A Guide for Ubud City as a Digital Nomad Destination

by | Jun 5, 2023 | Lifestyle, Travel

A Guide for Ubud City as a Digital Nomad Destination

If you are looking for your next destination in Asia, Ubud should be one of the places you consider. Ubud is a town in Bali, an Indonesian island. It has been a European attraction since the 1920s, and today, the town attracts a mix of foreigners, from digital nomads to spiritual explorers to ex-pats to yogis.

Annually, Ubud attracts approximately 3 million tourists from all over the world. Its cultural aspects and attractive features like galleries, museums, mountains, and resorts make it one of Bali’s most popular destinations.

Over the years, Ubud has grown to be a busy town. Along the streets of Ubud, you’ll come across art galleries, boutiques, restaurants, yoga studios, food cafes, and spas. Despite increased activities in the area, Ubud’s cultural and artistic flavor remains.

The Visa Application 

Foreigners wanting to visit Ubud, and Indonesia, in general, have two types of visas to choose from. The type of visa depends on the duration of your stay in Bali. 

These types are:

  • Visa on arrival
  • B211A Visa. The perfect visa for digital nomads. 

If you plan to visit the country only for at least 30 days, then the ‘Visa on Arrival’ (VOA) is the best choice. Also, it allows for an extended period of 30 days, meaning you can add a few days to your visit. 

Otherwise, if you are a digital nomad planning to stay in Bali for 60 days, the Visa B211A is the best option. It is also an excellent choice for countries not on the VOA list. 

Bali, however, exempts some countries from the VOA. Residents from these countries can freely enter Bali but only stay for 30 days. These countries are

  • Laos 
  • Vietnam
  • Cambodia
  • Malaysia
  • Brunei
  • Thailand 
  • Singapore 
  • Philippines 
  • Myanmar

What you need to acquire your Bali ‘Visa on Arrival.

The requirements to get the Visa on Arrival are

  • A copy of your passport. The copy needs to be valid for at least six months.
  • A filled-out arrival/immigration card.
  • Valid return ticket or ticket for next destination.
  • Enough funds to meet all your expenses during your stay. Some agencies demand funds up to 2000 USD in savings. 
  • An authentic COVID-19 vaccination certificate or passport. 

Digital Nomad Visa 

Indonesia is yet to introduce a visa specifically for digital nomads. The government is in the process of introducing a 5-year digital nomad visa. Digital nomads can live and work in Bali for up to five years. 

In the meantime, the B211A visa remains the best option for digital nomads. It’s only valid for 60 days but allows for two extensions, 60 days each. This means a digital nomad can stay up to 6 months in Ubud, Bali. 

Any further extended stay in Bali will require you to visit the nearest immigration office for fingerprints and a photo. 

Additionally, the visa card is a single entry meaning it automatically gets invalid once you leave Bali. 

Requirements for a B211A Visa in Bali

Digital nomads can apply for the B211A Visa onshore (while in Bali) or offshore (away from Bali). While offshore, you can apply for it through Bali Visa agents online. You can find these agencies on Google or through your booked hotel in Bali. 

These agents will help with your application and provide the necessary flight and arrival documents. 

Here are the following documents you need while applying for the B211A Visa.

  • A copy of your passport must be valid for at least six months.
  • Proof of 2000 USD in savings through a bank statement.
  • An onward flight receipt. It must be valid for 60 days after arrival. 
  • A Covid vaccination certificate or passport
The cost of applying for a visa

After submitting your application through the immigration office or Visa agent, it takes roughly 2 -14 days to process the visa. Below is an estimate of the different costs of the Visas.

  1. The Visa on Arrival costs around 35 USD. 
  2. The B211A costs you around 650 USD. 

For more accurate Visa quotations, you can contact the immigration office or the Visa agents. 

The Visa application difficulty

Due to the moderate Visa regulations, applying for a Bali Visa is quite easy. In fact, if you prepare yourself in advance, you will likely receive your visa within two weeks of your application. 

However, you might come across some issues during your application. For instance, you might stumble across fake Visa agents who will apply for the wrong visa. Thus, it’s wise you go through well-known visa agents while applying for a Visa. 

Remember, associating with fake Visa agents might lead to a penalty or even deportation due to strict Bali immigration laws.

