggestions.
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Old May 10th 2017, 7:58 pm   #15
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Default Re: Where to settle down on Bali

We stayed in an Airbnb place on Jalan Pengembak over towards Mertasari beach. The couple who own the villa live next door. It's not a large place, but it certainly did for us for two weeks....I'll PM you the details of it.
Ah Warung Beach Breeze. We went there and didn't like the food we had although the atmosphere was great and the beer was cold I agree. It's a sister restaurant to Warung Little Bird up the other end of town and Warung Coconut Tree (i think that's the name). We ate at WLB and had an even worse meal!
We liked Warung Anna, just off the main Sanur drag for simple, cheap food (first part coming from the south before you get to the green corrugated iron), and Lila Pantai on the beach. Chillout music, very good food and a lovely atmosphere. For lunch we spent at least three very happy lunch hours (or two) at a place called Warung Pita Pita. It's small and simple, on the beach right next door to the Mercure Hotel's Genius Cafe. Good Indo food - Beers ice cold!!
For breakfast, especially if, like me, you occasionally crave some sort of English Breakfast, we went to the Porch Cafe. Try the Bons Hash Stack. Awesome!
We also popped back this time to Cafe Jepun which is the first restaurant you come to on the roundabout opposite Blue Cafe. Just fancied a steak.....and it was well worth the rip off price of about £7 for a fillet!
Have you been over the other side of the bypass?? We hadn't done it before and spent many an hour zipping up and down the streets there.......really felt like it was somewhere we could spend a few months, immersing ourselves in the ''real'' Sanur.
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