Another challenge is requiring proof of consistent income from a remote job. The proof should show you are stable enough to sustain your stay in Bali financially. 

What makes Ubud a popular tourist destination? 

Ubud is named after Ubad, a Balinese name that means medicine. Initially, it was known as an essential source of plants and medicinal herbs. 

The town is popularly known for its culture and style. It has several cultural centers ranging from museums to galleries. Some of the museums found in Ubud include the Blanco Renaissance Museum, The Agung Rai Museum of Art, and the Puri Lukisan Museum

Ubud is also home to popular galleries. These galleries hold exhibitions focusing less on selling artworks and more on sparking dialogues between local and international artists. Some popular galleries are Ikat Gallery, Komaneka Fine Art Gallery, the Pure Land Gallery, and the Agung Rai Gallery.

Besides museums and galleries, Ubud is also known for holding dance events. Some popular traditional dances are Tek Tok and Legong. Usually, the Bali Cultural Center in Ubud holds the Tek Tok dance four times a week. 

Other features making Ubud a destination for digital nomads include fast internet speed, low cost of living, and availability of coworking spaces. 

Cost of living and cost of living arbitrage

Compared to 82 other cities in Indonesia, Ubud ranks number 4 as one of the least expensive cities. According to Nomadlist.com, the living cost for a nomad is roughly 2158 USD per month. For an ex-pat, on the other hand, the cost of living averages 1789 USD per month. 

Ultimately, this puts Ubud in the top 24% of cities in the world with a low cost of living. Below is a summary of the cost of living in Ubud.

Cost of Living Cost (one person) 
  Inclusive of rent  $667
  Without rent $303
  Meal $229
  Rent and Utilities (Electricity, cooling, heating, water)$363
  Monthly Salary after taxation$280
  Transportation $ 17

Accommodation in Ubud 

Accommodation options in Ubud range from Airbnb to rental studio apartments to hotels. According to data from Nomad List, the average price of a hotel room is 421 USD per month and 20 USD per night. 

Other accommodation options include:

  • Airbnb. This costs 2,909 USD per month and 95 USD per night on average. 
  • One-bedroom studio apartment for 835 USD per month. 

Due to the growing number of digital nomads visiting Ubud, co-living spaces have come up and are gaining immense popularity. Most digital nomads prefer this accommodation option because of its compelling benefits. One remarkable benefit is collective bill payment. 

On top of that, you get access to a community of like-minded people. 

One popular co-living space in Ubud is the Outpost Ubud Penestanan, also a coworking space. This space features a yoga deck, a rooftop café, and a communal kitchen. Each room comes installed with air-conditioning, strong Wi-Fi, and a refrigerator. 

Best neighborhoods to live in Ubud 

The best neighborhoods to live in within Ubud include the following;

1. Sayan

Sayan is a village located 5Km in west of Ubud. Also, it sits along River Ayung. Some fun activities in Sayan are snorkeling at Lempuyang Temple, Jungle trekking, canoeing, and a warm stone massage. When it comes to accommodation, Sayan got you sorted. Some incredible places and hotels you can stay in are;

2. Jalan Raya

Jalan Raya, also known as Bali’s cultural and artistic heart, is the main street at the center of Ubud. On top of that, it’s a bust shopping street that focuses on international and local fashion products. Some of the hotels you can stay in are;

3. Singakerta

Another neighborhood you can live in when in Ubud is Singakerta. It’s a village south of Ubud popularly known for its talented wood carvers. While navigating the village, remember to get yourself a sentimental gift from the caring workshops around.

Singakerta also has many properties you can peacefully reside in during your stay. These properties include:

4. Peliatan

Peliatan is a rich cultural village surrounded by a beautiful landscape. It holds annual cultural events attracting foreigners from around Ubud, Bali, and the world. 

Additionally, it offers a friendly environment for foreigners to live in, thanks to its top-notch hotels. These hotels include;


Living in a 915 sq ft (85m2) studio apartment, you will incur utilities like air conditioning, garbage, electricity, and water. According to data from Numbeo.com, all these utilities, including rent, will cost 52 USD monthly. If with a family, these utilities will cost you more, without a doubt.

Internet of speed 60Mbs will cost you about 30.76 USD per month. 


Over the recent years, the internet in Bali has drastically improved. Based on data from Speedtest, the fixed download speed of Bali is around 30.16 Mbps. Mobile speed is, however, a bit slower, averaging 26.39 Mbps. 

Although not that impressive, these speeds are still reliable to work with. If you want to speed things up, you can use a VPN.  

Best coworking spaces

As a digital nomad, there are various coworking spaces you can work at in Ubud. 

Here are some popular coworking spaces you can choose from;

Outpost Ubud 

Outpost provides two coworking spaces in two separate places in Ubud. The spaces are accessible for 24 hours all around the year. These spaces include the following;

1. Outpost Ubud Coworking

This coworking space is just ten minutes from the iconic Blanco Renaissance Museum. Its settings perfectly align with the lifestyle and needs of digital nomads. 

Features and facilities included in this space include

  • High-speed Wi-Fi
  • Desks 
  • Ergonomic chairs
  • Bean bags 
  • Equipment for printing and recording 
  • Computers
  • Café
  • Entertainment area with swimming pool and pool table

On top of a coworking space, it also provides co-living spaces. The co-living spaces come furnished with ensuite bathrooms and king-size beds. The yard, the lounge, and the kitchen are some of the included shared spaces. 

2. OutPost Ubud Penestanan 

Located at Jalan Penestanan, this space differs from the other location. This one provides a Zen space for relaxing, salsa dance, and even parkour. 

The atmosphere here is cheerful and social. The community here even has its Facebook group and Slack channel. Once in a while, the community organizes community drinks, lunches, and outings. 

Here are the features and facilities available in this space.

  • Excellent Wi-Fi
  • Ergonomic chairs
  • Beanbags 
  • Standing desks 
  • Air conditioning 
  • Video call rooms
  • Free parking space
  • Laundry services
  • Kitchen 
  • Projectors and printing equipment 
  • Onsite restaurant


Hubud is another popular coworking space located just across the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary. Its bamboo construction gives it a warm feel, and the surrounding vegetation creates a cool atmosphere to work in. It is also animal friendly, meaning your cat or dog can accompany you to work. 

Like most coworking spaces in Ubud, Hubud also has a community. The community is open and social and constantly organizes lectures, workshops, and other events. After joining the community, you get an H-Pass, a community connection, and a membership card. The H-Pass offers discounts at specific hotels, bars, and pubs. 

For a conducive working space, Hubud provides facilities like;

  • Standing desks, ergonomic chairs, beanbags, and hammocks 
  • Onsite canteen 
  • Free Coffee and Tea
  • Personal Lockers
  • A library 
  • Printing equipment
  • Personal lockers
  • Skype and podcasting rooms 
  • Co-living
  • Strong Wi-Fi

Usually, Hubud is open 24 hours from Monday to Friday and from 9 am to 12 am on weekends.


Tempatkita creates a work-friendly environment where nomads can instantly get into work mode. Located between Njana Tilem Museum and Rudana Museum, this coworking space offers facilities such as:

  • Stable Wi-Fi
  • Ergonomic chairs
  • A pool 
  • Kitchen 
  • Skype room 
  • Free coffee and alcoholic beverages
  • Onsite cafe

The coworking space is also accessible 24 hours all year long. 

The crypto community 

As blockchain technology continues gaining traction worldwide, Bali hasn’t been left behind. Bali faces no blockchain restriction. In fact, Indonesia recognizes crypto only as a trading commodity. However, general blockchain regulations, according to Bappebti, a financial regulator, still apply. For example, distributed ledger technology should be the base of all traded crypto assets. 

Interestingly, the government and blockchain industry players believe Bali has an undiscovered potential for blockchain. This is thanks to the numerous crypto startups that have sprung up in Bali. For instance, Tokocrypto, an Indonesian exchange company launched in April 2021, already had over 37,600 users from Bali by the end of 2021. 

Major blockchain startups in Bali

Blockchain startups in Bali include:


Indodax is a Bitcoin exchange company in Bali. It facilitates the selling and buying of Bitcoin with the Rupiah currency. It also allows users to redeem Bitcoin for other cryptos like Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and Ripple. 

The company also provides a Bitcoin wallet app for storing, receiving, and sending Bitcoin. You can also use the app to analyze the prevailing market value of Bitcoin. 


Spilnota is another blockchain startup in Bali that focuses on Web3. It uses Web3 tools to help boost the growth of community-based startups. Its main aim is to build a space where these startups can effectively attract funds and grow their market reach transparently. At the same time, it helps them easily build partnerships and a community. 

Crypto ATMs in Ubud

According to Coinlocations.com, there is only one crypto ATM in Bali, and you can find it at the Hubud coworking space. The main operator of the ATM is Bitcoin.co.id exchange.

Also, based on Coinloactions.com, this is the second Bitcoin ATM installed in Indonesia. Bali Bitcoin Center installed the first Bitcoin ATM in Kuta in 2014. 

Thankfully, a crypto debit card like that issued by ClubSwan can make it easy to withdraw from your nearby ATM. 

Merchants Accepting Crypto in Ubud

Since Bali started embracing cryptocurrency, the number of merchants accepting crypto has grown. 

Some local businesses in Ubud that accept Bitcoin are.

Size of Ex-pat community

Due to scanty information on the ex-pat community in Ubud, it might be tricky to come up with accurate numbers for their size. 

However, a survey of members of communities at coworking spaces and social media can prove to be a good lead. For instance, according to data from Coworker.com, Hubud coworking space has registered over 8500 members since it opened.

Local nomad job opportunity

As mentioned earlier, Bali is yet to release its digital nomad visa that will allow ex-pats to work on the island. In the meantime, B211A Visa holders can still apply for local jobs. Digital nomads can achieve this by networking with other nomads in community platforms, co-living, and coworking spaces. Also, job platforms like Upwork, Fiverr, and nomad list can be great places to find a remote job. 

Popular recreational activities and fun spots 

Ubud has a variety of fun spots where you can immerse yourself in recreational activities. Besides museums and galleries, Ubud has other fun spots like mountains, rivers, restaurants, and theme parks. These fantastic spots will automatically trigger your fun mode. Most of these spots are in the town, while others are on the outskirts. 

Here are recreational activities and fun spots you should try out while in Ubud. 

Watch Bali’s traditional dance

As stated earlier, Ubud is a cultural place popularly known for its traditional dances, Tek Tok, Legong, and others. The Palace, Café Lotus Ubud, Ubud water palace, and Puru Saren Agung are common places that host these dances.  

Here you will discover the fantastic culture of the Balinese people, enchanting tales, and traditionally intriguing dances that will leave you mesmerized. 

You can book for pick up from your hotel to attend these dancing events. It will cost around 7 USD to experience these dances. 

Tour around Ubud

For about 125 USD, you get to explore and experience Bali at a deeper level. Some of the destinations you can tour to are;

  • The UNESCO site of Jatiluwih Rice Terrace
  • Lempuyang Temple
  • Taman Ujung Water Palace

 You can organize a tour drive with a professional driver or a tour guide to enjoy this experience. 

During your tour, you will come across the Monkey Forest, home to 1059 long-tail macaques. Also, you will experience the vast, overwhelming rice fields in the countryside. While enjoying the green rice fields, you will het to know Subak, a unique irrigation system used to grow Balinese rice. 

Enjoy a hot air balloon and floating breakfast.

For just 97 USD, you can start your day with a floating breakfast in an infinity pool. Your selected breakfast comes served in a floating tray along with a bottle of tasty wine. You also experience an adventure in a hot air balloon to make your day even more fun. While above, you’ll witness the large tropical forest zooming out just below you. 

Visit Goa Gajah (Elephant Cave Temple)

Goa Gajah is just a 10-minute drive from Ubud town. Although called the Elephant Cave Temple, there are no elephants onsite. Immediately you arrive at the temple, the face of a carved rock greets you. 

While still taking your walk, you get to see the fascinating waterfalls and small temples. All this will cost you an entry fee of around 1 USD.  

Visit Bali Zoo

Bali Zoo is a must-go if you are visiting Ubud. Located in Singapadu, a small village in Gianyar, it’s just 20 minutes away from Ubud. The zoo is home to 70 animal species, from reptiles to birds to mammals. At the zoo, you will come across crocodiles, elephants, cockatoos, orangutans, and tigers, just to mention a few. 

Apart from animals, there is a sheer variety of tropical plants around the zoo. 

Some major activities you can participate in while in Bali Zoo are: 

  1. Petting baby animals like deer and bunnies. 
  2. Pony rides or children. 
  3. Breakfast with orangutans.
  4. Feed elephants and experience as they bathe in Mud.
  5. Photography with pythons, Borneo bear cats, baby crocodiles, and cockatoos.

For foreigners, the entry fee to Bali is roughly 29 USD. 


Although lacking a railway system, you can access other transportation forms in Ubud, including bikes, buses, planes, taxis, and ferries.  

Air Transport

Ngurah Rai airport, located in Denpasar, is the main airport serving Ubud and other towns. This airport is 40 km away from Ubud town, meaning you have to use other modes of transport to access it. 

Preferably while leaving the airport for Ubud, it is advisable to use a taxi. They are more efficient and reliable. 

Other airports near Ubud are Praya Lombok international airport and Banyuwangi Blimbingsari.  

Road transport

Modes of transport that use the road infrastructure in Ubud comprise taxis, buses, motorbikes, and scooters. 


Motorbikes are one of the best ways to get around Ubud. In fact, you can hire a motorbike and learn about Ubud at your own pace. 

Also, renting a motorbike is relatively cheaper than using any other mode of transport in the area. Before renting a motorbike, you must prove to be an eligible rider. You must provide an international driving license to ride motorbikes to prove your eligibility. 

If you don’t have the license, you can apply for a temporary one, valid for only three months. 

For safety purposes, helmets are compulsory while riding. Insurance, however, is optional. 

Often the cost of renting a motorbike is negotiable. The price mainly depends on the motorbike’s condition and how long you plan to rent it. 


Owing to the high rate of tourism in Ubud, taxi services providing reliable transportation within Ubud are readily available. The drivers of these taxis are familiar and experienced with the streets of Ubud. Therefore, they can be your tour guide when moving around Ubud. 

Taxi prices in Ubud are relatively high. The Taxi Cooperative limits the supply of taxis in Ubud to keep their prices high. Also, Lyft and Uber are quite rare to find. 

Some taxi service providers you can order your taxi from are as follows;

  1. Blue Bird Taxis 
  2. Wayan Ubud driver
  3. Lady Driver Tour Ubud
  4. Namaste Taxi and Tours 
  5. Ubud Taxi Service 


Another convenient way to navigate Ubud is by bus. Also, it requires less hassle, and it’s cheap. You can visit Google Maps for local businesses to get more details on bus services within Ubud. 

Some of the established bus services around Ubud are

  1. Perama Bus Ubud
  2. Halte Teman Bus Puri Peliatan
  3. Kura Kura Buses
  4. Happy Tour Bus Shuttle
  5. Ubud Shuttle Service 

Car Rentals

You will need a regular and international driving license to rent a car in Ubud. But if you don’t have either of the licenses, you can rent a car with a driver. Even better, you can choose between an automatic and a manual. Usually, cars In Ubud are left-hand drive, and the national speed limit is 70kph. 

Renting a car in Ubud will cost you between 18 USD and 45 USD daily. Car rental services in Ubud include

  1. Rental Cars Ubud
  2. Darma Putra car rentals


Since Bali is an island, it’s no doubt that water is one of the significant forms of transportation. Residents and visitors use ferries to get from one town to another. Some ferry transportation services in and near Ubud are

  1. Fast Boat Ticket Bali Gili
  2. Ferry House
  3. Bliputu Tour and Travel: 
  4. PJ Agent Ubud

Is Ubud Safe?

Ubud is one of the safest towns in Bali. Petty crimes like pickpocketing are more common in Kuta and Seminyak than in Ubud.   

Data shared by Numbeo.com on safety in Ubud reveals that;

  • The crime rate is 37.5% (Low).
  • The risk of getting attacked is 28.57% (Low).
  • The risk of getting robbed or mugged is 25% (Low).
  • The safety of walking alone during the day is 75% (High).
  • The safety of walking alone at night is 62.50% (High).

Cultural and social norms

Bali people are known to be more conservative in their customs. Some of the cultural do’s and don’ts in Bali include;

  • Avoid public displays of affection in the streets of Bali. Holding hands might be common but intimate gestures should be behind closed doors. 
  • Always wear decently while visiting religious places like Temples. 
  • Don’t point fingers or point with your feet. It’s seen as rude. 
  • Give and receive with your right hand. The locals consider the left hand impure. 
  • Remove your shoes while entering anyone’s home. 
  • Learn one or two Balinese phrases to appear social to the local people. You can learn appreciation phrases or greetings. The locals will appreciate your efforts. 
  • Avoid touching people unless it’s hand greetings. In Bali, the head is the most sacred body part, so touching people’s heads would be inappropriate. 

Political and economic stability 

Bali enjoys a stable political climate, so visitors don’t need to be concerned about insecurity. The economy of Bali, on the other hand, is quite stable. In fact, according to Statistics Indonesia, the economy of Bali recorded an 8.09% growth in 2022. 

A big percentage of Bali’s economy depends on agriculture and tourism. Cash crops bringing in the most revenue include rice, coffee, and oranges. 

Language and language barriers

Bali has two official languages, Bahasa Indonesia and Balinese. Bahasa Indonesia is prominent in Indonesia, while Balinese is most popular among locals in Bali. Although limited to oral usage, Balinese is spoken by about 3.3 million people in the country. 

Over the decade, foreign languages have spread in Bali due to the tones of visiting tourists. For instance, English has become common in Ubud, Seminyak, and Sanur since they are the biggest destination for visitors. This means less language barrier interacting with the locals. 

Other foreign languages that have found their way into Bali are French, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, German, and Russian. 


Even though the healthcare of Bali is not to standard of most major cities in the world, it’s still of sound quality. Healthcare facilities in Bali vary from referral hospitals to small clinics. Most facilities have support infrastructures like specialist doctors, multilingual staff members, and ambulances. 

Apart from Bali locals, the national health insurance also covers foreigners. On top of that, there are dozens of insurance companies that serve foreigners abroad. Some of these insurance companies have representatives and even doctors in Bali. 

Best Hospitals in Ubud

Looking for quality medical services, here are some of the best hospitals in Ubud. 

  1. BIMC Ubud 24 Hour Medical Centre: Found in Kecamatan Ubud. Contact: +62 361 2091030, (Rated 4. 4)
  2. Ubud Royal Medical: Found at JI. Raya Ubud, contact: +62 822-9888-8119, (Rated 5)
  3. Kenak Medika Hospital: Found at MAS, Ubud. Contact: +62 811-3930-911 (Rated 4.8) 

Common infectious diseases

Due to vast rice fields that hold stagnant waters, mosquitos are quite common in Ubud. As a result, mosquito-borne diseases like malaria, dengue fever, chikungunya, and typhus are quite popular. 

In 2008 and 2010, Bali faced an outbreak of rabies that raised concerns among many ex-pats. Luckily, this is no longer a threat. 

Bali Belly, also known as traveler’s diarrhea, is another common health complication caused by contaminated food and water. To avoid Bali fever, maintain clean hygiene, drink boiled water, and eat warm food during your stay in Bali1. 


Some recommended vaccination when traveling to Bali are

  1. Measles 
  2. Tetanus
  3. Polio 
  4. Influenza 
  5. Covid-19
  6. Hepatitis A

Electronic Standards

Bali operates on a voltage of 230 V and a frequency of 50 Hz. So, if you come from a country that operates between 220 V and 240 V, you can comfortably use your appliances in Bali. However, visitors from the US and Canada or others operating with 100 V – 127 V might need a Voltage converter.  

The standard power socket types in Bali are type C and type F. Type C plugs have two round pins, while type F plugs have two round pins and, on the sides, two earth clips. 

Telephone and internet plans

The well-known mobile operators in Bali are:

  1. Telkomsel
  2. Smartfren
  3. Tri
  4. Indosat Ooredoo IM3
  5. XL Axiata

According to a 2022 network experience report by Open Signal, XL Axiata, and Telkomsel were the top contenders in the mobile operator industry in Indonesia. The findings of this report showed the following:

  1. XL Axiata provided the best quality experience when streaming videos.
  2. XL Axiata was awarded for the best download speed, 18.7 Mbps. 
  3. Telkomsel users experienced the fastest upload speed of 7.7 Mbps. 
  4. Telkomsel had an edge on the 4G coverage. It scooped 8.7 points out of 10, thus taking the lead. 

Ultimately, most mobile operators offer prepaid and contract mobile plans. Therefore, you can choose whichever plan suits you best. But a mobile contract plan is the best option if you plan to stay for three months or more. 

Payment Services Infrastructure 

Over the years, Bali has developed different infrastructures for payment services. These infrastructures allow for local and international payment services.  

Popular domestic payment services

Despite the momentous shift to digital payment methods around the globe, most Balinese still prefer cash payments. However, some cashless transaction methods are gaining popularity among Bali people, services, and businesses.   

In the meantime, e-wallet apps remain the popular cashless transaction methods in Bali. Some of these e-wallet apps include the following:

  1. Go-Pay
  2. Dana
  3. Octo Mobile 
  4. OVO
  5. i.Saku 

Accessible international payment services

Ex-pats can choose between credit cards and international payment apps for international payments. Usually, ex-pats use credit cards while booking accommodation in Bali and when acquiring travel visas. Some restaurants and destinations also accept credit cards as a form of payment. MasterCard and visa are the highly preferable credit cards.

Regarding international payment platforms, Paypal, Faspay, iPay88, and Xendit are the most common. 

Currencies and exchange rate

The official currency of Bali is the Indonesian rupiah. As of February 28, 2023, 1 Indonesian Rupiah equals 0.000066 USD. 

Climate and Seasons 

Bali is just 8 degrees below the equator. Therefore, it experiences high temperatures throughout the year. For this reason, it also experiences two seasons every year, dry and wet. The dry season starts from April to October, while the wet season begins in November and ends in March.  

During the dry season, the temperature averages between 27°C-32°C (80°F-90°F). The humidity is low, and you can feel the cool breeze blowing pleasantly on your skin. Usually, tourists like visiting during this time of the year. The weather is sunny, the sky is clear, humidity is low, thus making it an ideal time for fun outdoor activities. 

Bali experiences hot temperatures, high rainfalls, and high humidity during wet seasons. Temperatures at this time of the year can average between 24°C-29°C (75°F-85°F). Although it’s a rainy season, the rain tends to fall mostly during the afternoons and nights. Being a cold and rainy season, foreigners tend to do more indoor activities and fewer outdoor activities. For outdoor activities, you can visit the valleys of Ubud and experience the vibrant green rice fields. Otherwise, you can stay indoors and engage in indoor activities alone or with fellow nomads.

Popular cuisines

Up to now, you already know that Bali mainly grows rice. So, it’s a no-brainer to say rice is the staple food of the Balinese people. Rice is so popular that it accompanies most meals like meat, vegetables, and seafood. Balinese people love tasty meals, so spices are crucial in their recipes.

Other popular dishes in Bali include;

  1. Satay (Sate) – Grilled beef, pork, and chicken mounted on skewers. Usually accompanied by peanut sauce. 
  2. Nasi Goreng – Fried rice cooked with vegetables or meat. Comes with a fried egg on top. 
  3. Babi Guling – Roasted pork spiced with garlic, chili, ginger, and turmeric. 
  4. Nasi Campur – Rice served with vegetables, egg, chili sauce, fried tofu, chicken, or fish. It’s also known as mixed rice.   
  5. Mie Goreng – Fired noodles cooked with vegetables and served with an egg. It’s the commonly preferred Balinese meal for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. 

Popular drinks include beer, spirits, and Arak (local liquor made from sugarcane). 

Tax requirements on digital nomads

A foreigner will only pay tax for income sourced from Bali. This tax is known as withholding income (WHT), accounting for 20% of your earned income. However, income received from overseas isn’t subject to taxation. 

Meanwhile, the much-awaited digital nomad visa is said to help eliminate taxes for foreigners. The visa will allow nomads to live tax-free in Bali for five or ten years in case of an extension. 

Common concerns

Ubud is a great place for digital nomads. On the negative side, however, visitors have raised some concerns about the town. These concerns include the following:

  1. Petty crimes like bag snatching and pickpocketing. 
  2. Scams are mostly on fake visas, jewelry, and taxis. 
  3. Extremely hectic traffic. 
  4. Scarcity of public transportation.

In short, Ubud is a great destination for ex-pats to live and work in. Anyone can visit any time of the year to explore the culture and for other fun activities.

Always check with local country websites for the most up to date visa, health, tax and travel requirements before entering a country. This article is general information and does not constitute legal advice, check with a legal professional for visas, working visas, applicable tax and crypto laws specific to you.

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